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An Adventure Under Sail: A Real Chance to Change Your Life

Posted on: 03.03.17

We’re huge sailing fans at Sail On Board… in case you hadn’t noticed! Sail training is a fun, challenging and exhilarating activity, but these aren’t the only reasons to take part.

The ability to stretch yourself and forge strong working relationships, even when things don’t go to plan, are just some of the transferable skills that you can build at sea.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out these accounts from two young people who took part in an adventure under sail with the Class C vessel Challenge Wales (UK). Luke from Methyr Tydfil and Shannon from Cardiff in Wales, UK, have shared fantastic examples of some of the long-term positive impacts that sail training can have on your life.

Luke from Methyr Tydfil

Luke, 18, lived with his grandparents in Merthyr Tydfil in Wales. He was unemployed at the time, very insular, and found it difficult to make friends and build relationships. He hadn’t talked for two years, and it looked like he would find it hard to hold down a full-time job in the future.

Luke joined Challenge Wales on a five-day voyage with other young people. It started in Penarth, Wales, and stopped off at Lundy Island off the coast of south-west England. During this voyage, Luke found his voice for the first time in two years, and managed to improve his communication skills dramatically, which he continued to use following his adventure under sail.

Upon returning home, Luke used his experience on Challenge Wales to improve his home life. He was encouraged to start driving lessons, and passed first time. He also took steps to move into employment, and, although he wasn’t successful with his first interviews, he’s succeeded in finding a job and continuing in employment.

Would you like to get involved with a sailing adventure like Luke and Shannon? There are many different ways you can do this by taking part in Sail Training International’s Tall Ships Races 2018 and the Three Festivals Tall Ships Regatta 2018.

Shannon from Cardiff

Shannon was an undergraduate at Cardiff University, studying at the School of Earth and Ocean Sciences. She had no sailing experience and wasn’t sure of her career path after her studies. She joined the crew of Challenge Wales for a five-day Competent Crew course, and later took part in the Falmouth to Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta 2014.

Following her time on Challenge Wales, Shannon decided to apply for the Association of Sail Training Organisations’ overseas exchange, a scheme run by the UK’s National Sail Training Organisation. Although she didn’t think she was going to be successful, she was the only trainee in the UK to be selected for the programme and travelled to Australia to sail on board a Tall Ship. This overseas experience inspired Shannon to pursue a full-time career in sailing.

Once she returned to the UK, Shannon completed her Yachtmaster Offshore Sailing qualification and began work delivering yachts overseas. She is now back in the UK, working with young people and planning her next sailing adventure.

“Even if sailing is not something you want to do, a sail training experience is 100 percent worth it! Without that first voyage on Challenge Wales, I wouldn’t have a career in sailing.”

What Next?

Would you like to get involved with a sailing adventure like Luke and Shannon? There are many different ways you can do this by taking part in Sail Training International’s Tall Ships Races 2018 and the Three Festivals Tall Ships Regatta 2018. Check out our event page for more information. You can book your place directly with a participating vessel, or if you’d like help simply email our friendly team on who can make recommendations, answer questions, and process your booking for you.