Teenagers take part in major tall ship regatta

ON BOARD Rebecca Pollitt
ON BOARD Rebecca Pollitt
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TWO teenagers are among crews racing tall ships.

Rebecca Pollitt, 17, from Lee-on-the-Solent and Isobel Johnson, 17, from Southsea, are on board two different boats in the Falmouth to Royal Greenwich tall ships regatta.

The pair set sail on Sunday as the 44-strong fleet left Falmouth.

Rebecca said: ‘It’s the first time that I’ve sailed overnight and I’m feeling really excited.’

She is one of the all-female crew on board Challenger 1, run by Portsmouth-based charity, the Tall Ships Youth Trust. Isobel, who is deaf, is on the 60ft cutter Thermopylae Clipper.

She has raced from Latvia to Poland in tall ships before.

‘Just because you’re deaf doesn’t mean you can’t do it, in fact it’s all the more reason you should do it – to show the world you can do it,’ she said.

‘And of course it will be hard, nothing is ever going to be easy, but it will be worth it – truly.’

Almost half of the vessels taking part are in the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO), which is based in Gosport.

It is the UK’s sail training umbrella organisation.

More than 280 young people are sailing on 19 boats operated by ASTO members.

Lucy Gross, general manager at ASTO, said: ‘It has been a fantastic day out on the water in Falmouth with boats of all shapes and sizes taking part in this historic regatta.

‘None of the young trainees on board will ever forget being part of such a spectacle and it will be a highlight of the year for our many ASTO member organisations from all over the UK who are taking part.’

It is the first time the regatta has been held from one British port to another.

The fleet was expected to arrive in London today or tomorrow.