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Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta: You Can Sail Across the Atlantic

Posted on: 20.01.17

In less than 90 days, the incredible Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta will start in Royal Greenwich, UK, before setting sail to experience the very best that seven different countries have to offer, during an epic race series that covers 7,000 nautical miles and crosses the Atlantic Ocean twice. And you could be part of it.

A few weeks ago, we looked at Race 1 of the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta. This week, we look at Race 2, between Sines, Portugal, and Bermuda, British Overseas Territory. You can sail in any of the race legs as a “trainee,” with no experience. Read on to find out how you can grab one of the few remaining places…

Race 2 – Sines, Portugal, to Bermuda, British Overseas Territory

This is a race which will take around 28-30 days, as a two-part Transatlantic ocean voyage. Leaving Sines on the impressive Tall Ships fleet on 1 May 2017, you will sail with the Trade Winds (check out our Terminology section) south toward Las Palmas, Canary Islands. Here, you’ll enjoy a 48-hour stop-over to replenish stocks while soaking up the sun and experiencing the friendly Canarian culture.

Then the adventure begins again – you’ll set a daring course across the Atlantic Ocean toward sun-drenched Bermuda. The changeable weather conditions will undoubtedly be challenging and give you a great opportunity to put your new sailing skills to the test. But don’t worry, you’ll have plenty of help and support and still get time to relax and enjoy the spectacular panoramic views!

Festivities begin in Bermuda on 1 June 2017, when you set foot on dry land for the first time after your challenging and rewarding Transatlantic race. Expect a warm and rousing welcome from these hospitable islands that certainly know how to party – the schedule of entertainment for crew members is huge.

Welcome to Bermuda

It’s a massive year for Bermuda – it will host the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, a Super Yacht gathering, and the 35th America’s Cup. It’s definitely the place to be! Get ready for welcoming Caribbean hospitality and beautiful golden sands.

Beautiful Bermudan beaches

Beautiful Bermudan beaches.

“With the Tall Ships being in port during the America’s Cup… the global sail training community has a unique opportunity to showcase its mission – not only to those involved at the pinnacle of the world’s highest-profile competitive sailing event, but to the global audience who appreciate the values in mankind that it takes to get to the top of your game. Sail training shares those same values.”
John Wadson, Chairman of Sail Training Association Bermuda.

Planning and preparations for the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta are well underway in Bermuda. Race Director Paul Bishop and Project Director Pauline Appleby visited subtropical St George’s (where the fleet will arrive) and Hamilton (where festivities will take place) last week to catch up with the project team, and to run through plans for the port and ships.

“It was a very full and productive visit. The project team have clearly been working hard to bring all plans together. We were honoured to meet the Premier of Bermuda, Mr Michael Dunkley, JP, MP, who spoke of looking forward to seeing the fleet arrive.”

Pauline Appleby, Project Director.

St George's, Bermuda

St George’s, Bermuda.

“Bermuda is looking forward to working with Sail Training International and the entire Bermuda community to make our RDV 2017 Tall Ships Festival a success. There are many exciting events being planned specifically for our Tall Ship Captains and crews to enjoy in our old town of St George’s and afterwards in our capital City of Hamilton. We have no doubt that our sailors will receive a wonderful, “Bermudaful” welcome and experience true Bermudian hospitality. It’s going to be an exciting time and Bermuda will be ready!”
Beverley Morfitt, Executive Committee Member.

“2017 will be my third Tall Ships event. The best thing about working with Tall Ships is their friendliness – everyone is willing to work together to find solutions to any issues that crop up. My office is looking forward to their arrival in late May, meeting the Captains and crews and assisting with the Parade of Sail. We want to ensure that things run smoothly so that all of the Tall Ships have fond memories of their experiences in Bermuda.”
David Simmons, Harbour Master.

Book Your Place On Board

There are only five vessels left with spaces available for Race 2 of the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta – Jolie Brise (UK), Wylde Swan (Netherlands), Atyla (Vanuatu), Spaniel (Latvia), and Blue Clipper (UK).

They’re booking up – so don’t miss your chance to get involved. We featured Jolie Brise and Wylde Swan here – so let’s take a look at the other three ships you could be sailing on.

Atyla (Vanuatu)

Atyla was built in Spain between 1980 and 1984 – she was based on a 19th-century sailing vessel. She can take up to 15 trainees and has bunks, hammocks and showers. People with special diets are most welcome on board.

Interesting facts about Atyla:

  • Designed to circumnavigate the earth then become a sail training ship (although the circumnavigation didn’t happen).
  • Awarded the Blue Flag.
  • Spent 19 years as a day-sailing ship.
  • Winner of several Tall Ships Races and Regattas awards and prizes.
  • Sails 11,000 nautical miles and stops at 25 different ports on average every year.

What Her Crew Says…

Atyla runs a unique educational programme that includes a coach on board. It combines the teaching of traditional Tall Ships sailing skills with innovative personal development workshops focused on team building, global citizenship, and environmental awareness.”

Spaniel (Latvia)

Spaniel was designed and built in Poland in 1979 as a single-handed ocean racer. She’s now operated by the Latvian Sail Training Association (LBMA). Spaniel can take up to six trainees and boasts bunks and cabins. People with special diets and special needs are welcome on board Spaniel.

Interesting facts about Spaniel:

  • In 1980, she undertook a 19-day westward Atlantic crossing.
  • Participated in Tall Ships Races and Regattas since 1998.
  • Winner of several Tall Ships Races and Regattas awards and prizes.
  • Worked with more than 200 trainees and won 14 awards (including seven first place prizes).

What Her Crew Says…

“Our sail training programme is very unusual, because we don’t use the term ‘trainee.’ Everyone who wishes to join becomes a crew member and a member of our unofficial sailing club. We have a very open and democratic crew that spends a lot of time together on and off the water. One thing is for sure – we like to compete… and win!”

Blue Clipper (UK)

Blue Clipper (UK) was built in 1990 in the Marstrandsverdken shipyard. She can take 24 trainees and boasts en suite cabins and bunks. If you have special dietary requirements or special needs, don’t worry… you’re more than welcome on Blue Clipper.

Interesting facts about Blue Clipper:

  • Air conditioning and heating on board.
  • An extensive library.
  • Winner of several Tall Ships Races and Regattas awards and prizes.
  • Registered Activity Provider for DofE and you can complete your DofE Gold Residential on board.

What Her Crew Says…

“We have our own sail training programme, which our experienced crew will help you work through on your voyage. This includes everything from hoisting sails, trimming sails, steering the ship and navigating, to learning basic sailing knots and learning about the weather. On board Blue Clipper, you’ll experience sail training with an edge of luxury. A very comfortable ship to sail, with plenty of places to relax and enjoy your voyage.”

What’s Next?

Want to get involved with the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta and experience the adventure of a lifetime? Check out our event page for more information. You can book your place directly with a participating vessel, or if you’d like help simply email our friendly team on who can make recommendations, answer questions, and process your booking for you.

Discount for Bermuda residents

If you live in Bermuda, Sail Training Association Bermuda is offering up to 75% off the cost of any race leg. Visit their website for more information. You can find out more about Bermuda on our port page.