TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Series Official Blog

Sea stories, scuttlebutt and fantastic photos covering America\’s official Tall Ships® Races!

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Archive for the ‘Tall Ship Events’ Category

Let’s do this

Posted by Tall Ships America on June 27, 2016






I leave on Wednesday for our kickoff event for the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE(r) Great Lakes 2016 Race Series. Wee! Redpath Waterfront Festival Toronto, presented by Ports Toronto, will be the first port to host the tall ships this summer and they always do a fabulous job of welcoming the ships and the crews to their lovely city.  For all of the ports and information about their events, visit our website. While you are there, check out the fleet tracker so you can follow your favorite ship as they sail through the Great Lakes.

While the interns will be blogging about their adventures as part of the Race Team, we’ll also be tweeting (@tallshipsfleet) and posting photos on Instagram (@tallshipsamerica). Follow us for updates about life on the road with the tall ships and general hilarity.

We also have five races, on in each of the Great Lakes, sponsored by Erie Insurance. While Ben and George get to be on the ships, they’ll be posting about their experiences here, I’ll be on the start line taking photos and making sure no one crosses the line early 🙂

We have eight amazing Host Ports this summer and I can’t wait to visit every one of them. Along with an incredible fleet of tall ships, it promises to be a banner summer. I hope to see you there!

Official Host Ports and their event websites are here.



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Posted in 2016, Tall Ship Events, Toronto | Leave a Comment »

Rockin’ and Rollin’ in 2016

Posted by Tall Ships America on February 11, 2016

Quebec City Photo Credit Sail Training International

Quebec City Photo Credit Sail Training International

We’ve been busy here at Tall Ships America HQ. Between battling snow storms, hosting 450 sail trainers and sailors from around the world in Quebec City, and gearing up for our TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Great Lakes 2016 Race Series, January was a blur and February isn’t too far behind. Here is what you’ve missed:

We went to Quebec City for our annual conference and it was awesome. For presentations and video, visit the Agenda page on the blog

I recapped our award ceremonies, too:

TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Atlantic Coast 2015 awards

Annual Sail Training Awards

Captain Dan Moreland and Nancy Richard special recognition

You can find photos from the conference on our Flickr page and the Sail Training International website

It’s hard to believe but we are already planning our 2017 conference (it will be on the Atlantic Coast). Stay tuned!

From the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® department, we’ve had ship announcements from Bay City, Duluth and Toronto. More ports will be announcing their lineups in the next few weeks! (We will post the complete line up of ships on our website once all of the ports have announced their tall ships.)

A list of the Official TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Host Ports and schedule of events is on our website www.tallshipsamerica.org

Don’t miss anything – follow us on Twitter @tallshipsfleet and join our
TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® group on Facebook.


Posted in 2016, Annual Conference, Bay City, MI, Duluth, Tall Ship Events, Toronto | Leave a Comment »

Cherry Blossom Peeping

Posted by Tall Ships America on May 22, 2015

Captain Batsford (Canada), Lea Parrell (RedPath Toronto Waterfront Festival), CAPT Eric Jones (USCG)

Captain Batsford (Canada), Lea Parrell (RedPath Toronto Waterfront Festival), CAPT Eric Jones (USCG)

Earlier this month, Team Tall Ships America headed to our nation’s capital for our annual reception in the Lyndon B. Johnson Room in the U.S. Capitol. Hosted by Rhode Island Senator, Sheldon Whitehouse, we had a wonderful turn out of naval attaches (representing the countries of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, India, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Portugal, Oman, Spain and Uruguay), Tall Ships America Board Members,  TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Host Ports, and supporters of sail training, including Senator Jack Reed (RI). We use this reception as an opportunity to cultivate relationships with foreign navies for future events and to announce  upcoming TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® events. Here are some photos if you would like to see – Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 2015, Tall Ship Events | Leave a Comment »

The Halfway Mark

Posted by Tall Ships America on May 21, 2015

Photo Credit: Friends of Hermione http://hermione2015.com/voyage2015/

Photo Credit: Friends of Hermione http://hermione2015.com/voyage2015/

If you haven’t been following the adventures of the crew of L’Hermione as they sail across the Atlantic Ocean, you should. Despite being in the middle of the ocean, the crew has been posting video almost every day, conducting webinars on navigation and propulsion, and generally having a pretty great time (at least according to the pictures).  A good place to follow them is on their twitter feed @Hermionevoyage. They also have a blog so, if your French is better than mine, enjoy.

L’Hermione will be making landfall in Yorktown on June 5th and we couldn’t be more excited to welcome her back to our shores. She will also be participating in two of our TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Atlantic Coast 2015 events – Tall Ships® Philadelphia-Camden and Greenport Tall Ships®

For more information on her public tours and available tickets, visit her website.


