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Displaying items by tag: Tall ship

Seas Your Future (SYF), the youth development charity and owner of the tall ship Pelican of London that works closely with Sail Training Ireland has acquired a second tall ship, the Fridtjof Nansen, to satisfy the increase in demand in recent times.

Sail Training Ireland has worked with SYF since 2016/17.  In 2022 they are undertaking 13 partnership voyages on Pelican with 300-350 young people from the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Having the additional capacity of Fridtjof Nansen means more each year will benefit from their first sail training adventure, opening doors to possible careers in the maritime and environmental sectors.

Described as 'a huge and very historic step' for the charity it more than doubles the capacity for taking young people on sail training, maritime careers and ocean science voyages for personal and character development.

The ship is on its way from Germany to Albion Dock Bristol where it will undergo a refit throughout the Spring.

Daragh Sheridan, CEO of Sail Training Ireland said: “We have been delighted to work in partnership with Seas Your Future for six years. Their acquisition of Fridtjof Nansen will enable many more young people from Ireland to realise the benefits of a tall ship sail training voyage, which can be life-changing in some cases.”

Seas Your Future is a sail training charity founded in 2008 to support the development of young people, building resilience, self-confidence, and independence.

Its tall ship Pelican of London sails for 46-48 weeks each year with up to 35 young trainees and 12 professional crew and volunteers.

Fourteen years on it has purchased the Fridtjof Nansen, a ship of similar capacity and design as Pelican, to meet the growing demand for sail training, maritime careers and ocean science voyages. Sail Training enables young people to discover and extend their abilities, values, passions and responsibilities in situations that offer adventure, challenge and the unexpected. They take responsibility by becoming the ship’s crew, communicating and working together to ensure a successful journey, developing their character, resilience, self-confidence,
and independence.

SYF work closely with several strategic partners, the two most prominent of whom are:

• Ocean College for the 6-month winter transatlantic voyage: our fourth voyage on Pelican ended in Emden, Germany on Sunday 3rd April. The growing reputation of this annual voyage has increased demand massively, and the acquisition of Fridtjof Nansen will enable two ships to sail annually and twice the number of young people benefit from the educational adventure of a lifetime. It will also enable SYF and Ocean College to deliver shorter summer voyages for youngsters who may be considering the 6-month voyage.

• Sail Training Ireland: with whom SYF has worked since 2016/17. In 2022 they are undertaking 13 partnership voyages on Pelican with 300-350 young people from the UK and the Republic of Ireland. Having the additional capacity of Fridtjof Nansen means more each year will benefit from their first sail training adventure, opening doors to possible careers in the maritime and environmental sectors.

Since 2018 SYF has offered voyages to young people interested a maritime career, working with training and skills development leaders to provide pathways into employment, and ocean science research voyages of particular interest to students and graduates of environmental and marine science and those who care passionately about the future of our planet.

The Fridtjof Nansen was originally built as a gaff-rigged freight schooner in 1919 under the name ‘Edith’ and has changed both owners and names on various occasions. The ship has a history of different activities, including transporting fresh produce, leisure, and towards the end of World War II the ship was used to transport refugees. In 1992 she was converted into a three-masted topsail schooner christened Fridtjof Nansen at the Peene shipyard by the granddaughter of the Norwegian researcher Fridtjof Nansen, Margret Greve, becoming the ship we see today.

Since 1992 she has delivered sail training for young people, including long term voyages on a tall ship. The first of those consisted of an eight-month world voyage in 1993-94, which was a first for a sailing ship from Germany, since the times of the Pamir and Passat. She sailed through the Panama Canal to Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands. The homeward bound leg went via Cocos Island, Costa Rica, Panama, Cuba and Bermuda, crossing the Atlantic via the Azores and returned to Wilhemshaven. 

On the 21st of March 2022 ownership of the Fridtjof Nansen transferred to Seas Your Future, fulfilling the wishes of the previous owners that the charity continues to use her for youth sail training.

