Vintage boats will race to Algoma
Although it is February, plans are already underway for the Tall Ships race to Algoma Aug. 3, says Joy Krieger, executive director of the Algoma Chamber of Commerce.
“We are super excited,” says Krieger.
Called the Tall Ships Challenge Race, the boats will be finishing their race from Chicago off the Algoma shore line.
“They will be coming in at different times, not like the Indy 500,” she said. “Then they will be mustering — which is a fancy word for showing themselves off to people on the shore.”
The Tall Ships events are presented by Baylake Bank. Krieger said that she is meeting with Baylake and Algoma city officials to plan for the Algoma event this month. The festival is produced by PMI Entertainment Group.
“We want the beach to be filled, we want people sitting on blankets and picnicking with their families,’ she said.
The race of the nine vintage ships will begin from Chicago on Monday, Aug. 1, says Erin Short, Tall Ships Challenge manager.
The plan is to hold a race of the Tall Ships on each of the five Great Lakes this summer, said Short.
It will take approximately 48 hours for the ships to reach Algoma, said Short.
“If there is no wind, we wait,” said Short. “However, since there isn’t much time between the end of the Chicago event and the start of the Green Bay event, we will make adjustments as needed,”she said.
There is a race committee who will be on site for the start of the race and will make any changes to the route if needed due to weather or other factors, said Short.
The finish line will be off the Algoma shore, out of the way of any traffic patterns or hazards, according to Short.
“Since the ships will be crossing the finish line at different times, often times several hours apart, each of the ships takes their own time when they cross it and sends the information to the race committee,”
After the boats have left Algoma, they will sail to Sturgeon Bay for a parade. They will dock there overnight but will not be open to the public. They will leave the morning of August 4 for Green Bay for the Tall Ship Festival August 5 to 7 at Green Bay’s Leicht Memorial Park.
There are opportunities for people who are interested to sail on the boats. The trips range from 45 minutes to several hours. Individuals can also sign up to be a passenger on the boat from Sturgeon Bay to Green Bay.
“It will be a long day,” said Short. She said the boats will leave Sturgeon Bay at 7 a.m. and reach Green Bay around 4 p.m.
To date, Baylake Bank has only provided information on two of the boats to build excitement for the festival, said Terry Charles, a spokesperson for the festival.
The first boat is the largest Viking ship built in modern times – Draken Harald Harfagre. The boat is about 115 feet long, 26 feet wide and has a mast that reaches nearly 79 feet. It is rowed with 25 pairs of oars and, when sailing in the Great Lakes, will have a crew of 32 skilled sailors.
The second boat is a reconstructed 16th century Spanish sailing vessel, named El Galeon. The boat is a replica of sailing vessels used in early Colonial times in ports on Florida’s East and West coasts. It is 170 feet long and was used primarily for cargo transporting abilities.
El Galeon has sailed the world. The boat’s home port is St. Augustine, Florida.
Green Bay is the only city in the state to have hosted a Tall Ships event of this size and scope, according to Charles. The events are expected to draw an estimated 50,000 people with an economic impact of $3.6 million.
Volunteer, passenger, and festival information can be found at www.tallshipgreenbay.com.
Karen Ebert Yancey can be reached at [email protected], on Facebook at Kewaunee County Star News Facebook, on Twitter at @EbertYancey or by calling 920-559-1235.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press Gazette: Vintage boats will race to Algoma