In just a few days, the wonderful tradition of the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta will begin. This incredible race will start on April 13th in Royal Greenwich, UK, and will then sail over 7,000 nautical miles to seven different countries across Europe and North America. This incredible festival brings to light the old-world beauty and class of tall ships, making it a wonderful event for all to enjoy.
Details of the Festival
Organized by the company Sail Training International, and associated with Le Rendez-Vous Naval de Quebec, this beautiful regatta will be a stunning sight to behold. With over 40 tall ships entered in the festival, the sea will carry a historic beauty beyond compare.
Sail Training International is a charitable organization which helps young people by giving them the opportunity to develop skills and knowledge of the world through sailing. They organize events like the 2017 Tall Ships Festival on a regular basis, giving the world a chance to enjoy the beautiful history of sailing tall ships.
Everyone has a chance to be a part of this beautiful festival, whether you’re on the ships, one of the over 3,000 anticipated trainees, or just a visitor ready to view some of the most beautiful tall ships still sailing.
The Route of the Races
As mentioned, the festival will start in Greenwich, UK on April 13th. There are actually five different stages to this festival, with different tall ships coming and going at ports around the world. It will finish on September 3rd in Le Havre, France, after having completed a circuit around the eastern coast of North America.
The route is as follows:
Royal Greenwich, UK – Thursday 13 to Sunday 16 April
Race 1 – Torbay, UK, Start Line Wednesday 19 April
Sines, Portugal – Saturday 29 April to Monday 1 May
(48 hour stop-over in Las Palmas, Canary Islands) Monday 1 May
Bermuda – Thursday 1 June to Monday 5 June
Race 3 – Monday 5 June to Saturday 17 June
Boston, USA – Saturday 17 to Thursday 22 June
Race 4 – Thursday 22 June to Friday 30 June
Southern Gulf – Friday 30 June to Monday 3 July
Northern Gulf – Friday 7 July to Sunday 9 July
St Lawrence River Ports – Friday 14 July to Sunday 16 July
Great Lakes Flotilla – Friday 30 June to Monday 17 July
Quebec City, Canada – Tuesday 18 July to Sunday 23 July
Outport Programme – Saturday 29 July to Sunday 20 August
Halifax, Canada – Saturday 29 July to Tuesday 1 August
Race 5 – Tuesday 1 August Thursday 31 August
Le Havre, France – Thursday 31 August to Sunday 3 Sept
The first race will start in Torbay, UK, on Wednesday April 19th and will finish in Sines, Portugal on Saturday April 29th. This historic maritime town is a beautiful port for this particular festival, due to its fame as the ‘land of discoveries’.
In 1460, the Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama was born in this town, and later left from here by ship to sail to India. He was the first to discover the sea route to India in 1498, and was able to establish trade routes for Indian spices and other commodities. He led two different Portuguese armadas to India, and was later appointed Governor of India.
Vasco da Gama’s contributions to the discovery of maritime routes between Europe and Asia are thought of as a turning point. The history and fame he brought to Sines is now being celebrated by its inclusion in the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta.
Participating Tall Ships
There are over 40 tall ships participating in the event over the course of the 5 different races. In the port of Sines, here are some of the ships you will see:
- Amerigo Vespucci, built in 1931, is owned by the Italian Navy. It has been part of several transatlantic voyages over the decades, including celebrations of the Statue of Liberty centennial in 1986 and the new millennium in 2000.
- Wylde Swan, hailing from the Netherlands, is a ship that was built for speed. Constructed in 1920, Wylde Swan boasts being the largest schooner with a two-mast topsail currently in operation.
- Etioile comes from France, and was used as a training ship during WWII. It is modeled after the Paimpolaise type schooners that sailed between France and Iceland in the 1800s.
How to Enjoy the Sines Tall Ships Festival
Each port in the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta will offer a free family festival. The Sines Tall Ships Festival will be held between April 29th and May 1st, 2017. You’ll be able to view the spectacle of the tall ships at this beautiful open-sea port, or even get the chance to go on board and view them close up!
Also, Sines has dedicated this festival to showing off the culture of Portugal, and it will be celebrated in typical Portuguese style.
Don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit Portugal and see this wonderful festival. If you’re looking to stay in Portugal long-term, don’t forget that the Portugal Golden Visa is one of the best residency programs for those wishing to live in the EU. With this advantage, you’ll be able to see all kinds of European festivals, including the Sines Tall Ships Festival!