2024 Tall Ships Experiences Open for Application

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1 March 2024

Sail Training Shetland are inviting applications from young people aged 15 – 25 to take part in The Tall Ships Races 2024 this summer, with a series of free Taster Day Sails available on Swan in April to whet the appetite in preparation.

Young people from all over Shetland can apply for an inspiring, action-packed voyage at sea, providing a unique experience, the opportunity for travel, international friendships, and festivals in host ports.

Stage one of the selection process is an adventure packed day sail at home onboard our own, Swan. This will give young people the chance to have a glimpse into life at sea and understand what the spirit of sail training provides.

Stage two will then see a smaller number of young Shetlanders selected to participate in Race 3 of the Tall Ship Races 2024 between Mariehamn, Åland Islands and Szczecin, Poland. After the excitement of the Tall Ships Races returning to Lerwick in 2023, this is the chance to offer young people in Shetland the opportunity to travel even further afield to take in all the Baltic region has to offer.

Absolutely no sailing experience is needed to take part , just a keen sense of adventure and a willingness to try something new. Trainees work under the guidance of the ship’s crew to learn a wide range of hands-on skills, such as watch-keeping, setting sails and other on-board domestic duties.

Melanie Henderson, Chair of Sail Training Shetland said “With such an incredible year of sail training at Lerwick following the successful hosting of Tall Ships Races, we are returning with new and exciting opportunities abroad. This year’s sail training placements are an adventurous challenge in Race 3 of The Tall Ships Races in the Baltic. The placements on offer will give young trainees the chance to experience different cultures and international travel. It will be a truly life changing voyage at sea, where they will learn so much about themselves by testing their personal and physical boundaries, whilst reaping the benefits of increased self-confidence, independence, team working and communication skills. We are very grateful to the sponsors who are enabling us to carry on the legacy of annual sail training opportunities.

With Shetland being one of the host ports for the Tall Ships Races last year, Sail Training Shetland had a record-breaking year, 70 Shetland youths undertook Sail Training Taster Days aboard Swan and 100 trainees were placed aboard vessels in the races, 50 of which were from Shetland and 50 from other Scottish ports. Almost 500 trainees have been supported by the charity to date.

As a small volunteer committee, Sail Training Shetland would like to thank its supporters, who are helping to promote, manage and fund the 2024 experiences. The main sponsor for the 2024 scheme is Arven Offshore Wind Farm.

More information is available online at and closing date for applications is 5pm, Friday 29th March 2024.


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