About The Tall Ships Races

Sail Training International is a registered charity (not-for-profit organisation) with worldwide membership and activities. Their purpose is the development and education of young people of all nationalities, cultures, religions and social backgrounds through the sail training experience.

Tall ships leaving Lerwick, 1999 Sail Training International has its roots in the middle of the last century when the Sail Training International Race Committee was created to organise the first race of sail training Tall Ships in 1956.

The Tall Ships Races are held every summer in European waters. Each year between 70 and 100 vessels from 15-20 countries, crewed by some 5-6,000 young people from over 30 countries worldwide, take part in this unique event that combines four days of activities in each port with racing or cruising-in-company between ports.

During the race series the young crews get the chance to gain experience by sailing with their contemporaries from other countries while facing the physical and emotional challenges that only the ocean can provide. Find out more about the Sail Training Shetland Scheme.

A 'Tall Ship' is not necessarily one of the glamorous square-riggers. Entry is open to any monohull sailing vessel of more than 9.14m waterline length, provided that at least 50 percent of the crew are aged between 15 and 25 years and that the vessel meets Sail Training International's safety equipment requirements.

Early entry into The Tall Ships Races are encouraged by Sail Training International, however, the closing date for entries is generally 1st May in the Race year. For more information about The Tall Ships Races and Sail Training International please visit www.sailtraininginternational.org.