#tallships – Eight young adults From Cork are preparing to embark on a sail training trip of a lifetime on board the 'Spirit of Oysterhaven', a 70–foot local schooner and currently the only sail training vessel in Ireland. The eight lucky participants will depart from Bantry Bay for a five day sailing trip around West Cork, where they will become working crew on this great adventure.
This is the first year of the Cork Sail Training Scheme, which is being supported by the Port of Cork, Ardmore Shipping, Leeside Shipping, Irish Institute of Master Mariners, the National Maritime College of Ireland, Meitheal Mara and Sail Training Ireland. The aim of the scheme is to develop a local based bursary scheme that will be used to sponsor young people from the Cork area to undertake voyages on sail training vessels. A similar and very successful scheme is run in Drogheda Port annually and has helped to change the lives of many young people.
Speaking about the sail training scheme at a pre voyage reception in the Port of Cork, Captain Michael McCarthy, Commercial Manager said: 'When we were approached by Sail Training Ireland to set up this scheme in Cork, we enthusiastically embraced the opportunity. Anything we can do to encourage young adults to experience an adventure at sea is very positive.'
He continued: 'As former President of the Irish Institute of Master Mariners we are very aware that these type of voyages can often have profound effects on the participant's outlook on life. It will inspire a good work ethic, motivation; teamwork, confidence, and resilience, a sense of adventure and in some cases open up a potential maritime career. We want to wish them the best of luck on the voyage.'
Sail Training Ireland is the National Sail Training Organisation and a charity with youth development at its core. Their vision is to change lives by providing access to sea-going voyages for the young people of Ireland.
A quote from a trainee that recently took part in a voyage arranged by Sail Training Ireland said: "This has been a once in a lifetime experience that I will never forget. I've made so many amazing memories. I loved when our team got to take control of the ship and sail it for ourselves we worked so hard to get to this point and was so proud when we completed the task we even increased the speed by 5 knots. I loved my team we got along so well."
Over the five days the eight trainees will record a lot of their trip through video diary and photographs. The best photograph taken on the trip will be used in the Port of Cork calendar next year also. Producers of 'Cork Mega Port' series 2 have also expressed an interest in this scheme and hope to film the trainees on their exciting voyage.