Tall ships challenge casts off with local support


- Credit: Archant

An exciting initiative to send young people from across Devon on a once-in-a-lifetime sailing adventure has hit the ground running.

Brixham-based charity Trinity Sailing is teaming up with several community minded businesses from across the region to send a dozen youngsters on a sailing voyage from Amsterdam, in Holland, to Fredrikstad, in Norway.

Anyone in the region aged 18 to 25 is invited to apply for a place on Trinity’s historic sailing vessel Leader at the 2014 International Tall Ships Races.

The aim of the Tall Ships Challenge is to provide 12 deserving young people with a life changing voyage worth over £1,200.

The charitable initiative has so far been supported by, amongst others: Paignton-based firm Caterfood; Darthaven Marina, based in Kingswear; and The Blue Sea Food Company, also based in Paignton.

Melanie Holman, the manager of Darthaven Marina, said: “We are very pleased to be supporting a young person from the area.

“This will be a wonderful opportunity for this person to get experience of being at sea, especially on such a splendid boat as Leader.

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“The Holman family have had an interest in Brixham for many years as they owned the Upham’s yard from the 1950s until the late 1970s. The yard carried out repairs to local wooden craft, built some trawlers and then yachts designed by Kim Holman such as the famous Twister.

“It is so important to keep the younger generation interested in sailing and we are happy to help.”

Trevor Bartlett, Managing Director of The Blue Sea Food Company, said: “As a Paignton boy — born and bred — and having had the privilege of sailing in the Tall Ships Race, in 1972, I know how invaluable an experience like this could be to a young adult.

“Having only recently learned of the opportunities offered to local young adults by Trinity we are really pleased to be able to support this adventure particularly as it a local charity supporting local people.”

The 14-night trip sets sail on June 29, before heading to Harlingen — also in the Netherlands — where the vessel will meet up with hundreds of other traditional vessels from across the world before heading to Fredrikstad.

There is still time for more companies to offer their support, and for young people to apply for a berth.

Mr Bartlett added: “I’m sure once other companies like us get to hear and understand the charities purpose there will be no shortage of support. When the sponsors are invited for an evening on Leader there will be plenty of crab on the table, I’m sure.”

In return for sponsorship companies will receive, among other benefits: Exposure offered by the high-profile international sailing event; branding on the race T-shirts; web links; entries and photographs from the candidate’s voyage diaries; and content to be used on respective digital and social media platforms.

People can apply to become part of the team on Leader by writing a brief written application explaining why they should be chosen. Anyone who feels they have gone the extra mile can be considered, whether they have helped others or achieved their own personal goal.

Alternatively, people can suggest someone they know who might deserve a place.

Since their inception in the 1950s, the Tall Ships Races have been a world-class nautical event, attracting young people from all over the world.

No previous sailing experience is required. The trip includes all of the young person’s meals on board, berthing, waterproofs and shore-based activities.

If selected, the candidates will need to cover their own costs getting to and from the races. Trinity will provide ideas about how they can carry out fundraising to enable them to pay for their travel and insurance. Selected candidates will also be asked to complete a Tall Ships diary and take photographs of their voyage.

A qualified sea staff of five will work with the young people during the voyage.

Trinity Sailing works with a wide range of youth organisations, from schools and colleges to social services and community groups.

People have until Friday, April 25, to apply for a place. Trinity will then compile a shortlist and invite candidates in for interviews to select the 12 successful applicants.

The application form can be downloaded from Trinity’s website trinitysailing.org.