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The Tall Ships Races Magellan-Elcano Falmouth: Fond Farewells and Warm Welcomes

Posted on: 18.08.23

Today was a day of farewells and welcomes as some ships said goodbye to departing trainees who had delivered the ships to Falmouth, and hello to the new trainees who stepped on board their vessels for the first time in readiness to sail to A Coruna.

The Mayor of Falmouth, Kirsty Edwards, who has been a very keen and present supporter of the event, took time out to visit all of the small ships in the fleet – Stella Polare (Italy), Maybe (UK), Jolie Brise (UK), Challenge Wales (UK) and Juan de Langara (Spain).  They maybe smaller in stature than the magnificent Class A ships, but equally important and offer fantastic sail training opportunities to their young trainees and are a much valued part of the sail training community.

Sadly, not all news was good today, and after much consideration, the organisers of the event announced that the Parade of Sail scheduled for Friday has been cancelled due to forecasted weather conditions.  The full statement follows.


A statement from Richard Gates, on behalf of Falmouth Tall Ships organising group and Paul Bishop, MBE, Race Director of The Tall Ships Races Magellan-Elcano:

It is with great regret that, due to the adverse and continually deteriorating weather conditions, all of the organisations and partners involved in The Tall Ships Races Magellan-Elcano have made the difficult decision to cancel all Parade of Sail arrangements on Friday 18 August.

In addition, The Magellan-Elcano Race Start, will now be a virtual Race Start at sea on Saturday 19 August.

Arranging and delivering a public event of this size and spectacle, both on land and at sea, requires contributions from multiple organisations, including the emergency services, to ensure the safety of all involved. After evaluating all possible alternatives, it is the safety requirement and the welfare of the vessel crews that have been the foremost considerations when making this collective decision.

The Magellan-Elcano Tall Ships Race is a multi-port event, and this decision is also vital to enable ships and their crews to arrive in A Coruña in good time.

The team has taken a multitude of weather forecasts for both Friday and Saturday into careful, professional consideration. Ships will now be departing individually on Saturday, dependent upon the dynamic weather conditions and safety considerations for the ships and their crews.

The team recognises the bitter disappointment that will be experienced by everyone involved and invested in Falmouth Tall Ships. This includes the public, the crews, the local businesses, the sponsors and supporters, the volunteers and liaison officers, and everyone who has played a vital part in organising this impressive showcase within Cornwall’s historic port town.

We hope that everyone affected by this decision will understand and appreciate the circumstances which have led to it.

Pic: The Mayor of Falmouth alongside Cpt Steve Swallow and the crew of Maybe



The Tall Ships Races Magellan-Elcano sees an international fleet of Tall Ships and Small Ships take in the Channel and Iberian Penninsula, visiting Falmouth (15-18 August), A Coruna (24-27 August), Lisbon (31 August -3 September), finishing in Cadiz (7-10 September)

The Tall Ships Races Magellan-Elcano series celebrates the first circumnavigation of the world by Ferdinand Magellan and Sebastian Elcano over 500 years ago.  As with every edition of The Tall Ships Races, the series offers a range of sailing experiences for trainees and crews.