The Tall Ships Youth Trust’s 60m brig STAVROS S NIARCHOS arrives in London this Wednesday (14 July 2010) at the end of the 10th anniversary Voyage of Achievement, funded by the HSBC Global Education Trust. 

The square-rigged brig will arrive at Tower Bridge at 17.00 to moor alongside HMS Belfast after a 10 night sail from Newcastle via the Continent with a voyage crew of 48 specially selected students from 21 schools from across the UK.  The students, aged 16-18 who will be manning the yards 45-metres above the River Thames, include youngsters from three London schools, the London Nautical School in Blackfriars, Skinners Company ‘s School for Girls in Stamford Hill and Kingsford Community School in Becton.

Each student was specially selected to take part in the voyage by their school, which set the selection criteria.  During the voyage they have worked in teams to scale the ship’s masts, scrub decks, keep watch and practice man overboard and other safety drills – all around the clock.  

More than 400 young people have taken part in the Tall Ships HSBC Voyage of Achievement over the past ten years and a number have returned to work as volunteers for the Tall Ships Youth Trust charity. Some have gone on to develop a career within the marine Industry or taken up sailing as a lifelong interest.

Commenting on the 10th anniversary Voyage of Achievement, Paul Sinclair, Education Executive, HSBC Global Education Trust said: ““HSBC continues to support the Tall Ships Voyage of Achievement because we want to make a difference in the communities we operate in. Sailing can be an inspirational experience. These voyages develop important life skills that young people can take back into their community, school or into a future career.”

Throughout the Voyage, the students have been mentored by the Tall Ships Youth Trust’s crew, all experienced at carrying out youth work at sea.  Tim Law, Operations Director of the Trust, said: “For the past 11 days, the students have been living in close quarters with each other in a new and challenging environment.  They have forged friendships, faced challenges and taken part in new experiences – at the same time developing skills that will stand them in good stead for their future lives. ”

Stavros S Niarchos is a 60-metre steel hulled, two-masted, square-rigged brig, dedicated to youth work at sea for 14 to 25 year olds.  The vessel’s 18 sails have a sail area equivalent to the size of four tennis courts, and she carries nearly 9 miles of wire and rope!

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