Fresh off the first port of call in the 2012 Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge, the historic fleet started the first of four legs to Nova Scotia today, May 7, from Savannah, Ga. Tens of thousands of people enjoyed the festivities and saw the collection of tall ships over the four day festival in the city before the ships set sail. Nova Scotia’s ambassador at sea, Theodore Tugboat, led the way to the starting line after the ships left the wharfs for the traditional parade of sail. “Theodore made a big splash in Savannah. He has captured the imagination of sailors young and old, and is a regular highlight at every port of call,” said Capt. Peter Murphy. “Theodore will lead the Tall Ships home to Nova Scotia.” The next stop along the race route is Greenport, N.Y., May 24-28, then on to Newport, R.I., July 6–9 and finally, Halifax. Tall Ships Nova Scotia will be the longest stop in one region for the vessels in the Tall Ships Challenge Atlantic Coast 2012 series, beginning in Halifax, July 19–23, and throughout Nova Scotia’s outports from July 24–29. “There are significant maritime and historic connections between Savannah and Nova Scotia,” said Colin MacLean, president and ceo of Waterfront Development. “Theodore was a terrific ambassador for Nova Scotia, and we were delighted he took part in the Savannah event.” Waterfront Development, host of the provincial tall ships event, partnered with Taste of Nova Scotia to showcase the province’s seafood and blueberry products at an opening reception aboard Theodore Tugboat. On May 17, Waterfront Development will announce a listing of ships, outports and shore side activities for the provincial event that will showcase the best of Nova Scotia. Waterfront Development is a provincial crown corporation developing the strategic potential of waterfronts in Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford and Lunenburg. The corporation fosters the creation of waterfronts that drive economic opportunity, enhance tourism, provide experiences, and reflect and protects marine heritage. The Halifax and Lunenburg waterfronts are two of the most visited tourism destinations in the province. Go to www.my-waterfront.ca for more information. Tall Ships America’s Tall Ships Challenge is an annual series that rotates on a three-year cycle between the Atlantic Coast, Great Lakes, and Pacific Coast. Over the past decade, the Tall Ships Challenge has co-ordinated more than 60 events in 32 cities. In 2013, all eyes will be on the Tall Ships Challenge Great Lakes, when the ships visit more than 20 cities in the U.S. and Canada to continue the commemoration of the War of 1812. For more details go to www.sailtraining.org . Tall Ships America is a non-profit organization dedicated to enriching youth education through character building and leadership programs aboard tall ships. It is the hub for tall ship activity, expertise, and information in North America. For more information go to www.tallshipsamerica.org .