Posted in 2015, Tall Ship Events | Leave a Comment »

Let’s go to America!

Posted by Tall Ships America on April 20, 2015

Hermione TSC_Voyage

L’Hermione set sail on her transatlantic journey over the weekend. Speeches and songs marked her departure and she was escorted out to sea by a small flotilla of boats. Next stop, Yorktown, Virginia!


More information about Hermione‘s voyage www.hermione2015.com

Hermione will also be joining the fleet in our TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Atlantic Coast 2015 ports.

Posted in 2015, Tall Ship Events, Videos | Leave a Comment »

It all began with a vision

Posted by Tall Ships America on April 17, 2015


L'Hermione  (Courtesy of Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America)

L’Hermione (Courtesy of Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America)

Twenty years ago, construction began in France on a piece of American history. Tomorrow, the frigate that carried the Marquis de Lafayette to America to tell General George Washington that France would support our War of Independence from the British (and thus helped ensure our success), will set sail from France on a historic 3,000 mile voyage across the Atlantic Ocean. L’Hermione will arrive in Yorktown, Virginia on June 5th and spend the next two months sailing the East Coast of the United States. L’Hermione will be joining the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Atlantic Coast 2015 fleet in the ports of

Cape Charles, VA (June 13-14)
Philadelphia, PA-Camden, NJ (June 25-28)
Greenport, NY (July 4-7)
Portland, ME (July 18-20)

Here are some videos from the L’Hermione crew as they prepare for this momentous voyage –

More information about L’Hermione and her complete itinerary

More information about the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Atlantic Coast 2015

Posted in 2015, Greenport, Tall Ship Events, Videos | Leave a Comment »

To Spain and Back

Posted by Tall Ships America on November 24, 2014


A few weeks ago, Lori, Bert and I had the very exciting privilege to attend Sail Training International’s annual conference in A Coruña, a cosmopolitan port city in the northwest of Spain on the Atlantic Coast.  It was a bit of a slog to get there – drive three hours to JFK, red-eye to Madrid and then another hour and a half flight to A Coruña. But it was totally worth it for these views –

Into A Coruna

Into A Coruna

…And the chance to catch up with friends from across the pond whom we get to see all too infrequently.  This year’s STI conference was attended by about 300 people from all over the world. I quit complaining about our long flight after chatting with Murray from Australia whose initial flight alone was 23 hours. New Zealand, South Africa, Brazil and Canada were represented, while the remaining the attendees were from Europe. It was a great mix of young and old sail trainers. Session topics ranged from how to recruit trainees to satellite navigation and weather. Videos of all the sessions are available on the Sail Training International website. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Sail Training International, Tall Ship Events | Leave a Comment »


Posted by Tall Ships America on September 2, 2014

A view from the water

The waterfront here in San Diego is quiet. Too quiet. After four days of cannon fire reverberating throughout the downtown, crowds of people, and live music, it is disconcerting to hear the everyday sounds of San Diego on a typical weekday morning. Everything is back to normal. Luckily, Eliza, Halcyon and I have one more event in Dana Point next weekend. One more event to spend time with the tall ships and the new friends we have made out here on the West Coast. It’s hard to believe we are even at this point. Yesterday, we said goodbye to Halcyon as she sailed away on Irving Johnson, all smiles (Stay tuned for another blog post about her adventures on board). Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in 2014, Festival of Sail San Diego, Internship Program, Tall Ship Events | 1 Comment »

My Tole Mour Experience

Posted by Tall Ships America on August 30, 2014

My Tole Mour Experience

It was about 0800 when Erin and Eliza dropped me off at Tole Mour’s dock. It seemed like they were my parents, all happy and excited to see their young daughter go off on a new adventure. After they left, the crew on Tole Mour showed all the trainees which bunk section we would be staying in. I was staying in the section called Santa Rosa, with two other girls. We were able to pick our own bunks, so I choose the forward most bunk with a porthole view, which later became a problem on my part (seasickness).


