Rotary International was formed in 1905, and its relationship with sail training has existed for more than 40 years. In 1972, the Rotary Club of Toronto, Canada, funded the purchase of the engine for the Toronto Brigantines’ vessel Playfair.
In 2005, another notable landmark sail training and Rotary collaboration took place. Eight Rotary clubs in and around Fredrikstad, Norway, joined forces to give 25 young people the chance to sail on board Christian Radich in the Tall Ships Races 2005. The trainees took part in the second leg of the event, from Newcastle, UK, to Fredrikstad. At the same time, this group of Rotary clubs also helped to recruit more than 100 additional young trainees for the race.
In 2010, the Rotary Club of Cleveland, Ohio, USA, became the Cleveland Port Organiser for the American Sail Training Association’s (now Tall Ships America) Great Lakes Tall Ships Challenge Series®. This was part of the Cleveland club’s 100th anniversary commemorative project.
Today, the Rotary Club of Cleveland runs Project YESS (Youth Empowered to Succeed through Sailing), which provides educational trips for high school students aged 14-17. Its aim is to develop character, leadership, life, and career skills through sail training.