It’s official….the results for Sail Training International’s (STI) International Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge (TSAC) Race #3 are in and PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II, the reproduction circa War of 1812 American Baltimore Privateer Schooner, has been declared 1st in Fleet and 1stin Class B based on handicap rankings. PRIDE II’s Captain and crew were presented with two sculpted glass awards for their accomplishments.
The International TSAC 2009 fleet is represented by nations from Europe, South America, North America and Bermuda. The racing crews, both men and women, represent an even broader spread of nations and also represent ages from 15 years to 75 years. American sailing vessel representation in international fleet regattas is not a common occurrence, so having the American PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II lead the standings for both class and fleet is rarity.
PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II has represented both Maryland and the United States during voyages to far-off destinations such as Ukraine and Russia to the east and China, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan to the west, as well as nearly every large maritime port in between located above the equator. During those voyages PRIDE II represents the unique Baltimore story of defense from the British Royal Navy’s attempt to burn the shipyards that were building the fast privateers used by the Americans during the War of 1812. It was a successful defense that inspired American Francis Scott Key to pen the poetry that is now America’s National Anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner.
Since 2000 PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II has participated in a number of international tall ship races sponsored by STI. In the Millennium Race #4 from Halifax to Europe PRIDE II was one of two American entrees, the other being the Schooner BRILLIANT of Mystic Seaport. PRIDEII was the second vessel in a 40 vessel international fleet to cross the finish line after sailing over 2,500 nautical miles and earned 1st in Class and 5thin Fleet after the handicap. In 2005, PRIDE II was one of two American vessels, the other being the U.S. Coast Guard Barque EAGLE, in a 67 vessel international fleet race between Waterford, Ireland and Cherbourg, France and earned 1st in Class and 5thplace overall behind four Class A vessels. Also in 2005 PRIDE II was the only American vessel in an international fleet of 8 vessels sailing between Southern England and Northern Spain when, while leading the fleet, suffered a total dismasting of her entire rig while sailing in the Bay of Biscay 100 miles west of France. Six months later, with new masts installed, PRIDE II departed France for home and on to a full season of activities in the American Great Lakes.
The unique style of PRIDE II’s American watercraft history and her presentation of the creation of The Star-Spangled Banner cause her to be a singular stand out to all who see her. Being the only frequent American vessel in the STI races and regularly placing well in those regattas brings wonder and appreciation to all for her existence and original story. Marylanders and Americans have every reason to be very proud of their Icon of American Maritime History, the War of 1812 Privateer Schooner PRIDE OF BALTIMORE II.