2012-02-02 / News

Local tall ship will join international festival

Ocean State Tall Ships recently announced that the Mystic Whaler – a reproduction of the late 19thcentury coastal cargo schooner – will join the tall ships festival in Newport from July 6-9.

Originally built in Tarpon Springs, Fla., in 1967, the Mystic Whaler was rebuilt in 1993 in Providence. The schooner now resides in New London, Conn. It was originally designed for the passenger trade by Chubb Crockett of Camden, Maine.

Capt. John Eginton is looking forward to sailing the Mystic Whaler to the Ocean State Tall Ships Festival this summer. “The more places I have the opportunity to promote the mission of Tall Ships America, which is to educate the public under sail, promote sail training and encourage character building through sail, the more I enjoy sailing,” said Eginton.

Visitors will be able to walk the decks of a 19th-century style tall ship, view the accommodations below, tour the navigation station and take a turn at the ship’s mahogany steering wheel.

While ships from around the world are encouraged to attend the festival, Ocean State Tall Ships is glad to have the support of local ships from nearby states.

“By sailing the Mystic Whaler to Ocean State Tall Ships Festival, our neighbors in Connecticut are sharing in the celebration of New England’s rich maritime history. We couldn’t be more grateful for their commitment,” said Erin Donovan, executive director of Ocean State Tall Ships.

Newport is an official host port for the Tall Ships Challenge Series on the Atlantic Coast, where the Ocean State Tall Ships Festival plans to bring hundreds of thousands of spectators and visitors. The Ocean State Tall Ships Festival is expected to generate a $20 million economic impact to the state of Rhode Island. In 2007, when the tall ships last sailed to Newport, an estimated 200,000 people attended.

Also, Ocean State Tall Ships want visitors to leave with a lasting artistic memory of the spectacle. Organizers are planning to create a 2012 festival poster. Artists who wish to be considered should contact Ocean State Tall Ships by email at OSTS-art@cox.net no later than Feb. 17.

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