Kicking off the summer sailing season the
last weekend of June, SchoonerFest will feature 5 large traditional schooners
racing and parading under sail together in Portland Harbor with passengers
participating on-board and ashore in the impressive and spectacular events.
June 24 - 26, 2017
Organized by the non-profit Tall Ships
Portland to benefit their high school sail training programs, the event will
feature several of the most famous schooners in the country including the
magnificent historic 120’ Schooner Adventure from Gloucester and Maine's own 71’
Schooner Alert. Racing against hometown favorites Schooner Bagheera and
Schooner Wendameen, the festival and regatta is sure to be a memorable event
for those able to reserve a berth aboard ($55/person average) or those watching
from Portland's Eastern Promenade at Ft. Allen Park (free).
Regatta prizes will include the Rybacki
Cup for first Schooner overall to finish, the Alden Cup for the first John
Alden design to finish and the Shipyard Cup for the crew demonstrating the most
spirited attitude toward the racing.
Photos provided by Tall Ships Portland
"This will be the first time in my
lifetime that large schooners have raced in Portland Harbor," said Regatta
officer Tim Tolford. "I can't wait to see these amazing traditional sail
training vessels out on the race course together celebrating their traditions
of seamanship and speed under sail. I wish I could be on one of the schooners
but I will enjoy the view from the committee boat."
"We are really excited to join the
racing and spend the weekend in Portland," said Stefan Edick, Captain of Schooner
Adventure of Gloucester. "Portland's sail training community is growing
and we look forward to showing Adventure's transom to the other fine schooners
who will be there to see us. With our waterline of 107 feet and our overall
length of 122, we should be very fast and spectacular in Portland Harbor."
"You are welcome to Portland"
said Portland Schooner Company Owner Michelle Thresher. "We can't wait to
show you some local knowledge and not just on the race course!" Thresher
expects to have a busy weekend with ticket sales and encourages the public to
sign up early for the racing to avoid disappointment.
Following an exciting weekend of racing
in Portland, the visiting schooners will depart Monday morning in a blaze of
glory to join the first annual Casco Bay Gaffers Race which starts in Portland
and ends at Bailey Island, ME. All gaff-rigged sailboats are welcome to join
the Gaffers Race and enjoy a welcome event and celebration upon arrival in
Bailey Island. On Tuesday, several of the boats will depart for Windjammer Days
in Boothbay Harbor.
Schooner Adventure has been designated a
National Historic Landmark and is a perfect example of the Gloucester Fishing
Schooners of the period 1890 to 1926 known for racing to and from the Grand
Banks bringing fish to East Coast markets as freshly as possible. She is
certified to take 60 passengers.
Schooner Alert, designed by Paul Rollins
with strong design influences from John Alden and Bud McIntosh and built by
Paul Rollins in York, Maine was launched in 1992. She was built as yacht and
shares part of her history as a commercial fishing schooner out of Portland.
She is now based in Bailey Island, ME and is a US Coast Guard certified
passenger vessel taking 28 passengers.
Host Schooners Wendameen and Bagheera,
well known to local sailing fans, are both John Alden designed schooners and
both built in E. Boothbay, Maine in 1912 and 1924 respectively. These classics
are the two oldest schooners in the fleet this year but are well known for
their speed and comfort and are expected to be at the front of the fleet all
For more information, please contact Tall
Ships Portland at 207-619-1842.
Tall Ships Portland, a chapter of Tall Ships
America, and the group responsible for the Iberdrola USA Tall Ships Portland
2015 event, is a co-host for this event. Tall Ships Portland provides 1-week
sail training opportunities with academic credit to high school students from
all across Maine. It also hosts small and large tall ships events in Portland
from time to time. Portland SchoonerFest is its first annual event.
To reserve space on board one of the
schooners in the regatta, parade or evening sunset cruises, go to www.tallshipsportland.org
If you would like to arrange for a group of
more than 10, call 207-450-5363