Voyage of a Lifetime | Fantastic Youth Sail Training Opportunity this Summer

Local young people of all backgrounds and abilities are being offered the chance of a lifetime to take part in a sea voyage between Derry-Londonderry and Belfast as part of the Foyle Maritime Festival 2018.

Sailing opportunity on board the Brian Boru

The inaugural voyages will see 10 young people from the North West take part in the Foyle Sail Training Programme in July 2018 alongside 10 young people from Belfast under the guidance of Sail Training Ireland, which has been organising and coordinating sail training voyages since its foundation in 2011.

Voyage One, which is open to 15 – 17 year olds, will arrive in Derry on Saturday, July 21st and Voyage Two, with a crew of 18 – 30 year olds, will depart the following day, Sunday, July 22nd, to make the return journey to Belfast. Each voyage aboard the vessel ‘Brian Boru’ lasts for six days and will equip participants with life changing skills.

The project is supported by Derry City and Strabane District Council and the Loughs Agency.

Eileen McGrinder, Project Officer with Derry City and Strabane District Council, said: “This is a brilliant opportunity for any young person who is thinking of applying, this voyage is an ideal way to step outside your comfort zone, learn new skills, build confidence and make new friends alongside having a great time on the voyage”.

Kevin Wilson, Director of Development, Loughs Agency, said: “The voyage will bring sailing to life for the 20 lucky participants. It will be a challenge, but the experience will create friendships and unforgettable memories. Sailing in the Foyle is accessible for all ages and abilities through local clubs and activity providers on both sides of the border. This is a wonderful opportunity to take the plunge and try something new.”

Sail Training Ireland (STIRL) is incorporated as a not-for-profit limited company in Ireland and has charitable status (CHY20067). It is recognised by Sail Training International as the representative body for Sail Training activities in Ireland.

Foyle Maritime Festival runs from Saturday, July 14th until Sunday, July 22nd when the Clipper 2017-18 Race yachts will be moored at the marina. There will be an array of water-based activities on offer as well as food and craft markets and showcase events. For a full programme, go to:

The deadline for applications to Foyle Sail Training Programme is Friday, June 15th, 2018. Applications can be made by individuals or by youth groups, community projects, scouts, and clubs that work with young people to nominate deserving candidates for funded berths. To apply online, visit: Sail Training Ireland or contact Sail Training Ireland on 00 353 1 816 8866 or at

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Ann Robinson
Has a passion for coastal heritage and maritime history. Loves sharing the best of the Irish coast online. Contact me or follow me on Twitter @AnnRobinson22