Sail Training To Be Available Aboard Tall Ships

December 9, 2016

People in Bermuda can enjoy sail training opportunities on many of the international tall ships that will be visiting the island next summer for a Tall Ships Festival, with no prior sailing experience necessary.

The 7,000 nautical mile race circumnavigating the North Atlantic Ocean and visiting six countries will start in Royal Greenwich, UK in April 2017. The event, RendezVous 2017 [RDV2017] has been organized by Sail Training International [STI], American Sail Training Association [ASTA] and Le Rendez-Vous Naval de Quebec to mark the 150th Anniversary of the Canadian Confederation through its founders and founding provinces.

Sail Training Association of Bermuda [STA Bermuda] is encouraging potential sail trainees of all ages to contact Dr. Craig Nikolai or visit the website to learn more about the event and the various ports of call from which they may wish to sail.

Persons aged 16 to 25 who are unable to meet the financial costs of their selected voyage may apply to STA Bermuda for a financial bursary worth up to 75% of the cost of participating in one leg of the race.

A spokesperson said, “The first race of RDV2017 begins on April 13, 2017, with the tall ships racing from Royal Greenwich, UK to Sines, Portugal. Race two is from Portugal to Bermuda. Race three is from Bermuda to Boston. Race Four is from Boston to St. Lawrence Ports and Race 5 is from Halifax to Le Havre, France, with the conclusion of RDV 2017 on September 3, 2017.

“Whilst the planning for RDV2017 began three years ago, confirmation of over 20 Tall Ships coming to Bermuda has been received. Many other Tall Ships will participate in different legs of the RDV2017 race through European, US and Canadian ports.

“The Tall Ships Festival in Bermuda will coincide with the America’s Cup Races and this means that for the first, and maybe only, time in history, the world’s Tall Ships Race and the America’s Cup will share the same host port- Bermuda. It will be a maritime event of truly epic proportion.

“The fleet will assemble in St. Georges during the end of May for the Welcome Festival. The four-day Host Port Festival in Hamilton will be June 1 – 4 with the Parade of Sail occurring the morning of June 5, 2017. During the Host Port Festival, crews and trainees will have time to rest and be entertained, allow the ships to re-provision with food, fuel and water, the exchange of crew members to occur, etc.

“Tall Ships Bermuda has embraced this opportunity to celebrate with Canada as Bermuda has long enjoyed a warm cultural, historical, educational and maritime relationship with Canada.

“Bermuda sponsors and volunteers contributed enormously to the success of past Bermuda Tall Ships Festivals – in 1956, 1964, 1976, 1984, 2000 and the Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge in 2009 which was a celebration of Bermuda’s 400th Anniversary of permanent settlement. To date, Tall Ships Bermuda has enabled Tall Ships voyages for over 250 young people and adults.

“Tall Ships Bermuda is encouraging the same kind of support to ensure the 2017 Tall Ships Festival is a fun-filled, memorable and historical occasion for all residents and visitors. As in previous Tall Ships Festivals in Bermuda, anyone who can volunteer time or provide corporate and public support to assist the organization pre-race or while the ships are in Bermuda, should contact Dr. Nikolai.

“Businesses and organizations interested in hosting receptions onboard a tall ship for clients or staff should also contact Dr. Nikolai as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

“Tall Ships Bermuda is grateful for the support it is receiving from the Bermuda Government, the Bermuda Tourism Authority, the Corporation of Hamilton and the America’s Cup.”

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