Starting back in 2010, the Velas Latinoamerica (Sails Latin America) event is a tall ship race and regatta organized by the navies of Latin America who operate sail-powered frigates, brigantines, and schooners as school ships. This has included Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela in the past, with the occasional participation of out-of-area tall ships such as the USCGC Eagle and Portugal’s NRP Sagres.
Held every four years, this year’s event is hosted by Brazil, a country celebrating its bicentennial, and has tall ships from five countries attending.
Attending this year is a regular participant, the sail frigate ARA Libertad (Q-2) of the Argentine Navy.
Also from Argentina is the Coast Guard research schooner, Dr. Bernardo Houssay.
Brazil’s NVe Cisne Branco, a 249-foot three-masted clipper built by Damen in 1999.
From Ecuador is the school ship BAE Guayas (BE-21), which we have talked about before.
The Peruvian Navy’s BAP Unión (BEV-161), a huge 378-foot four-masted barque built in Spain, is almost brand new when it comes to tall ships, being commissioned in 2016.
The Uruguayan Navy has sent their school ship, Capitan Miranda.
Starting in Rio this week, the ships will continue through the Straits of Magellan, proceed up the Pacific Coast of South America, cross through the Panama Canal into the Caribbean, and end at Vera Cruz at the end of June, making 12 official port calls.
The Brazilian Navy has a great Flickr album of the vessels, here.