Sea History 166 - Spring 2019

Page 47


n international fleet of tall ships will race and sail their way through the Great Lakes this summer as participants in Tall Ships America’s TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE® Race Series. This will be the seventh time the race series has visited the region. Eleven ports will host the fleet of twenty vessels from July to September. Returning TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE host ports include: Toronto, Ontario; Cleveland, Ohio; Bay City, Michigan; Green Bay, Wisconsin; Erie, Pennsylvania; and Brockville, Ontario. While new to the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE Race Series but not new to hosting tall ships, the ports of Buffalo, New York; Kenosha, Wisconsin; and Sarnia, Midland, and Kingsville—Ontario ports—will be welcome additions to our series. Three new ships join the Great Lakes fleet this year: the iconic Canadian vessel and ambassador of Nova Scotia, Bluenose II; the world travelling Picton Castle; and the Spanish-flagged Nao Santa Maria. They will join Appledore IV, Appledore V, Denis Sullivan, Empire Sandy, Fair Jeanne, Friends Good Will, Inland Seas, Madeline, Niagara, Playfair, Pride of Baltimore II, Red Witch, St. Lawrence II, and Windy as they sail and race across the Great Lakes. Other vessels may be added as the dates draw near. Tall Ships America organizes the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE annual series of tall ship races and maritime port festivals to celebrate our rich maritime heritage and traditions and to inform the general public about the transformative power of adventure and education under sail. We are pleased to announce that Erie Insurance will again be the presenting sponsor of the TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE Race Series. Erie Insurance will be sponsoring 20 Erie County high school students in the Exploring the Great Lakes program, which includes the opportunity to live aboard the brig Niagara with the crew and experience sea life. Based in Erie, Pennsylvania, Erie Insurance is a FORTUNE 500 company offering auto, home, business and life insurance through a network of more than 12,000 local independent ERIE agents. Be sure to check the Tall Ships America website as June approaches to learn more about port events, visiting ships, and schedules. Those interested in sailing aboard individual vessels during the series can find contact information for ships and programs through Tall Ships America at or by buying the organization’s biennial catalog of member ships, Sail Tall Ships!, available through their website. —Erin Short, TALL SHIPS CHALLENGE Director, Tall Ships America SEA HISTORY 166, SPRING 2019 45

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