BLYTH TALL SHIPS: Join adventure on the waves

Emily Runciman, Coun Val Tyler and Melissa Moodie.
Emily Runciman, Coun Val Tyler and Melissa Moodie.

Organisers are calling for would-be sailors to take part in the adventure of a lifetime this summer in the North Sea Tall Ships Regatta.

The ships will be in place in Blyth during the Bank Holiday weekend of August 26 to 29. They will then set off on the 500-nautical mile race leg to Gothenburg in Sweden complete with trainees, who will then travel back to the UK.

Between 30 and 40 are expected to take part in the regatta, with most welcoming trainees. No sailing experience is required and although the training does cost, some sponsored funding is available.

One of the first trainees to apply is Melissa Moodie. The 20-year-old marine engineering student from Whitley Bay is studying and training at the Blyth Tall Ship project. She has made bench hooks, seats, trims, hatches and even a rocking horse for her eight-month-old daughter Monica-Jaye.

Melissa said: “I was looking around for something to do part-time and I came across the courses at the Blyth Tall Ship project online.

“With my background with the Sea Cadets and the Merchant Navy, it was something that appealed to me as the work is hands-on and I gain useful qualifications.

“I’m really enjoying it so far and when I heard about the Tall Ships Regatta, I had no hesitation in applying for it as I’ve never sailed before and I really want to give it a go.”

Emily Runciman, from Ashington, has been appointed as Northumberland County Council’s Tall Ships ambassador. Last year, she sailed on a Tall Ship yacht from Hartlepool to Belfast, sailing via the Caledonian Canal and Loch Ness.

The 18-year-old, a student at Kirkley Hall’s Military Academy (Northumberland College), said: “The Tall Ships experience last year was very demanding at times, but it was a lot of fun and as well as getting time to relax and play games on the ship, I got to enjoy some great scenery and see whales and dolphins.

“I would say to people thinking about applying for the Blyth regatta that if you give it a go, you might really enjoy the experience.”

The county council, in partnership with the Port of Blyth and Sail Training International, is hosting the prestigious regatta. Fergusons Transport of Blyth has been confirmed as the principal sponsor.

Trainees for the Tall Ships places must be aged 15 or over.

For more, visit www.tallshipsblyth2016.com