The Tall Ships Challenge is an annual event organized by the American Sail Training Association alternating in a three year cycle between the Great Lakes, the Pacific and the Atlantic coasts of North America.
The event draws hundreds of thousands of people to witness beautiful tall ships from the age of sail and provides a unique opportunity for the participants to interact with the crews of different vessels in friendly rivalry as they race from port to port.
The series began in 2001 on the Great Lakes and saw vessels from six countries and visited seven US and Canadian ports. It has since continued to grow and is an eagerly anticipated event in the seaside communities that host the vessels.
Since its launch in 2001, the Tall Ships Challenge series has visited 32 North American cities, bringing over 8,000,000 spectators down to the waterfront to experience the tall ships and creating a cumulative estimated economic impact of over $400,000,000 for host communities.
Each year, the Tall Ships Challenge series is designated a Marine Event of National Significance by the US Coast Guard.
ASTA summer interns maintain a blog about their experiences called the Official Blog of the Tall Ships Challenge series