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A big ship and big news from the Tall Ships organizers

Post by News Tribune Staff on Sep. 7, 2007 at 10:52 am with No Comments »
September 7, 2007 10:52 am

The folks who are organizing the 2008 Tall Ships festival coming to Tacoma for the Fourth of July told us in an editorial board this morning that they’ve just received word that the Coast Guard training barque, Eagle, will attend.

The Eagle is a three-masted sailing barque with 21,350 square feet of sail. It’s home port is the Coast Guard Academy at New London, Conn. It is the only active commissioned sailing vessel in the U.S. maritime services. Her surviving sister ships include the Mircea of Romania, Sagres II of Portugal, Gorch Fock of Germany and Tovarich of Russia.

Eagle was built in 1936 by the Blohm & Voss Shipyard, Hamburg, Germany, as a training vessel for German Navy cadets. Eagle is a seagoing classroom for 175 cadets and instructors from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy.

In other updates on Tall Ships 2008, organizers told us they have:

- Seven confirmed ships, with “handshake agreements” on another 22.

– Four “gun-battle” ships that will stage cannon fights on the water, a popular feature from Tall Ships 2005.

– Plans for education programs at the festival for children 12 and under, after-school programs in area schools leading up to the event and a “Youth on Board” program that will allow 50 young people to board four vessels in Victoria, B.C., and help sail them to Tacoma for the festival.

– Plans for four “villages” at the event, three on the waterfront and one downtown. Each village will have its own entertainment stage, food booths, educational programs and visitor services. A shuttle will run between the villages.

The group has 400 volunteers already, but needs 2,000 to pull off the event. To volunteer, call 253-284-3263 or e-mail organizers at or click here.

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