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It’s a solo expedition, not a race against other Tall Ships. And they’re bound for Scilly, not Spain. But that didn’t trouble our young people as they boarded Maybe today to begin their 10-day adventure at sea.

Josh K and Benjy set off from St Mawes
Other team members crossed from Falmouth’s Custom House Quay

They’re keen to get hands on with all aspects of sailing a traditionally rigged boat, building team-work and other life skills on their way to St Mary’s and then onwards…destination unknown. Some of the team – 11 Cornish teenagers aged 15-18 – have never been in open sea and others have never been away from home.

Caitlin, Bea, Josh L and Thomas

RYST Chairman Dina Wheatcroft said: “This trip is all about helping young people get the experience and life skills needed for quality jobs in maritime and other industries. We’re grateful to our sponsors for making it possible.”

The expedition is sponsored by CAD Architects, estate agents H Tiddy, accountants Phillips Frith, Rotary Club of St Austell, St Just in Roseland Parish Council, St Mawes Pier & Harbour Company, St Mawes Sailing Club and Superyacht Charities.

Josh K looking quite at home already

Built in 1929, gaff-rigged ketch Maybe took part in first ever Tall Ships race in 1956 and is one of the few original ships competing.

With the young people on board, she was due to race to Spain in the Tall Ships Magellan-Elcano 500 Series 2021, cancelled in June for the second year owing to COVID.

Dina added: “It’s a shame they won’t be racing to Spain, but we hope the unknown destination will add a sparkle of mystery to what will anyway be an unforgettable experience.”

The crew has changed somewhat over the past few days and weeks, with Lydia, Luke, Megan and Millie having to withdraw for various reasons. But we were able to find willing replacements – Ben, Benjy, Caitlin and Emily – the latter two within hours of departure.

Here’s the final line-up weighing anchor for their 10-day adventure at sea:

The 11 members of Team Maybe

Bea, 18, from Portscatho, sponsored by estate agents H Tiddy: “Being on the sea makes me realize the scale of the planet and how small one human really is. I’ve always been drawn to the ocean and I don’t think I could ever be far from it. This will be an amazing opportunity to meet new people, learn valuable skills and improve my sailing.”

Ben, 18, sponsored by St Just in Roseland Parish Council: “Every day on or in the sea is a different experience and I know how lucky I’ve been to grow up so close to the water. This voyage is an amazing opportunity to further my sailing ability whilst meeting new people and exploring new places.”
Benjy, 15, from Truro, sponsored by Rotary Club of St Austell: “I’m completely surprised and very grateful this opportunity has been passed to me. Now I’m just hyped about going.”
Caitlin, 15, from Portscatho, sponsored by accountants Phillips Frith. Caitlin stood in at the last minute to replace Luke who wasn’t able to make the trip. She says: “I had 30 minutes to decide if I wanted to board or not. I thought for five seconds and said yes please.”
Corey, 16, from St Dennis, sponsored by CAD Architects: “Thank you very much for this opportunity. I love hard work and adventure. And I love the sea, although I’m aware it’s dangerous.”
Charlotte, 16, from Grampound, sponsored by a private donor. “I’ve always had a love for the sea. I’ve sailed on the Helford, gig-rowed for Coverack and I’ve recently applied to join the Navy.”

Emily, 15, from St Mawes, sponsored by St Mawes Pier & Harbour Company. Emily replaced Millie, who wasn’t able to make the trip, at very short notice. Says Emily: “One minute I was competing in St Mawes Sailing Club’s Junior Race Week and the next I found myself on board a Tall Ship for the Scillies!”
Josh L, 17, from Tregony, sponsored by accountants Phillips Frith: “I love adventure, the feeling of the wind in my face, and the fact that you are harnessing the Earth’s natural power to speed along the surface of the water. My ambition is to become a professional sailor and compete in races such as the Vendee Globe, so this will be an amazing way for me to build sea miles and get experience offshore for my future career.”

Josh K, 17, from Tregony, sponsored by St Mawes Sailing Club: “I have never been outside the UK and I think this will be a great opportunity to get some adventure before going to university. Currently I race an RS200 at St Mawes and sailing is the highlight of the week. It would be amazing to take sailing further and get on a larger vessel.”
Oli, 18, from Falmouth, sponsored by Superyacht Charities: “I’m really looking forward to the voyage, so I can add practical experience to my skills as an apprentice at Pendennis.”
Thomas, 18, from Stithians, sponsored by Superyacht Charities. “I think this experience will really be beneficial, furthering my sailing experience to help with my work at Pendennis Shipyard by gaining an understanding of how the boats I’m working on will be used in the future.”

A big thank you from the Trust and the venturers to CAD Architects, H Tiddy Estate Agents, Rotary Club of St Austell, St Just in Roseland Parish Council, St Mawes Pier & Harbour Company and St Mawes Sailing Club, who are each sponsoring a place aboard.

And thank you twice over to accountants Phillips Frith and Superyacht Charities, who are each sponsoring two places aboard.

Sponsors (in alphabetical order)

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Steve Hooper, Architectural Director, says: “CAD are pleased to be able to support Roseland Youth Sailing Trust in their excellent objective to provide young people with lasting skills and confidence through the rich experience of sailing.”
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Derek Holman, Chairman and Director, says: “As a donor since the early days of Roseland Youth Sailing Trust, we’re pleased to see the Trust extend its support for young people into the post-16 age group and delighted to sponsor one of their voyagers this year.”
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Mike Pascoe says: “Our support is the legacy of a Rotarian who was closely involved with sail training for young people for much of his life. I’m sure John Morgan would be delighted to know his good work lives on to help another young person embark on an exciting voyage at sea.”
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Helen Couch, Clerk to the Parish Council, says: “St Just in Roseland Parish Council are happy to support this great initiative, which will provide a unique experience for the teenagers and give them great memories.”
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Martin Bidmead, Harbour Master, says: “It is with great pleasure that St Mawes Harbour is once again sponsoring a place on a Tall Ship. It has been a long tradition for us to support maritime and youth activities within the Roseland community, and we hope the voyagers on TS Maybe find it both rewarding and enjoyable.”
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Chris de Glanville, Commodore, says: “We are very pleased to be able to help these young sailors achieve the dream of sailing off into the sunset on the voyage of a lifetime. So much will be learned from the experience of crewing on a Tall Ship. We wish them fair winds and following seas.”
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Ian Chalmers, Senior Partner, says: “We think it’s really important for young people to build self-confidence as they start out in life and we wish our young adventurers a wonderful voyage of discovery – and self-discovery – on TS Maybe.“
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Derek Munro, Chairman, says: “Sailing a tall ship gives people a taste of adventure at sea. Thanks to RYST’s initiative, 11 young people from Cornwall who might otherwise never have the opportunity will have an unforgettable experience aboard Maybe.”