Olympic medalist to Champion final leg

Portrait of Paul AndersonThe Olympic medal winner and America’s Cup skipper Paul Anderson OBE is to be the Champion for the final leg of the Voyage to Success 2012. The final leg of the UK circumnavigation  to mark Duet’s centenary and London 2012 will depart Eastbourne on Tuesday to arrive in London in time for the Olympic closing ceremony. She will be crewed by young people completing their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.

Duet departed London at the end of May carrying a baton crafted from original timbers of the Cutty Sark. She has been sailed by eleven teams of young people, many of whom experience considerable disadvantage such as homelessness or being in care. The voyage not only celebrates Duet’s Centenary but seeks to draw on the inspiration of London 2012 to raise the aspirations of the 60 young participants.

As Champion for the Leg, Paul Anderson’s role is to provide encouragement to the young people during their voyage and to congratulate them upon their return.

He said “The experience of being a member of the crew on a traditional sailing vessel not only gives you the opportunity to learn and respect the way of the sea but to work as a team, creating self confidence and pride in your performance as part of a team that relies on each other to ensure successful manning of the ship. To take this experience into everyday life can only create opportunity, friendship and an attitude for your future in life.”

Paul Anderson, who won Bronze sailing 5.5 Metre class in the 1968 Olympics, will present certificates of achievement to the young people at a ceremony at Limehouse Basin, London  on Saturday 11th August. The Mayor of Chelmsford will be in attendance as The Cirdan Trust is the Mayor’s charity for 2012.


Leg 10 Champion is JoJo Anderson

JoJo Anderson Champion for Leg 10JoJo Anderson is to be the Champion for penultimate leg of the Voyage to Success 2012. At the age of only 11, JoJo represented Great Britain in the Cadet World Sailing Championships in Mumbai before turning to hockey in which she represented England 25 times.

Following an international sporting career that lasted more than a decade, JoJo travelled to South America where she set up and ran a hockey school for under privileged 6-16 year olds in a shantytown near Lima.

JoJo still cites her time in Peru as possibly “the most rewarding and humbling part of her sporting career” as she was able to offer, through the medium of sports, an escape and hopefully, inspiration for children whose lives had been limited by poverty, drug and alcohol misuse.

As Champion, JoJo will be offering support and encouragement to young people from York Children’s Services who will be sailing Leg 10 from Weymouth to Eastbourne and congratulating them upon their arrival.

“I have been a firm supporter of Cirdan and the work it does with the young through sailing.” says JoJo. “There is no doubt that sailing provides the challenges we all need to bring the best out in oneself and helps one realise we can achieve more than we ever thought possible.  Somehow when you are sailing, cold, wet and miserable there is that extra bit of strength and skill that is needed at the time to get you through.  Not a bad lesson for life.

Have a great voyage on Duet, she is a very special boat and I know you will grow to love every cramped corner of her. See you in Eastbourne.

As anyone who has been following the Olympic sailing on television will know. Duet will have no shortage of wind to speed her on her way towards Eastborne. At least it should be from a helpful direction!

For more on JoJo click here


Leg 3 Champion lights the Olympic Cauldron

Callum Airlie, the Voyage to Success 2012 Champion for Leg 3, was one of seven promising young sports men and women to be asked to light the Olympic cauldron at the climax of the Opening Ceremony on Friday evening.

We had heard that Callum had been invited to perform a duty at the Opening Ceremony but its exact nature was kept a closely guarded secret.

It has been an amazing year for the young sailor, who presented certificates to young people from Deckham Community Centre (Leg 3) on the same day as he carried the Olympic Torch through his home town. By an extraordinary coincidence the evening of the Opening Ceremony was Callum’s 17th birthday! Within hours of lighting the cauldron Callum had to fly to Austria to compete in the 420 Youth World Championships in Austria.

His mother Julie Robson said: “He lit the cauldron and he was on a plane at 6.30am to Austria. He turned 17 today. I think it is a case of feelings are beyond description – proud does not touch it. I think I will watch it a couple of times to know that it was not a dream and it was him. I think he is a bit like that.”
The two-time Optimist UK National Champion was nominated to be among the final seven by double Olympic sailing champion Shirley Robertson. He has been competing internationally since 2008.

Duet is due to depart Weymouth tomorrow crewed by a group of young people from York Children’s Services.

Sir Steve Redgrave hands the torch to the young athletes who will light the cauldron

Sir Steve Redgrave hands the torch to the young athletes who will light the cauldron


Log updates for days 4, 5 & 6

Leg 6 / Day 4, 5 & 6

Day 4

Ryan . . .We got up and went for a shower. Had breakfast then made out way to Douglas. Was about a 6 hour journey. On the way round, me and Andy and Cleghorn where doing a tack and as soon as I had tied off my line a big bad-ass wave came aboard and more or less flung me to the back of the boat. It was quite exciting ha, ha!

