With the 2014 Falmouth-Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta quickly approaching, let us take a look at some of the most notable participants in the one of the biggest sailing events of the year. The vessels entry list indicates that just under 40 vessels will take place in the regatta with the majority being UK ships.
One of the most notable UK participants is Tenacious, a class A vessel that is the largest wooden tall ship of her kind in the world. The ship competed in the Tall Ships’ Race for the very first time in 2005 when she enjoyed considerable success taking the second place in class A of the first race from Waterford and finishing fourth in class A of the Newcastle Gateshead to Fredrikstad race.
Another UK class A ship due to participate in the 2014 Falmouth-Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta is Eye of the Wind, originally called Friedrich. The ship was built as early as 1911 in Germany for the South American hide trade. In 1969, her wheel house and poop deck were destroyed in a fire and her old iron hull was sold to square rigger enthusiasts who started rebuilding her.
During the 1970s she was fitted out as a brigantine in Faversham, Kent and circumnavigated the globe marking her first voyage as the Eye of the Wind. She is famous for having appeared in many movies including Blue Lagoon.
Tenacious and Eye of the Wind will find competition in the class A category in Netherlands’ Mercedes, built in 1958 as ocean going fishing vessel. The ship was redesigned and built to sail international waters and is the first sailing ship built with the highest safety standards in line with the new European guidelines.
Morgenster is another Class A competitor from the Netherlands, launched in 1919 as a herring lugger called ‘Vrouw Maria’. She was motorised in 1927 and extended for another seven metres; it was then that she got her new name ‘Morgenster’. In 1983 Marian and Harry Muter bought the ship in a terrible state and started rebuilding it. Morgenster re-entered the sailing world in 2008 and has proven to be a fine vessel ever since.
Stavros S Niarchos, another UK class A participant, is the first new tall ship built in the UK for over twelve years. The vessel was commissioned and built by the Sail Training Association in 2000 as one of two new brigs intended to replace schooners Sir Winston Churchill and Malcolm Miller. She is named after a Greek sailor and businessman who died in 1996.