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Sail Training Accolades

Youth Sail Training is at the heart of the Swan Trust, enabling many hundreds of young people to participate in sailing trips aboard Swan. To further encourage and promote Sail Training, the Trust awards a trophy annually to their Sail Trainee of the Year. The Trust has also received awards for their sail training work from Sail Training International and when they were awarded National Historic Ships Flagship of the Year, the judging panel were particularly impressed with their youth work.

The Vevoe Trophy

Since 2011, The Swan Trust has awarded the Vevoe Trophy to their Sail Trainee of the year.

Commissioned by the Trust following a donation from the family of the late Willie Simpson, The Vevoe Trophy is named after the home of the Simpson family, Vevoe in Whalsay. Willie o’Vevoe, as he was known, first went to the herring fishing in the early 1950s aboard the Swan, a vessel his family were closely involved with for over 50 years of her herring fishing career. Willie was also an active and valued Trustee of the Swan Trust until his death in 2010.

A replica of Swan’s original wheel, the trophy was made by the late Lowrie Robertson of Unst, with assistance on intri­cate details from Maurice Manson and Ian Smith of Lerwick and Peter Mouat of Unst.

The Vevoe Trophy winners are:

  • 2023: Colleen Grains, Whiteness, Shetland
  • 2022: Vaila Wright, Lerwick, Shetland
  • 2020 & 2021: No awards were presented due to Covid restrictions severely limiting sailing opportunities.
  • 2019: Drew Manson, Brae, Shetland
  • 2018: Cormac Mathieson, Virkie, Shetland
  • 2017: Theo Irvine, Burra, Shetland
  • 2016: John-Ross Ratter, Brae, Shetland
  • 2015: Tom Chivers, Cunningsburgh, Shetland
  • 2014: Curstaidh Mackay, Virkie, Shetland
  • 2013: Ailish Parham, Maywick, Shetland
  • 2012: Erin Simpson, Whalsay, Shetland
  • 2011: Loic Jacob, Waterford, Southern Ireland

The award is usually presented at the Trusts end of year gathering, along with a cold bronze casting of the Swan under sail, made by Terry Atkinson, Tingwall, which the Trainee keeps.

Sail Training International Awards

While Swan maybe small in size in comparison to many of the ships which take part in the annual Tall Ships Races, the excellent youth sail training work undertaken by the Swan Trust has not gone unnoticed by Sail Training International.

In 2022 our Skipper, Maggie Adamson, was awarded Sail Trainer of the Year, and the Swan also received awards for Most Welcoming Ship; Best in Crew Parade in B, C and D Categories and came 3rd in Class B in Race one from Esbjerg to Harlingen.

Previous Sail Training International awards include:

  • Sail Training Organisation of the Year
  • Young Volunteer of the Year for their trainee, Ailish Parham
  • Young Sail Trainer of the Year for their bosun, Scott Sandison

This is quite an achievement for a small, voluntary run, organisation.

Other Awards

The Swan was National Historic Ships Flagship of the Year in 2011 and 2023. She beat off stiff competition to win this award, with the adjudicating panel ‘particularly impressed with the Trust’s emphasis on engagement with young people’.

The Swan was named 'Sail Training Vessel of the Year' for 2023 by a judging panel of ASTO and MCA. The panel were particularly impressed with how the crew dealt with mechanical issues in challenging conditions during the first Tall Ships leg of the summer. The vessel, the crew and the organisation played such an important role in making all of the participants in the Tall Ships feel so welcome in their own host port of Lerwick.

The Swan also picked up an award from their home port in Lerwick after the Tall Ships fleet arrived on the Cruise in Company leg of the races. Due to the freindship and invivation extended by Swan, 14 ships visited Guest Harbour, Yell on route to Lerwick and Swan was given the award for 'Outstanding Contribution to the Cruise in Company'.

Learn more about our youth sail training work here.

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