You are not logged in.


Monday, November 15th 2010, 10:09pm

Tall Ships Race 1940

[SIZE=4]Tall Ships Race 1940[/SIZE]

[SIZE=3]Kiel Week Review[/SIZE]
The Tall Ships Race began in Kiel this year immediately following the celebration of Kiel Week. Many of the tall ships arrived early in order to take place in this tradition, which started as a yachting race in the late 1800s and has since expanded its scope. The opening event was organized by the Kaiserlischer Yacht Club of Kiel, with the support of a number of other German yacht clubs.

The organizers of Kiel Week chose " the camaraderie of the sea" as one of the themes of the event, and that was apparent with the presence of forty-two tall ships from twenty countries from as far as Japan and South America. The ships ranged from the venerable frigates USS Constitution, Alala, and HMCS Shannon to the recently-completed barques Mircea and Pelikan. Also present were two Japanese replica ships - the longship Yabanjin and the Polynesian raft Susanoo. This latter ship was submitted to the Tall Ships Race but it failed to meet Lloyd's Register standards and was disqualified.

The titular flagship for the 1940 Tall Ships Race was the Polish Dar Pomorza, the winner of the 1939 race.

[SIZE=3]Race Leg One[/SIZE]
The Class A Division I race opened at 0700 Hours with the first group, composed of the tall ships Presidente Sarmiento, Atlantes, Prince of Wales, Balgarski Lav, Esmeralda, Llanero, Danmark, and Belle Poule. Using the smaller groups eased congestion at the mouth of Kiel Harbour and permitted staggered start times. The second group, composed of Étoile, Padua, Deutschland, Elcano, High Adventure, Uzume, Dar Pomorza, and Mirca, started at 0730 local time. The five ships of Class A Division II started at 0800; Division III started at 0830; Class B started at 0900; and Class C started at 0930.

Class A
The Class A race, with sixteen ships, was the most contested. The Danmark and the Atlantes fell in together at the front of the pack, with the lighter Danmark drawing ahead decisively in the calm summer conditions of the Baltic. As the ships navigated through the Straits of Denmark, the Danish ship was on home territory and used it to full advantage. The larger Atlantes fell behind in the Baltic, but once the ship reached the North Sea, the Atlantes began showing her finer points of sailing and recovered much of the ground lost to the Danmark in the Baltic. Nevertheless, the Danmark was first into Stavanger. The British Prince of Wales, formerly the Flying P-Liner Peking, drifted into third place, followed by the Padua, the Balgarski Lav, and the brand-new Romanian training ship Mircea. The German school-ship Deutschland was delayed in the Baltic when a small Latvian-flagged steamer, the Kokneses, broke down and drifted into the German ship's way. Although the Deutschland hove to and offered to assist, the steamer's crew declined and the German ship got back underway when the steamer's crew got their engine operational again. The Dar Pomorza, Belle Poule, and the cruise liner clipper High Adventure sailed together until they were in the North Sea, whereupon the Polish and French ships gradually opened a lead on the passenger-carrying High Adventure. Nevertheless, the Irish-flagged ship maintained a lead over the Japanese Uzume and the Iberian Juan Sebastian de Elcano. The Iberian crew struggled to overtake the square-rigged Japanese ship, while the Japanese tried unsuccessfully to shake their dogged Iberian pursuers. The ships came past the buoy at Stavanger only seventy-eight seconds apart. The South American ships seemed to have the most trouble, with the Argentines in the newly-restored Presidente Sarmiento narrowly outrunning the Chileans in the Esmeralda and the Colombian Llanero. The French barque Étoile fell behind from the start of the race, then stopped to offer assistance to the Kokneses, which had broken down again.

