Kiwi Paralympic sailor welcomes Lord Nelson to Auckland

25 October 2013

Kiwi Paralympic sailor welcomes Lord Nelson to Auckland
British accessible Tall Ship, Lord Nelson, operated by the Jubilee Sailing Trust, received a warm welcome when she arrived in the City of Sails as part of the Auckland Tall Ships Festival today (Friday 25 October) - the final port for the Sydney Auckland Regatta, organised by Sail Training International. 

Among the crowds gathered to greet the 55-metre square-rigger when she came alongside at Queens Wharf West at 1500 local (GMT +13) was New Zealand Paralympic sailor Tim Dempsey and fellow disabled sailors from Sailability Auckland including Chairman, Brendan Tourelle.

It is the first time an accessible square rigger has sailed in New Zealand waters, providing the unique opportunity for both disabled and able bodied Kiwis to get on board as part of the crew.

Tim Dempsey, who represented New Zealand in the SKUD 18 class at the London 2012 Paralympic Games, said, “Sailability Auckland is thrilled to welcome Lord Nelson to the City of Sails. The Jubilee Sailing Trust and Sailability Auckland share a common goal of empowering people with disabilities through sailing and being on the water - building mobility, self-confidence and pride through achievement. Although both organisations achieve their goals through very different sailing craft the end result is the same.” 

Spaces are still available for disabled and able bodied Kiwis to get on board Lord Nelson during her inaugural visit to New Zealand. A range of physical disabilities can be accommodated and no previous sailing experience is required. To book a voyage call Paul Kennerley on 09 522 4515, visit or email

Lord Nelson is currently embarked on her maiden circumnavigation in the Norton Rose Fulbright Sail the World Challenge, a ground breaking 50,000- mile voyage organised by UK charity, the Jubilee Sailing Trust. It is the first time an accessible tall ship has sailed around the world and the STI Sydney Auckland Regatta formed part of the overall voyage plan.

David Matthews, CCS Disability Action, Chief Executive, said he was excited about Lord Nelson’s visit as it demonstrated that access barriers can be overcome. "Lord Nelson's visit is a great opportunity for anyone who is interested in sailing, but has been put off by access barriers in the past. It proves that anything can be made accessible. All it takes is imagination, commitment and willpower. I hope this ship inspires people across New Zealand to support moves to have our own accessible sailing vessel and also think about how they can make their own buildings, communities and services accessible to all."

Allison Reede, 45, was one of the voyage crew on board Lord Nelson on Friday and she said it was real “goose bumpy stuff” to be part of the procession of eleven tall ships escorted by the HMNZS Wellington from the Royal New Zealand Navy and two Maori sailing waka for the approach to Auckland up the Waitemata. “The media were out in abundance and the crowds on the quayside were amazing – they looked like ants from a distance but as we got closer we realised just how many people had turned out to greet us,” she said.

“You see a city from a different perspective when you arrive by sea on a Tall Ship. It was like a scene from the 1800s and it felt like a real privilege to be a part of it."

Also among the 43-strong crew arriving in Auckland on Friday was 89-year- old Briton Albert Bayley, Lord Nelson’s oldest crew member, who climbed the mast on his first day on board when he joined the ship in Sydney. At the other end of the age spectrum is Lord Nelson’s youngest crew member, 16-year-old Michael Embry, who turned 16 on the flight out from the UK to Australia to meet the minimum age requirement just in time to set sail. Both Albert and Michael prove that age provides no barrier to active participation on board Lord Nelson, where the focus is on what people can do rather than what they can’t.

Lord Nelson will be open to the public for the first time in Auckland on Saturday 26 and Sunday 27 October at Queens Wharf West.

- ends -

Lord Nelson
For interviews, rights-free footage/images and media tours on Lord Nelson contact: Anna Wardley – media & public relations – Jubilee Sailing Trust Email:
NZ mobile: + 64 (0)22 0617633
UK mobile: + 44 (0)7793 417754

Sail Training International
For more information contact Sally Titmus, Communications and Marketing Manager, Sail Training International, Charles House, Gosport Marina, Mumby Road, Gosport, Hampshire, UK  PO12 1AH  

Tel: +44 (0) 23 9258 6367   Email:

Editor’s notes:

What is sail training?
Sail Training is an adventure activity, which includes far more than sailing instruction. Participants are required to confront demanding challenges, both physical and emotional. It is an activity that inspires self-confidence and personal responsibility. It promotes an acceptance of others, whatever their social or cultural backgrounds, and develops a willingness to take controlled risks. Those who undertake Sail Training on Tall Ships generally find it a positive life-changing experience.

About Sail Training International (STI)
STI is the international voice of Sail Training, a registered charity (not-for-profit organisation), which has worldwide membership and activities. Its purpose is the development and education of young people through the Sail Training experience, regardless of nationality, culture, religion, gender or social background. It organises the annual Tall Ship Races and other international Tall Ship sailing events. STI members are 29 national Sail Training organisations around the world and STI’s head office is in Gosport, Hampshire, UK.

The organisation was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2007 for its work in promoting international understanding and friendship.

Have you registered for this year’s International Sail Training and Tall Ships Conference?


Bookmark and Share
View all News Next Thousands say farewell to Auckland's award winning Tall Ship fleet Thousands say farewell to Auckland's award winning Tall Ship fleet


Please register or sign in to add comments