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Big sailing adventure beckons

Shetland sail trainees and their mentors

TWENTY four young Shetlanders will shortly be heading off on a high seas adventure as sail trainees onboard the Swan and Statsraad Lehmkuhl take part in The Tall Ships Races 2018.

Leaving Lerwick on Sunday 8 July on the Swan, the first batch of ten trainees will set sail for Sunderland to join the rest of the Tall Ships fleet before taking part in race one to Esbjerg in Denmark.

The race, organised by Sail Training International, will start on 14 July with the ships arriving in Denmark on or around 18 July. Sail Training Shetland is supporting the young adults from throughout Shetland to help their “exciting adventures at sea”.

Sail Training Shetland chairman Peter Campbell said: “With the high rate of interest in this year’s placements, and with 2018 being the Year of Young People, our trustees were very keen to capture this enthusiasm and are delighted to have recruited a spirited group of young people from all around Shetland.

“We’re confident that all of the young people participating will take away something positive from their experiences and will be great ambassadors for our community.”

The second and third batches of trainees leave Lerwick by ferry on 18 and 19 July and then will fly to Denmark where ten will join the Swan, with the other four joining the Norwegian three-masted barque Statsraad Lehmkuhl to take part in the cruise-in-company leg to Stavanger in Norway.

They will be setting sail on 21 July and arriving in Stavanger around 26 July. All of the trainees will have time to join in the host port celebrations, mixing with other participants and forming new friendships.

Under the guidance of their crews, the trainees will work closely with the crews of their allocated ships, learning a wide range of hands on skills such as watch-keeping, setting sails and other domestic duties which they will share during their time onboard.

Eighteen year old sail trainee Louise Cluness, from Lerwick, said: “I love being at sea and travelling so the challenge of sailing onboard Swan as part of an international event is so exciting. Some of the highlights will be making new friends, taking part in crew activities in the host ports and sailing out from Esbjerg in the parade of sail which will be unforgettable.”