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'This is probably the start of the inaugural Tall Ships Race in 1956, started by the Duke of Edinburgh'.

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E1002 Tall Ships Race Start off Dartmouth, potentially the 1956 inaugural race

This photograph shows the Start of a Tall Ships Race, perhaps 1956, off the mouth of the river Dart. Left to right: Mercator, Flying Clipper, Sørlandet, Creole.

1956 saw the very first of the Tall Ships races though the race was intended as a celebration of the farewell to the age of sail.

The first Tall Ships' race was held in 1956. It was a race of 20 of the world's remaining large sailing ships organized by Bernard Morgan, a London lawyer. The race was from Torquay, Devon to Lisbon, and was meant to be a last farewell to the era of the great sailing ships. Public interest was so intense, however, that race organizers founded the Sail Training International association to direct the planning of future events. Since then Tall Ships' Races have occurred annually in various parts of the world, with millions of spectators. Today, the race attracts more than a hundred ships, among these some of the largest sailing ships in existence. The 50th Anniversary Tall Ships' Races took place during July and August, 2006, and was started by the patron, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, who also started the first race in 1956.

Start of a Tall Ships Race, perhaps 1956, off the mouth of the river Dart. Left to right: Mercator, Flying Clipper, Sorlandet, Creole.

This picture is part of the picture archive of Dartmouth Museum and is represented in restricted quality and size. The full picture can be viewed when you visit the Museum. The code in the heading is the catalogue code in our archives. Many of the pictures in the Dartmouth Museum Archives are available for purchase.

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