About Harlingen Sail

About Harlingen Sail

Foundation Harlingen Sail organises the Tall Ships Races Harlingen (TSRH) in collaboration with and on behalf of the municipality of Harlingen. To assist the ambitions and objectives of the Tall Ships Races Harlingen, the Foundation set up The Frisian Tall Ships Club (FTSC). An informal network club that connects the business community, as well as educational institutes and social service associations such as the Lions Club and Rotary Club.

The international organiser of the Tall Ships Races is the UK-based charity Sail Training International (STI), the world’s leading organiser of sailing races and events. The mission? To offer young people aged 15 to 25 the experience of a lifetime. Through sail training they introduce the young people to norms and values, they learn to develop team spirit, are given a physical challenge and they learn about themselves. STI is managed by its national members. In the Netherlands this is Sail Training Association Netherlands (STAN) in Oostvoorne.


In 1956, the first competition between twenty ships was organised by Bernard Morgan, a lawyer from London. The race went from Torquay, Devon to Lisbon. The public interest was so overwhelming that the organisers set up the Sail Training International association to also organise competitions in the following years.

In 2014, for the first time in the history of the Tall Ships Races, a Dutch harbour hosted the international sailing race. The large number of 337 trainees earned the Harlingen Sail Foundation an Award that year for the highest number of participating trainees ever. Four years later, Harlingen once again hosted the sailing race. The event attracted about 335,000 visitors that year.

Mission & vision

Besides an impressive spectacle for the public, the Tall Ships Races is an event with a mission. Everything revolves around the personal development and education of young people by offering unique sail training, regardless of nationality, culture, religion, gender or social background. The historic port city of Harlingen is the perfect setting to welcome the mighty ships.

Background 2018

An impressive fleet, spectacular performances, impressive fireworks, the best weather, about 335,000 visitors and hundreds of trainees who have made the trip of a lifetime. The Tall Ships Races Harlingen 2018 was a four-day maritime celebration.


  1. J.R. Arends (chairman)
  2. A. Mintjes (secretary)
  3. N. Hornstra (treasurer)
  4. S. Smeding (Board member trainees and programming)
  5. J. Schikker (Board member sponsoring program and chairman Frisian Tall Ships Club)
  6. D. Meijer (Board member Operational Affairs)


The daily operational matters are organized from the Project Office. Director is Mr. L. Krol.

Become a volunteer

Do you want to participate in the largest event in North Netherlands? From builders to supervisors for public events and volunteers for the information stands, the Tall Ships Races Harlingen cannot do without the help of hundreds of volunteers.

Do you want to be part of the largest event in North Netherlands? And are you available between the 11th and 18th of July?