A wave washs aboard Duet

Day 5

Lexi . . .We were on 2nd watch this morning so we got a long lie. When we got on deck there was no sail up ‘coz the wind was against us so we had to use the engine but later on we put the sails up when the wind changed and we made goo time.

We took it in turns to steer the boat whilst Cleghorn and Tiny tried tae catch fish (Nae luck boys). The weather was ok today when the rain was off.

We saw lots of oil rigs and standby boats and other big ships. The nearer Liverpool we got the more windfarms we saw. We had never seen a windfarm before.

We had pasta for munch, (Tasty Paul!), then we tidied up and scrubbed the deck and took the jib sail down and put them away . Now we have a few hours to kill before we can go up the River Mersey.

Day 6

Lexi . . .We got a long lie in today. After breakfast we went into Liverpool town centre and had a look about. We went through China town.It was cool. A lot of the street names were the same as Glasgow After we went back tae the boat and tidied up and scrubbed if for everyone coming to the ceremony. After that we met the pilot who explained tae Francis how the river was and stuff ‘coz of the fast tide in the Mersey.

At five o’clock the ceremony started. There were lots of people there. We met the guy that owned the marina and our Champion Lisa and some guys that were mates on sailing boats. We met a couple of the new crew and showed them around the boat. (I think we sacred them then!!! LOL).

Later on we had a big buffet. It was healthy. There was all sorts of grub.

Later that night we had a couple of pints and relaxed with Gavin the Mate and Francis the Skipper.

When we got back aboard we went to bed but were up ‘till all hours in stitches. We were laughing about everything and anything. Later on that night Andy ‘sicknote’ took a pounding. We nearly sank the boat we were laughing so much, the tears were running down our faces. LOL.



Liverpool welcomes Duet

Leg 6 / Day 6

Guests congratulate the Leg 6 crewDuet has been given a wonderful reception in Liverpool. She arrived in the River Mersey from the Isle of Man on Wednesday evening and locked into the marina at midnight.

Sail training supporters from the North West marked Duet’s 100th birthday and the successful completion of another leg of the Voyage to Success 2012 with a reception on Thursday. Many of those present had sailed aboard Duet during her 52 years of service to young people in the UK.

The Leg 6 Champion, Lisa Pover congratulated the young people on their achievement and presented them with certificates of achievement.

Young people from Liverpool Positive Futures who will be joining Duet on Sunday to sail to Swansea were on hand to receive the Olympic Baton from the group.

Thanks are due to Emma Ellis and Stuart Wood who helped organise the event and to Dave Murray of Glacier Maritime Academy who arranged free berthing for Duet at Liverpool Marina.

Leg 6 crew and their Champion Lisa Pover


Lisa Pover to Champion Leg 6

Portrate Lisa PoverThe young people from Quarrier’s James Shield Project who set sail aboard Duet from Greenock on Saturday are to be championed by Lisa Pover.

Lisa is a living example of how sailing offshore can build people into much more than they ever expected to be.

Working as a taxi driver in Liverpool she won a local newspaper competition to complete a leg of the Clipper Round The World Race. Having never sailed before, she decided that this was her big chance in life and raised the money to complete not just the leg but the whole circumnavigation. Since completing the circumnavigation she has established the Lisa Pover Trust which offers personal development to young people from Liverpool through sailing.

She has sent the following message to crew of Leg 6.

Hi to ALL the crew onboard Duet,

I can remember my very first voyage at sea as if it was only yesterday.  When I decided that I wanted to sail around the world, my friends and family couldn’t believe it. They said ‘Lisa is doing what? She hates the water!’ and they was right but if I don’t challenge myself in life, then how will I ever achieve?

Going to sea for the first time I remember thinking, what will it be like, will I enjoy it, how will I know what to do and will I get on with everyone?  There were people I had never met before, from all walks of life and from very different backgrounds to myself but I very quickly learnt that it didn’t matter.  What mattered was how well we worked together as a team, how we supported each other when each of us were missing home or feeling vulnerable, not what we did back home, where we came from or how much money we had.

Sailing is such a wonderful sport.  What you do with the sails and boat determines where you move to…that’s an instant achievement.  You are making a boat/vessel move by the wind!

I look forward to following your voyage on facebook, the website and your blogs but more importantly I really look forward to meeting you all in Liverpool and hearing about your journey first hand.  The good and the bad, the rough and the smooth and of course who had the smelliest feet!