About 0930, all hands were called forward for a muster. Captain Snark and Holly gave the welcome speech, talked about the boat, and gave information about the race. They showed us the course and explained the rules of the race. At that point I was very excited because I’ve never been part of the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Race Series. After a clear understanding that we were going to win, they wanted us all to introduce ourselves, so we had to answer 3 questions. What is your name? Where are you from? And what’s your favorite animated Disney movie? With that, I learnt that most of the crew was from the mid-west and there were a lot of animated Disney movies I haven’t seen. By the way, I’m from New York and my favorite animated Disney movie is “The Tigger Movie.” After a round of funny but interesting introductions, we were given our sea watches. I was placed in watch one, with 4 crew members and 5 trainees. The first thing we did was reintroduce ourselves to each other, then did a tour of the boat. While we were touring the boat, the crew members spoke to us about drills and muster stations; within the next 10 minutes, we heard an alarm and the crew shouting “abandon ship drill, abandon ship drill.” Everyone gathered to their muster stations and donned life jackets. After the drill, we all mustered forward again to get divided into two activity stations: line handling and marlinspike & seamanship. My first activity was line handling; they showed us how to make a line off to a pin, take a line off the pin safely and how to coil. Also they taught us the terms they use when handling lines, like ”made ready” which means have a top and bottom turn on the pin and “super ready” which means to only have a bottom turn on the pin.

The race stared at 1400. We crossed the starting line about a minute after the race started with Irving Johnson next to us and Exy Johnson and Bill of Rights behind us. It was a wonderful sight, seeing the cliffs of San Pedro behind us as we sailed towards San Clemente Island and San Diego. We had great wind conditions the whole trip. While we were sailing past Catalina Island, we spotted two whales in the distance. It was an amazing sight, especially for me because I never see any sea mammals in New York Harbor.

My watch that night was from 0000 to 0400; that was my first time sailing through the night. And it was just horrible – from the moment I got on deck, I felt sea sick. A crew member gave me some ginger ale, crackers, and some tips on how to stop feeling sick, but none of that prevented me from throwing up at least 5 times in a red bucket that was labelled “you will feel better :)” but, on the plus side, while I was coming up for air, I noticed about 1000 starts in the sky, and no other boats around us.


We had breakfast at 0700 and I felt much better. Shortly after breakfast, the captain announced that we had crossed the finish line and all the other boats were about 3 hours behind us. So, of course, everyone on board was thrilled on our possible win of the race. We turned on our engines, struck all sails, and began motoring towards La Jolla for some more activities. At 1030, we anchored off of La Jolla to do some snorkeling and some shanty singing. I chose to go snorkeling, so I got fitted for a wet suit, mask, boots, and fins. After a half hour of me struggling to put everything on, I entered the water, feet first to start an underwater adventure. The water was surprisingly warm and clear, so that didn’t stop us from seeing 10 leopard sharks, 2 horn sharks and a lot of sea grass. We got back on the boat in time for dinner, which I can say was amazing, then continued with some lovely shanty singing led by the crew and trainees.

My last moments on Tole Mour were the best. While heading back to the dock, a pod of dolphins followed us for about 2 hours, having fun with their babies, jumping in and out of the water and crossing under our bow. It was an amazing sight that I only got on video and soon hope to share with a lot more people.

I loved the people I sailed with on Tole Mour and looking forward to more adventures on the sail up to Dana Point.



Posted in 2014, Festival of Sail San Diego, Internship Program, Los Angeles, CA, Races, Tall Ship Events | Leave a Comment »

Staying classy in San Diego

Posted by Tall Ships America on August 29, 2014

At the start_Irving Johnson_Tole Mour_Exy Johnson

At the start_Irving Johnson_Tole Mour_Exy Johnson

After a busy week and a great race start in San Pedro, the Tall Ships America Race Team rolled in to San Diego on Tuesday ready for the Festival of Sail. While Halcyon sailed down the coast on Tole Mour (recap coming soon), Eliza and I scouted the site, did some laundry and enjoyed the wonderful waterfront that San Diego Maritime Museum presides over. San Diego Harbor is always full of sailboats and, as two shorebound sailors, Eliza and I can’t help but want to be out on the water enjoying the steady breeze. But the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE(r) requires our attention so we are content with just looking on enviously. San Diego Maritime Museum always puts on a wonderful event and, as the ships arrived at the dock yesterday after the Parade of Sail, the crew was happy to be here. Last night was the crew party on the Berkeley and our Executive Director, Bert Rogers, was on hand to present the awards for the race from San Pedro to San Diego, by way of San Clemente Island. From what I have heard, it was a spectacular run down to San Diego, complete with whale sightings, strong winds, shooting stars and, my personal favorite, dolphins playing in phosphorescence.

Race Results

We had four participants for the race – Tole Mour, Bill of Rights, Irving Johnson and Exy Johnson. The winners of the race are as follows:

Third Place – Exy Johnson
Second Place – Irving Johnson
First Place – Tole Mour

Thank you to all the participants and congratulations to Tole Mour! A huge thank you to LA Yacht Club in San Pedro for their time and help in pulling off a great race start.

For more photos, visit our Flickr page and for more updates follow us on Twitter @tallshipsfleet

Posted in 2014, Festival of Sail San Diego, Races, Tall Ship Events | Leave a Comment »

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