Students from a Norfolk high school have had a memorable trip aboard one of the UK's most historic vessels.

With the traditional Lowestoft fishing smack Excelsior LT472 taking part in the international Tall Ships Race, a group of students from Alderman Peel High School, in Wells-next-the-Sea, joined those aboard the historic vessel.

Taking part in an 'accompanying' leg of the 2023 Tall Ships Race from Den Helder in the Netherlands to the host UK port of Hartlepool, the group experienced life at sea in "very exciting circumstances."

The trip culminated in the entire Excelsior boat crew winning the Tall Ships 2023 award for the best turned out crew and they even had a walk on part on BBC’s The One Show. 

With supporters of the Excelsior Trust contributing to fit out the Alderman Peel High School group in authentic sailing smocks, a trust spokesman said: "We are delighted that the students on board for this very exciting voyage were able to experience something so different.

"We are of course proud that those on board were awarded the best turned out crew prize."

Lowestoft Journal: Winning the best crew award. Picture: The Excelsior TrustWinning the best crew award. Picture: The Excelsior Trust (Image: The Excelsior Trust)

Excelsior skipper Charlotte Hathaway said: "All boats experienced very rough weather during the race from Den Helder to Hartlepool, and when we neared land and regained mobile signal - our satphone had drowned in a big wave - we learned around nearly two thirds of the competing boats had retired.

"We heard from other boats that it was so rough, only the professional crews managed to stay on deck and worked relentless watches.

"That all our trainees completed their watches despite the conditions is a credit to them.

"Winning The Crew Parade was a very big achievement."

Lowestoft Journal: The best in crew parade award trophy. Picture: The Excelsior TrustThe best in crew parade award trophy. Picture: The Excelsior Trust (Image: The Excelsior Trust)

Alderman Peel High School assistant principal, Kirsty Hardman, said: "The students have returned buzzing, retelling stories and wishing they could do it all over again.

"Memories have been made which will last a lifetime".

Anyone interested in either a day sail or a voyage aboard Excelsior can contact Dawn on 07821 281950 or email