Seas Your Future CEO Adrian Ragbourne stated: “We are delighted and honoured to become the new owners of the historic tall ship Fridtjof Nansen, which for 30 years has given thousands of young people the opportunity of a lifetime. We will be welcoming her into Albion Dock Bristol next week for a refit, which will double our previous capacity, enabling Seas Your Future to offer sail training voyages to more than twice the number of young people over the coming years. We have a full programme of sail training, maritime careers and ocean science voyages scheduled for this year, and the Fridtjof Nansen will be sailing for us from July. We are extremely grateful to our strategic clients and funding partners for their financial support, without which this great step could not have been taken. Please come and visit while she is in Bristol, and especially over the weekend of the Bristol Harbour Festival on 16th and 17th July when Pelican will also be there.”

The family who has been looking after the vessel for the last 30 years was looking for a new owner, keen to ensure that the work with young people continues. They were delighted to be approached by Seas Your Future, who have shown through their work with young people on the Pelican of London, since 2008, to be a reliable organisation. Looking forward the family believes this achievement will be enhanced by SYF’s acquisition of the tall ship Fridtjof Nansen. “It is excellent news for everyone, that the ship is doing something again after the long break caused by Covid and we wish Seas Your Future every success and look forward to the coming years with confidence”.

Johan Kegler, CEO of Ocean College, Germany said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for many more young people to experience the educational adventure of a lifetime. Our partnership with Seas Your Future has grown so successfully over five years and the reputation of our six-month winter voyages means that many more ask every year to sail with us. Having the Fridtjof Nansen available means that many more dreams will come true”.

The ship will be sailing into Bristol on 12th April. The Fridtjof Nansen will be located in Albion Dock Bristol next to the SS Great Britain, and at times will be open to the public.

Voyages on the Nansen are currently planned to begin in July with our partners Sail Training Ireland (www.sailtrainingireland.com) and Ocean College (www.oceancollege.eu).

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Tonight RTE Nationwide will broadcast a feature on a planned new sail training tall ship for Ireland.

As Afloat first reported last October, the new ship is intended to replace the lost Asgard II.  

The 17-minute piece by Donal Byrne documents the first test sail by the Irish group in Sweden.

The Atlantic Youth Trust Charity chaired by Round the World sailor Enda O'Coineen, says the 164ft Tradewind schooner it has identified will act as the new ‘flagship’ for introducing young people across the island of Ireland to maritime and careers.

The ship is to be renamed the Grace O’Malley, after the so-called Mayo ‘Pirate Queen’. Built of steel in a modern structure, and elegant lines of a 19th century Tall Ship, she is considered fit for purpose to high safety specifications.

In addition, the Charity says the tall ship will have a key role to play in the areas of research, innovation, tourism promotion and providing a support outlet for vulnerable young people.

The charity is seeking funding from the British and Irish governments to finalise the purchase of the vessel.

Nationwide is broadcast tonight at 1900 hrs (Monday, 14th March).

Also read: WM Nixon's Ireland’s Hopes for a Tall Ship Are Running High

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The impressive 65-metres long tall ship Danmark was assisted on the final stretch of her journey to Dublin by a Dublin Port pilot and the tug Shackleton early on Friday.

As Afloat reported earlier, after a nine-day voyage from Frederikshavn in Denmark, STV Danmark anchored in Dublin Bay on Thursday prior to her journey up the River Liffey as our pictures illustrate. 

The 88-year old vessel, sailing under the flag of Denmark, is a fully equipped sail training vessel and weighs over 790 tons.  She has an overall length with a beam of 32 feet (9.8 m) and a depth of 17 feet (5.2 m).

Manoeuvres in the comparatively tight surroundings of the river required Dublin Port to carry out a careful evaluation of the draft of the vessel in relation to the depth of water available, the expected weather plus tidal streams before working out what Port resources to allocate.

