With over 40 majestic Tall Ships, 55 musical acts and 1.15 million visitors over four days – The Tall Ships visit to Dublin in 2012 was truly unmissable.
The event schedule included a luxury Captains welcoming dinner in the Mansion House, and Crew Party in Shelbourne Stadium at the greyhound racing. There was also street theatre, music and free entertainment for guests of all ages and interests not to mention the races themselves.
The Tall Ships' Races are races for sail training "tall ships" (sailing ships). The races are designed to encourage international friendship and training for young people in the art of sailing. The races are held annually in European waters and consists of two racing legs of several hundred nautical miles, and a "cruise in company" between the legs. Over one half (fifty-percent) of the crew of each ship participating in the races must consist of young people.
Between 1973 and 2003 the races were known as The Cutty Sark Tall Ships' Races, having been sponsored by Cutty Sark whisky. From 2004 to 2010 the races were supported by The City, Province, and Port of Antwerp. The current sponsor of the Tall Ships' Races 2010–2014 is the city of Szczecin.