The Tall Ships Experience is looking for new recruits in Lowestoft

File pic of Leila under sailpicture: Leila Sailing Trust

File pic of Leila under sailpicture: Leila Sailing Trust - Credit: Archant

Young people aged between 15 and 25 are being encouraged to sign up for an annual sailing race.

The Tall Ships Experience takes place in July and will consist of sailors gathering from across the world to take part in the race from Norway to Denmark.

Spaces have already been taken on the voyage but others are still left to sail on the historic Leila training boat, under the guidance of skipper David Beavan.

No previous sailing experience is necessary, with Mr Beavan stating that all the prospective crew needs is 'enthusiasm, a willingness to join in, and a desire to win'.

A range of traditional and modern vessels take part in the race, with competitors given the chance to sail throughout the night.

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A celebratory party will be held when the ship docks in the port.

There are three separate voyages available, each costing £750 - but Mr Beavan is keen for people to complete the full experience, which costs £2,000 for 26 days.

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People are asked to fund-raise themselves, but the Leila Sailing Trust usually manages to support each participant by funding £1,500.

'We will help them to raise the money,' said Mr Beavan, who has been sail skipper for 25 years.

'We can probably get them funding for £1,500 if they have put the effort in. Even if they do a sponsored bike ride, other people will fund match it if they are committed.

'It's going to be challenging and we could be at sea for three days getting to Norway.

'It will be tough and will provide a real challenge that takes people out of their comfort zone but if they put in the effort, they will never forget the experience.

'Above all it will be exciting and an incredible experience to meet youngsters from across the world.'

Participants will receive extensive training before the first leg on July 18 to 27 from Lowestoft to Norway, via Holland.

From July 27 to August 3, the actual race will take place before the sail home and arrival in Lowestoft on August 13, via the Kiel Canal.

All food and accommodation is included.

The Leila vessel is the fifth oldest yacht in the UK, having originally been built as a race boat 120 years ago by a Victorian gentleman.

In addition, The Leila Sailing Trust have recently been awarded £300,000 from the Big Lottery Fund with volunteers required to help motivate young people.

The Tall Ships Experience project is working closely with the Access Community Trust, which works with disadvantaged communities in Lowestoft to provide support with housing, health, wellbeing and education.

To sign up, or for more information, email: or visit

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