Scandinavian and Baltic sailing experiences for young Shetlanders

Fourteen young adults from all across Shetland will become trainee crew members onboard Shetland’s own sail training vessel Swan and the German Tall Ship Alexander von Humboldt II, in two separate sailing adventures this summer.

Swan will depart Lerwick early on Wednesday 26 June with ten trainees bound for Norway’s spectacular coastline. During its two week voyage, the crew and sail trainees will participate in two large music and maritime festivals at Stordfest, Leirvik and Skudefestivalen, Skudneshavn.

Sailing across the Baltic sea in Race One of The Tall Ships Races 2013 between Aarhus, Denmark and Helsinki, Finland are four trainees. Departing on 4 July, their home for the duration of their fourteen day journey will be the magnificent three masted barque Alexander Von Humboldt II, built in 2011 and the newest vessel in the Tall Ships fleet.

Under the guidance of their crew, sail trainees learn a wide range of hands on skills including traditional seamanship, navigation, setting sail, watch keeping, maintenance and domestic duties, providing each individual the opportunity to learn about themselves through the adventure of being at sea.

Alex II trainee, Ailish Parham said, “I am really excited about travelling to places I have not been before and mixing with people from different cultures. This will give me the chance to experience what is like to sail onboard a different ship compared to Swan with a large international crew. The whole experience will be a fantastic new challenge for me.”

Peter Campbell, Chairman said “We have supported almost ninety sail training placements since the Charity’s formation in 2009. The selection of trainees recruited for this summer’s sailing adventures are a great mix of young ambassadors from all over Shetland who I am sure will all take away positive life changing experiences from their journeys which in the longer term will greatly benefit our community.”

Through charity fundraising and business sponsorship, Sail Training Shetland supports annual sail training opportunities for young people aged between 15 – 25 years. Many trainees have gone on to pursue careers at sea and all reap the benefits of their experiences through increased self-confidence, independence, team working, communication skills and the personal and physical challenges that sail training offers.

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