Robbie Crow: a role model for UK Sail Training

07 December 2012

Robbie Crow: a role model for UK Sail Training

Crew member, watch leader, Director at Ocean Youth Trust Scotland, grant award winner and now Vice Chairman of Sail Training International Youth Council (STIYC).   Robbie Crow, 21, has become a role model for UK Sail Training, thanks to the James Myatt Trust.

The James Myatt Trust helps young people aged 16-25 years old, who cannot raise enough money, to secure a place on a Sail Training sea going voyage.   Voyages last two -14 days and are operated by the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO).  

Robbie Crow from Airth, Falkirk applied to the James Myatt Trust to take part in the ASTO International Exchange Scheme this year. He secured a coveted place on an eight-day sail around Canada aboard square-rigger STS Fair Jeanne.

Janet Gauntlett, Secretary for the James Myatt Trust (administered from Sail Training International) said, “The Trust offers grants to young people who want to sail, but can’t raise all the funds.  The grant, which Robbie was awarded, was the international exchange grant for young people who have experienced several voyages and already developed some core skills and commitment to Sail Training.  

“Sail Training experiences are great for making friends, seeing new places, taking responsibility and developing skills and confidence. Robbie was a worthy grant winner and we are delighted with the outcomes of his international sailing experience.”

Robbie is visually impaired, but was confident that this only served to show the strength and diversity of UK Sail Training as he had been consistently supported throughout his sailing career.  Never dwelling on his disability, and preferring to focus on the strengths from his experience, he has organised five voyages for over fifty blind and partially sighted young people, including a leg of The Tall Ships Races 2012.

Robbie tells his story.

“I had sailing experience around Scotland and Ireland and since 2009 sailed as a watch leader with the Ocean Youth Trust Scotland; but I had always wanted to extend my sailing experience beyond UK waters. My experiences of life at sea and sailing in general convinced me I could represent UK Sail Training in a positive way.”

“Sail Training teaches adaptability – the ability to be put places or into groups and fit into these situations,” he explained.  “Canada was no exception – I learnt a lot and came back home with some great skills.  The ship was a terrific learning environment – hauling sails by hand, ‘mousing’ hanks, going aloft, even firing cannons.  Seeing the boat run at her best, from a station above the deck, is truly amazing and an experience I will never forget. The rigging, rope and sails may be different – but the tools needed to work them remain the same – teamwork, determination and confidence. I will remember the voyage with great affection.”

Ian Nicholls, Director and Voluntary Skipper with Ocean Youth Trust Scotland said, “Robbie is an excellent role model for young people; he has a strong faith in the benefits of Sail Training.”

Since his experience in Canada Robbie was elected Vice Chairman of the Sail Training International Youth Council at the annual International Sail Training Conference in Riga, Latvia last month (November 2012).

“I feel honoured to have had these experiences through sailing and have now been given the scope to inspire others to get excited about sailing and travelling in the same way,” said Robbie.  

Read the full account of Robbie’s trip here:

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For further information contact Sally Titmus, Communications Manager, Sail Training International +44 (0)23 9258 6367, mobile +44 (0)7827298733

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.

A two-minute film can be seen here:

About the James Myatt Trust
The trust fund was established in 1984 in memory of James Myatt, who died in 1982.  James Myatt was a great leader, with infectious enthusiasm and boundless energy.  He gave his time to youth training and adventure, particularly sailing.  He led many voyages and Tall Ships Races; developed friendship cruises with ships from other countries and helped make Sail Training international.

The income from grants is modest and further donations and legacies are welcomed.  Visit

About 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.

ASTO - The Association of Sail Training Organisations is the UK's National Sail Training Organisation.  The membership is made up of more than 30 not-for-profit organisations that operate more than 50 Sail Training vessels around the UK. ASTO is a registered charity (no. 1083059) and company registered in England and Wales (no.4084476). ASTO's Royal Patron is HRH The Countess of Wessex GCVO. ASTO is also a founding member of Sail Training International, with ASTO's Chairman sitting on STI's International Council.

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