1. ITV Report

Fancy sailing in the Tall Ships Sunderland 2018? Here's how.

Cllr John Kelly, Project Director Michelle Daurat, Mayor Doris MacKnight and John Robertson with Sail Trainees Credit: ITV News

It could be the adventure of a lifetime. To act as crew on board a Tall Ship taking part in The Tall Ships Race when it sets off from Sunderland in 2018.

The ethos of The Tall Ships Race is about giving people a life changing experience through learning to sail and being part of a multi national crew.
To take part in the Race a Tall Ship must have half of its crew made up of 15 - 25 year olds.

As host port Sunderland must co-ordinate 100 sail trainee places but the city hopes to enable even more people to take part. It does cost £1500 for a place but the city is raising funds to pay for the places. Local businesses are being encouraged to sponsor people taking part and bursaries are on offer. The focus is on 15 - 25 year olds but applications from anyone older than 25 are welcome.

To apply to become a Sail Trainee click here.

It's an opportunity for these young people to take on a significant challenge, to build their confidence, to build close relationships with others from around the world and to really put their mark on something. And what we've undertaken to do with Sail Training International is to raise sponsorship so that as many people as humanly possible can go on this.

– Cllr John Kelly, Sunderland City Council

The appeal to find the 100+ Sail Trainees was launched by Paralympic Sailor, John Robertson.

It's just a great all round sport, it doesn't just involve the sailing part it's the psychology, the meteorology, dealing with different people, people on different boats, so it's not just about the sailing it's about everything else that goes with it. I think that's why it's so good at developing people.

– John Robertson, Paralympic Sailor

A small group of Sail Trainees have already signed up and pledged to take part. They are acting as Ambassadors to encourage others to get involved.

At first it felt really really daunting the idea that I've never done this before, I'm going to fall in, I'm going to end up swimming the way back. At first it's really daunting and scary but when you get the hang of it you start to feel a bit more powerful like, I can do this, I can do all this by myself, so it feels empowering.

– Ellie Lyall, Sail Trainee Ambassador

This isn't going to come around again and we're really really lucky to have this in our area. The opportunities that you get from it are endless and it's just absolutely amazing.

– Sophie Jordan, Sail Trainee Ambassador