The Tall Ships Races

Bidding to be a Host Port for The Tall Ships Races

Sail Training International organises races and events for sail training Tall Ships in many parts of the world. But the biggest single event we organise is the summer series in European waters for young people, The Tall Ships Races.

The Tall Ships Races are planned four years in advance with the route carefully selected to enable visits to different sea areas around Europe, from the Baltic to the Mediterranean.  Once Sail Training International has selected the sea area, all the relevant ports in that region are invited to bid to become a host port.

There are many economic, social and community-oriented reasons why a port may bid to become a Host Port for The Tall Ships Races.  Traditionally, huge crowds (from many hundreds of thousands to well over a million) visit a port during the four days of the event, bringing welcome income to the port, city and local businesses, plenty of national and international media attention, and a range of opportunities for community involvement and enjoyment.

Criteria for selection are in six categories:

  1. In-port facilities, infrastructure and arrangements
    Berthing area and general berthing plan, showing location, length of quay space and water depths; planned locations for crew lavatories/showers/Crew Centre; planned location for race management team offices and accommodation.

  2. In-port programme and plans for community involvement
    Social/sports/cultural programme for the trainee crews and ships’ officers; plans for community involvement, including volunteers.

  3. Provision of trainees and opportunities for Class A ships’ income in port
    Provision and funding of trainees (minimum of 25) to sail in the race; opportunities for Class A Tall Ships to generate income in port from corporate entertainment and day-sailing.

  4. Promotion of the event
    Marketing and promotional plans to promote the event to the local community and nationally.

  5. Support for and involvement in sail training for young people
    The port’s involvement, current or planned, to support and encourage sail training for young people year-round.
  6. Race Course Planning
    The port's location within the chosen sea area and its suitability to form part of a good race series.  The frequency that the races have visited that port/country before and the forthcoming races and regattas that are planned to take place in that country.
Please consult with the Sail Training International office or your national sail training organisation for clarification on any of these criteria or the process for selection.

Download the Sail Training International Port Guide for further information.