May 09 - Students join Sailing Academies for Young People

Aisha Kalanouski and Jody Withers, both aged 14, from Royal Alexandra & Albert School in Reigate are among 24 young students from across the UK who have been selected to be part of the crew on a special Sailing Academy which started today on board two ocean-going Challenger yachts, run by the Tall Ships Youth Trust and funded by the HSBC Global Education Trust.

During the five day voyage sailing from Gunwharf Quays in Portsmouth, the students will get the opportunity to gain the RYA Competent Crew Certificate - the first qualification on the RYA sailing ladder.

Whilst learning the fundamentals of sailing, they will develop important soft skills, such as teamwork, leadership, communication and problem-solving. As well as getting to grips with living in the close confines of an ocean-going yacht, students will set and stow the sails, haul the ropes, steer the yacht, and sail the yacht out to sea under the expert tuition of experienced Tall Ships crew.

Tim Law from the Tall Ships Youth Trust said: “We are opening up opportunities for people as young as 14 to sail on an ocean-going yacht and gain a qualification that they can use to continue sailing. We will encourage these students to continue in the sport after their voyage by sailing on another Tall Ships voyage or giving dinghies a go at their local sailing club.”

Paul Sinclair, Education Executive for HSBC Global Education Trust, said: “HSBC are supporting the Tall Ships Sailing Academies 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 the Academies will develop important life skills that young people can take back into their community, school or job.”

The crews joined the yachts on Thursday 14 May at Gunwharf Quays and underwent a day’s training alongside learning safety procedures and yacht familiarisation. They set sail for the Solent on Friday 15 May and will return to Portsmouth on Monday 18 May for a prize giving ceremony at Gunwharf Quays to mark their achievements.

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