Tall Ships in Falmouth 2014: 28 – 31 August
Long before cars, airplanes, and all other modes of transportation, ships and other sea vessels were the only means to take people to places, and most importantly to establish and facilitate trade. With its very significant role in society, especially in the economy, these means of transportations have become an integral part of human civilization.
It is amazing how people made an art out of these “sea giants”. Undeniably, the British mastered this art. As other nations continued to keep up, no other country did it the way the British navy did when it came to dominating the trade routes at that time.
Tall ships are basically sailing vessels. They are typically distinguished by its keel, hull, rigging, or number and configuration of masts. These heavily rigged vessels have a complex sail plan. Traditional riggings include square rigs, gaff rigs with separate tap masts and topsails. Modern riggings, on the other hand, use aluminum and steel for taller, lightweight masts with fewer versatile sails. Different modern schooners, brigantines, brigs, and barques designs are included in tall ships. These have fore-and-aft sails and may have at least two masts, one being square rigged. The tall mast and the number of sails make it easily recognized
These ships have such grandiose designs that aside from its functionality, sailors, particularly the British, enjoy making a showcase of these vessels. Races have been held in Europe with these tall ships and have since included the participation of as many as 36 countries. Such races display the finest tall ships built. The race was organized by a lawyer in London in 1956. Having seen how the event captured the interest of the public, the Sail Training International Association was formed to promote these activities, both to the young and the adults.
Despite the advancement and new technologies in transportation and trade, tall ships have not lost its place in society. Races and regattas continue to be highly-anticipated events. In Falmouth, more particularly, the sea and the ships have been a part of Cornwall’s heritage for ages. Aside from the Sail Training International Associations, other groups have been formed to ensure that these vessels of bygone times are restored and looked after, maybe not for it to perform its original functions, but for Falmouth tourists and locales to behold.
And this year, Falmouth has been confirmed as the first host port of the 2014 Tall Ships Regatta. The last time these tall ships have been to Falmouth was in 2008. After six years, about 50 ships are expected to gather for three days of festivities. Following suit would be the competitive racing of training vessels and tall ships from around the world, before heading to Greenwich, London. This event promises to be an unforgettable one for Falmouth’s locales and tourists.
With excitement continuing to build around Falmouth for the upcoming regatta, this goes to show that tall ships have a huge role in the lives of the people. Not only would they get to see a spectacular display of tall ship designs and sailing skills, they would also be reminded of how it was back in the day when tall ships ruled the waters of Falmouth.