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Denbigh students set sail on dream voyage

3 July 2008

Two students from Denbigh High School, joined the Tall Ship STAVROS S NIARCHOS in Newcastle on Friday 27th June, and have now set sail on the Tall Ships Youth Trusts Voyage of Achievement, funded by the HSBC Global Education Trust.

Christopher Byrne and Jessica Gadd, who have never sailed a Tall Ship before are currently sailing alongside 46 of their peers from 23 other schools and colleges across England and Wales who have also been specially selected by their schools to take part in the national event.

They boarded the ship with nothing but a rucksack containing the bare minimum needed for the 11-night seagoing adventure from Newcastle via Northern Europe to London layers of clothing, trainers, toothbrush and jackets. There is no room for fashion accessories onboard the STAVROS S NIARCHOS and mobile phones will be out of range for most of the voyage; the students will be expected to give 100% of their time and energy to supporting their team and looking after the ship.

Immediately on joining the ship, the youngsters were assigned to a team of 16, and together they will learn the ins and outs of sailing a Tall Ship. A Watch Leader will, literally, show them the ropes onboard the 60-metre square rigger STAVROS S NIARCHOS the Tall Ships Youth Trusts flagship dedicated to youth work at sea.

The students will be expected to man the yard arms 45-metres above the sea, scale the masts to set and stow sails, helm the ship and scrub the decks. While the new experience of sailing a Tall Ship will be a tough challenge in itself, the novice sailors will be doing it around the clock.

Past participants have found that the experience of life on the high seas has given them the confidence to tackle other of lifes challenges head on, and has also sparked new friendships.

The Voyage of Achievement will return under Tower Bridge, London at 1700 on 07 July 2008 before docking alongside HMS BELFAST in the Pool of London for the official welcome reception. Jessica and Christopher will return home on 08 July.