Excitement builds for Tall Ships return to Lerwick as 20 young trainees take part in Tall Ships Races 2022

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4 July 2022

As excitement builds ahead of Sail Training International's Tall Ships Races returning to Lerwick in 2023, Sail Training Shetland has announced they will support twenty young adults to take part in the Tall Ship Races 2022 onboard Swan.

Having been overwhelmed by applications, the trainees selected for these inspiring, action-packed voyages at sea, will have a once in a lifetime experience, the opportunity for travel, to create international friendships and participate in large host port festivals while also testing their personal and physical boundaries. Despite the challenges of travel post Covid, the sailing organisation is particularly delighted to support these incredible adventures, especially important through the recovery from the past two years which we know has been very difficult for young people.

One group of ten trainees will take part in Race One, boarding Swan at Lerwick to sail across to start the race in Esbjerg, Denmark. From there, the fleet will race to Harlingen in The Netherlands and take part in host port festivities. The second group will join Swan for a Cruise in Company between Harlingen and Antwerp, Belgium, before heading back to the UK in a feeder race to Lowestoft, for the Excelsior Trust’s Centenary Smack Race celebrations.

Peter Campbell, Chairman of Sail Training Shetland said, “Since 2009, Sail Training Shetland has provided invaluable sailing experiences to young people. As excitement builds ahead of the Tall Ships Races 2023, we are delighted to facilitate more fantastic opportunities this year helped by generous sponsorship and fundraising activities. An enthusiastic group of young people will set off across the North Sea to participate in the renowned Tall Ships festival celebrating crewman-ship and a sense of adventure. We are confident that their time onboard will be very positive and look forward to learning of their sailing stories and race highlights when they return.”

While she has taken part in the Tall Ships Races many times, as trainee, crew and Mate, this will be the first year Maggie Adamson has skippered Swan for the event. She said: “The Tall Ships Races charter is always special, and I am really looking forward to leading the crew for this year’s event. To see the trainees come aboard a little unsure, not really knowing anybody or what to expect, and then grow in confidence both in their own ability and gelling as a crew is so rewarding for everyone aboard. We are delighted to be working with Sail Training Shetland again this year, to provide these life changing voyages, as well as the taster days earlier in the year. The calibre of applicants was very high, which made it hard to select just 20 trainees but also bodes well for next year, when the races return to Shetland. We can’t wait to celebrate Shetland’s maritime heritage in 2023 with these voyages in 2022 starting the incredible year we have ahead of us.”

Find out more about the Swan Trust's youth sail training work here.

To celebrate Lerwick being a host port for the 2023 races, Sail Training Shetland has plans to vastly increase next year’s sail training placements. If you are interested in supporting STS to provide these placements, please contact them. For further details on Sail Training Shetland sailing opportunities, visit their website.

If you would like to help support Swan follow these links to donate or volunteer with the Trust.

For details of trips available to book check out our upcoming trips


Want to get involved in maintaining and operating a traditional wooden sailing vessel? There are a number of different ways you can volunteer to safeguard, care for and sail this unique heritage asset.

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