In 2021 the Tall Ships Races will return to the Baltic Sea for their 65th anniversary. Between 26th of June and 3rd of August the fleet will spend 6 weeks to visit Klaipeda, St. Petersburg, Tallin, Mariehamn and Szczecin. All of the cities have hosted the Races before, some of them many times, and all are looking forward to the return of the Tall Ships. You can expect great events in host ports, on top of lots of exciting sailing!
The events will start in Klaipeda, an important Lithuanian port from where the fleet will race 440 nautical miles to St. Petersburg, Russia. The next leg, a Cruise in Company, will take the ships to the capital of Estonia, Tallinn. In Race 2 they will take course towards Mariehamn in beautiful Åland Islands off the coast of Finland. Finally Race 3 will bring the ships across the Baltic Sea to Szczecin in north-western Poland.
There are 4 classes of vessels which race against each other. At least 50% of the trainees on board have to be aged 15-25. Aside from the sailing trophies there are a number of different rewards each year, for example for the most international crew, the best port entrance or most entertaining in Crew Parade.
Aside from sailing and racing, the port events are an equally big part of Tall Ships Races. After an exciting time on the sea, the trainees usually spend the last two days of their journey in ports, enjoying activities such as: Crew Parade, Crew Party, friendly competitions, concerts and spectacular fireworks.
The first ever Tall Ships race took place in 1956 in order to promote international friendships and Sail Training. 20 ships raced from Great Britain to Portugal, among them Christian Radich, Maybe and Sorlandet.
Initially designed to be a one-time event, the first race gathered a lot of interest and soon the Sail Training Association was founded to organise the next races, which they do to this day (now as Sail Training International - STI).