Sail Training Shetland offers sponsored Tall Ships adventures aboard the Swan

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18 March 2022

Applications are being invited from young people aged 15 - 25 to take part in The Tall Ships Races 2022 aboard the Swan this summer, with a series of free Taster Day Sails available in April to whet the appetite in preparation.

Sail Training Shetland will support twenty young adults to have an inspiring, action-packed voyage at sea, offering a once in a lifetime experience, the opportunity for travel, international friendships and festivals in host ports.

One group of ten trainees will take part in Race One, boarding the Swan at Lerwick to sail across to the 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 the fleet 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.

Absolutely no sailing experience is needed to take part, just a keen sense of adventure and a willingness to try something new. Trainees will work under the guidance of the Swan crew to learn a wide range of hands-on skills, such as watch-keeping, setting sails and other domestic duties which they will share during their time onboard.

Melanie Henderson from Sail Training Shetland said: “Covid-19 has hit young people particularly hard, taking away many valuable social interactions and adventures with their peers. We very much want to be a part in creating those opportunities again. A sail training adventure gives them the chance to have a life changing experience, reaping the benefits of increased self-confidence, independence, team working, communication skills and testing their personal and physical boundaries”.

The application process has now launched online on the Sail Training Shetland website for anyone that might be interested to take part.

With the excitement building around The Tall Ships Races returning to Lerwick in 2023, Sail Training Shetland is ramping up its efforts on recruiting potential sail trainees to take part. After summer, the charity will be seeking ambassadors to promote sail training in the lead up to the event.

Applications close Friday 01/04/2022

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

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

Anyone can sail on Swan, 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.

Learn more

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