Having assessed the risks in the manoeuvring capabilities of the vessel and the accessibility of her berth, the Harbourmaster and pilots decided one tug, the Shackleton, should accompany STV Danmark. (Above and below) Having assessed the risks in the manoeuvring capabilities of the vessel and the accessibility of her berth, the Harbourmaster and pilots decided one tug, the Shackleton, should accompany STV Danmark up the Liffey Photos courtesy: Finbar Harding 

The tug in this case, on the pilot's orders, and driven by tugboat diver Finbar Harding, would act as a brake if required as the ship approaches the East Link bridge and when approaching the berth. The tug also assisted in swinging the ship parallel to the berth.

Typically, the tug pushes the ship onto the berth, keeping the ship alongside until the ship's crew have made the mooring lines fast.

The full-rigged ship is owned by the Danish Maritime Authority.

Sail training voyages are offered onboard the vessel, not only to Danes but also to those of any nation interested in learning the basics of seamanship on a large sailing vessel.

The ship was one of the vessels that were used during the filming of the British BBC TV series Onedin Line (1971-1980).

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Youth development, education and cultural charity the Atlantic Youth Trust have made a direct appeal to An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin TD and Minister Simon Harris TD, to reinstate the €950,000 which came from the National Lottery to support the operational costs of a new tall ship for Ireland. The charity made the call against the clear commitment in the Programme for Government to develop Ireland’s ocean wealth, sustainability, and the environment.

As Afloat reported earlier, the group says it has identified a ship to replace the lost Asgard II. The ship, the trust says, will act as the new ‘flagship’ for introducing young people across the island of Ireland to maritime and careers. In addition, it will have a key role to play in the areas of research, innovation, tourism promotion and providing a support outlet for vulnerable young people.

Chair of the Atlantic Youth Trust, Enda O'CoineenChair of the Atlantic Youth Trust, Enda O'Coineen

Chair of the Atlantic Youth Trust, and former Director of Coiste an Asgard, Enda O’Coineen was introduced to the ocean and adventure on the original Asgard. He advocates for how this opportunity changed the course of his life and is joined by a high-level group of youth workers, people in business and academics behind the project. Commenting Mr O’Coineen said: “With a large research-led support base, we have long since championed for the need to replace Ireland’s lost sail training vessel the Asgard II in a dynamic and creative new way.

“This would be a strategically important move for ensuring we are well-positioned to maintain our island’s rich maritime heritage, skill set and knowledge. This will be vital for connecting future generations with the ocean and adventure who might normally never get the opportunity. As we emerge from the Covid 19 pandemic, the urgency for supporting projects like this has never been more important as we seek to address growing mental health challenges facing our young people.”

In looking for a solution to this, the Atlantic Youth Trust has identified, a 164ft Tradewind schooner lying in Sweden which is an ideally suited replacement for delivering youth maritime development and sail training.

The 164ft Tradewind schooner lying in SwedenThe 164ft Tradewind schooner lying in Sweden

The ship is to be renamed the Grace O’Malley, after the so-called Mayo ‘Pirate Queen’. Built of steel in a modern structure, and elegant lines of a 19th century Tall Ship, she is considered fit for purpose to high safety specifications.

Mr O’Coineen added: “In our recent pre-budget 2022 submission to the Office of An Taoiseach and other Government Departments, we called for the reinstatement of an annual Government subsidy to assist with the day-to-day operational costs of a new vessel.

This funding was previously channelled through the National Lottery. Given the strong training and education remit planned for the new vessel, we believe it’s pertinent that Government funding, if reinstated, is directed via the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science, under Minister Simon Harris.

“To support our pre-budget submission, we also included a comprehensive business proposal outlining how the purchase of the identified successor ship will be funded through private and philanthropic sources. This can only happen if the State commits to reinstating the former Asgard II National Lottery funds to support the new ship’s operations budget. We believe the reinstation of these funds would go a long way in supporting a clear commitment made in both the Programme for Government and the Ocean Wealth Strategy to develop Ireland’s ocean wealth, sustainability, and the environment, integrated through the National Marine Co-Ordination Group”

In addition, the Atlantic Youth Trust are seeking a once-off commencement grant from Government of €880,000 to support refit costs, ensuring the ship is fit-for purpose with disabled access as well as the establishment of an organisation to run the ships operation. This commencement budget would represent approximately 20 per cent of the insurance funds retained by the State when the Asgard II was lost.

