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A Duel with Denis Sullivan

Posted by Tall Ships America on August 5, 2010

August 4th, 2010

 1450 – 47.30.0’N x 88.48.5’W  

By Matthew Maples  

Colin Nelson looked disappointed when we shattered his preconceived notions of what a tall ship race was like.

 His imagination had conjured up images of ships racing neck-and-neck after a gunshot, chasing one another to the horizon with their canvas stretching for a finish line – that’s what a race is supposed to be like, right? We informed him that tall ship races are different because all the ships racing are different. Ships of many sizes and rigs take part.  Square-rigged barques and brigs compete among schooners and sloops in a hodge-podge competition. Some ships and designs are naturally faster, so a handicap system from the Sail Training International is used against every ship, taking into account its rig and size. So while we are racing against one another, we are also racing against ourselves to beat our handicap. Without a system like this, a Lamborghini of a ship like the Pride of Baltimore 2 would triumph over our cruising, Cadillac-like barque Europa on a regular (and thereby banal) basis…

Click here to continue reading Matt’s blog over at A Young Man and the Sea

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