Sail Portsmouth NH
Sail Portsmouth 2020 Events cancellation announcement
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Feb. 27, 2020

Some Events of Sail Portsmouth 2020 Canceled

PORTSMOUTH -- The Piscataqua Maritime Commission (PMC) announced, because of unforeseen circumstances, there will be no tall ships to tour or a Parade of Sail in 2020. However, other events of Sail Portsmouth will be held as usual.

Events include a Tall Sips Brewfest in July, opportunities to sail the high seas, and its Sea Challenge program for teenagers in the region. The 2020 events kick off with a Tall Sips Brewfest event on Saturday, July 11, at the Hampton Airfield on Lafayette Road in North Hampton. This event will feature brewers, their craft beer and more. Full details on the Tall Sips Brewfest will be announced soon.

Money raised from these events supports the Sea Challenge, which this year will have berths for up to 60 teenagers from the region who spend a week to learn a lot about sailing, navigation, and teamwork. Embedded in the Piscataqua Maritime Commission’s mission to promote the richness of maritime history in the region is a need to help deserving young people through its Sea Challenge program.

This year’s Sea Challenge ships include the schooner Roseway, the schooner Harvey Gamage, and the brigantine rigged Fair Jeanne. The Fair Jeanne is a Canadian sail training ship built and registered in Ottawa, Ontario. She is operated by the Ottawa-based youth charity, Bytown Brigantine Inc. The Roseway, World Ocean School, and Harvey Gamage, Ocean Passages, participated in the Sea Challenge last year.

As they did last year, day sails will originate from the University of New Hampshire Pier in New Castle July 31, August 1, and August 2. The PMC is planning to offer two more weekends of “day sails” this year. About 650 people took advantage of the thrill of being under sail on the Atlantic Ocean during last summer’s Sail Portsmouth. More about the schedule and the participating ships will be announced later.

Safety First: The cancellation of visits by two tall ships to Portsmouth is due to the unavailability of the Commercial Fish Pier on Pierce Island (which is being repaired after a bulkhead collapse in June 2019). The smaller size of the ships that were scheduled for this year, as opposed to 2019’s U.S. Coast Guard Barque Eagle, created a situation that made the use of the Port Authority Pier unsafe for the ships and the public.

“We share the disappointment of the many people who have enthusiastically supported the Parade of Sail and tall ships visits last year and in years past,” aid PMC chairman Chad Chadwick. “Our hope is they can find an equal amount of enthusiasm for the events and programs we have planned.”

For more information contact: Jerry Gulley,, 603-682-9184

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