Head of the National Maritime College of Ireland and Atlantic Youth Trust advisory board member, Cormac Gebruer said: “To have a tall ship back in Ireland repurposed to introduce our younger generations to the maritime would be a significantly important and strategic development for the College. There are huge opportunities to utilise this initiative for research purposes linking in with human behaviour and marine sciences which would complement the work we are doing here in the College.

“The Atlantic Youth Trust has been an exemplary resource in leading a world-class solution for youth development integrated with the maritime across Ireland together with its focus on research and partnering with other colleges, such as NUI Galway. We at the National Maritime College of Ireland very much support the endeavours to secure a suitable replacement tall ship training vessel following the loss of the Asgard II.”

As Afloat reported at the time Asgard sank off the French coast in 2008. More details on the background to the sinking, campaign to raise and then replace her are in Afloat's dedicated Asgard II section

Co-founder of Sailing into Wellness and Atlantic Youth Trust advisory board member, James Lyons said: “Following a recent visit to Sweden to see the proposed successor ship in lying, I’m convinced that she will fire people’s imagination if brought to Ireland renamed as the Grace O’Malley. Built with submarine steel to the highest specifications and modelled on a classic wooden tall ship, she will make an ideal tall ship for Ireland with some small modifications.”

Once the Irish Government commits to the reinstatement of the Asgard II funding, additional financial support for the project will then be sought from the Northern Ireland Executive, with the initiative marked as a North-South venture. It’s envisaged that the ship will act as a fantastic promotional platform for tourism, enterprise, culture and the marine across the island of Ireland.

Chair of Tall Ships Belfast 2009 & 2015 and Atlantic Youth Trust advisory board member, Dr Gerard O’Hare said: “While there is an onus on the Irish Government to honour its commitment to supporting the maritime through the reinstatement of the Asgard II funding, there is also scope to seek support from the Northern Irish Executive once the project is up and running. This could include part-funding the initial fit-out planned for early 2022 in Belfast.”

Published in Tall Ships

Cobh had a Tall Ship visitor this week and the sight of her in Cork Harbour last night evoked memories of times past when brigantines such as Tres Hombres were common place in the harbour in the 1800s.

The visiting Tres Hombres is reviving this tradition and pointing the way towards a more sustainable future. She has no engine and travels the world's oceans exclusively under sail power, bringing non-perishable commercial cargos between ports.

As Cork Beo reports this is her second visit - and her second time picking up a delivery of several tonnes of Irish-brewed craft beers for delivery to Les Sables-d'Olonne on the northern Atlantic coast of France.

The ship is part of the Fair Transport Shipping and Trading Line which uses sail power - both classic and modern - to transport cargoes in a carbon-neutral, sustainable fashion.

Bob Bateman captured the ship on its departure from Cork last night for Afloat

Published in Cork Harbour
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It's 7000 km from the Caribbean island of Grenada to London and somewhat farther if you travel via Den Helder in the Netherlands, Carlingford Lough, the County Down village of Killowen and Bangor in North Wales. And this is how the Chocolate Maker NearyNógs on the edge of the Mourne Mountains forged close ties with Fortnum & Mason of Piccadilly in London, one of the oldest and most luxurious department stores on the planet, to help produce a 99% emission-free sailboat chocolate.

It is thus named because to transport the 25kg blocks of chocolate in a sustainable way as possible, the company looked back to its early 18th century roots and combined some old methods with modern green thinking to enable the 99% emission-free chocolate to be carried that 7,000 km. The chocolate's epic journey begins in the Grenada Chocolate Company's solar-powered factor in the West Indies, where the Trinitario cocoa beans are processed using zero emissions.

