More than 20 majestic tall ships with more than 1,400 crew have so far signed up to visit Bermuda as part of a transatlantic Tall Ships Regatta.
“That is a fantastic number,” said Craig Nikolai Project Management, Tall Ships Bermuda 2017 & Sail Training Association of Bermuda.
“It is a going to be a tremendous sight to see all these wonderful ships berthed in St. George’s and in Hamilton.”
The ships are taking part in the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta, a 7,000 nautical mile Trans-Atlantic race to six countries to mark the 150th Anniversary of the Canadian Confederation through its founders and founding provinces.
They will be visiting St George’s from May 26 – to May 31 and Hamilton from June 1 to 5.
Altogether 21 ships, including eight large Class A ships, with 1,414 crew have so far signed up to take part in the Regatta and, according to Mr Nikolai, the numbers could still grow.
“We often find that there are last minute entries, but it seems we are set for a fantastic showcase. It is going to be a festival of sail with the Tall Ships and the America’s Cup here at the same time.”
Among the ships taking part is the Jolie Brise and according to its website “Bobby Somerset, a founder member of the Ocean Racing Club, purchased Jolie Brise in 1928 and competed in the Fastnet, Bermuda and Santander races”.
Almost 30 Bermudians have expressed interest in sailing on board as trainees, and there are plenty of berths still available for trainees throughout the race. Volunteers are also needed to help when the ships reach Bermuda.
Mr Nikolai added: “It does not matter what age you are, this is an experience of a lifetime and I would urge people to sign up as trainees. No sailing experience is necessary.
“Volunteer support is vital and we know there are more Bermudians out there wanting to help make sure our Tall Ships guests are well cared for. We need plenty of help to do that.”
Trainees can be aged 16 and up, and bursaries of up to 75 percent of the total cost are available for those demonstrating financial need and who are aged between 16 and 24.