#tallships – Sail Training Ireland has announced a series of sail training voyages on a variety of Tall Ships in 2013. The aim is to increase the number of tall ship sea voyages to and from Ireland. The opportunity is open to anyone interested in experiencing life at sea on a traditional sailing ship.
Up to six Tall Ships will take part in two months of voyages around the Irish Sea with 534 voyage-berths available to the people of Ireland and no experience is necessary for those that wish to join a crew. Ages 15-99 are welcome.
The Fleet will visit Drogheda, Dublin (Twice), Belfast (Twice), Cobh, and other ports.
This series will include a Gathering Ireland 2013 project – 'Sail Home To Your Roots' bringing Irish Diaspora by sea from Liverpool to Dublin between May 13 &19. The fleet will then sail to Belfast arriving on May 24. Following the maritime festival in Belfast the fleet will then sail back to Dublin for the June Bank holiday weekend.
Jimmy Miley, Director of the Gathering Project commented; "The 58 berths available across 5 traditional tall ships will provide an exciting incentive for budding sailors to come to Ireland to participate in the Gathering and will play a part in reaching the overall target number of overseas visitors for the Gathering project."
Scottish vessel Alba Venturer will conduct 4 voyages between Scotland, Ireland and Northern Ireland – 48 voyage berths between Aug 12-Sept 8.
The Irish Flagged Ship "Spirit of Oysterhaven" is due to launch their voyage programme in early spring.
In 2012 almost 200 young men and women from Ireland participated in Tall Ship voyages, mostly during the Tall Ships Races. To celebrate this and launch our programme of voyages for 2013 we are hosting a Prize Giving and Annual Launch Event in the Mansion House, Saturday 26 January from 2 - 4 p.m. MC for the event is Theo Dorgan, renowned Irish poet and Sailing enthusiast.
Speaking ahead of the Launch, Lord Mayor, Naoise O Muirí said: "One of the huge benefits of the Tall Ships is the experience offered to the trainees that take part in voyages. Through Sail Training Ireland, Dublin City Council together with Dublin Port Company funded 40 young people to sail on the ships from Spain to Dublin City during the Tall Ships Races. This is a life changing experience that challenges ordinary young people to achieve their full potential and opens their horizons to great possibilities. Sail Training Ireland is making this experience available to all Irish people regardless of social, economic, physical or other circumstances. As Admiral of the Port, this is precisely the kind of activity that I support as a means of integrating the people of Dublin with its maritime heritage."
Michael Byrne, Manager of Sail Training Ireland commented on the voyages; "To sail a Tall Ship is truly the adventure of a lifetime. The voyages we are organising in 2013 are available to all people of Ireland and most importantly – no experience is necessary for those that wish to take part. Sail Training is a sure way of encouraging people to reach their full potential through challenge and adventure. Our aim is to increase the number of sea-going voyages available to Ireland and to make them more accessible to the general population".
Key Speakers at the Mansion House launch will include:
• Lord Mayor of Dublin, Naoise Ó Muirí: Admiral of the Port of Dublin
• Kalanne O'Leary, Chair of Sail Training Ireland
• Peter Cardy, CEO of Sail Training International
• Jim Graves, organiser of the "Sail Home to Your Roots" Gathering Ireland Project