Viktor Perecz (25), a trainee on board Femme Fatale (Hungary), has special reason to enjoy his time at sea. In common with the other two young trainees on board, David Sinkovics (19) and Akos Pap (18), he is recovering from cancer and the challenges that such a diagnosis can bring. With financial help from the Oman Bursary scheme and the encouragement and support of S.A.L.T (Sail and Life Training Association Hungary) Viktor travelled to Barcelona to join the Regatta for Race One to Toulon (France). Femme Fatale is skippered by Csaba Horvath, himself a cancer survivor.
Viktor has never sailed before and learned of the organisation and the Regatta through the hospice where he works.
"This is the best thing that has happened to me. My treatment finished six years ago but the captain's treatment finished twenty years ago and here he is doing this for others. It has given me a belief in myself rather than just believing in doctors and medicines" said Viktor.
S.A.L.T. has a mission to encourage sail training for young people in Hungary, regardless of their social or other conditions. For the Tall Ships Races 2013 in the Baltic they placed nine young people on different ships, including Alexander Von Humboldt II and Golden Leeuw. Inspired by Dame Ellen MacArthur's Cancer Trust, S.A.L.T. particularly encourages young cancer patients and those suffering from other serious illness with the aim of aiding their rehabilitation after treatment. S.A.L.T have a strong belief that there are major benefits of sailing for these young people, beyond the usual ones of developing personal confidence and learning to work as a team.
"Two months ago I was in hospital having treatment, and now I am here on a boat and feel very good" said Akos, who looks as well as he sounds.
S.A.L.T. Hungary represents Hungary among the national sail training organizations (NSTO’s), probationary member of the Sail Training International (STI) and has representative in International Council of STI.
"During the race we saw dolphins, whales and tuna fish. The sky was amazing - so many stars. It was the best thing I've ever seen. I don't want to go home!" said David.
"David said it all, it was amazing. It is an interesting feeling when everything around you is water. You can't help but reflect about your life and the people in it. I realised that everyone has a chance to turn their lives around and I will never forget it" added Viktor.
Provisional results from Race One show Femme Fatale as finishing 1st in Class C. Not bad for a country with a rich maritime history but no sea!
Provisional race results can be seen here
Lycamobile - title sponsor of the Mediterranean Tall Ships Regatta
Gaastra - official clothing supplier to the Mediterranean Tall Ships Regatta
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A word from your sponsor
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Lycamobile is delighted to be sponsoring this year’s Lycamobile Mediterranean Tall Ships Regatta, with its mission to connect to global communities.
If you need to call your family and friends during the Regatta please look out for their stand space portside in Barcelona, Toulon and La Spezia.
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 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.