About the Voyage

Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion. The potential for greatness lives within each’
Wilma Rudolph – Triple Gold Medallist, Rome Olympics 1960[1]  More about Wilma Rudolph

Voyage to Success 2012

In the summer of 2012, around 60 young people from different communities across the UK will embark on a circumnavigation of the UK. A series of voyages will link the 2012 Olympic venues starting in the Thames and sailing anti-clockwise around the UK to arrive at Weymouth for the start of the sailing events. They will then close the circle by arriving back in London to coincide with the closing ceremony.

The aim of the voyage is to use the occasion of the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics to raise aspirations and develop life skills. Many of the participants will be young people who are overcoming disadvantage to take their place in society.

The young people will each participate in one of the 11 legs of the voyage and the vessel will carry a baton, carved especially for the voyage from the original timber of the Cutty Sark, which will be passed from crew to crew.

Each leg will have a ‘Champion’. The Champions are people who have achieved great sporting distinction. Many have been Olympic competitors. The role of the Champions is to inspire the young people to meet the challenges that the voyage and life throw up. At the end of each leg the Champion will come aboard to sail with the young people and congratulate them on their achievement.

The vessel

Built in 1912, Duet is a fine example of a gaff-rigged yawl retaining the features of an Edwardian classic yacht. She was designed by Linton Hope and built in White’s Yard on the River Itchen where she was originally launched as ‘Gaviota’ then renamed Duet by the famous explorer Augustine Courtauld when he bought her in the 1930s.

Duet has played an iconic role in the development of sail training in the UK; she was one of the original vessels of the Ocean Youth Club (founded 1960, now the Ocean Youth Trust). As Britain’s longest serving sail training vessel, Duet has sailed more than 250,000 miles, providing a life changing experience for more than 8,000 young people over the last 50 years. Today Duet is owned by the Reverend Christopher Courtauld (Augustine’s son) and on long-term loan to The Cirdan Sailing Trust.

Cirdan Sailing Trust Charity No. 1091598

The Cirdan Sailing Trust enables young people, particularly those who are disadvantaged, to gain personal development through the challenge and adventure of life at sea on large sailing vessels.

Since 1983, the Trust has provided a unique and potentially life-changing experience to more than 30,000 young people.

London 2012 Inspire Programme

Voyage to Success has been granted the London 2012 Inspire mark which recognises outstanding projects and events helping to deliver the Games’ lasting legacy.


The 20th of 21 siblings and born prematurely, Wilma wore a leg brace as a child as a result of polio. A natural athlete, she overcame her disability to become a champion basketball player, relay medallist in the 1956 Melbourne Olympics and winner of triple gold in Rome. You can read more here.


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