I really like tall ships and every year I have looked to the Dublin Maritime Festival but there was no festival in 2011 or 2012 but instead there is the Tall Ship Races 2012.
The Tall Ships' Races are races for sail training "tall ships" (sailing ships). The races are designed to encourage international friendship and training for young people in the art of sailing. The races are held annually in European waters and consists of two racing legs of several hundred nautical miles, and a "cruise in company" between the legs. Over one half (fifty-percent) of the crew of each ship participating in the races must consist of young people.
Between 1973 and 2003 the races were known as The Cutty Sark Tall Ships' Races, having been sponsored by Cutty Sark whisky. From 2004 to 2010 the races were supported by The City, Province, and Port of Antwerp. The current sponsor of the Tall Ships' Races 2010–2014 is the city of Szczecin.
The term tall ship came into widespread use in the mid-20th century
with the advent of the Tall Ships' Races, and was not generally used
in the era when such ships were the norm. The term's popularity may
have stemmed from its use in a well-known nautical poem by English
Poet Laureate John Masefield entitled "Sea-Fever", first
published in 1902.
Participating vessels are manned by a largely cadet or trainee crew who are partaking in sail training, 50 percent of which must be aged between 15–25 years of age and who do not need any previous experience. Thus, tall ship does not describe a specific type of sailing vessel, but rather a monohull sailing vessel of at least 9.4 metres (30 ft) that is conducting sail training and education under sail voyages. Participating ships range from yachts to the large square-rigged sail training ships run by charities, schools and navies of many countries.
Race One started in Saint Malo (France) (Thursday 5 July to Sunday 8
July) to Lisbon (Portugal) (Saturday 19 July to Sun 22 July).
Race Two was from Lisbon to Cadiz (Spain) (Thursday 26 July to Sunday 29 July).
Cruise in company to A Coruña (Spain) (Friday 10 August to Monday 13 August).
Race Three from A Coruña to Dublin (Ireland) (Thursday 23 August to Sunday 26
The multi-national fleet will race from Dublin across the Irish Sea and dock in Liverpool from Thursday August 30 for a four-day event running until Sunday September 2. This last bit of information is confusing as Dublin has made the following claim: "As the final host port for the Tall Ships Races 2012, Dublin will be the place to be from the 23rd to the 26th of August 2012". On investigating the matter I was informed that there is an additional event known as The "Irish Sea Tall Ships Regatta".
Commenting on the Irish Sea Tall Ships Regatta, Peter Cardy, Chief Executive of Sail Training International, said: “Liverpool has a rich maritime history and has been a great friend to sail training which has helped to develop a strong willingness throughout the Tall Ships family to return to the city. We hope that the Irish Sea Tall Ships Regatta could become a recurring fixture in the busy calendar of events that is enjoyed by the residents of Liverpool as well as the many visitors to this fantastic city.”