News in February 2015

Tall Ships Races 2015: Alesund to Kristiansand Posted on

Are you thinking of joining Leader for the 2015 Tall Ships Races? After the first race from Belfast, she will be arriving in the Norwegian town of Alesund where the crew will have a chance to relax on shore, mingling with other sailors from across the globe.

The Tall Ships Races are now just over four months away and the organisers in Alesund have released a short promotional video giving young people more idea about what to expect on the north Norwegian coast when they arrive.

The first leg, between Belfast and Alesund, takes place between Friday, July 3, and Thursday, July 16. We only have a very small amount of berths left on this voyage.

If you want to join the party in Alesund and then sail with the rest of the Tall Ships fleet along the Norwegian coast, you can join Leader on Thursday, July 16 and disembark on the south coast on Sunday, July 26.

As the second Tall Ships leg is the “cruise-in-company” section, sailors on Leader will have a lot of time to relax, admire the amazing scenery, get to know the crew members from other boats taking part, and spend time exploring a number of ports en route to Kristiansand.

Again there are only a handful of berths remaining on this voyage, so if you don’t want to miss out, put your deposit down now.

There are around 80 vessels set to take part with more than 1,000 crew members from across the world. To find you can get involved head to our Tall Ships Races page.

To make a booking, or find out more about Leader’s involvement at the Tall Ships Races, call the office team on 01803 88 33 55 or send an email to


Tall Ships 2014

Refit Blog: Spars Done and Dusted Posted on

Trinity’s crew, and a team of volunteers, are busy getting all the boats ready for the 2015 season with less than two months to go before the first voyage.

Leader’s new mate, Stan, is sharing how things are going for him and his team, and here’s how the refit went last week:

“Sorry about the delay in the update, there has been lots going on! As of today we have finished sanding and varnishing every single spar and we only have nine blocks left to service. This is a phenomenal achievement and thank you so much to everyone who helped out, we really would not be in this position without the amazing volunteers we have had down.

“Our latest volunteer weekend happened over Valentine’s weekend and there were a total of 10 of us on board, a couple of new people, Elise, Jo and Jabbs, as well as the regulars John, Jeremy, Anna, Lucy and Teymour. Despite the hammering rain we had a really productive weekend and we are almost ready to start putting Leader back together.

“Skipper Ben’s mum, Helen, has also been down painting the crew cabin and making the curtains for the season and Andy has been helping prep the spars up at Totnes.

“Over the next few days we are going to be getting the boat ready for coding, plumbing in the new fresh water system (which is very shiny!) and craning our now immaculate spars back on board.

“Our next volunteer weekend is over Marc 7th and 8th and so far we’ve managed a great night out on every single one. Ben and I are really looking forward to this one.

“If you want to come and help out — there is a job, and a beer, for everyone if you’re over 18 or a lemonade if not — just give Matt and Harry in the office a call 01803 883355 — hope to see you there!”


Leader is under refit and will soon be heading out for the 2015 season.

Refit Blog: Leader and Provident Come Back Home to Brixham Posted on

Trinity’s crew, and a team of volunteers, are busy getting all three boats ready for the 2015 season with less than two months to go before the first voyage.

Leader’s new mate, Stan, is sharing how things are going for him and his team, and here’s how the refit went last week:

“So that’s week five of refit complete and we have made some great progress on board Leader. On Monday we took advantage of the calm conditions to move the boats from Dartmouth to Brixham, where they will spend the next few weeks of refit. I was on board with Ben, Lea and John and we had a very unusual view of a mast-less Provident in front of us for the 10 miles up the coast.

“Tuesday was absolutely freezing but there was no shortage of volunteers to use the heat gun to strip more varnish from the galley. The team also managed to sand the entire front of the boat from the saloon forwards, and get it undercoated ready for Wednesday.

“On Wednesday we split into two teams, with half of us glossing the surfaces we had prepared the day before, and the other half of us hand sanding the intricate parts of Leader’s galley. It was a long day to paint everything that we had prepped and the team made a fantastic effort, working through both tea breaks, in order to get to a position where we could leave the boat to dry overnight.

“Thursday morning saw a 4.30am start in order to move Leader to the grid so we could service her seacocks, however, the band of high pressure over the UK forced tidal heights lower than expected and unfortunately we couldn’t get her on. A massive full English on Provi solved any problems the guys may have had with the early start and we have another window to move her back to the grid later in the month.

“Friday was a more relaxed day with skipper Ben, Luke and Teymour braving the temperature up at Totnes to work on stripping Leader’s bowsprit, while Hugh and I managed to varnish 75 per cent of the galley.

“As you might be able to tell we have had some very hard working volunteers this week: John stayed over from the refit weekend; Maddie, Ieuan, Little Ben, Joe, and Luke all came down for a couple of days; and  Teymour and Lea have been down since last week.

“Unfortunately all, apart for Teymour, have had to head-off to other parts of the country and, in Lea’s case, Tres Hombres, but thank you all so much for the work you have put in. I think you can all see the difference you have made.

“Next week our main projects are going to be finishing the galley, stripping the spars, and making a start on Leader’s sole boards. If you fancy giving us a hand we will make you very welcome Just give the office a call on 01803 883355.

“Valentines weekend is February 14th and 15th so, if I have just saved you from forgetting, you owe us some sanding. It’s also our next volunteer weekend and we already have five people signed up and we are planning a good party Saturday night. Again if you want to get involved give Matt or Harry in the office a ring on the same number.”



Provident without her mast

New Beginnings for Trainees at Devon Sailing Charity Posted on

An apprentice sailor has come to the end of his watch working at a Devon-based sailing charity by welcoming aboard a new recruit.

