A young woman from Kettering now has her ‘sea-legs’ after taking part in a special Challenger Yacht voyage with guiding.
Siobhan Clarke, 23, was part of an all-girl crew of guiding members from across the UK riding the seas in a trip co-ordinated by the Tall Ships Youth Trust.
The seven-day leg saw Siobhan, who is leader of the 2nd Rockwell (Methodist) Brownies and the 3rd Rockwell (U.R.C.) Guides, travel between Hartlepool and Holland before heading to Portsmouth.
The yacht was part of a fleet of four, all chartered by Girlguiding North East England to give girls and young women the chance to experience life on the ocean.
While taking part in the voyage, Siobhan had the opportunity to learn a range of new skills such as hauling ropes, hoisting sails up the 95ft mast, helming the 48 tonne yacht, navigation, night sailing and taking part in the ship’s daily ‘watch’.
The experience was also great for teambuilding as every activity on the 72ft vessel takes at least two people to complete.
The Challenger racing yachts are owned by the Tall Ships Youth Trust and have all been used in round the world yacht races.
Siobhan, who lives in Kettering, said: “I was inspired to take part by another leader who regularly sails, but I also wanted to pursue another challenge after taking part in a sponsored 421ft abseil for guiding in May.
“The whole trip was amazing despite a very rough start with awful sea-sickness.
“My highlight was being with a group of 12 strangers who bonded so well and became great friends.
“Following this amazing experience I’ve decided I’d like to continue completing challenges and adventures I did not think possible.”
On their return, the crew was met by Chief Guide Gill Slocombe, Girlguiding North East England Chief Commissioner Hilary Cooper and Girlguiding South West England Chief Commissioner Solange Rebours.
Hilary said: “Girlguiding North East England was keen to extend the opportunity for adventure of other members of Girlguiding UK and we are delighted that we have four girl-only crews taking part in this international sailing event.
“I am sure that all girls will face new challenges and come back proud of all they have achieved.”