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Dorset youngsters sailing away
DORSET youngsters got the chance to swap studying for sails with an adventure aboard the Tall Ship Pelican.
Around 26 young people from across the county, aged 16 to 25, took part in the exchange trip to see Sherborne’s French twin town of Granville.
The ship also took part in the town’s Festival des Voiles du Travail, or Festival of Working Sails.
Mayor of Weymouth and Portland Councillor Ray Banham stepped aboard before the ship embarked.
He said: “It’s marvellous to see them going up these sails – the highest of them is about 100 feet.
“They have harnesses on but they are really brave.
“They have one day of training and then it’s off out to sea, it’s a real achievement.”
He added: “I think experiences like this are so good for young people. They seemed to click straight away into a really good team and had fantastic fun.
“One of the young people said to me he has formed friendships during this trip that will last a lifetime, and that is something really worthwhile.”
Some of the places were sponsored by the town twinning society Sherborne Douzelage.
Chairman Kevin Waterfall said: “This is a superb opportunity for young people in Dorset.
“I have been on aboard the Pelican in port and very much liked the idea of this trip.”
One youngster, 18-year-old Tully Butler, also received sponsorship from Magna Housing Association.
Tully, from Sherborne, said: “This was a unique experience. It was a holiday for me but I also learned so much and met some new friends.
“It’s not often anyone can say they have sailed a tall ship.”
He added: “I would recommend this trip to everyone, it’s an experience not to be missed and I have to thank Magna for giving me this opportunity.”
The trainees shared four-hour shifts on the five-day voyage and learnt to drive, tie knots, shift sails, rig and navigate.
When the ship returned to Weymouth, deputy mayor of Weymouth and Portland Councillor Kate Wheller was invited aboard with Mr Waterfall and Dan Rowlandson of Magna.
The guests were driven to the Pelican by one of the youngsters, Yazz Quinton, 19, on the RIB, and sailed into harbour, where they had an opportunity to meet the young people they had sponsored for the trip.
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