Class A Division II
The five ships of Division II started at 0800 from the buoys off Kiel, and immediately, two ships - the British Steel and the Pelikan surged into the lead. These two sisterships, built to the same design in a Bulgarian shipyard, had initiated an amicable rivalry while in Kiel, and the slightly more experienced British crew soon drew ahead of the less-experienced Yugoslavian crew, which included Crown Prince Petar and a number of his friends. The Yugoslavian ship carried a film crew who documented much of the race, and an onboard radio transmitter which broadcasted the point of view of one of the race ships. This proved extremely popular with the regional radio stations, and the BBC interrupted some of their regular programming to provide translations of the news bulletins. The Japanese ship Fujin fell in third place behind the Pelikan but never succeeded in overtaking the newly-built barque, while the Atlantean brig Namu and the Turkish brigantine Hürrem Sultan took fourth and fifth place. British Steel made Stavanger over five hours ahead of the Pelikan, a victory which some of the British crewmen prematurely celebrated in Stavanger.

Class A Division III
Among the eight ships of Division III, two vessels were favored to win: the reigning frigate Alala and the American heavy frigate USS Constitution. Both ships were well-regarded, and the Alala was famed for her speed, but the American Constitution was freshly restored and manned by a large and exuberant crew of US Navy cadets. The Alala drew ahead easily in the leading leagues of the race, but did not succeed in opening up a decisive lead over the Constitution. Once the frigates got out on the North Sea, Constitution showed to advantage due to her heavier original construction and more recent refit, and slowly drew ahead. By the time the ships reached Stavanger, the Constitution had eeked out a lead of eight nautical miles. The frigate Shannon, flying Canadian colors, seized a more distant third place. In the Baltic waters, the Canadian schooner-rigged Liverpool Packet briefly charged to the lead, but in the North Sea the larger square-riggers passed her by, although Trincomalee, a distant cousin to the Shannon, was not able to recover enough lost time. The Atlantean snow Edna II came in a full seventeen hours after Constitution, as the crew had to replace a cracked spar en route. At the tail end of the race, the Yabanjin and the L'Esperance struggled against each other to stay out of last place, with the longship eventually beating the Latvian frigate into Stavanger by ten hours, over two full days behind the rest of the racers.

Class B
The Class B race was unusually sparse of contenders, with only five vessels competing. Although the Canadian schooner Bluenose attempted to display their rivalry towards the American schooner Atlantic, the Americans were more concerned about the health of one of their cadets, who was in the hospital in Kiel after he was washed overboard in the North Sea. The remaining three contenders were the Japanese Marconi-rigged ketch Ryujin, the Atlantean schooner White Bull, and the Irish schooner Red Hand. The five ships started at 0830, and Bluenose shortly took the lead, only to be overtaken - to the surprise of all contenders - by the Ryujin, which beat Bluenose into port by two full hours. The White Bull hung on gamely astern of Bluenose and entered Stavanger in third place. Atlantic finished fourth, to the surprise of all, as the veteran schooner usually dominated such races. The Irish Red Hand finished fifth.

Class C
Britain brought two contenders to the Class C race, including Fastnet winner Jolie Brise. The British crews were determined to win "a banner a year" in the Tall Ships Race, and Jolie Brise made a good start, sailing from Kiel to Stavanger in just over thirty hours, beating the next closest contender, the Bulgarian pilot schooner Topaz, by four hours. Japan's Tenjin entered third, followed by the Belisarius and the British ketch Andrea Elwin. The final three vessels - Canada's Maple Leaf, Atlantis's Flamme, and Turkey's Lâle Devri - completed a very closely-matched race, with Lâle Devri beating Flamme by four minutes, and Flamme beating Maple Leaf by three minutes.

[SIZE=3]Stavanger Review[/SIZE]
The Stavanger Review was fairly small, with approximately 39,000 visitors from all over Nordmark. As traditional, the Atlantean frigate Alala and the British Trincomalee staged a mock battle for the crowds, with Alala winning two rounds out of three. The Edna II and Liverpool Packet, both replicas of privateering ships, staged their own mock battle, with the Canadian ship outmaneuvering the less agile but more heavily-armed snow; neither ship could decide on a winner. The ships also hosted a small boat regatta, with the captain's launch from L'Esperance, the longboat from Dar Pomorza, and the captain's launch from Uzume making a photo-finish three-way tie.

