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Marine / Swan nets sailing training vessel of the year award

From left to right: Swan Trust SCIO trustee Shayne McLeod with 2023 season skipper Maggie Adamson, mate Scott Sandison and trustee Jessie Szego with the sail training vessel of the year trophy. Photo: Leah Cumming

THE SWAN has been named as 2023’s sail training vessel of the year by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO).

The award is presented to an operator for fulfilling both the sail training aspirations of ASTO and the seamanship and safety requirements of the MCA.

Kerry McMillan, general manager of ASTO, said: “The competition this year for the UK Sail Training Vessel of the Year was tight.

“Swan’s range of operations was impressive including participating in the Tall Ships Races across Europe and venturing north to the Faroes.

“The panel were particularly impressed with how the crew dealt with mechanical issues in challenging conditions during the first Tall Ships leg.

“The vessel, the crew and the organisation played such an important role in making all of the participants in the Tall Ships feel so welcome in Shetland. A fantastic year for the Swan.”

The Swan was also one of six vessels to be named Flagships of the Year 2023 by National Historic Ships UK (NHS-UK) prior to taking part in last year’s Tall Ships Races, where Lerwick was an official host port.

The event, which was successfully delivered under budget, gave 50 young Shetlanders fully funded sail training experiences, with 20 of them being aboard the Swan in the cruise in company and final race legs.

This included a visit to Yell during the cruise in company.

Sail Training Shetland, the organisation which secured funding for the 50 young Shetlanders as well as another 50 young people from throughout Scotland to take part in this adventure, were named ‘Sail Training Organisation of the Year’ at the Sail Training International Conference in November.

Chairman of the Swan Trust SCIO David Goodlad said: “It has been a remarkable year for the Swan, her crew and all those who sailed aboard her.

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“As Trustees we are proud to oversee a busy diary for the boat which is not only an important part of Shetland’s maritime heritage but also a fantastic community asset and training facility which helps young people to develop new skills and increase their confidence.

“This accolade is a welcome acknowledgement of the hard work put in by Maggie Adamson (Skipper), Scott Sandison (Mate), Anja Kurtz (Bosun) and the rest of our volunteer crew last season and we thank them for their contribution to sail training in Shetland.

“The successful partnership with Sail Training Shetland to raise funds to provide sail training to our young people is highlighted with both organisations receiving recognition for the work we do”

The trophy will go on display at the Shetland College UHI Scalloway campus from April.

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