Hugh Langworthy, from Tavistock, has been cutting his teeth at the Trinity Sailing Foundation for the past 12 months after being awarded a traineeship position through National Historic Ships UK.

His tenure at the Brixham-based charity is coming to an end, moving on to his next challenge, but not before welcoming 27-year-old Martin Hendry – 2015’s trainee – who is part of the second cohort of the Shipshape Heritage Training Partnership project.

Both Hugh and Martin got their chance through this UK-wide project which aims to deliver training in maintaining, operating and interpreting gaff, lugsail and spritsail-rigged historic vessels. Hugh has had a busy year working on the historic sailing vessel Provident, one of three vessels operated by Trinity, who take hundreds of young people to sea each year.

Hugh is now set to move on to another project working on the restoration of a 1903 built ketch called Garlandstone, which is based at Morwellham Quay on the River Tamar.

The 28-year-old said he has enjoyed learning a vast of array of essential skills over the past 12 months, working with Trinity on everything to do with sailing and conserving historic vessels, from the ins and outs of rigging to complex woodwork.

He said: “It’s been a great experience, working with an excellent crew and team, and I got to sail to the Channel Islands and Isles of Scilly which are places I had always wanted to go.”

Hugh has now passed the baton on to Edinburgh-born sailing fanatic Martin. Unlike Hugh, he has already worked for Trinity as a volunteer and was awarded the traineeship after making a great impression on his new employers.

He said: “I first gave Matt Gilchrist (Trinity’s Operation’s Manager) a call in early 2014 and said I wanted to get involved and he invited me to come down to help with the winter refit on the vessels. I had been working as a security guard for five years so I could guess you could say I was stuck in a rut. This was a way of changing direction and doing something I really love.”

After spending a year learning the ropes on Trinity’s 1892 vessel Leader, Martin picked up the necessary knowledge to apply for a traineeship.

He said: “I want to learn new skills and I look forward to going to sea and to gain more qualifications and build up my knowledge of historic sailing vessels, an added bonus is I get to take part in some amazing sailing experiences and go to some very interesting places.”

Martin’s traineeship is one of five being offered nationally in 2015 as part of National Historic Ships UK’s Shipshape Heritage Training Partnership project through ‘Skills for the Future’, a national programme to create new opportunities in work-based training for the heritage sector funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund.

By the end of the programme, trainees will have built up a record of operational, maintenance, conservation and interpretation skills set out in the form of a training passport of skills which can be shown to prospective employers as well as being a personal record reflecting what they have achieved.

Each of the five traineeships will be based at similar organisations, across the UK, all covering the essential skills needed for a career in the historic ships industry. Every one of the placements offers a slightly different experience depending on the main purpose of the host organisation and its vessels, with the opportunity to sail on at least two other types of historic vessel.

Director of National Historic Ships UK Martyn Heighton said: “I am delighted that we have another group of five excellent trainees this year, including Martin. It is essential that we halt decline in the traditional seamanship and vessel maintenance skills that are essential if we are to secure a sound future for the UK’s operational historic vessels.”

Martin will be spending his season with Trinity on their historic Brixham sailing trawler Leader, which this year will be sailing to Brittany, Cornwall, the Channel Islands, The Isles of Scilly, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Scandinavia.

Hugh Langworthy

Refit Blog: The mate’s perspective Posted on

Trinity’s crew and a team of volunteers are busy getting all three boats ready for the 2015 season with less than two months to go before the first voyage.

Leader’s new mate, Stan, has shared how things are going for him and his team, and here’s how the refit went last week:

“Monday started very early with Ben, Matt, Hugh and I moving Provident to the grid in order to check her propeller and rudder stock. Although it was a little nerve wracking watching as more and more of her hull was slowly revealed she dried out perfectly and the inspection was completed in preparation for her new engine being fitted later this year.

“Tuesday was another early start with the guys moving Leader alongside in order to have her spars, minus the masts, lifted off and taken to Totnes for re-varnishing, although a full English cooked by the skipper did do a little to ease our pain.

“Wednesday say great progress with Leader’s water system and Hugh finished making Leader’s new generator box.

“On Thursday we were joined by Tres Hombres crew member Leah, and 2014 Tall Ship’s crew member Teymour, who are kindly giving us their time sanding and painting for the next few days.

“A large amount of cosmetic work was completed down below on Friday, despite the boat rocking around in some huge squalls on the river. Friday night saw Paul, Nat, John, Lucy and Anna and Jeremy join the team for the first ‘Refit Weekend’ of the season. After a meal on board we all headed out into Dartmouth for a brilliant night out with relief skipper Toni.

“On the first day of the weekend, half the team headed to Totnes with Leader’s Skipper Ben to get started on the spars, while the other half stayed on board with me to varnish the galley. Estelle generously turned up last minute to finish the metal work in the forepeak.

“We had another massive meal on board Saturday night, then went out to one  for a few quiet rums and to hear about what sailing everyone had been up to over the past few months.

“Sunday was much the same with the Totnes team managing to finish sanding the entire of Provident’s mizzen, a fantastic effort that we expected to take far longer. Down below Leader progressed very well, much of the starboard side accommodation was sanded ready for undercoating and Jeremy managed to clean and check the entire main engine before the guys headed home that evening.

“Special thanks again to everyone who came to help out on the weekend! I think everyone had a great time and it was really good to see old friends and some new ones. You are all very welcome back anytime and we hope see you on the water this year.

“If the idea of helping out on a 123-year-old sailing trawler appeals to you, give the office a call on 01803 88 33 55.”

 Picture by Paul Catterall 

Working on Leader's masts in Totnes