This voyage is a significant adventure sail, ideal for young people looking to stretch their minds and bodies. You’ll need to be up for a physical and mental challenge, be resilient and happy to live in close quarters with your fellow crew in a challenging environment.
You’ll meet like-minded individuals, aged from 16-25, who you’ll quickly bond and work together with to form one crew and team.
Guided by our expert sailing staff, you’ll learn how to rig, helm and manage the sails on a 72ft Challenger yacht. There may be the opportunity to get involved with planning the menu and provisioning for the voyage, as well as learning how to plan the navigation for an offshore passage and make best use of the weather forecasted. Once on passage you will learn to adapt to life at sea; cooking, cleaning, and looking after the deck work on a 24 hour watch pattern.
The Bay of Biscay can be unpredictable and tempestuous even in August but rest assured you’ll be in safe hands onboard one of our Challengers and skippered by our very experienced and highly-qualified sailors.
Our Challengers are 72ft long and made of steel. Built in 2000, they have raced twice round the world in the Global Challenge races against prevailing winds and tides and were designed for heavy weather. The Challenger is the perfect vessel for this type of voyage and will make it a unique and memorable experience!
At the start of the outward leg, you may initially stopover at Cowes or Yarmouth, if the weather is good, or head further west with possible stops in Brixham, Plymouth, or Falmouth while you monitor the forecast for that crucial weather window.
We’ll then turn south to get the most favourable wind angle and to avoid the area of the Bay of Biscay where the depth drops from 100 metres to 4000 metres over just a 10-mile distance and the sea state is like a washing machine!
Practise your Spanish and spend time exploring A Coruna, famous for its seafood, particularly octopus.
On the return we may stop at Brest, the Channel Islands and Weymouth.
Digging deep and challenging yourself. Resilience. Sense of achievement. Bucket list sailing experience.
There will be plenty of photograph opportunities to ensure your memories are lifelong, so be sure to pack your camera! In addition, to the stunning land and seascapes, you may spot dolphins, seals and fin whales.
Over the course of the trip, you’ll take your turn with your watch at all aspects of sailing and living on a yacht at sea. This voyage is a great opportunity to push your boundaries and learn about yourself, escape from it all with time for quiet reflection and to widen your sailing experience in a challenging environment.
We divide the crew into two teams (watches) – traditionally, known as Port and Starboard. In your watches, you’ll take it in turns to be involved in all aspects of sailing the Challenger from looking after her to cooking and cleaning.
All voyages of four nights or more qualify for the residential section of the DofE Gold award. Please let our Reservations Team know before sailing if you want to use the voyage for this.
Please note: Completing the booking form for this voyage will not guarantee your place onboard.
As this is one of our more challenging voyages, previous sailing experience is highly recommended. The voyage will involve spending multiple days at sea with limited stop overs and working in overnight watch systems.
Once you’ve completed the booking form, we’ll be in touch to get some more information about your previous sailing experience and check your eligibility for this voyage. Please do not book any travel or accommodation prior to this.
The Skipper will determine the route depending on weather and conditions.
There’s a possibility you could be recommended by the Skipper to come back and volunteer as a Watch Assistant or Watch Leader for future Tall Ships Youth Trust voyages.
Meals onboard are included.
You’ll need to present a valid passport at the start of the voyage.