Around 5,000 youngsters prepare for adventure of a lifetime

Around 5,000 young men and women between the ages of 15 and 25 from all over the world are preparing to set sail in The Tall Ships’ Race, starting in Antwerp on 21 July 2004. To date 88 ships have registered for the races, including 26 Class A ships, a number of which are entering for the first time.

The first of this summer’s races is from Antwerp in Belgium to Aalborg in Denmark. From there the fleet cruise in company to Stavanger in Norway where the second race starts to Cuxhaven in Germany. The winds and waters of the North Sea are always challenging and the fleet taking part in the first leg will be racing through some of the world’s busiest shipping lanes, so great skill and concentration will be required by captains and crews alike.

Nigel Rowe, Chairman of Sail Training International, says; ‘The races are an important part of the international sailing and sail training calendar as they bring together young people from all over the world, regardless of nationality, colour, religion or social background to take part in a friendly competition that encourages them to understand different cultures and to develop personal strengths and skills.’

The Tall Ships’ Races are quite a spectacle – in the host ports where thousands of people converge to marvel at the ships; during the impressive Parade of Sail out to the start line; and at the start line itself where the ships jockey for an early lead, the mighty square riggers versus smaller yachts.


Class A All square rigged vessels of any size and all other vessels over 40m length overall.

Class B All traditionally rigged vessels under 40m length overall.

Class C All modern vessels under 40m length overall without spinnakers

Class D All modern vessels under 40m length overall with spinnakers

DATES and PORTS 2004

Host Port Antwerp 21 – 25 July

Race 1 Antwerp – Aalborg 25 – 29 July

Host Port Aalborg 29 July – 2 August

Cruise in Company Aalborg – Stavanger 2 – 7 August

Host Port Stavanger 7 – 10 August

Race 2 Stavanger – Cuxhaven 10 – 15 August

Host Port Cuxhaven 15 – 18 August