2005 Tall Ships

2005 Sail Training International Tall Ships Races

Check back here for live updates direct from the Swan en route!

This year for the Tall Ships Races, organised by Sail Training International, we have a different and very exciting slant to our usual crew onboard.

Each year we take part in the races we always have musicians onboard and they add considerably to the atmosphere at sea and in port. We would normally have 3 or 4 young musicians in the crew but this year the whole crew will be made up of musicians!

It promises to be an excellent event, all the more so because of the very high standard of the young musicians who will be onboard.

Swan has been charterted for this by Folkworks who are based in the new Sage concert hall in Gateshead.

There will be 5 musicians from Shetland and 5 from Northumberland and they will be co-ordinated onboard by the very talented Shetland fiddler Chris Stout.

From Shetland we have:

Christopher Stout – Fiddle – Musical director for the project.

A graduate from the RSAMD. Born in Shetland and now based in Glasgow, Chris has made a huge name for himself on both the traditional and classical music scene locally, nationally and internationally, most notably with the band Fiddlers’ Bid and his own band the Chris Stout Quintet. He is in great demand as a session musician and as a fiddle and violin tutor.

Ross Couper (17) Fiddle / Guitar – Highly rated young fiddle player, highly experienced at leading traditional sessions. Currently attending the Centre of Excellence at Plockton

Alison Laurenson (17) - Fiddle - Very talented young fiddle player from the south of Shetland. following in her brother Marks seaboots when he was playing onboard Swan in the Tall Ship races last year.

Bethany Reid (19) Fiddle / Keyboards – Currently studying at the RSAMD in Glasgow. Has won Shetland Young Fiddler of the Year and also a member of ‘Filska

Alex Hutchinson (23) - Fiddle and more! - Music teacher locally in Shetland

Vicky Gray (19) Fiddle – Currently studying music at Perth College where she is a member of the college band, who recently appeared at the Glastonbury Festival.

From Northumbria:

Lizzie Green (20) Northumbrian pipes - Has been piping since she was 8 years old and has won many competitions in the NE. Lizzie has attended summer school in Durham for the last 11 yrs. She was taught by the reknown Northumbrian piper, Anthony Robb.

Matthew Dean (18) Flute and whistle - A young, up and coming musician who plays whistle, flute and bodhran - among other instruments. Matthew won the All Ireland Fleadh whistle category in 2003 and 2004 and was runner-up on flute. He was also in the finals of the Radio 2 young folk musician of the year awards last year.

Carly Blain (19) Fiddle - Currently studying at the University of Newcastle taking a Folk and Traditional Music degree. Carly was in the finals of the Radio 2 Young Folk Musician of the year awards last year

Rachael Cross (19) Fiddle - Currently studying at the University of Newcastle taking a Folk and Traditional Music degree. Rachael was a finalist with Carly in the Radio 2 Young Folk Musician of the year awards in December last year

Sarah Hayes (18) Flute and song - BBC Radio 2 Young Folk Award Finalist three years running and winner of a coveted Danny Award at Celtic Connections. Sarah is already making a name for herself at festivals, clubs and other venues. Classically trained on flute and piano, she is a talented flute and whistle player, and also a fine singer, both unaccompanied and accompanying herself on the keyboard.


Well, what a line up! It should be brilliant!

The musicians from Northumbria will all travel to Shetland to meet together in Lerwick and board the Swan. We will sail from Lerwick firstly to Hartlepool for it was there that Swan was hauled from the harbour in 1989, almost a total wreck, having been neglected at the end of her working life. She was brought from there back to Shetland by a group that formed into The Swan Trust and then began the huge process of restoring her. Today she looks as she did in 1908 when she was fishing under sail out from Shetland.

The aim is to have a concert alongside the same pier where she was hauled up from in 1989. A celebration of life if you like!

Then we will sail up to Newcastle/Gateshead to join the rest of the Tall Ships fleet and the crew will provide music during the four days there at various venues.

We will sail with the fleet on the race to Fredrikstad (near Oslo) and again more concerts will be held there as well as music onboard.

When we arrive back in Lerwick there will be a final concert there to round off what will be a great trip!


Tuesday July 19th: Leave from Lerwick at midday.

Thursday 21st: Arrive at Hartlepool before midday.

Saturday 23rd: Sail from Hartlepool to Gateshead and arrive there that evening.

Sunday 24th to Thursday 28th: In Newcastle/Gateshead.

Thursday 28th: Tall Ships Race begins from Gateshead to Fredrikstad. We should arrive there before Wednesday 3rd August.

Wednesday 3rd to Saturday 6th: In Fredrikstad

Saturday 6th: Sail from Fredrikstad to Lerwick

Tuesday 9th: Arrive back in Lerwick