[SIZE=3]Cruise in Company[/SIZE]
Rough weather challenged the ships in their Cruise-in-Company across the North Sea. Dar Pomorza, as the race flagship, led the two columns of Class A ships, with Esmeralda taking up the rearward post. The captain of Constitution, upon leaving Stavanger, hoisted the old flag signal for "Form Line of Battle", whereupon, by pre-arranged agreement, the Alala, Shannon, L'Esperance and Trincomalee slid into position. The schooners and other small ships sailed in a more disordered formation.

[SIZE=3]Edinburgh Review[/SIZE]
Nearly 90,000 visitors toured the ships in Edinburgh, with the British railway system even scheduling a few extra trains to bring in visitors from outside Scotland. The ship tours proved the biggest draw, with nearly fifty thousand visitors thronging in to see the frigates Constitution, Trincomalee, Shannon, and Alala. The liveried Marines assigned to Constitution made an excellent show on July 14th, parading in War of 1812 uniforms along the pier.

[SIZE=3]Race Leg Two[/SIZE]
Although the weather leaving Edinburgh on July 15th was moderate, the weather forecast looked uncertain, with ships and weather stations reporting heavy fog in the North Sea. This prompted the race committee to hold the race's start until the afternoon of July 15th, whereupon it appeared the weather was clear enough to proceed; nevertheless the race organizers circulated a weather warning to all ships. The morning of July 16th was similarly foggy, and caused a good deal of uncertainty for many of the ships navigating in the English Channel.

Class A
The Class A ships again started in two groups, and the lead was seized early by the Danmark and the Deutschland. Though the Deutschland led the race for much of the length of the North Sea, the Danmark crept past the Germans just a few minutes after dawn on the 16th, and slowly extended a small but decisive lead. The late race start and foggy conditions in the English Channel meant that most of the leading ships arrived at Le Havre late in the evening or in the early hours of the morning. The Balgarski Lav held a more distant position, finishing three quarters of an hour behind the Deutschland. Chile's Esmeralda narrowly edged out both the Prince of Wales and Romania's brand-new Mircea, with the three ships never being much more than three nautical miles apart throughout the entire race. A number of ships had to wait in the early morning at Le Havre for pilots.

Class A Division II
The British Steel's decisive win in the first race leg was not repeated in the second race leg, with the Yugoslavian sailors in the Pelikan gaining more confidence in their ship and pressing ahead, extending such a decisive lead that only Bluenose and Atlantic beat they to Le Havre. The British Steel was held up nearly two hours off Le Havre in the early morning while waiting for a harbour pilot, but even then they placed third behind the Atlantean crew of Namu. The Turks and Japanese in Hürrem Sultan and Fujin finished only two minutes apart.

Class A Division III
Constitution once again found favorable sailing conditions and was the first ship to sail into Le Havre. The Alala again placed second just behind Constitution, with the Liverpool Packet placing third. The Shannon, Edna II, and Trincomalee followed several hours later, and the Yabanjin and L'Esperance entered Le Havre after several more hours.

Class B
Bluenose once again won the race leg, slipping into Le Havre with an hour's lead over Atlantic, which finished second. The Japanese ketch Ryujin finished third, decisively beating out the Atlantean schooner White Bull. The Irish schooner Red Hand, however, suffered mishap, as the schooner pulled out of the race after striking a submerged object and taking on a foot of water in her hold; the Red Hand put into Dunkirk and remained there for two weeks of repairs to make her seaworthy again.

Class C
The Japanese schooner Tenjin narrowly beat out Britain's sloop Jolie Brise, but not by a significant enough margin to displace the Jolie Brise's lead for the overall race time. The British ketch Andrea Elwin finished third, followed by the Flamme, which narrowly beat the Topaz into Le Havre. The Lâle Devri and Belisarius finished sixth and seventh, followed by the Maple Leaf.

