Tall Ships in Dublin : A unique event

Working closely with the world’s sail training organisations and host ports, the core purpose of Sail Training International is the education of young people through the sail training experience. It is the world leading provider of races and events, conferences, seminars, publications, research and other services for the international sail training community. It organises an annual programme of national and international events with vessels in different categories of size and capacity that are well documented. The biggest single event is the summer series in European waters for young people.Ita
Regattas and races are organised in close coordination with the host ports involved. They are regulated under strict codes of practice that include the formal designation of vessel categories used for national or international events. The Tall Ships races are planned every four years in advance with the route carefully selected to enable visits to different sea areas around Europe from the Baltic to the Mediterranean, with two lengthy racing distances.
In July and August 2012, the international Tall Ships race was a seven weeks sea voyage departing from St. Malo, Brittany in France, across the Bay of Biscay to Lisbon before heading to Cadiz in Spain ; its route continued along the Portuguese coast as a non-racing distance “cruise in company” before reaching safe harbour at La Coruna in northern Spain. Thirty two nations of crew and trainees took part in the 2012 Tall Ships race. The Mexican vessel Cuauhtemoc was awarded first prize as the over-all winner of the event.
Tall Ships in Dublin
Following the race the fleet headed north for the Irish Sea and Dublin, its last host port, to an enthusiastic welcome for a four day festival held from 23 to 26 August 2012. Dubbed the sail of the century, the Tall Ships Festival was a unique event. One by one, they lined up along the length of the Liffey transforming the docklands from a bustling modern office space into one with the old-world elegance of masts and sails.
Organised by Hospitality Ireland, the fleet was greeted by the Lord Mayor of Dublin and Keith Duffy, Tall Ships ambassador. It wasn’t all plain sailing for the forty or so captains who gathered for the opening ceremony of the Tall Ships Festival. The seamen told of how they had torn their sails, broken masts and endured rough seas to arrive in Dublin and provide an enthusiastic and appreciative public with a spectacular taste of bygone days.
The Dublin quays were thronged and a number of formal and informal events took place. They included displays by crews of work on masts and other aspects of the tall ships with long lines of visitors waiting to board the vessels. There were impressive naval and related novelty parades, and awards of trophies and prizes in the different categories of vessels. In welcoming the crews, the quays were buzzing with merchandise and information stalls, lively social, cultural and family activities as part of the unique Tall Ships Festival.
Equally impressive as their arrival was the Tall Ships Parade of Sail for their departure. Watched by thousands of spectators the flagged vessels majestically sailed from Dublin quays along the Bay of Dublin towards the Dunleary port. They were admired by hundreds of enthusiasts at vantage points along the coast to mark the end of a unique event.
Ita Marguet
Note : Acknowledgement is given to sources used in preparation of this text. It follows a visit to Dublin and the Tall Ships Festival, Dublin (23-26 August 2012).