On 20 August 2012, Challenge Wales was waved off her berth in Penarth Marina by family members of some of the young people onboard.
The voyage would be a special one: it was the first time Challenge Wales had taken part in a youth race that was part of the well-known Tall Ships Races series, it would be the first time Challenge Wales would be part of a Tall Ships Festival, it would be the first time Challenge Wales crew and young trainees would experience a Tall Ships Crew Parade…..and party, it was the first time you could almost hear the cheering and enthusing from parents and family members as they closely followed Challenge Wales’ Irish Sea journey via twitter and facebook, the first time the official Challenge Wales song would be singing out across the docks in Dublin and again as she motored into Liverpool.
Many new friends would be made on this remarkable voyage.
For Challenge Wales the Tall ships Irish Sea Regatta from Dublin to Liverpool was an opportunity for the sail training charity to establish themselves further on the sail training circuit. Understanding a common ground, passion and enthusiasm portrayed by the many other impressive vessels taking part while sharing knowledge and taking advantage of networking.
Hard work and determination paid off as Challenge Wales took first in Class and second over the entire fleet in the Tall Ships Irish Sea Regatta, and covered the most sea-miles overall (which was the idea of this race) and will return home with another silver trophy.
Lots of stories will be shared after Challenge Wales returns home by those who took part but we’re pleased we made an impressive debut as quoted by some.