[SIZE=3]Le Havre Review[/SIZE]
Upwards of 85,000 people toured the ships in Le Havre, with the old frigates again drawing the lion's share of the attention. The awards ceremony was held on the Dar Pomorza on the afternoon of July 22, and attended by most of the captains, although a number of ships already left. Danmark received the TSR White Banner, Pelikan received the TSR Green Banner, Constitution won her first TSR Green-and-White Banner, Bluenose received the TSR Red Banner, and Jolie Brise won the TSR Blue Banner. All winners additionally received a gold cup as a trophy.

The film footage of the race, taken from aboard the Yugoslavian ship Pelikan, would later be compiled by a director and completed as the short movie "Great Sea Race". A version shortened to twenty minutes was eventually dubbed in English, French, Italian, and German, and would be shown in cinemas around the world as an opener for other pictures.

The Tall Ships Race Committee met July 23 for their annual meeting, selecting a new general director for the 1940-1941 term, and confirmed the pre-race decision to bar "craft of uncertain seaworthiness" from participation. [1] The Committee also voted to accept the request for a small-boat regatta to be held during one of the port calls.

In other business, the committee voted to seek the appropriate permissions for the following race ports of call in 1941: [2]
- St. Petersburg to Stockholm: 400nm
- Stockholm to Danzig: 382nm
- Danzig (Poland) to Aarhus (Denmark): 395nm

Finally, the Tall Ships Committee elected to change the organization's name to "Sail Training International". The organization will remain headquartered in Dublin.

[SIZE=3]Honorary awards:[/SIZE]
- Youngest overall crew: Atlantean brig Namu (average age of 27 sailors is 18.46 years)
- Most popular ship: United States frigate Constitution (received largest number of visitors in port calls)
- Oldest ship: Latvia's L'Esperance (laid down 1759) (runner up is Alala, laid down 1801)
- Newest ship: Pelikan, completed February 9th, 1940.
- Biggest ship: Atlantean barque Atlantes, five masts, displ 13,800 tons full load (largest sailing ship in the world)
- Smallest ship: British sloop Jolie Brise, displ 44 tons full load

Note 1: The Japanese raft Susanoo as an example. The Tall Ships Race declines vessels of uncertain seaworthiness as a safety prerogative.
Note 2: I've confirmed St. Petersburg and Aarhus. Danzig was previously suggested by Marek and I indicated my desire to make a port call there, but I'm double-checking my confirmation. No word yet on Stockholm.


Monday, November 15th 2010, 10:12pm

[SIZE=3]Official Scores[/SIZE]
Official times are the totals of the times from Race Leg One and Race Leg Two. While a ship may win an individual race leg, awards are given based on the total time for both legs.


Monday, November 15th 2010, 10:18pm


Note 2: I've confirmed St. Petersburg and Aarhus. Danzig was previously suggested by Marek and I indicated my desire to make a port call there, but I'm double-checking my confirmation. No word yet on Stockholm.

If needed, Riga can serve as a port call for the 1941 race.


Monday, November 15th 2010, 10:25pm

Riga is on my list of future port calls, and will serve as an alternate in the event Stockholm or Danzig decline to participate. Since Riga is interested, I'll guarantee you'll host a TSR event between now and 1945. I've tentative plans for 1942 already, so 1943-45 looks promising.


Monday, November 15th 2010, 10:42pm

"video footage", eh? Perhaps changing that to film footage but othervise well written


Monday, November 15th 2010, 10:49pm


Originally posted by Vukovlad
"video footage", eh? Perhaps changing that to film footage but othervise well written

Fair enough, I fixed that. Thank you, glad you enjoyed it.


Monday, November 15th 2010, 11:01pm

By the way, here's my list of prospective Tall Ships Races for future consideration:

1942 (first preference)
- Cobh (Ireland) to La Rochelle (France): 465nm
- La Rochelle (France) to Plymouth (UK): 350nm
- Plymouth (UK) to A Coruna (Iberia): 455nm

1942 (second preference), 1943 (first preference)
- Mobile (USA) to Havana (Cuba/Iberia): 550nm
- Havana (Cuba) to Cancun (Mexico): 280nm
- Cancun (Mexico) to Kingston (Jamaica): 610nm

