Mark your calendars for July, 2006. That is the date for the Pepsi Americas' Sail 2000 in Beaufort sponsored by the Minges Bottling Group, Inc. of Ayden, NC. The ships are commonly referred to as "tall ships". These ships are certainly tall, but they are also wide and long, and by most sailing standards would be considered HUGE. In the last event held in 2002, ships ranged in size from 54 feet to 120 feet.
Beaufort was selected as the site for this historic event because it is the home port of Horatio Sinbad, Captain of the Meka II, which was awarded the Americas' Sail Trophy for winning the 2002 tall ship Class B competition. The Beaufort segment of this event is being put together by the North Carolina Maritime Museum, which does so many interesting things for all of us in Carteret County. The event will start in the northern portion of South America, continue through the eastern Caribbean Sea, and end in Beaufort, NC, where the awards and other presentations will be made. There will be a tall ship race for class A ships, a race for class B vessels, and maritime festivals in each port visited. The event is now in the planning stages, and as activities become firm, the Maritime Museum will announce them. Check out the Friends of the Maritime Museum's web site at http://www.ncmm-friends.org which will post information as it becomes available.
This will be the fourth time that the event has been held. The inaugural event was held in 1995 with 23 ships participating. The host ports were Norfolk, Virginia; Greenport, Oyster Bay and Sag Harbor, New York; and Hew Haven Connecticut. The next event was held in 1998 and the ports visited were Savananah, Georgia; Greenport and Glen Cove, New York. Twenty-one ships participated. The most recent event was held in 2002 and visits were made to Curacao in the Dutch Antilles; Port Antonio and Montego Bay, Jamaica; and ended in Tampa Bay, Florida. Based on the success of the previous events, and the dedication of the Maritime Museum, I am confident this will be a first class event. As you can see from the names of the ports listed, it is an honor to be a part of the Americas' Sail Tall Ships event.
David Nateman, North Carolina Maritime Museum director notes that "The opportunity to experience first-hand a Parade of Sail, to see and board such an array of tall ships is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the citizens of North Carolina and the visitors expected to attend the Pepsi Americas' Sail 2006 in Beaufort. We are very grateful to the Minges Bottling Group for their support and for making this event possible for the state of North Carolina."
Additional information about Americas' sail can be found at http://www.americassail.com/home.htm.