Tall Ships to rendezvous with 2017 America’s Cup

Published on December 29th, 2014

A fleet of tall ships event will coincide with the America’s Cup when Bermuda hosts the 35th Match in 2017. The tall ships fleet will be part of the Rendezvous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta being organized by Sail Training International in partnership with the City of Quebec, in association with Le Rendez-Vous Naval de Quebec.

The planned four-day stopover in Bermuda (June 1-5) will provide the ships crews and trainees with rest and relaxation before they continue north to help Canada celebrate its 150th Anniversary of the Confederation.

John Wadson, Chairman of Sail Training Association Bermuda (STA Bermuda), said that having the majestic sailing ships of the past gracing Bermuda with their beauty in the same period as the America’s Cup will see history meet the future. “It’s a perfect lead up to the America’s Cup event as tall ships are the sailing machines of the past.”

He noted that the America’s Cup Races will offer magnificent spectator opportunities while a tall ships festival in Hamilton will provide an exciting and fun-filled atmosphere for everyone to participate in and to enjoy. In addition, young people from Bermuda will have an opportunity to actually sail on ships in any leg of the race.

Bermuda has been host to several trans-Atlantic tall ships fleets – the most recent being in 2000 and again in 2009 when STAB placed over 150 young Bermudians as sail trainees and was voted Best Host Port by Sail Training International. Sail training uses the sea and tall ships to help young people learn about themselves, discover their hidden strengths and talents and understand the value of working as a team.

Wadson said that STA Bermuda is pleased to have the support of the Bermuda Tourism Authority and in the coming months they will be working with the Government, the Corporation of Hamilton and other relevant organizations to plan and prepare for what promises to be yet another exciting event in Bermuda for the summer of 2017.

Wadson noted that hosting a major event of this kind is not without its financial challenges but in order to ensure that Bermuda is once again voted the best Tall Ships Host Port, he is hopeful that the event will be supported by the business community, sports organizations and the Government.

“The key factor is to ensure that every young person in Bermuda who wants to join a tall ships crew in this event is able to do so, regardless of their financial ability or physical challenges. We appreciate that the America’s Cup event will require major financial resources, but we will also require support, funding, in-kind services and creative ideas to make the tall ships festival accessible and fun for all.”

The itinerary for Rendezvous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta has been organized by Sail Training International which is based in the United Kingdom. The race will begin in Royal Greenwich, UK on April 16, 2017 with the ships sailing to Sines, Portugal; Hamilton Bermuda; Boston, USA; various ports in the Gulf of St. Lawrence and importantly Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, where the articles of Confederation were signed on July 1, 1867 before proceeding to Quebec City.

The final leg will see the fleet sailing back across the Atlantic to Le Havre, France. Wadson expects that the fleet will be significantly enhanced in Bermuda with the arrival of vessels from South and Central America along with vessels that normally winter in the Caribbean and some from the East Coast that wish to join the race to Boston and the Canadian event that will follow.

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