Originally planned for 2020, the Tall Ships will return to the Iberian Peninsula a year later, visiting Dunkirk, A Coruña, Lisbon and Cádiz. The Spanish and Portuguese cities have together hosted the Tall Ships an astounding number of 22 times! To even things out, Dunkirk will be a Tall Ships Races port for the first time. Many international Tall Ships will take part and safety measures will be updated depending on the situation.
The events will start in Dunkirk, a port city in northern France. From there the fleet will embark on an adventurous crossing of the Bay of Biscay to Spanish A Coruña. The next leg will be, a more relaxed, Cruise in Company along the Portuguese coast towards the beautiful Lisbon. For the final race the Ships will round Cape St. Vincent - the southernmost point of continental Europe - and sail to Cádiz for final celebrations.
There are 4 classes of vessels who race against each other. Trainees on board can't be younger than 15 - no upper age limit for this event! 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).