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Ditch the Dull and Dreary New Year’s Resolutions – Set Yourself an Exciting New Challenge


Posted on: 06.01.17

Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta is just around the corner and it could be the adventure of your lifetime. Set sail for new horizons, voyage across continents, and make new friends from around the world. What are you waiting for?

This breath-taking Transatlantic spectacle starts in less than 100 days… and the race is on. Trainee places are filling up, so don’t miss your chance to get involved.

Over the next few months, we’ll bring you lots of exciting news and information about this incredible event. This week, we’re looking at Race 1 and how you can be part of the action.

Race 1 – Royal Greenwich, UK, to Sines, Portugal

The Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta kicks off in style in Royal Greenwich, UK, on 13 April 2017. Get ready for an extremely warm and hospitable welcome from this south-east London borough – it hosted the Tall Ships Races 2014 and attracted an enormous 1.1 million visitors.

After leaving Royal Greenwich, the fleet will sail down the world-famous River Thames towards the start of Race 1 off the coast of Torbay, UK. You’ll enjoy a few days of coastal sailing on your way, which gives you a fantastic opportunity to learn the ropes and embrace life on board before the adventure really begins.

Once the dramatic 850-nautical-mile race starts, you’ll cross the English Channel (the world’s busiest seaway), traverse the famous Bay of Biscay, and sail along the picturesque Portuguese coast toward friendly Sines. Race 1 is unique because it’s the only race leg between two European ports.

Festivities begin in Sines, Portugal, on 29 April 2017. Expect a fun and fiery four days of crew activities and entertainment, before the incredible race across the Atlantic Ocean to Bermuda begins.

Book Your Place On Board

There are only three magnificent Tall Ships taking part in Race 1 of the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta with places available for trainees… and they’re booking up. Don’t miss out!

Want to know more about these fantastic vessels? Then keep reading…

Jolie Brise (UK)

Jolie Brise (UK) was built in 1913 and has a fantastic sail training history. She can take up to nine trainees and has bunks and showers. Young people with special needs and dietary requirements are welcome – everyone will become an important part of her crew.

Interesting facts about Jolie Brise:

  • Won the Fastnet Race three times, including the first one in 1925.
  • Took part in a daring rescue of the crew of the Adriana in 1932.
  • Last vessel to carry the Royal Mail under sail.
  • Winner of several Tall Ships Races and Regattas awards and prizes.
  • Has covered in excess of 175,000 nautical miles.

What her crew says…

“On Jolie Brise you will get to take part in all aspects of running this world-famous boat – helming, navigating, cooking, absolutely everything. We have a good laugh on the boat, so a good sense of humour is important. We also like to compete and win in the races as much we can.”

Wylde Swan (The Netherlands)

Wylde Swan (The Netherlands) was built in 1920 and she has a fascinating background. She started life as a “herring hunter” off the Shetland Islands. She was built for speed, which was perfect for taking the fresh catch from fishing grounds to the markets… and makes her very competitive in the Tall Ships Races and Regattas.

Today, Wylde Swan can take 36 trainees and has 28 bunks, eight hammocks and showers. She also welcomes people with special diets.

Interesting facts about Wylde Swan:

  • The slightly oval shape of the main hold is inspired by two hands, clasped together as a symbol of togetherness.
  • Winner of several Tall Ships Races and Regattas awards and prizes.
  • The hold can be reconfigured for study, meals and rest… and the occasional raucous party.
  • Built in 1920 and totally overhauled between 2007 and 2010.

What her crew says…

“Qualified coaches teach you how to work in teams together to be successful in a group. This is the kind of experience that will benefit you for a lifetime. The resulting feeling of team spirit on board Wylde Swan is hard to beat!

“Learn how to sail the ship while you’re on board and build your interpersonal leadership skills at the same time. During competitions Wylde Swan always goes for the prizes – she was winner overall and of the Friendship Trophy 2011. This is something we’re very proud of. Wylde Swan is the largest two-mast topsail schooner in the world. Built to win races, cross oceans and be sailed with passion.”

Christian Radich (Norway)

Christian Radich (Norway) was built in 1937 and served as a sail training ship until 1998. She then became a school ship for the Norwegian Navy, and has continued this role for part of the year. Today, she offers voyages for school classes, companies, private parties… and regularly participates in the Tall Ships Races and Regattas.

Christian Radich takes 80 trainees and has bunks, dormitories, hammocks, and showers. The crew is more than happy to welcome people with special diets on board.

Interesting facts about Christian Radich:

  • Almost 9,000 metres of rope on board.
  • She welcomed 18 different nationalities on one previous race leg.
  • Dormitories have air conditioning.
  • Winner of several Tall Ships Races and Regattas awards and prizes.
  • A small slope chest is available where trainees can buy souvenirs, toiletries, and snacks.
  • She originally had a machine shop on board where engineers were trained.
  • Christian Radich, the man, wasn’t actually a sailor. He managed a saw mill!

What her crew says…

“Everyone can sail with Christian Radich. Sailing with us is a positive challenge – both physically and mentally – and it is a unique opportunity to experience of the world’s most famous windjammers. On board, you will find new friends from various countries. Christian Radich has had up to 18 nations on one leg – a truly international crew!

“As a trainee, you will participate in the duties on board according to your own condition and interests. No previous knowledge is required in order to join this historic ship. We focus on sailing as much as possible, although weather conditions may sometimes force us to start the engine. Everyone will join in on the duties. The more trainees who will climb aloft, the more we are able to set sails. We also need trainees on deck, to pull the ropes. Join the Christian Radich voyages and prepare for a life-changing experience!”

Worried About the Cost?

We know that the holiday season can be super expensive, and that some of you might be worried about covering the cost of your adventure. Don’t panic – there are lots of options available to you.

Check out our Support section for information on fundraising, our bursaries and scholarships, how Rotary International could help, and how you can become a Host Port Trainee.

If you live, volunteer or study in Royal Greenwich, you may be eligible to apply for the Sail Training Education Programme (STEP) and compete for a sponsored place. Visit the Royal Borough of Greenwich site for more information about the programme and how to apply.

Check out our Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta event page for more information about the event, the participating vessels, and to book your place. We hope to see you there!