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Convention + Visitors Bureau
Official Tourism Site of Greater Portland Maine
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207-772-5800 |

SchoonerFest and Regatta "Tall Ships Portland"

Portland's own annual spring sailing regatta for traditional sail

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

Photos provided by Tall Ships Portland

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.

"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 weekend.

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

If you would like to arrange for a group of more than 10, call 207-450-5363

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207-772-5800 |