The tall ships' race took a dramatic new turn on Thursday (2 June) when 16 tall ships were becalmed and it became clear they would not reach Newport, Rhode Island, in time to take part in the American bi-centennial celebrations.
GV Becalmed shops (4 shots)
LV Crewmen in rigging on board the ship christian Radich
LV & SV Christian Radich (3 shots)
LV & CU Shi Tovarishch becalmed (3 shots)
CU PAN Deck of Mircea with idle crewmen
GV & CU Kruzenshtern with sails dropping (2 shots)
GV Winston Chruchill (2 shots)
GV Ship becalmed at sunset
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Background: The tall ships' race took a dramatic new turn on Thursday (2 June) when 16 tall ships were becalmed and it became clear they would not reach Newport, Rhode Island, in time to take part in the American bi-centennial celebrations. The big ships had to eventually make their way to port with the help of their engines.
SYNOPSIS: The wind dropped completely on Thursday and left the ships becalmed more than 300 miles (480 kms) from Newport--the end of the third leg of the race. Ninety-six ships began the race from Bermuda on Sunday (20 June). The smaller ones were able to catch what little breeze there was and made their way on to Newport. But the big square riggers, carrying anything up to Newport. But the big square riggers, carrying anything up to 200 crew, could only sit and wait.
The 40 year old, steel hulled, Christian Radich, was one of the first to fall victim to the weather.
The Russian ship, Tovarishch, with a crew of 190, was also effected by the lack of wind. At the start of the race, these bigger ships led the way, pushed on by a strong wind from the south-east. With that in mind, officials predicted that some of the ships would cover the 630 miles (1020 kms) in four to five days. But then the wind dropped and left them floundering. On the deck of the Mircea, the 107 crew had little to do but sunbathe and watch the passing traffic.
The largest ship in the race the 3,000 ton Kruzenshtern was one of the worst effected by the deadly calm weather. Eventually after almost a full day of being becalmed officials decided. with the permission of the skippers, to order the hauling of sails and the switching-on of engines. Despite the disappointing end to this section of the race, the crews still have much to look forward to, especially in the first week of July when they will first week of July when they will sail down the Hudson to mark the 200th anniversary of U.S. independence.