Jun 08 - Pupils on Tall Ships Voyage

Royal Alexandra and Albert School students selected for National Voyage of Achievement

Ellen Rowles (17) and Luke Todd (18) from the Royal Alexandra and Albert School will put their communication and teamwork skills to the test when they take part in the Tall Ships Youth Trust Voyage of Achievement, 27 June to 08 July 2008, funded by the HSBC Global Education Trust. The students will be part of a 48 strong youth crew from 24 schools across England and Wales who will be developing life skills and learning first hand about geography and weather systems as they sail the Tall Ship, STAVROS S NIARCHOS, from Newcastle to London.

This will be the eighth year that the HSBC Global Education Trust has sponsored a 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 positive difference in the communities in which we operate. We have seen how sailing can be such an inspirational experience outside the classroom and these voyages develop important life skills that young people can take back into their community, school or future career.”

When selecting students for the voyage Headmaster Paul Spencer Ellis said: We were looking for pupils who wished to develop their leadership skills and wanted the experience of working in a team. They applied in writing in a letter explaining their motivation. Both Ellen and Luke showed the character necessary for what will be a demanding, and possibly grueling time at sea as well as a real wish to develop themselves and benefit from the opportunity.

Immediately on joining the ship in Newcastle, the students will be assigned to one of three teams called “watches”. Having just met for the first time, each watch will spend the whole of the 11-night voyage working closely together, living eight to a cabin and even rising at 4am for night watch duties. While onboard, the students will join forces with the permanent crew and take part in every aspect of sailing a Tall Ship: they will helm the 60-metre Square Rigger, scale her 45-metre masts to set and stow sails and navigate.

Tim Law, Tall Ships Youth Trust Marketing and Operations Director, said: “For many this voyage will be a life changing experience. A Tall Ships Voyage takes people out of their comfort zone and they will find things within themselves that they did not realise were there. Tasks such as climbing the rigging or helping prepare dinner for 67 people can give young people a real sense of achievement and self worth.”

Luke Todd said: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It will be a good experience for me as I have never sailed before. I am looking forward to trying out sailing for the first time on a Tall Ship and I am ready for the challenges it will present.”

Ellen Rowles said: “It’s not often that opportunities like this come along so I wanted to make the most of it. Sailing on a Tall Ship will be something completely different. It will be hard work, which will be a challenge but it’s all part of the experience.”

The students will sail from Newcastle, across the North Sea to Northern Europe, before arriving in London and sailing under Tower Bridge on Monday 07 July 2008.

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