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Announcing The Tall Ships Races 2020

Posted on: 16.03.18

This news story was originally published before the announcement of the postponement of the Tall Ships Races 2020 to 2021 where it will return as The Tall Ships Races Megallan-Elcano 500 Series 2021. You can read the full announcement here and here.

We have a clear vision of 2020 on our horizon! 2020 will be the 64th year of the Tall Ships Races and Regattas, international events which attract thousands of trainees and millions of visitors every year.

We’re excited to announce that in two years time we will be returning to the Iberian Peninsular for The Tall Ships Races 2020. We last visited the region during our diamond anniversary in 2016. That event was a huge success, and we’re sure that 2020 will be no different.

The event will take place from the 2 July – 9 August 2020 with three exciting races and a Cruise-in-Company. The Tall Ships fleet will visit four ports across three countries – Lisbon, Portugal, Cádiz and A Coruña, Spain, all of which are looking forward to welcoming the Tall Ships back to their shores, and finally Dunkirk, France, who will welcome the fleet for the first time.

The Route

Lisbon, Portugal ( 2 – 5 July 2020)

Race 1

Cádiz, Spain ( 9 – 12 July 2020)

Race 2/ Cruise In Company

A Coruña, Spain ( 24 – 27 July 2020)

Race 3

Dunkirk, France ( 6 – 9 August 2020)


“The 2020 Tall Ships race series should offer the fleet a good balance of exciting racing and enjoyable and relaxing visits to the host ports and cruise-in-company harbours.

“2020’s race series will take the Tall Ships fleet around Cape St Vincent, along the Algarve coast, through some of the most beautiful ports in Portugal and Spain, and finally north across the Bay of Biscay towards France.

“I would encourage any young person between 15 and 25 with a sense of adventure to sign up for any of the legs in the Tall Ships Races 2020. Whether you have no sailing experience or you are experienced it will be a terrific opportunity.”

Paul Bishop, Head of Race Directorate, Sail Training International



Lisbon will welcome the Tall Ships fleet for the eighth time to its port in 2020. The city has become eincreasingly popular with tourists because of it warm mediterranean climate. The city of Lisbon offers visitors the chance to learn more about it’s art and culture of portugese tile-making and attractions such as the Elevador Da Bica. The bustling capital city will be the perfect starting port for Race One in The Tall Ships Races 2020.


Cádiz is the oldest continuously inhabited city in southern Spain and considered to be the oldest in Europe. The ancient city of Cádiz will greet the Tall Ships fleet as they arrive at the end of an energetic first race before waving them off again a few days later as they set sail for Race Two followed by the Cruise-In-Company.

A CoruÑa

A Coruña is located in northern Spain. It will have the honour of having hosted the most Tall Ships race events ever in 2020, as it welcomes back the Tall Ships fleet for the 12th time. The city has strong links to the fashion industry and produces clothing for countries all over the world making it a hub of design and industry. The festivities in the city’s port will bring a spectacular start for Race Three.


Dunkirk has the third largest harbour in France and in 2020 will host The Tall Ships Races for the first time. We look forward to visiting this coastal commune which boasts a strong maritime history. The beaches along it’s coastline are great for watersports and the city’s fortifications offer a chance to step back in time and learn more about Dunkirk’s fascinating history. Following the success of the film “Dunkirk” released in 2017, the city has seen an influx of tourists wanting to learn more about its history and visit some of the locations featured in the motion picture.

The Tall Ships Races 2020 will visit four fantastic ports, which all have something different and unique to offer. The variety of festivities, attractions and crew activities during Europe’s largest, free, family festival, are sure to make the event a truly unforgettable experience.

The Tall Ships Races always provide the perfect opportunity to take part in some great sailing and embark on the adventure of a lifetime at sea. They bring together people of different nationalities, religions and cultures and visit a range of international ports, promoting international friendship and understanding.

Get involved

We aren’t open for ship entries yet, but this is an event to put into your forward plan or bucket list and start saving up for!