The Tres Hombres Tall ShipThe 30-metre engineless brigantine, the Tres Hombres Photo: courtesy Fair transport

So the first stage across the Atlantic used a 30m engineless brigantine, the Tres Hombres to carry the 350kg of chocolate, in 25kg blocks The ship is owned by Fair Transport. This company carries sustainable and organic cargo between South, Central and North America and Europe. Tres Hombres has become a shining example of the existing possibilities for alternative shipping methods, and she is the ambassador for sail-powered cargo shipping worldwide. Its destination was Den Helder in the Netherlands from where the chocolate began its second voyage on the T/S Britta, with Silvery Light Sailing under Capt Chris Wren, to Carlingford Lough on the east coast of Ireland where it moored close to Killowen on the northern shore.

But that was only part of the story. How to get the chocolate to NearyNógs? Now a team of volunteers heeded the call to transport the chocolate to the Neary family factory. The name NearyNógs comes from children's stories written by Johnnie Neary. Neary is the family name, and Nógs comes from the Irish Gaelic word Tír na nÓg, which means the land of the youth. This passionate team of volunteers used a Boyne Currachs Heritage Group's traditional open-ended clinker-built Drontheim rowing boat. After several trips ashore with the 48 boxes of chocolate, it was a bumpy 9 km by horse and cart to NearyNógs. There the chocolate was broken down into slates, tempered and packaged in recyclable, biodegradable packaging before the final leg of its adventure to Piccadilly.

Danish built ketch the Klevia The Danish built ketch the Klevia Photo: courtesy Anglesey Traditional Sail

The crew of the TS BrittaThe crew of the TS Britta

That final leg began with return horse and cart, and Drontheim trips to another boat, the Danish built ketch the Klevia skippered by Scott Metcalf, which transported the cargo to Port Penrhyn, in Bangor, North Wales. And to complete the virtual emission-free the final leg of this sustainable journey was entirely on land, using Fortnum & Mason zero-emission electric vans to Piccadilly.

Shane Neary, Neary Nógs chats to Gerry Brennan, Silvery Light SailingThe rowers (and the ship's dog) get ready to deliver another load of Chocolate slabs bound for NearyNógs Photo: Columba O’Hare

The mission was made possible with the help of the local charity Silvery Light Sailing and a hard-working rowing crew at Killowen. Silvery Light Chairman Gerry Brennan was delighted to help in the arrangements. "As a Newry based sailing charity, we were pleased to be asked help local Mournes business NearyNógs organise the emission-free transportation of their chocolate using traditional sailing ships. Being a part of the story of the journey from the Caribbean to the shelves of Piccadilly is beyond our normal outreach. Still, it was great to help promote the maritime potential and scenic beauty of Carlingford Lough and the Mournes."

Shane Neary, Neary Nógs chats to Gerry Brennan, Silvery Light SailingShane Neary, (right) of NearyNógs chats to Gerry Brennan, Silvery Light Sailing Photo: Columba O'Hare

Published in Tall Ships

President Michael D Higgins was welcomed onboard one of the world’s largest Tall Ships, the 270-foot-long Cuauhtémoc, which sailed into Dublin early this morning for a five-day visit to the capital. 

As Afloat reported earlier, the ship is berthed at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay for the duration of her stay, and open to the public to visit, free of charge, on the following dates and times:

Having arrived from Hamburg, Dublin is the second-last stop on the ship’s 250-day training voyage of Northern Europe involving visits to 15 ports in 10 different countries (Canada, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Ireland, Spain and Colombia).

Led by Commanding Officer Captain Carlos Gorraez Meraz, the Cuauhtémoc is an official sail training vessel of the Mexican Navy which travels around the world carrying a message of friendship and goodwill. This is the Cuauhtémoc’s fifth visit to Irish waters since her maiden call in 1998. She subsequently visited the capital in 2008, in 2012 as part of the Tall Ships festival and again in 2015.

