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Take Part as crew in the International Tall Ships Race 2020

Tall ship races are not just about mighty square riggers. The summer Tall Ships Race 2020 is aimed at young people but there are nearly always opportunities to sail and race for adults too.You can sail an impressively large tall ship and Classic Sailing will have a mix of tall ships you can join, but it can be awesome to be part of a racing crew on a smaller sailing ship. The summer International Tall Ships Race 2020 will focus on the Iberian Peninsula and Bay of Biscay so there will be plenty of ocean to race in and some finishes into towards the coast to add to the tactics needed. The multi cultural aspect of this summer sailing event defies cynicism and you will meet crews from all over the world.

The Race Legs & Cruise in Company 2020

Tall Ships Race 2020 is Organised by Sail Training International
Tall Ships Race 2020 is organised by Sail Training International

Approx dates of the Racing between ports

The advertised dates are typically for the port celebrations, so we are interpreting the dates in between to give you an idea of the actual sailing dates. Each ships voyages will be based around these race dates, usually taking in a few days ashore at either end where your ship will be an important part of the spectacle for crowds ashore.

Amongst the hubbub of the festival, new crews will need to be familiarised with how to sail the ship as the races generally start out in open water as soon as the fleet clears the harbour or estuary. You do get a chance to set sail in relatively flat water for a parade of sail. This is where where ships exit the port with as much sail up as possible and the worlds press boats and helicopters buss around making you feel very famous.

  • 5th - 9th July 2020 - Tall Ships Race leg 1 - Lisbon to Cadiz
  • 12th July - approx 14th July 2020 Tall Ships Race Leg 2 - Cadiz to a finish line off Sagres Province, Algarve
  • Approx 15th - 24th July 2020 - Cruise in Company from Cape St Vincent to A Coruna, Northern Spain 
  • 27th July - 6th August 2020 Tall Ships Race Leg 3 - A Coruna to Dunkirk, France
Tall Ships Race 2020 - imagine being aloft with this view by Adam Purser
imagine being aloft with this view by Adam Purser

What Tall Ships Are Taking Part?

If you have always wanted to take part in a tall ships race, now is the time to start saving or fund raising. It is early yet so we do not know which ships are definitely taking part in the 2020 Tall Ships Race, but as soon as we know, you will know. Sign up for Classic Sailing newsletter and we will keep you up to date with voyage details as the ships start to enter.

We aim for give you a good choice of barques, schooners, luggers and ketches and make sure there are enough chances for all ages (from 15 to 80) to take part as tall ship race crew. We work with two barques that take able bodied and disabled crew to sea as equals and at least one ship - Lord Nelson or Tenacious - usually takes part in this event.

Tall Ships Race 2020 -out on the bowsprit is a good place to pose
Tall Ships Race 2020 -out on the bowsprit is a good place to pose

Classic Sailing specialise in traditionally rigged ships where teamwork is needed to hoist and trim sails with blocks and tackles rather than modern winches. Take pride in the physical efforts and teamwork needed to sail these great ships as hard as you can in an offshore race. Its not all about crossing the line first, but the thrill of the chase will get under your skin and you are in a great place to take photographs of the action. 

The Tall Ship Festivals & Route in 2020

If you can't sail then you can still enjoy the buzz of this great sailing event by going to one of the festivals at the host ports.

So where can I see the Tall Ships in Port 2020?

It kicks off in Lisbon, Portugal, followed by tall ship regattas in Cádiz, Spain, and A Coruña, Spain. These ports are all great waterfront cities with historic harbours that provide a great backdrop to a sea of masts. Between then these 3 ports have hosted a total of 22 Tall Ships Races and Regattas between them so they should know how to put on a show.

Dunkirk is hosting for the first time. As you might expect, they’re all eager to welcome the international fleet to their shores. We know the French create great spectacles at all the sailing events they host, so this too should be a great place to mingle with sailors from Russia, Poland, Oman, Norway and all parts of the world.

Lisbon Tall Ships Regatta 2020 - Tall Ships Lisboa 2020

Festival dates - Thur 2nd July to Sun 5th July 2020

Lisbon feels like a seafarers city. It welcomes the fleet of the Tall Ships Races for the eighth time in 2020. The steep hillsides, narrow streets with trams, tiny cafes, museums and small squares can easily absorb thousands of tall ship crews, but the waterfront will be thronged with on lookers and tall ships fans who want to visit the ships.  

Cadiz Tall Ships Regatta 2020 - Gran Regata Cadiz 2020

Festival Dates - Thur 9th - Sun 12th July 2020

Heavily fortified from raids from the sea, Cadiz is a city that sees from another century. Tiled streets and ornate balconies remind you of the riches that seaborne trade once brought to ports like Cadiz. Francis Drake sacked and burned the city so if you are English you might not want to get into historical discussions with the locals. 

A Coruna Tall Ships Festival 2020

Festival dates - Fri 24th - Mon 27th July 2020

Located in northern Spain, A Coruña is a busy, bustling port. It has sea all around it and great cycle paths and beaches along the waterfront.  It’s located on a promontory in the entrance of an estuary in a large gulf on the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the richest region and economic engine of Galicia – an autonomous community in north-west Spain.

Dunkirk Tall Ships Festival 2020

Festival dates - Thurs 6th - Sun 9th August 2020

The Tall Ships Races 2020 will mark the first time that Dunkirk

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