Museum hosts virtual lecture on grain races

Contributed photoSV Passat winner of final grain race from AU to UK, c. 1950, UK National Archives.

KINGSTON — The Hudson River Maritime Museum announces the upcoming lecture “The History and Future of Grain Races,” by Steven Woods, held virtually at 7 p.m. Jan. 19.

For more than 200 years, grain was shipped by sailing vessel around the world. A nonperishable product, grain could withstand voyages of up to 12 months. For the sailing season between South Australia and England, in particular, the long trip and stiff competition meant whoever made it to port first would get the best price on their grain cargoes. Windjammers participated in what became known as the Great Grain Race. Sailing ships would race the weather, the ocean currents, and each other to beat the odds.

This lecture discusses the history of these long-haul races and provides information on the 2022 Northeast Grain Race, including how to participate. Hosted by the Hudson River Maritime Museum, in cooperation with the Center for Post Carbon Logistics, Schooner Apollonia, and the Northeast Grainshed Alliance, the Northeast Grain Race will be held in May of 2022 on the Hudson River. Contestants will compete to move grain from growers to producers in the most efficient and climate-friendly way.

Steven Woods is the Solaris and Education coordinator at HRMM. He has worked in museums for more than 20 years and holds a Master’s degree in Resilient and Sustainable Communities from Prescott College.

Tickets are $7 for the general public and free for Hudson River Maritime Museum members. To register, visit

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