A TEENAGER is looking forward to a brighter future, after a sailing adventure with a Weymouth- based charity helped build her confidence and conquer her fear of heights.

Cecilia Greaves, 19, who lives in Camberley was searching online for something exciting to take part in during her gap year after studying at Farnborough Sixth Form College.

Greaves said: “I was looking for an adventure and also to build experience for my CV, when I came across a website for the tall ship TS Pelican.”

The ship is owned by the charity Adventure Under Sail. They offer voyages for young people to help build their skills set as well as offer recognised qualifications you can work towards while onboard.

Greaves decided to take part in the Tall Ships Race – a youth festival organised by Sail Training International in which more than 150 tall ships compete. She chose leg two of the event – sailing from Riga in Latvia to Szczecin in Poland.

“I was nervous because I didn’t know anyone else who would be taking part in the voyage,” said Greaves, who worked in her local book shop to help fund her trip.

“Once I got onboard, it was clear that everyone was feeling nervous. They gave us tasks to do together where we could start to get to know one another straight away.”

The experienced and highly-skilled crew work with the young trainees to develop skills such as self-discipline, initiative, confidence and how to work effectively in a team.

Greaves thrived under the crew’s influence and was encouraged to climb the mast – no easy feat for someone who is scared of heights.

She enjoyed her time onboard so much that she is currently volunteering onboard and helping with the ship’s maintenance.

She will be joining the ship once more for this year’s event, taking part in race one, from Harlingen in the Netherlands to Fredrikstad in Norway.

Greaves encourages other young people to take part and her advice to anyone who might be thinking of taking part in an adventure like this, is “seize the opportunity and not be nervous”.

* To find out more about Adventure Under Sail, or view the TS Pelican's programme for 2014, visit adventureundersail.com or call 858274