On Friday 18th July 2008 HRH The Duke of York will board STS Lord Nelson, moored in Wellington Dock to meet many of the Captains of the International Tall Ships Fleet. Introduced by Colonel Ron Dadswell, Trustee of Sail Training International, the Royal visit stands out as a highlight at the start of what promises to be a spectacular Tall Ships Race.
Whilst aboard, HRH Prince Andrew met Captain Clare Cupples, who was command of Lord Nelson on their historic first leg of the Tall Ships Race, sailing with the first all female crew in the history of the tall ships races.
The visit held extra significance as The Duke of York who has been the Patron of the Jubilee Sailing Trust since 1984, has been present for many major milestones in the Trust’s intriguing history including the launch of both the Trusts’ ships Lord Nelson and Tenacious.
Both Lord Nelson and Tenacious are impressive tall ships, the only vessels of their kind in the world that have been purpose designed and built to enable people of all physical abilities to sail side by side as equals.
Lord Nelson was designed by internationally renowned naval architect Colin Mudie in the early 1980's after a pilot scheme on board the adapted tall ships TS Royalist and SV Soren Larsen proved how successful integrating able bodied and disabled people through the medium of tall ship sailing could be.
Competing on the race leg from Liverpool, the all female crew comprised of Girl Guide sail trainees and female merchant navy personnel.
The 40 girls who represented the senior section of Girl Guides are all aged between 16 and 25 and came from all over the UK. They comprise of both able bodied and physically disabled individuals including three wheelchair users.