History of the TMS
Each year, between May and August, nearly 700 sailing boats and superyachts cross the Pacific Ocean and stop over in our lagoons. July is the busiest month due to the good downwind sailing at this time of year, and Tahiti’s Heiva festival also attracts these sailors.
In 2006, Stéphanie Betz met Andy Turpin, managing editor of Latitude 38, the prime magazine for American round-the-world sailing enthusiasts. The magazine’s network attracts many sailors and organizes an informal annual transpacific rally, the Pacific Puddle Jump, to support those who set sail across the Pacific.
However, because they arrive by sea, the Puddle Jumpers did not receive a Polynesian welcome like visitors arriving at Fa’aa airport. So Archipelagoes made this come true by organizing a welcome day, a rendez-vous at the high-point of the season. With support from Tahiti Tourisme and Air Tahiti Nui, the first event was held in 2006. Together, they organized the first edition of the Tahiti Tourisme Cup.
This first welcome day for cruising sailors took place on July 1, 2006 in the Raiatea et Taha’a lagoon and brought together 19 yachts and more than 100 people. Pleased with the event’s success and the enthusiasm of those who took part, Tahiti Tourisme, the Communes of Papeete and Moorea, and local and international partners decided to make it an annual event.
Since the Leeward Islands already had a flagship event–the Tahiti Pearl Regatta– it was decided to move this arrival celebration for cruising sailors to the Windward Islands between Tahiti and Moorea, to extend it to three days, and to rename it the “Tahiti-Moorea Sailing Rendez-Vous” or “TMS”.
For two years, the Tahiti-Moorea Sailing Rendez-Vous took place at Vairao bay in Tahiti and on Tamae beach, then for three consecutive years on La Mareto beach in Opunohu bay. For the past six years, the celebrations on Moorea have taken place in the gardens and on the beach of Aimeo Lodge in Cook’s bay, with the active support of the Commune de Moorea.