The Mexican tall ship opens to the public to visit, free of charge, from Friday 6th to Monday 9th September at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay (11am to 8pm daily). See more here

Members of the public visiting the ship this weekend will be able to get a closer insight into life on board for the 257-strong crew and inspect the fine craftsmanship of the vessel which has trained more than thirty generations of officers, cadets, petty officers and sailors, both Mexican and other nationalities.

Commenting on the tall ship’s visit, The Ambassador of Mexico to Ireland, H.E. Miguel Malfavón said; “For over 40 years, Mexico has enjoyed excellent diplomatic relations with Ireland built on a shared sense of history and strengthening cultural, academic and trading ties in the present day. The arrival of the Cuauhtémoc reminds us of the affinity and friendship that exists between our two nations and symbolises the hand of friendship from Mexico to Ireland. For most of the crew on board, this is their first visit to Ireland, marking a new generation of Mexican-Irish exchange.”

Encouraging members of the public to visit over the weekend, Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, said; “Tall Ship visits to Dublin are always a highlight and the Cuauhtémoc is no exception. This is a spectacular vessel and one of the finest working tall ships at sea today. I would encourage people in the city to take a trip down to Sir John Rogerson’s Quay to explore the Cuauhtémoc over the weekend and show her a warm Irish welcome during her stay. She brings a little piece of Mexico to our doorstep and it’s an opportunity not to be missed.”

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Dublin Port Company and the Mexican Embassy in Dublin have welcomed one of the world’s largest Tall Ships, the 270-foot-long Cuauhtémoc, which sailed into Dublin early this morning for a five-day visit to the capital. She is berthed at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay for the duration of her stay, and open to the public to visit, free of charge, on the following dates and times:

  • Friday, 6th September, from 11.00am to 8.00pm
  • Saturday 7th September, from 11.00am to 8.00pm
  • Sunday 8th September, from 11.00am to 8.00pm
  • Monday 9th September, from 11.00am to 8.00pm

Having arrived from Hamburg, Dublin is the second-last stop on the ship’s 250-day training voyage of Northern Europe involving visits to 15 ports in 10 different countries (Canada, United Kingdom, France, Netherlands, Denmark, Norway, Germany, Ireland, Spain and Colombia).

Led by Commanding Officer Captain Carlos Gorraez Meraz, the Cuauhtémoc is an official sail training vessel of the Mexican Navy which travels around the world carrying a message of friendship and goodwill. This is the Cuauhtémoc’s fifth visit to Irish waters since her maiden call in 1998. She subsequently visited the capital in 2008, in 2012 as part of the Tall Ships festival and again in 2015.

ShipShape6The Mexican tall ship opens to the public to visit, free of charge, from Friday 6th to Monday 9th September at Sir John Rogerson’s Quay (11am to 8pm daily). Photo: Shane O'Neill

Members of the public visiting the ship this weekend will be able to get a closer insight into life on board for the 257-strong crew and inspect the fine craftsmanship of the vessel which has trained more than thirty generations of officers, cadets, petty officers and sailors, both Mexican and other nationalities.

Commenting on the tall ship’s visit, The Ambassador of Mexico to Ireland, H.E. Miguel Malfavón said; “For over 40 years, Mexico has enjoyed excellent diplomatic relations with Ireland built on a shared sense of history and strengthening cultural, academic and trading ties in the present day. The arrival of the Cuauhtémoc reminds us of the affinity and friendship that exists between our two nations and symbolises the hand of friendship from Mexico to Ireland. For most of the crew on board, this is their first visit to Ireland, marking a new generation of Mexican-Irish exchange.”

Encouraging members of the public to visit over the weekend, Eamonn O’Reilly, Chief Executive, Dublin Port Company, said; “Tall Ship visits to Dublin are always a highlight and the Cuauhtémoc is no exception. This is a spectacular vessel and one of the finest working tall ships at sea today. I would encourage people in the city to take a trip down to Sir John Rogerson’s Quay to explore the Cuauhtémoc over the weekend and show her a warm Irish welcome during her stay. She brings a little piece of Mexico to our doorstep and it’s an opportunity not to be missed.”

