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Tall Ships Races

Tall Ship Races 2018

In Four Parts of the world

In 2018 there are three major tall ships races that feature Classic Sailing vessels you can sail onboard for ages 16 to 70.

FREE Tall Ship Guide Book

Tall Ships Challenge for the Gulf of Mexico 2018

For the first time in history, Tall Ships America will bring the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE Series of Tall Ships Races and Port Festivals to the Gulf of Mexico. In the spring of 2018, thousands of visitors will flood the waterfronts of four host ports to explore the magnificent visiting tall ships.

Host ports in race order are –

  • Galveston, Texas
  • Pensacola, Florida
  • New Orleans
  • St Petersburg, Florida

Tall Ships so far

  • Oosterschelde

2018 Gulf of Mexico Races


The Three Festivals - Tall Ships Regatta 2018

The Tall Ships Races is arguably the greatest summer adventure you will ever have.

This Three Festivals Tall Ship Race Circuit is the earliest in Europe and takes the fleet of tall ships and smaller vessels from Liverpool Festival to Dublin and Southwards to Bordeaux.

Ports in race order

  • Liverpool International Mersey River Festival
  • Dublin RiverFest
  • Bordeaux Fete le Vin

Tall Ships so far

  • Morgenster
  • Lord Nelson 

2018 Three Festivals 


The Tall Ship Race of 2018 (North Sea)

Four fantastic ports, two Tall Ship Races and one Cruise in Company.

Sunderland has a great sense of community and there will be a huge local involvement at the start port for this series of tall ships races.

Esbjerg has a history of hosting a truly tremendous event with over 600, 000 visitors and massive media coverage.

Stavanger is a long-time favourite of the Tall ships Races and home to some amazing historic sailing vessels. The fjord creates the perfect backdrop for the fleet of tall ships.

Harlingen holds the record for recruiting the largest number of trainees ever and a the participation of the whole town will make a fantastic finale to this year’s Tall Ship Race.

Ports in race order

  • Sunderland
  • Esbjerg
  • Stavanger
  • Harlingen

Tall Ships so far

  • Oosterschelde
  • Lord Nelson
  • Maybe
  • Europa

2018 North Sea Tall Ship Race



Port of Yeosu  South Korea         

Thursday 23 August to Sunday 26 August


Race - Cruise 1 - Yeosu to Vladivostok

26th August to 1st September.


Port of Vladivostok Russia           

Saturday 1 September to Monday 3 September


Race - Cruise 2   - Sailing in Peter the Great Bay

Wednesday 5 September to Friday 7 September


The Regatta program is expected to include one long race between the ports of Yeosu (Republic of Korea) and Vladivostok (RF), a series of races in the water area of the Peter the Great Bay with sailboats of various classes, a parade of sails - solemn passing of full-rigged ships, and a festival of sailing ships at the pier.

In all, participation of 6 - 8 sailboats is expected, including, of course, the Vladivostok «beauties» - the frigates Nadezhda and Pallada. PJSC SovComFlot, one of the world’s leading shipping companies, is the main sponsor of the Regatta.

Sailing training ship Nadezhda IMO 8811986, displacement 2986, built 1991, flag Russia, port of registry Vladivostok, owner Maritime University Vladivostok. Photo source unkown.

Photo by Skopf

Sail training ship Pallada, Built in 1988 in Gdansk, flag Russia, port of registry Vladivostok, owner Maritime University Vladivostok.


What is it Like sailing on a Tall Ship?

Classic Sailing is fortunate to be able to offer a wide range of tall ship racing experiences for those who want hands on sailing as ships crew. Tall Ships Races are perhaps the most intense voyage we offer in terms of sail handling, standing watches through the night, and pushing mighty ships as hard as they would have sailed when carrying profitable cargoes or chasing an enemy or prize ship. 

Looking astern when dawn breaks to find you have overtaken a huge four masted Russian ship or a sleek schooner after a night of exhausting sail changes and work aloft, creates an elation shared by the whole ship. Its all about the team - your watch, and the ships company - whatever your age or physical strengths. Before you know it, even the most disorganised person finds themselves preparing their clothes and boots so you can leap into them in an instant for 'all hands on deck' call.

There are also periods of reflection, where a whole fleet may be ghosting long in light winds, when normally the Captain might reach for the 'iron topsail' (engine). Some tall ship race legs last 2-3 days, but some are more epic. In the past we have offered tall ships races around Cape Horn. In 2017 is the next Trans Atlantic Tall Ships Race from Europe to Canada.

Brothers & Sisters of the Sea

The internationalism of the fleet is one of the joys; At the height of the Iraq War, young Omani Arabs were dancing in the streets at end of race festivals with American and British teenagers. At the height of the Cold War Russian ship Khruzhenstern was already a favourite of the fleet; After the Falklands, the first Argentinian ship in a British port was their tall ship Libertad.

Tall Ship voyages also involve a period in port before or after the race where the public are keen to come and see the fleet. The host ports put on a show for the public as well as events for tall ship crews.  These colourful gatherings are an opportunity to see waterfront harbours at their best and meet fellow sailors from all over the world.  If you are a purist sailor who wants to sail every day then you may prefer a tall ship voyage that is not part of a tall ship race event. Some voyages 

"There is something about joining the Tall Ships Fleet that defies cynicism. Sailing these great vessels is not just a sport, and not just sentimentality. It fuses the old skills of laborious teamwork and communal courage with a new pattern of adventure and internationalism. Even the most timid and unfit deck workers find themselves rising to the task, inspired by the natural beauty of the sea and the human beauty of the great ships, and the people who sail them." Libby Purves


Who Can take Part in Tall Ship Races?

No experience is needed but a good level of general fitness is required. Classic Sailing are always actively seeking tall ships events suitable for all ages, however some Tall Ships Races may have quotas on crew aged over 25 as they are organised by sail training organisations and generally aimed at young people to promote international friendship. Tall Ship racing is a great way to meet new people of all nationalities, visit some wonderful ports and have an experience of a lifetime. Ring us for advice.

Going aloft on the square rigged vessels is a great buzz, but not for everyone. The opportuntity and the training to work aloft is there for everyone, but if you decide it is not your thing then there is plenty to get to grips with at deck level or out on the bowsprit.  Many sailing ships that take part do not have square sails anyway so there is no need to go aloft to set sails.


Dream for the Future ?

Keep up to date up with our e-newsletters (see left side of the page)  we will keep you posted with new sailing programmes and tall ship Race News as it happens. column, text and content here

working aloft on Tenacious.

Girls sweating and tailing at the braces


This band worked hard all day in the hot sun and they were a delight to hear and see.







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