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25 June 2021

Sail Training Shetland and The Swan Trust are offering an exciting new opportunity onboard Swan, for 13-23 year olds. “Sail Training Taster Days” will offer the opportunity for young trainees to experience a day sailing on Swan and hear more about further opportunities with Sail Training Shetland and taking part in The Tall Ships Races. The day sails will take place across 28th, 29th and 30th July, with a new set of trainees each day.

Peter Campbell, of Sail Training Shetland said: “With Covid cancelling all sailing activities last year, and Tall Ships races 2021, we were unsure if we would be able to offer any experiences to young people this year. However, with the Tall Ships Races coming back to Lerwick in 2023 we felt it was important to start building momentum for the event, as well as enabling young folk to get out on the water around our own shores following a very difficult year.”

“Due to the impacts of Covid, and the different offering we have for young people this year, we are doing things a little different to normal. We have opened the experience to 13-23 year olds, as they would be aged 15-25 in 2023 when Tall Ships Races come to Lerwick, and are especially keen to attract trainees who have not sailed with Sail Training Shetland before. We will also provide the taster experience free of charge, meaning the trainees do not need to provide any funds toward the trip.”

Absolutely no sailing experience is required to take part, just a willingness to pitch in and work as a team. While sail training includes instruction in all aspects of sailing, its purpose goes far beyond this. It uses the experience of being at sea principally as a means to help young people learn about themselves and to discover hidden strengths and talents. It also builds self-confidence, independence, team working, communication skills and friendships.

While the days on offer will give just a small taste of a longer passage at sea, it will enable the trainees to learn about working a boat, including working sails, watch systems, taking the helm, and basic navigation, as well as learn more about the Tall Ships Races and the role of Sail Training Shetland.

This is a chance for young people who are considering taking part in the Tall Ships Races in 2022 or 2023, to get a taster of sailing and an opportunity to meet former trainees and Sail Training Shetland committee members.

Tommy Allan, Trustee of The Swan Trust, said: “With the known mental and physical health benefits sail training brings, we were delighted when restrictions relaxed enough to allow trainees to come onboard again. Our long standing partnership with Sail Training Shetland has enabled hundreds of Shetland youths to experience sailing Swan and take part in international festivals, such as Tall Ships Races. What is on offer this year will help build foundations for 2022 and 2023, and we hope to welcome onboard many of those who take part in the taster days for longer journey in years to come.”

Applications will open this Saturday, 26th June, for online submissions via Sail Training Shetland’s website. The closing date is Friday 9th July.

Find out more about the 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.

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