Well done for getting to this stage so far.  Fair winds to you all.

I’ll finish by saying that the higher you aim in your life, the more you will achieve.  No one can say that the path or journey you chose will be an easy one, but if you don’t give it a shot, then you will never know…Here’s a quote from Eleanor Roosevelt that I always have in my mind “You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.  Do the things you think you cannot do”.

Best wishes,  Lisa

Lisa Pover helms a Challenge boat



Gaelic honours for Duet and her crew

Leg 5 / Day 6

The crew fronm ORCEL , Hartlepool piped ashore at GreenockThe crew from ORCEL in Hartlepool were piped ashore in grand style on Thursday as Duet arrived in Greenock to be greeted by supporters of sail training in Scotland. This was one of the big moments for Duet as she celebrates her 100th birthday and more than 52 years in the service of young people from all backgrounds.

Visitors, many of whom remember Duet from their own youth, were able to go aboard Duet to find that little has changed aboard in all those years.

The Champion for Leg 5 Curly Mills with his wife Barbara presented certificates of achievement to the young people.

Thanks are due to Curly and Barbara, OYC Scotland and Emma Ellis who organised the event on behalf of The Cirdan Trust.



Curly Champions Leg 5

Portrait of Curly MillsThe Champion for Leg 5 is Curly Mills. Curly’s extraordinary story is an inspiration. From  humble beginnings Curly built a major heating and ventilation business which he sold leaving sufficient funds for him to become a philanthropist.

As an energetic supporter of the sail training movement, Curly and his wife Barbara have been enthusiastic supporters of sail training in Scotland.

He will be welcoming the young people from ORCEL in Hartlepool Greenock near Glasgow on looking forward to sailing aboard Duet on 28th June.

Speaking with his wife Curly said  “Nearly forty years ago, our eldest daughter sailed with the Ocean Youth Club (as it was then) through the same waters as you have done and emerged at the end of the trip a much more confident person when she stepped ashore.  We are sure that you too feel a sense of achievement in the teamwork needed to sail this beautiful and historic boat. Well done for bringing Duet safely to Greenock, the home of the Ocean Youth Trust Scotland. We are sure that you will all remember this trip for many years to come.”


What an achievement

Leg 3 / Day 6

Callum Airlie presents certificates to Leg 3The young people from Deckham Community Centre were justly pleased with themselves as they were presented with certificates of achievement and RYA Competent Crew qualifications at the end of a challenging Leg from Hartlepool.

They were joined, on Thursday evening, by members of the Leg 4 group who start their Leg aboard Duet on Saturday. “I think the new crew was very funny and easy to get along with. I didn’t think I would acheive my certificate but I did” said Bethany. “I am very proud of what I have done. The expereince was great fun and it was good to meet new people.”

The Leg 3 Champion Callum Airlee came straight from his own moment of honor when he carried the Olympic Torch through his home town earlier in the day.

“Callum seemed down to earth” said Conner, “and the new crew seem canny”. 

“It was nice to show the new crew what we have learned and really good to get my certificate. I didn’t think I would stay but I did and I really enjoyed myself” said Kyra

The young people were also congratulated by their group leaders.

“Well done Deckham crew. You worked really hard and I am very, very proud of you” said Ashley.

Rounding off the evening the group leader Steve congratulated the young people and wished the new crew well “I am proud of our young people for getting their RYA Competent Crew certificates. Tonight was really good and it was great to meet someone who has carried the Olympic Torch for our country. Thank you Callum and good luck to the new crew.”

Crews of Leg 3 and Leg 4 meet

Crews of Leg 3 and Leg 4 meet in Eyemouth with ex-Harbour Master Jonny Johnson




Our Champion for Leg 3 of the Voyage to Success 2012

The Champion for Leg 3 is Callum Airlie who at the age of 16 has been a GBR dinghy sailing squad member since 2008. He has twice been awarded RYA Scotland Young Sailor of the Year and this year represents Great Britain in the 420s European and World series. He is a Bank of Scotland ‘Local Hero’.

Callum will be carrying the Olympic Torch through the town of Gordon on Thursday before welcoming the Duet crew to nearby Eyemouth where he will present the young people from Deckham Community Centre with Certificates of Achievement.


He says . . .

“Sailing is one of life’s great levellers: it doesn’t matter who you are, where you come from, or how much money you have. There is nothing to match that sense of freedom and achievement you feel whilst battling across the open sea. It is just you, your crewmates and the forces of nature. Go out there, give it your all, and most importantly, enjoy it!”

Callum Airlie (Helm) with Joe Butterwirth at 2011 National Championships

Callum Airlie (Helm) with Joe Butterwirth at 2011 National Championships