Bermuda is preparing for one of its biggest sailing seasons with the America’s Cup less than 100 days away, two other international yacht races planned and tall ships on the horizon.
The cutting-edge tall ships of the past will provide a spectacular contrast to the modern flying vessels of the America’s Cup this summer.
Cindy Campbell, the chairwoman of Tall Ships 2017, is looking forward to a summer filled with tall ships activities, which will supplement the 35th America’s Cup.
Ships start arriving on May 26 in St George’s with an official welcome celebration party planned for King Square on May 31. On June 1 the fleet will depart St George’s and make its way to Hamilton, where they will dock along Front Street.
Ms Campbell said there follows three “action packed” days for the visiting crews and the public which culminates in the Parade of Sail on Monday, June 5. There are expected to be 21 ships that hail from the Netherlands, Germany, Cook Islands, United Kingdom, Russia, Spain, Belgium, Canada, Finland, Venezuela and Latvia.
One of the planned activities is the Tall Ships Bon Voyage Festival on June 4. It will be the finale event being held on Front Street that day with an exciting Circus Immersion theme. Front Street will come alive with stilt walkers, jugglers, unicyclists, illusionists, hoop dancers, aerial artists and much more.
Additionally, there will be Flow Zone Workshops for interactive circus experiences and a circus-themed main stage performance. The streets will be filled with musical entertainment and shopping opportunities. Live bands will take to the stage in the evening and a fireworks display will be paired with a light show to close out the event.
Ms Campbell said the tall ships are much more than a “pretty harbour”.
“The Sail Training Association of Bermuda, the charitable organisation that sponsors the Tall Ship Festival, is focused on providing experiential learning opportunities for young Bermudians aged 18 to 25 who are just starting their careers.
“Participation as a trainee on a tall ship is often a life-changing experience,” Ms Campbell said,
“Sail training fosters international understanding and friendship while affording trainees the chance to learn about themselves, develop team-building skills and appreciate the value of trust in themselves and in others in often time challenging situations.
“Sailing on a Tall Ship is a truly unique experience and is about far more than just sailing.”
The Sail Training Association of Bermuda is a founding member of Sail Training International and the primary objective of the organisation is to place young Bermudians and residents of Bermuda on at least one leg of the circumnavigation race.
Ms Campbell said this year’s goal is to have at least 50 young adults on ships. No sailing experience is required and trainees should be between 18 and 25. There are also opportunities for 16 and 17-year-olds and those over 25.
The organisation is looking for sponsorship so that as many locals as possible can participate. Additionally, volunteers are needed and opportunities include being liaison officers assigned to ships, to work on the docks, to provide water taxi’s for VIP’s and from now until the event there are opportunities to help in the office.
For more information on sponsorship or volunteers, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.