If you don’t know already, the Challenge Wales sail training boat has a bit of a competitive history.
She was one of 12 boats that sailed around the world in what was known at the time as the ‘World’s toughest yacht race‘.
Now our youth sail training activities are more sedate but our racing heritage is part of what we are and we naturally bring this into our sail training activities; teamwork, communication, disciplined activity, time-keeping, decision making, planning, reflection & feedback and not forgetting cooking and cleaning. It is also about meeting new people and experiencing something different that will broaden your horizons…regardless of your background, abilities and sailing experience.
The Clipper round-the-world race is an event which takes in 40,000 miles, having spoken to some of the crew onboard in previous races, those taking part are just like you, doing everyday jobs and activities, having everyday lives, giving up home comforts and security to focus on achieving something; a dream, a personal challenge, an adventure.
Having just left New York yesterday for the start of the homecoming leg, Challenge Wales is excited that we will be meeting the Clipper fleet shortly after they arrive in Derry-Londonderry, Northern Ireland this month. When we have met up with the Clipper fleet before in Ireland, it has motivated the young people we have onboard, crews have spent time talking about their life-changing experiences. As the fleet departs Derry-Londonderry we will be there waving them off and following behind them. It is an opportunity to be inspired.
If you are aged 16 – 25 years, you can still join Challenge Wales on her 7-day voyage from Milford to Derry-Londonderry, and back. It is perfect for young people wanting to challenge themselves or try something different – no sailing experience is necessary, it is great for young potential volunteers to come and experience a life-changing event, it is fantastic for young people who think the Clipper round-the-world race is for them to see what it is really all about and get close to the crews and boats. And our bursary funding could help you jump onboard.
Some of our volunteers have taken part in various legs of the Clipper Race, including the current race. Our volunteer Mate, Richard, tells us why he signed up to the Clipper Race and why he then started volunteering on round-the-world boat Challenge Wales;
“The Clipper Race is promoted as the experience of a lifetime and it provides just that, originally signing up for one leg ( 6 weeks) in the end I joined my boat in Australia and participated for almost 6 months, sailing many of the worlds oceans including my personal challenge, the Pacific. But it is more that just sailing, there are your own personal physical and mental challenges to face and enjoy, the opportunity to meet new friends and see new places and experience great hospitality at the ports you visit, whilst all the time improving your sailing skills on an ocean racing yacht.
When I returned from my adventure I joined as a volunteer on Challenge Wales, this allows me to continue sailing an Ocean Racing Yacht but more importantly allows me to share my experiences with others. Passing on the insight I gained on my race to others who one day may follow in those footsteps. Challenge Wales provides individuals with the opportunity to get a taste of ocean sailing and provides an excellent platform for improving life skills and maybe that first step towards the experience of a lifetime”.
So what are you waiting for, fancy the Challenge or know someone who does?
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover”.
Attributed to Mark Twain