Built in the Celaya shipyards in Bilbao, Spain, the Cuauhtémoc was launched in July 1982. She was the last of four windjammers built by Bilbao shipyards and is named after the last Aztec Emperor who was imprisoned and executed by the conquistador, Hernán Cortés, in 1525. This is her fifth visit to Irish waters.

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A presentation ceremony took place in the Port of Cork to celebrate the achievement of 26 young people from all backgrounds and a range of abilities across Cork City and County who completed voyages aboard the Cork-Based Vessel Spirit of Oysterhaven and the Tall Ship Pelican of London during the 2017 season. These voyages were made possible by a group of generous sponsors including Port of Cork, Cork City Council, Cork County Council, Dell, Ardmore Shipping, Enterprise System Partners, The Institute of Master Mariners and the National Maritime College of Ireland.

Four trainees from the City and County crewed the Pelican from Dublin arriving in Belfast after 12 days exploring around the Irish sea. The Pelican was due to call to Cork during this voyage but unfortunately was forced to turn back due to adverse weather. Another two Cork trainees sailed from Belfast to Liverpool and on to Dublin over 10 days. These trainees formed part of groups with up-to 28 trainees and mentors on each voyage which were part funded using EU “Erasmus +” funding and involved active educational programmes of youth development as part of “Youth Exchange” projects.

In addition 20 Cork based young people took part on two six day voyages on the gorgeous local vessel Spirit of Oysterhaven. These lucky trainees enjoyed the beautiful coastline scenery while sailing between Glandore and Cork.

The Cork Sail Training Bursary Scheme was established in 2014 to provide access to Sail Training voyages on tall ships and large sailing vessels for young people from the region. Now in its fourth year the scheme is one of the largest and most active on the Island of Ireland and runs in parallel with similar schemes now in operation under Sail Training Ireland in Belfast, Drogheda, Dublin, Waterford, and Galway. The participants are nominated through a network of youth and community groups in Cork and places are available to young people from all backgrounds and with all abilities. The scheme has supported approximately 80 trainees since 2014 and looks likely to grow from strength to strength over the coming years.

Also present on the day were trainees straight off the “Spirit of Oysterhaven” having finished their recent voyage today (day of event 1st of September), following 6 days at sea beginning in Glandore County Cork. The vessel was alongside in Port of Cork during the event and opened to visitors afterwards.

“Our young people returned to us not just with new experiences but new skills, new friendships and new directions for the future.” Cork Life Centre.

Speaking at the presentation ceremony, Brendan Keating Chief Executive said: ‘The Port has been involved with Sail Training Ireland for a number of years now and has supported many voyages for young adults. We feel this is a very worthwhile initiative for the Port of Cork which teaches seamanship, teamwork, personal development and importantly gives them an awareness of life at sea. We would like to commend all 26 of the young trainees today and wish them the very best for their futures.’

MC for the event was former RTE Radio “SeaScapes” Presenter Marcus Connaughton (Goodwill Ambassador for Sail Training Ireland) and the certificates were presented to trainees by Lord Mayor of Cork City Tony Fitzgerald, County Mayor Declan Hurley and Commodore Hugh Tully Flag Officer Commanding Naval Service (F.O.C.N.S.). The Naval Service is a strong supporter of Sail Training for young people as a stepping stone into maritime careers.

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Back in June I asked if there was sufficient joined-up thinking about the project for a new Irish tall ship – and why the Naval Service hasn’t taken a more active role in Irish sail training over the years, with advantages to itself, comparable to what the Royal Navy does in Britain…you can read that story here.

Neil O’Hagan, Executive Director of the Atlantic Youth Trust, organisers of a new national tall ship project, sent me an email saying that it is good to see discussion about the project so that it gets attention… but that “there is more going on than meets the eye…”

On this week’s Podcast, I indicate that I am glad to hear that, but I have reservations and will be convinced about actual Government support when I see it delivered…

Listen to the Podcast below…

Published in Tom MacSweeney
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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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