A Cornish charity has launched a campaign to find a team of wounded veterans for an ambitious 2,000-mile sailing expedition from Land’s End to John O’ Groats – and back.
Turn to Starboard is offering a unique opportunity for 24 veterans who have been affected by military service, with physical injuries or mental trauma, to join the epic challenge for a one-way voyage in either direction.
The Long Way Up will see a fleet of three 40-foot yachts set sail from Land’s End on June 10, 2020. Crew members will spend around three weeks at sea navigating the west coast of mainland Britain while learning to sail under expert tuition from professional instructors.
Turn to Starboard CEO and founder, Shaun Pascoe, said: “The aim of this exciting challenge is for wounded veterans to experience the therapeutic effects of sailing and the sea, meet people facing similar challenges as their own and gain valuable new skills.
“Crew members can choose to either set sail from Land’s End or John O’Groats on a 1,000 nautical-mile trip and enjoy stunning views along Britain’s wild coastline. Each participant will get the chance to develop their sailing ability and skippering skills, learn about navigation, meteorology, safety and signals. There’s no doubt each person will return as a competent sailor and have the option to continue their training with the charity and put themselves forward for an RYA Yachtmaster Offshore assessment. This valuable qualification allows the holder to work professionally in the boating industry as a delivery skipper, on a superyacht or as a sailing instructor and is recognised worldwide as a certificate of competency.
“The expedition will be a challenge too, as crew members will be tested at times with strong winds, waves and varying weather conditions. Yet they will be rewarded with spectacular scenery and the chance to visit some of the stunning remote islands off Scotland’s west coast. Skippers will break up the journey with stopover anchorages and at marinas for rest days and to use onshore facilities.
“All places are provided free of charge and include three meals a day plus the loan of waterproof kit and safety lifejacket. Anyone who would like to apply will need at least one week’s yacht sailing experience, which may be able to be take place from our base at Falmouth in Cornwall before the expedition.
“Places are available to injured veterans, serving or retired, whether they want to take part in a challenge or just have fun on the water. Turn to Starboard is full of bright examples of veterans of all abilities enjoying sailing, proving that there are no barriers to taking part in this fantastic sport.”
Launched in 2012, Turn to Starboard offers several strands of activity including Royal Yachting Association (RYA) sailing courses, family sailing trips, Tall Ship sailing and competitive racing. The Falmouth-based charity has provided more than 3,000 sailing opportunities to injured veterans and their families. The focus is on resettlement, reintegration and reinforcing a sense of value and belonging for participants, along with an opportunity to gain professional sailing qualifications to start new careers in the marine industry.
The Long Way Up expedition follows two highly successful Round Britain Challenges organised by Turn to Starboard in 2016 and 2017. The 2000-mile voyages saw teams of injured veterans circumnavigate the British Isles onboard a traditional Tall Ship. Both of these life-changing expeditions helped many participants gain professional sailing qualifications and take positive steps forward in their lives.