Drilcorp are pleased to announce that they will be supporting the Tall Ships Race 2018 by sponsoring a young person to get on board and sail from Sunderland to Esbjerg in Denmark. The Sail Trainee Programme is designed to give children from disadvantaged backgrounds a once in a lifetime opportunity to sail in the race.

It was our privilege to meet with our sail trainee earlier in the month.

Mark is 15 and from the North East area. He told Drilcorp that he had to write a bid to get his place on the ship but having already been a member of a local yacht club and a keen interest in becoming a Naval Engineer this was not a difficult task for Mark.  He was chosen from over 100 young people.

He is a very enthusiastic young man who throws himself into each and every activity he does. For a fifteen year old he has already experienced world travel with trips to Iceland for Geography where he saw the Northern Lights and to Amsterdam where he learned about Anne Frank. Later in the year Mark is going to France and of course Denmark.  Mark told us that he has the travel bug.

When Mark is not at school he spends his free time as a sea cadet, youth leader for the scouts, plays hockey and has sailed a vessel on his own with his local yacht club.

Mark is also a Lego enthusiast and spends hours building Lego structures.

Mark will set sail from Sunderland on the 14th July to Esbjerg on the Gulden Leeuw.

The Gulden Leeuw is one of the world’s largest three mast topsail schooners. She was built in 1937 on behalf of the Danish Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries and used as an ocean going ice class ship. She was frequently used for marine biological research in international waters.

The ship has space for 200 passengers on day sails and 56 trainees on longer voyages.  She is 39.33 metres high and 54.54 metres in length.

During the sail Mark’s ultimate goal will be to take over the ship. There will be loads to do and learn from watch keeping, cleaning the decks, climbing the masts, cooking and literally learning the ropes. Not only will Mark learn to sail but it will be an opportunity to broaden his horizons and make new friends. While some of the voyages can be mentally and physically challenging most sail trainees come away with a renewed energy and enthusiasm and off course an experience that they will never forget. Mark hopes that the trip will help to increase his self-esteem and self-confidence and will give him valuable life skills and citizenship skills.

Mark will spend seven nights on board the Gulden Leeuw and once in Esbjerg will take part in a crew parade and prize giving ceremony. He will then be flown home to Sunderland where he will meet the Mayor.

As you can expect there was an extensive kit list needed for the adventure and Drilcorp have helped Mark to get all of the stuff he will need with a high street voucher.

It was a pleasure to meet Mark and we have asked him to keep in touch throughout the journey and come back and tell us all about it. We would like to wish Mark a safe and enjoyable trip and hope to see him again soon.

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