The History Bit
The Tall Ships Races are designed to encourage international friendship and training for young people in the art of sailing. The races are held annually in European waters and consists of two racing legs of several hundred nautical miles and a “cruise in company” between the legs. Over one half of the crew of each ship participating in the races must consist of young people.
After World War II, tall ships were a dying breed, having lost out to steam-powered ships several decades before. It was a retired solicitor from London, Bernard Morgan, who first dreamed up the idea of bringing young cadets and seamen under training together from around the world to compete in a friendly competition. The Portuguese Ambassador to the UK, Pedro Teotonio Pereira was a huge supporter of this original idea, and believed such a race would bring together the youth of the world’s seafaring peoples.
These two figures started discussions in 1953 and three years later they saw their vision become a reality. The first Tall Ships’ race was held in 1956. It was a race of 20 of the world’s remaining large sailing ships. The race was from Torquay, Devon and Lisbon, and was meant to be a last farewell to the era of the great sailing ships. Public interest was so intense, however, that race organizers founded the Sail Training International association to direct the planning of future events. Since then Tall Ships’ Races have occurred annually in various parts of the world, with millions of spectators. Today, the race attracts more than a hundred ships, among these some of the largest sailing ships in existence, like the Portuguese Sagres.
This year the race Set off from Sunderland with the legs being Esbjerg (Denmark) – Stavanger (Norway) and ending in Harlingen (Netherlands).
Sophie lives in Sunderland, and her chap Mentat was over from Spain, so we all met up to go and see the ships, and I took a few photo’s, of course.
Most of the ships had information flags on them so we could see where they were from
Dyrafjeld was built in Nordmøre in 1889. The builder was Martinus Olson Ansnes. Initially she was hunted, (not hunted as in catch yourself a boar for dinner, it means she had a mast), but in 1918 she was turned into a galeas (trade vessel) for practical reasons.
Really it’s known as a bowsprit 🙂
and another shot of this lovely old wooden lady from the Minolta film camera
Sunderland is a working dock, so had to put up with the crane in the background, but still cool to see all the ships parked up together.
It was also fun to watch the trainees being put through their paces
Couldn’t resist a zoom
Figureheads were predominant between the 16th and 20th centuries. In the 17th to the 18th centuries, the carved subjects of figureheads varied from representations of saints to patriotic emblems such as the unicorns or lions popular on English ships. When the ship was named after a royal or naval personage the head and bust of the individual might be shown.
The Santa Maria Manuela is a Portuguese four mast lugger. Originally a fishing ship of the Portuguese White Fleet, Santa Maria Manuela is now used as a sea training and cruise ship, belonging to Grupo Jerónimo Martins.
side on view was amazing walking up to her, (another fom the Minolta with kodak portra 400 film)
Lord Nelson is one of only two tall ships in the world designed so they can be sailed by a crew with widely varied physical abilities.
Every aspect of shipboard life is available to all, from setting the sails, going aloft and helming the ship.
Stay tooned landlubbers, more of the day to come.