Our sail trainee Rhyse has a tale to tell

We caught up with our sail trainee Rhyse, who went on the voyage of a lifetime during the Tall Ships Races 2023 in Hartlepool.

Picture of sail trainee Rhyse holding a selfie frame in front of tall ships

10 Jul 2023

Following Rhyse’s sail on board The Swan, we caught up with him on his return to Hartlepool so he could tell us more about his adventure.

Rhyse said “I was lucky enough to be Thirteen’s sail trainee for the Tall Ships Race in Hartlepool this year. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and it was made even more special that the race was being held in my hometown.”

“All I can say is, what an experience I had. On the 1 July, myself and the other sail trainees flew from Teesside International Airport and landed in Den Helder in the Netherlands before boarding the ship. I’d never been to the Netherlands, so this was an adventure in itself.”

“We boarded our ship, The Swan, which is the oldest ship in the race at 123 years old, built in 1900. We met the crew and our skipper Maggie before being shown how to tie and untie the ship both on and off the dock and refreshed our knowledge on the different knots to use.”

“The race officially started on 2 July and things started well. During this leg of the race, we were on deck where we learnt more about the points and ways of the ship. Each morning we worked as a team to complete our duties such as scrubbing the decks and hoisting the masts.”

“A highlight for me was being able to steer the ship for nearly 6 hours which was really great fun!”

“During the race, we encountered rough seas and challenging sailing conditions which as a team we coped well with. Unfortunately, it was then discovered there was a problem with the engine. The decision was made to return to Den Helder as it was closer than Hartlepool and have the necessary repairs made.”

“This meant we had to drop out of the race but that didn’t stop the fun and excitement. Once back in Den Helder we lived on board for several days and got to do some exploring before making the journey home.”

“Despite the unique challenges we faced in the race, it was still overall the best trip I have experienced. I have made new friends, learnt new skills, and made memories to last a lifetime. I would 100% do it all over again in a heartbeat.”

“I would like to say a huge thank you to Thirteen for giving me this opportunity and I can’t wait to share some videos and photos from my trip with you soon.”