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Around the Buoys and Away We Go

Posted by Tall Ships America on June 28, 2013

Peacemaker (l), Unicorn (c), and Sorlandet (r) with Toronto skyline after the squall

Peacemaker (l), Unicorn (c), and Sorlandet (r) with Toronto skyline after the squall

There were a tense few moments during the start of the first race of the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® 2013 Race Series when Captain Trost of Pride of Baltimore II canvassed the race participants to determine if the race was still on. A few moments earlier, those of us on the race committee boat had scrambled to throw on our jackets and hang on as a squall with about 30 knot winds came right through the fleet, throwing off the start. The ships that had sails up already scrambled to strike and then reset the sails prior to the cannon. After the squall, and after we heard the captain’s come back in the affirmative, the countdown began and ships began to make their way to the start line.

The squall moves through

The squall moves through

However, as quickly as the wind came up during the squall, it just as quickly died down and a lull made for a slow start. Pride of Baltimore II was first across the line, about eight minutes after the cannon, followed by Sorlandet. I hopped into a fast boat and was able to get incredible photos of the ships under sail with the sun and skyline of Toronto in the back ground. It was a great day at the office.

Pride of Baltimore II with Toronto skyline

Pride of Baltimore II with Toronto skyline

For an engaging recap of the entire race, visit the Pride of Baltimore II blog post: Squally Start, Rounding the Buoys, and One Lake Down

We knew Toronto was going to be a wonderful event and we weren’t disappointed. From the Opening Ceremony all the way to the Parade of Sail out, the crews took in everything the city had to offer. It was a sports filled week with the Bruins in the playoffs (too soon to talk about) and the Orioles playing the Blue Jays, there was a lot of hometown pride being represented.  The Toronto organizers scored tickets to the Orioles vs. Blue Jays game and the Pride of Baltimore II crew went to enthusiastically cheer on their team (with face paint, natch). 

We didn’t go to any baseball games, but Tall Ships America was invited to reception on board Sorlandet last Friday night and were treated to an amazing acrobatic display in the rigging. (You might recall we had something similar on Providence last summer in Newport) Take a look –

Receptions on Sorlandet are more than just hors d'oeuvres and small talk

Receptions on Sorlandet are more than just hors d’oeuvres and small talk

The waterfront was a sea of people for the Parade of Sail on Sunday. Even though it was wicked hot, there was a breeze and the ships had their sails up as they sailed past the city. Cannon fire echoed through the downtown to the delight (and surprise of those not paying attention) of the crowd. 

While the interns, Brian and Eliza,  onboard Lynx and Unicorn, respectively, are currently in Port Dalhousie for the St. Catharine’s 1812 TALL SHIPS® Visit, I’m packing up for the Port of  Cleveland 2013 Tall Ships ® Festival and Tall Ship® Celebration: Bay City. This will be the third time I get to go these two cities (my first tall ship event was Cleveland in 2006) and I can’t wait. Brian and Eliza will be back blogging about their adventures at sea  so keep checking back for updates.

Finally, a huge Thank You to the Ashbridges Bay Yacht Club. It was a pleasure to work with you all out on the water. What a nice way to spend a Sunday evening!

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See more photos from Brockville and Toronto on Flickr.

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