- Karlskrona (Nordmark) to Helsinki (Nordmark): 405nm
- Helsinki (Nordmark) to Riga (Latvia): 275nm
- Riga to Travemunde: 520nm

- Palma, Malorca (Iberia) to Tunis (French Africa): 430nm
- Tunis (France) to Valletta (Malta): 230nm
- Valletta (Malta) to Bar (Yugoslavia): 440nm

- Constantinople (Byzantium) to Heraklion (Crete/Greece): 430nm
- Heraklion (Crete/Greece) to Athens/Piraeus (Greece): 170nm
- Athens (Greece) to Taranto (Italy): 490 nm

As I've noted before, my ideals are for each race to consist of one 400nm+ race leg, one 200nm+ cruise in company, and a second 400nm+ race leg. I always try to give port calls to preferably four different countries, though that's not always possible.


Tuesday, November 16th 2010, 12:53am

The full official scores are now listed.


Tuesday, November 16th 2010, 7:34am

Very nice job Brock, the Romanians are abit disappointed their shiny new ship didn't do better, but oh well.


Tuesday, November 16th 2010, 3:22pm


Originally posted by TheCanadian
Very nice job Brock, the Romanians are abit disappointed their shiny new ship didn't do better, but oh well.

Sixth place? A vast improvement on what the old Mircea did. ;) You're right up there with the Flying P-Liners and beat some very respectable ships and crews.

Oh bugger, I just realized I made a mistake on those sheets. I wrote up the Germans as competing with Deutschland and Pamir, which is wrong. The Chileans bought Pamir and named her Esmeralda - the Germans should be in the Padua, not the Pamir! Oops.


Tuesday, November 16th 2010, 4:00pm

1942 in the Gulf should work out well. While that is during hurricane season, 1942 was a very quiet year, with the first storm not developing until August. Still, w/o the benefit of hindsight and the records of the National Hurricane Center, it might pay to move it up a month or two to be on the safe side.


Tuesday, November 16th 2010, 4:14pm


Originally posted by CanisD
1942 in the Gulf should work out well. While that is during hurricane season, 1942 was a very quiet year, with the first storm not developing until August. Still, w/o the benefit of hindsight and the records of the National Hurricane Center, it might pay to move it up a month or two to be on the safe side.


My general idea is to run the Tall Ships Race anywhere between May and September; a lot of it depends on local conditions. The ideal is to provide nice warm sunny days for the port calls, to get as many visitors as possible.


Thursday, November 18th 2010, 8:23pm

Novosti News Services

News of the victory of the Yugoslav barque Pelikan in the 1940 Tall Ships Race has electrified Belgrade and the entire nation. From cafes in Zagreb to tearooms in Durres the citizens of Yugoslavia had followed the progress of the Peilkan carefully and joyfully, listening to the live wireless broadcasts and vicariously serving beside Crown Prince Petar and his companions as they upheld the honor of the nation.

When news of the Pelikan's victory was announced Belgrade's citizens spontaneously broke out into choruses of the national anthem, punctuated with shouts of "One nation, one king, one country!".

One crowd, estimated at several thousand, provided a serenede at the Bulgarian embassy, the Pelikan being a gift of Tsar Boris of Bulgaria to the people of Yugoslavia. The Bulgarian ambassador graciously appeared on the balcony of the embassy to receive the thanks of the citizenry for the gracious present of his monarch.

The live reporting by wireless has merely whetted the appetite of the nation, who await with great eagerness the film taken by the Pelikan's crew of the race itself and the ship's great victory.


Thursday, November 18th 2010, 8:33pm

The Bulgarians are grateful for the thanks of the Yugoslavians, and the shipwrights are pleased their hard work has yielded such excellent results again.

[SIZE=1]The Bulgarians think it's slightly annoying and ironic that they've designed and built three tall ships in the last five years - one for themselves, and two gifted to Yugoslavia and Great Britain. And of those, only the ship built for Bulgaria has failed to win the Tall Ships Race in her category! This is actually because I heavily disadvantage my own ships in the scoring system to ensure other contestants get a shot at winning. [/SIZE]