Sail Training International Annual Awards 2012

26 November 2012

Sail Training International Annual Awards 2012
Sail Training International (STI) has awarded the international sail training community for its outstanding contributions. 

The Royal Thames Yacht Club Challenge Cup for ‘Best Newcomer’ was presented to Kapitan Borchardt (Poland) for making the best contribution to The Tall Ships Races 2012 and the Irish Sea Tall Ships Regatta. The judges said, “This vessel made an instant impression in the Tall Ships Races this year taking part in all three race legs, the Cruise in Company and entered into the spirit of international friendship.”

The Shipping Federation of Great Britain Perpetual Trophy for ‘Great Loyalty’ was presented to Lord Nelson (UK) for entering most events since Tall Ships 2000. She is currently en route to Rio de Janeiro, on the first leg of her round the world voyage to spread her special mission on a truly global level.

The Boston Teapot Trophy was awarded to the ship, which covered the greatest distance in any period of 124hrs (1 October – 30 September) with a young sail training crew on board.  Winner for the third year, Statsraad Lehmkuhl (Norway), has a history of exceptionally fast runs. Between 20:00 (GMT/UTC) on 1 December and 24:00 (GMT/UTC) on 6 December last year she achieved an amazing great circle distance of 1,265.92 miles, at an average speed of 10.21 knots.

Sail Trainer of the Year Award (professional, over 25) was presented to Rui Santos, Portugal for his work, attitude and commitment towards sail training, both ashore and aboard different kinds of ships. 
Rui participated in three Tall Ships Races aboard Wylde Swan (2010 and 2011) and Lord Nelson (2012). He manages the caravelle Vera Cruz and is also an active and keen sailor aboard it, especially cooking and organising youth activities. He is also the manager of the highly successful youth sail training program “Jovens e o Mar”.  He says he has the “best job in the world”

Young Sail Trainer of the Year Award was won by Grace Metcalfe (UK) for setting a shining example of how sail training can give focus and purpose to the life of a young person.

Having dyslexia, Grace had not performed well at school, where she struggled with traditional classroom based education. After her first  sail training voyage, aged 17, she became a trainee volunteer watch leader and passed her RYA Day Skipper qualification. Enthused by her experiences she went on to achieve RYA Coastal Skipper, going onto a full time job with Ocean Youth Trust (OYT) North as first mate on James Cook (UK).

She went on to become a commercially endorsed RYA Yachtmaster Offshore, passed her OYT Skipper examination and established herself as one of the foremost sail training skippers in the UK.  She has since sailed 34,000 miles, changing the lives and inspiring the futures of well over 1000 young people who have sailed with her. She said, “OYT North gave me a sense of belonging and purpose and helped me to get organised.”

Sail Training Volunteer of the Year was presented jointly to Fernando Gil and Ignacio Hornes (Spain) - two amazing volunteers who have given enormously to sail training since becoming Liaison Officers in 1990. They started sailing by the time they were 10 and have been navigators, sailing teachers, crew members, captains and organisers of Tall Ships Races.  They are founding members of the Association Juan de Lángara; helped organise the Tall Ships Races in La Coruña 1990, 1994, 2002, 2006 and were pivotal to the success of the races this year. 

Young Sail Training Volunteer of the Year was awarded to Matthew Morris (Australia) who joined the Windeward Bound as a volunteer deck hand in April 2011 following some casual volunteering. Matthew quickly reached Watch Leader status thanks to his good humour, but firmness in the face of challenges. His dedication led to his being granted a Windeward Bound Trust professional development scholarship. He’s now a qualified Ship’s Master (up to 200 nm offshore) - and he has still not reached his 20th birthday.

The Sail Training Organisation of the Year (small vessel) went to APORVELA (Portugal) for demonstrating excellence in ‘innovation’ and ‘best practice’ in sail training for young people. This organisation is a private, cultural, philanthropic, non-profit association, acknowledged by the Portuguese State as of “ Public Interest for Portuguese youth“. It has been recruiting trainees on Creoula since 1987 and more than 16000 citizens have sailed on her, most of them supported by this organisation.

The Sail Training Organisation of the Year (large vessel) award went to Gunilla (Sweden), a vessel operator that is linked to the high school on the island of Öckerö in the archipelago of Gothenburg, west coast of Sweden. The school has four different, three year long programs, two of which aim to prepare pupils for work on sea fairing vessels. Apart from ordinary school work, pupils spend as long as six months onboard Gunilla. Life onboard offers a unique combination of theory and practice for the pupils visiting countries around the world.

The Janka Bielak Medal was awarded to both Aurelio Fernandez Lage (Spain) and Sean Flood (Ireland) for their outstanding contribution to international understanding and friendship through sail training. 

The Host Port Trophy was first introduced in 2004, personally donated by Nigel Rowe, former Chairman of STI and now patron, for excellence in a host port.  It was re-introduced in 2012 and awarded to Lisbon (Portugal). This host port ran a great marketing campaign that reached many thousands of young people in its region and recruited and funded 226 trainees for The Tall Ships Races. 

The Sultan Qaboos Trophy was awarded to Alexander Von Humboldt II (Germany) for her outstanding services to sail training for young people. The Sail Training Association Germany (STAG) has successfully operated sail training Tall Ships to a professional standard for decades; entirely with volunteers. This contributes to a terrific atmosphere on board which is very popular with the trainees. This year a new Tall Ship, Alexander Von Humboldt II replaced their previous vessel; designed and built specifically for sail training for young people. (Pictured above).

Ron Dadswell OBE, Trustee of Sail Training International and Chairman of the Awards Committee said: “The calibre of entries for these awards is always so high and represents the great breadth of our sail training community. However, the judging panel came to a unanimous decision on the winners of each category. 

“Without exception, these awards recognise organisations, ships and individuals who have invested their time and effort into improving the lives of young people; supporting international friendship and demonstrating care and passion for what they do.  Heartfelt congratulations to everyone, your awards are well deserved.”

More photographs from the award ceremony can be seen here.

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

About Sail Training International
Sail training is a growing adventure activity for the young and old, with a record of considerable success in developing people for the challenges of life.

Sail Training International (STI) is the international voice of sail training.  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. 

STI runs conferences and seminars, conducts and sponsors research, promotes industry ‘best practice’ in safety and seamanship and lobbies international government and non-government agencies and regulatory authorities. 

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

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