Final Sail Trainees Depart For Stavanger

The Tall Ships Races 2011 experience may have ended for most Shetlanders when the fleet departed last Monday during a magnificent Parade of Sail, but for some young islanders the experience is about to take on a new direction.

Six budding sailors left Lerwick behind on Friday evening (29th July), heading to Stavanger in Norway where they will join either Dutch schooner Endraacht or Shetland’s Swan to take part in Race 3 of The Tall Ships Races 2011.

Sail trainees Alison Laurenson, 23, (Bigton) and Johanna Goodlad, 18,(Scalloway) will join Endraacht while Scott Spence,16, (Lerwick), Erin Simpson, 16, (Whalsay), Luke Aquilina, 15,(Mid Yell), and Kirsty Laurenson, 15, (Sandwick) will compete on Swan racing to Halmstad in Sweden. All trainees are hoping to be part of the Tall Ship crew that sails across the finish line first.

Johanna Goodlad from Scalloway will be recording her experiences aboard Endraacht on The Tall Ships Races 2011 – Lerwick blog.

Johanna’s sister took part in The Tall Ships Races aboard Christian Radich in 2008 and inspired Johanna to apply to be a sail trainee during this year’s Races. As an avid sailor Joanna hopes to utilise some of the skills she has gained sailing her family’s small boat during her Tall Ships experience.

Peter Malcolmson, Chairman of Sail Training Shetland, said: “We’re delighted to be able to extend The Tall Ships Races experience for these young people and allow them the opportunity to participate in Race 3. This is the experience of a lifetime and although our trainees are setting out on a competitive challenge I’m sure they will find that the camaraderie between ships is one of the most enjoyable elements.”

The Tall Ships Races, presented by Szczecin, organised by Sail Training International - a charity with a purpose in the development and education of young people, regardless of nationality, culture, religion, gender or social background, takes place in European waters every year, where the Ships’ either race or cruise in company between ports.

Fiona Dally, Project Manager of The Tall Ships Races 2011 – Lerwick, said: “After such a fantastic celebration in Shetland, I’m delighted that some of our sail trainees are continuing their Tall Ships experience all the way to Sweden on Race 3.

“I will be joining Europa in Stavanger to enjoy my own ‘sail trainee’ experience racing to Halmstad. It looks like there will be some friendly Shetland competition between Tall Ships but I wish all our young trainees the best of luck and look forward to seeing them at the finish line.”