Join the adventure of a lifetime

Sail Training Ambassadors

Published on 11 September 2017

University Tall Ships Ambassador Ellie Lyall joined Sunderland Paralympians John Robertson and Matt Wylie, who are encouraging young people to sign up for the adventure of a lifetime and take part in next summer’s Tall Ships Sunderland.

The two local sporting heroes joined event organisers Sunderland City Council, Sail Training Ambassadors and local businesses at Sunderland Yacht Club this morning to launch the Sail Trainee Programme for The Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018.

Opportunities are now available for anyone between the ages of 15 and 25 to take part in this action-packed, skill-enhancing and potentially life-changing experience.

For further information about becoming a Sail Trainee go to or email

The first leg of The Tall Ships Races 2018 sails from Sunderland to Esbjerg (Denmark). The event begins at noon on Wednesday 11 and will run until Saturday 14 of July 2018. Crews taking part will begin with a spectacular Parade of Sail along the city’s coastline before spending around 4 days at sea. Once in Esbjerg the adventure continues with cultural and sporting activities, crew party and the renowned crew parade where trainees from all the vessels come together to celebrate the race and thank their hosts in Denmark.

University of Sunderland Honorary Fellow and Para World Sailing Champion, John Robertson said: “I started sailing at the age of 11 here in Sunderland. Since then there have been many good times and a few bad ones too, but sailing has always been a challenge and adventure that I’ve enjoyed. I am so pleased that this spectacular event is coming to my home city and I urge anyone who can get on-board for the event to give it a go. I’m sure it will give them great memories that will last a lifetime."

Ellie Lyall, who is the final year orf her BA Journalism degree, and is the University's Sail Training Tall Ships Ambassador, said: "Once you get onboard a Tall Ship you realise that you're all literally in the same boat. By the time I came back, I felt like I was a different person with a whole new skill set. I now feel like I'm capable of doing anything."

For further information about becoming a Sail Trainee go to is external) or email sends e-mail) Follow the team on Twitter @TallShipsSund or Facebook at TallShipsRacesSunderland