Tall Ships America, organizer of the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Race Series, is pleased to announce that the tall ships will visit Greenport this Fourth of July weekend. The community of Greenport last hosted the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Race Series in 2012 and the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Race Team is looking forward to bringing the tall ships back for this popular summer event. Greenport TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® 2015 will be held at Mitchell Park & Marina from July 4th – 7th. Ship tours will be held from 10AM to 6PM each day. Visitors will have the opportunity to board these historic vessels at the dock and talk to the crew about a sailor’s life in the modern world.
The TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® is an annual series of Tall Ships® Races and maritime port festivals that rotate between the Atlantic Coast, Great Lakes, Pacific Coast, and Gulf Coast. These events celebrate our rich maritime heritage and traditions and inform the general public about the transformative power of Adventure and Education Under Sail®.
The TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Race Series is coordinated by Tall Ships America, the national sail training organization representing the United States and Canada in the international forum. As a non-profit membership organization, Tall Ships America supports the people, ships and programs of sail training and is the hub for tall ships activity, expertise, and information in North America.
Earlier this summer, the tall ships visited Tall Ships® at Cape Charles and Tall Ships® Philadelphia Camden 2015 as part of the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Atlantic Coast 2015 Race Series. Four vessels then raced from Cape May to Montauk under a stunning display of full sail. Race results will be announced at Greenport TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® 2015.
“The tall ship races and maritime festivals create a unique opportunity to share our vital industry with the general public,” states Eliza Braunstein, TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Assistant and member of Tall Ships America’s Race Team. “Each tall ship has its own educational program and mission, providing festival-goers with a wide variety of vessels to learn about and explore.”
The 212’ French frigate L’HERMIONE is visiting Greenport TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® 2015 as part of LAFAYETTE’s Hermione Voyage 2015 in partnership with TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Atlantic Coast 2015. This vessel is an authentic replica of the French frigate that carried the young Marquis de Lafayette to General Washington during the American Revolution to pledge full French support for America’s cause. This historic vessel and her celebrated second voyage to America was first imagined in 1993 and, with the continued support of Friends of Hermione-Lafayette in America, the present day L’Hermione was launched in 2012. She departed France on April 18th, 2015, on her maiden voyage to America. She will visit the event July 6th and 7th only.
The Bayshore Center at Bivalve operates the 115’ schooner A. J. MEERWALD, New Jersey’s official tall ship, as an experiential classroom and flagship for the Delaware Bay. This authentically restored 1928 Delaware Bay oyster schooner sails from her homeport of Bivalve, New Jersey, once known as the oyster capital of the world. The primary goals of A. J. Meerwald’s programming are to motivate people to take care of the history, the culture and the environment of New Jersey’s Bayshore region. Members and volunteers are the lifeblood of the organization and are always welcome.
KALMAR NYCKEL, the 141’ tall ship of Delaware, is a re-creation of a seventeenth-century Dutch Pinnace which served as an armed merchant ship, a Swedish naval vessel, and as the colonial ship that founded New Sweden in present-day Wilmington, Delaware. A collaboration with the Vasa Museum in Sweden uses the ship as a research platform to better understand how seventeenth century ships were sailed. The crew of Kalmar Nyckel is comprised of professional officers and volunteer crew who come from all over the world to sail the ship and participate in her training programs.
America’s Privateer LYNX is a 122’ square topsail schooner designed and built to interpret the general configuration and operation of a privateer schooner or naval schooner from the War of 1812. Lynx crew members wear period uniforms and operate the ship in keeping with the maritime traditions of early nineteenth century America. Lynx also operates as a sail training vessel to serve as a classroom for the study of historical, environmental, and ecological issues.
The 179’ barque PICTON CASTLE is a traditionally rigged and operated sail training ship based in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, Canada, but best known for her voyages around the world. The tall ship has just returned from her sixth circumnavigation of the globe and her crew looks forward to sharing stories and mementos from their travels.
N.R.P. SAGRES, whose sparred length reaches nearly 295’, sails under the Portuguese flag as a naval training ship. She was built in 1937 at the Blohm & Voss shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, and is virtually a sister ship to the U.S. Coast Guard Barque Eagle. The name Sagres is derived from the historic port that sent forth many famed Portuguese explorers and navigators.
Event Gates by Mitchell Marina will be open from 10AM –10PM on Saturday and Sunday, from 10AM – 7PM on Monday, and from 10AM – 9 PM on Tuesday. Vessels will tie up alongside East Pier, West Pier, and at the Railroad Dock. There will be plenty of exhibitors and lots of entertainment on the festival grounds. Tickets can be purchased in advance at www.greenporttallships.com or at the gate. One-day passes are available online for $20 for adults and $10 for children ages 3-15. Military and senior citizen passes are available for $15 and children under 3 may attend at no cost. Family ticket packages are also available.
From Greenport, a portion of the visiting fleet will join other tall ships for Iberdrola USA Tall Ships® Portland. To get from Greenport to Portland, “students and trainees will sail the ships the same way they were sailed in great Age of Sail,” explains Tall Ships America Executive Director Bert Rogers. The public can track the vessels using the Marine Traffic vessel tracker on Tall Ships America’s website (www.tallshipsamerica.org).
Information specific to Greenport TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® 2015 can be found at www.greenporttallships.com. Please note that vessels are subject to change.