Tall Ships Racing History

There can be no better sight on the water nowadays, than an exhilarating fleet of tall ships, under full sail, racing across the bay!

However, 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 dreamt up the idea of bringing young cadets and seamen under training, together from around the world to participate 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, their vision become a reality.

The first Tall Ships’ race was held in 1956 from Torquay to Lisbon and was meant to be a last farewell to the era of the great sailing ships. Public interest was so intense, however, that the race organisers 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.

Falmouth has been the host port, organising these spectacular events on five different occasions –¬†1966, 1982, 1998, 2008 and 2014.

We can’t wait to welcome the ships back again in 2021!