Harlingen hosts the 2013 Tall Ships Class A Forum

02 January 2013

Harlingen hosts the 2013 Tall Ships Class A Forum
The historic port and old town of Harlingen, northern Netherlands, is hosting the ninth Sail Training International (STI) Tall Ships Class A Forum, 16-18 April 2013.

Harlingen has signed up to be host port at the Tall Ships Races 2014, along with Fredrikstad and Bergen in Norway and Esbjerg in Denmark.  To promote its involvement in this exciting event, over forty Tall Ship vessel operators from around the world will visit the city, along with other 2014 host port representatives.

About the Class A Tall Ships Forum

Class A vessels are the largest Tall Ships - defined by Sail Training International as ‘all square rigged vessels and all other vessels over 40 metres, engaged in sail training for young people.’

The Sail Training International Class A Tall Ships Forum was created in 2004.  It gives the operators of Class A vessels, engaged in sail training, a single voice at an international level.  

Seventy-four Class A vessel operators around the world are currently signed up the forum, with three-quarters of these actively engaged in sail training.  

They run several working groups on issues of common interest such as rig maintenance, marketing and sail endorsement, and offer each other assistance and services.

The Forum is managed by an Executive Committee under the chairmanship of Uwe Delfs Jespersen. 

The Secretary, Paul Bishop, Head of Race Directorate, STI said, “Over forty Class A Tall Ship representatives are expected to attend this international meeting.  We are very grateful to Harlingen for their generous support.  

“In addition to working on a number of sessions of common interest, members will have the opportunity to explore the ancient city of Harlingen and its harbour, in advance of The Tall Ships Races 2014.”

The programme

Tuesday 16 April 
19.00: Harlingen welcomes participants with a reception 
19.30: Walking dinner at the municipality
Wednesday 17 April 
08.30: Vessel transports captains/ participants from the harbor to location for morning session
09.00: Morning session (JR Shipping)
12.00: Sailing lunch 
14.00: Afternoon session (Maritime Academy)
17.00: Good bye reception
About Harlingen

Harlingen is an historic port and old town in the northern Netherlands that serves as the ferry terminus for the islands of Terschelling and Vlieland.  It has a long history of fishing and shipping and is a centre for traditional Dutch sailing barges, a number of which are usually moored in the harbour. 

A naval base from the seventeenth century, the town straddles the Vliestroom channel.  The old town spreads east, sandwiched between the pretty Noorderhaven and more functional Zuiderhaven canals, a mass of sixteenth- to eighteenth-century houses that reflect the prosperity and importance of earlier times. 

Harlingen has a fishing fleet, a small container depot, a shipbuilding yard and a resurgent ceramics industry. The heart of town is the Voorstraat, a long, tree-lined avenue that's home to an elegant eighteenth-century Stadhuis and the Hannemahuis Museum.

Photo: Thalassa, Netherlands - Class A vessel which will be moored in Harlingen for the duration of the Forum.

- ends –
For further information contact Sally Titmus, Communications Manager, Sail Training International +44 (0)23 9258 6367, mobile +44 (0)7827298733 sally.titmus@sailtraininginternational.org

What is Sail Training? 
Sail Training is an adventure activity, which includes far more than sailing instruction. Participants are required to confront demanding challenges, both physical and emotional. It is an activity that inspires self-confidence and personal responsibility. It promotes an acceptance of others, whatever their social or cultural backgrounds, and develops a willingness to take controlled risks. Those who undertake Sail Training on Tall Ships generally find it a positive life-changing experience.

A two-minute film can be seen here:

About STI
STI is the international voice of Sail Training, a registered charity (not-for-profit organisation), which has worldwide membership and activities. Its purpose is the development and education of young people through the Sail Training experience, regardless of nationality, culture, religion, gender or social background. It organises the annual Tall Ship Races and other international Tall Ship sailing events.  STI members are 29 national Sail Training organisations around the world and STI’s head office is in Gosport, Hampshire, UK.

The organisation was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2007 for its work in promoting international understanding and friendship.

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