Official Tourism Site for the Greater Portland Region of Maine


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Official Tourism Site of Greater Portland Maine
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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 in 2017, SchoonerFest featured 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. This will now be an annual event and continue to bring the Tall Ships to Portland.

Photos provided by Tall Ships Portland

Organized by the non-profit Tall Ships Portland to benefit their high school sail training programs, the event features 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).

"This was the first time in my lifetime that large schooners have raced in Portland Harbor," said Regatta officer Tim Tolford. "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 have been on one of the schooners but I enjoyed the view from the committee boat."

"We were 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 were there to see us. With our waterline of 107 feet and our overall length of 122, we are very fast and spectacular in Portland 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 were two oldest schooners in the fleet for 2017 but are well known for their speed and comfort and were at the front of the fleet all weekend.

Following an exciting weekend of racing in Portland, the visiting schooners depart in a blaze of glory.

For more information about this festival, please contact Tall Ships Portland

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 was its first annual event.

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