by Živilė Putnienė
On the 27th-30th June, Klaipeda will become the capital of tall sailing ships – “The Tall Ships Races 2021” is coming back here. This time, “The Tall Ships Races 2021” events will start at the Lithuanian port. From Klaipeda, the Tall Ships fleet will race towards Turku (Finland), Tallinn (Estonia), Mariehamn (Aland Islands), and finish at Szczecin (Poland).
The Sail Training International organisation has made an announcement that they are thrilled to be returning to the Baltic Sea to celebrate the 65th anniversary of The Tall Ships Races. In 1956, at the initiative of the retired solicitor Bernard Morgan, the Sail Training Association organised a 750-mile sailing race from Torquay (southern England) to Lisbon (Portugal), with almost all of the world’s conserved tall sailing ships – a fleet of 22 sail-boats from 11 countries. The race generated great interest, so its organisers decided to make the event a traditional summer festival that would take place every second year. In 1958, 17 ships from 12 countries sailed from Brest (France) to La Coruña (Spain). In recent years, “The Tall Ships Races” engages hundreds of ships and almost all of the world’s tallest traditional sailing boats. In 2007, “The Tall Ships Races” was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.
“The Tall Ships Races 2021″ will see Tall Ships fleet return to the magnificent and challenging Baltic Sea. “This time, ships will visit five ports: Szczecin will host the racing boats for the seventh time; Klaipeda, Turku, Tallinn and Mariehamn will host the sail-boats for the fifth time,” says Ben Stuart, Race Director of Sail Training International.
Participants of ” The Tall Ships Races 2021″ will have three races and a Cruise-in-Company across the Baltic Sea. The fleet of “Tall Ships Races 2021” will depart from the start port of Klaipeda on the 30th of June. Following the covered 250 nautical miles, the sailing ships will be welcomed at the city of Turku (Finland). On the 8th of July, the fleet will then depart from Turku for a Cruise-in-Company with vessels visiting ports and inlets along the picturesque Finish Coast, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. From Tallinn, Race 3 will take course towards Mariehamn, a town with a long and proud tradition of sailing in the self-governing region of Aland. During this race, the sailing ships will overcome 140 nautical miles. The final race of the series will take the fleet from Mariehamn south through the Baltic Sea to Szczecin, Poland, a distance of 400 nautical miles.
The last time Klaipeda hosted “Tall Ships Races” was in the summer of 2017. Over eighty sailing ships of “Tall Ships Races 2017” ornamented the city of Klaipeda at that time.
Klaipeda: 27th-30th June
Turku (Finland): 5th-8th July
Tallinn (Estonia): 15th-18th July
Mariehamn (Aland Islands): 22th-25th July
Szczecin (Poland): 31th July – 3rd August