Lowestoft students prepare to set sail on voyage of a lifetime

PUBLISHED: 13:57 10 September 2018 | UPDATED: 15:46 08 October 2018

Excelsior  Picture: The Excelsior Trust

Excelsior Picture: The Excelsior Trust

The Excelsior Trust

A group of students from a Lowestoft high school are about to weigh anchor for a life-changing journey aboard a historic sailing boat.

East Point Academy will be sending nine students on a once-in-a-lifetime voyage aboard an historic fishing smack, sailing from Denmark to Lowestoft.

The students will embark on the trip next Monday, September 17 aboard the 100-year-old wooden sailing boat, the Excelsior, which they will help to skipper themselves.

Some of the students taking part have special educational needs; others have faced challenges such as having low self-esteem or being in care.

While on board the Excelsior they will take on vital roles such as hoisting sails, navigating, steering, cooking, and cleaning, as the boat sails through the Danish fjords and along the coasts of Holland and Germany before making the 24-hour crossing back to Lowestoft.

Members of the public are invited to welcome the Excelsior and its crew as they return to Lowestoft Marina on Sunday, September 23 at around noon.

The once-in-a-lifetime trip has been made possible through kind donations from the public as well as sponsors The Norfolk Boat charity, Sentinel Leisure Trust, Broadlands Holiday Village owners Tingdene and construction company Wellington.

Group leader Chantalle Calver said: “I could not be more proud of the children I am taking aboard the Excelsior.

“A number of these children are about to embark on their very first trip abroad, and for some this is their first trip away from home. They are keen to get started, with excitement and nerves all bundled into one.

“I can’t wait to spend the week with these kids, watching them grow in confidence, seeing their vibrant personalities and sense of adventure soar.”

Their progress can be followed via the school’s Facebook page which will be updated with photos and videos.

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