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Meet the Team — Trinity Sailing 2018 (Ben) Posted on

In the final days running up to the 2018 season getting underway we will be introducing the current Trinity Sailing Foundation crew and staff. Today we caught up with a member our office team — Ben Wheatley…


What is your role at Trinity Sailing?

I am Trinity Sailing’s Operations Director.

How long have your worked for Trinity?

This is my sixth year with Trinity and my third in the office.

What did you do prior to joining the team?

I worked on some other large sailing vessels which was a really exciting way to live, but a job that kept me away from home for much of the year.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I still, thankfully, have the opportunity to take these beautiful vessels to sea, covering for our existing skippers when they are on leave. This allows me to have a nice balance of sailing and time at home with  my family.

Where is your favourite sailing destination?

It has to be the west coast of Scotland. There are so many options to choose from and there is always somewhere new to explore.

When you’re not sailing, what else do you enjoy doing?

I enjoy gardening, hill-walking and spending time at home with the family.


Meet the Team — Trinity Sailing 2018 (Lisa) Posted on

In the final days running up to the 2018 season getting underway we will be introducing the current Trinity Sailing Foundation team. Today we caught up with another member our sea staff — Lisa McDowell…


What is your role at Trinity Sailing?

I am Leader’s Bosun/Deck Hand.

How long have your worked for Trinity?

This is my first season, I am new and came down to help with the winter refit and I was invited to stay which is great.

What did you do prior to joining the team?

I finished school last summer and have been sailing on various boats ever since then.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I look forward to being able to introduce other people to the joys of sailing, taking them out of their comfort zones and placing them in an entirely new environment and seeing them thrive from the experience.

Where is your favourite sailing destination?

So many places to choose from, many of Trinity’s will be new to me and I can’t wait to get out there and see them. Georgian Bay, Lake Huron, in Canada has been my favourite place to see so far in my sailing career.

When you’re not sailing, what else do you enjoy doing?

I enjoy messing around with computers, playing tabletop role-playing games — particularly Dungeons & Dragons — plus freerunning Parkour.


Meet the Team — Trinity Sailing 2018 (Enya) Posted on

In the final days running up to the 2018 season getting underway we will be introducing the current Trinity Sailing Foundation team. Today we caught up with our first member of sea staff — Enya Williams…


What is your role at Trinity Sailing?

I will be cooking on both Leader and Provident this year — obviously not at the same time!

How long have your worked for Trinity?

This is going to be my third season with Trinity, as cook, though I have been sailing longer than that as a charter guest.

What did you do prior to joining the team?

Before I joined the Trinity team I worked at my parent’s pub, and part-time as Boston Tea Party while studying Catering at Plymouth City College.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I really enjoy working with the young people, teaching them to cook and working together as a team.

Where is your favourite sailing destination?

All the places we go, I haven’t got a favourite, they’re all great.

When you’re not sailing, what else do you enjoy doing?

I like spending my time off with friends and family, arts and crafts, and going to see live bands.

Enya Williams

Provident & Golden Vanity to Enter Brixham Heritage Regatta Posted on

Two of Trinity Sailing’s vessels will be taking part in the historic Brixham Heritage Regatta.

Guests are invited to join both Provident and Golden Vanity for the fun annual event, taking place of the late May bank holiday.

Sailing boats of many shapes and sizes sail in company for the Regatta on Sunday, May 27. During the previous day, crew members will be invited to the official party, with fish suppers and sea shanties at Brixham Yacht Club,  followed by a large firework’s display over the harbour.

Guests are being invited to join Golden Vanity between Friday, May 25 and Monday, May 28 for a weekend experience. On Provident guests will be joining on Saturday, May 26, ahead of a eight-night extended cruise to Brittany and the Channel Islands, before she returns to Brixham on Sunday, June 3.

Several interesting and historic vessels are set to take part in the good-natured races around Tor Bay, including Le Grand Lejon. For more information, or to book, call 01803 88 33 55 or email



Brixham Heritage Regatta

Sailing Adventure Opportunity for Young People in Brixham Posted on

YOUNG people from Brixham are being offered the chance to take part in an exciting sailing adventure to celebrate one of the town’s most historic vessels.

Brixham-based charity the Trinity Sailing Foundation is teaming up with The Golden Vanity Trust to offer seven young people the chance to go sailing on the 1908 vessel for a week, this spring.

Trinity Sailing’s Marketing & Sales Manager, Harry Gottschalk, said: “Golden Vanity turns 110 this year and we wanted to do this to raise awareness of this special vessel — as not a lot of people in the town know how interesting her history is — and provide some young people from Brixham with a great experience.

“Our charity takes hundreds of young people to sea each year but it is actually quite rare we see people from the town on board. We wanted, also, to teach young people about how important these historic trawlers are to Brixham’s past. Not to mention, a week at sea can often be life-changing for those who join us.”

Golden Vanity was built for the marine artist Arthur Briscoe by J Sanders & Co, at Galmpton, on the River Dart, where Trinity’s other two Brixham trawlers — Leader (1892) and Provident (1924) — were also constructed. Her name was taken from a ship in the sea shanty ‘The Golden Vanity’, which dated from the seventeenth century.

As a marine artist Briscoe used her to follow the fishing fleets which he sketched and painted, helping to record the last working days of sail. One of the friends who sailed with him was Erskine Childers – who had already written his famous yachting spy novel ‘Riddle of the Sands’. Before the First World War they sailed Golden Vanity extensively in the southern North Sea, regularly visiting Holland and Belgium.

Georgina Gosling, who acts as a trustee for both the Trinity Sailing Foundation and the Golden Vanity Trust, said: “At one time everyone who grew up in a harbour town had access to boats but as sailing has become such an expensive sport this is no longer the case. This week is a chance for those who may not otherwise have the opportunity to spend time on a very special boat.”

Young people from Brixham can apply to become part of the crew before she sets sail out of the town for a week between Saturday, April 28 and Friday, May 4. No previous sailing experience is required. The trip includes all of the meals on board, bedding, waterproofs and safety equipment. Two qualified members of sea staff will work with the young people during the voyage.

Trinity Sailing works with a wide range of youth organisations, from schools and colleges to social services and community groups.

People have until Friday, March 9th, to apply for a place. Trinity will then compile a shortlist and invite people to come along to office and ask any questions they may have and get a tour of the boat.

For more information call Trinity Sailing on 01803 88 33 55 or email

Golden Vanity

Would you like to volunteer for Trinity Sailing? Posted on

Would you like to support our charity and learn more about traditional sailing vessels?

The Trinity Sailing Foundation crew and office team would be very grateful for some help with maintenance work on board our vessels, during the run up to our new season.

Leader and Provident are due to be hauled out of the water for some hull work, cleaning, antifouling and overall fettling to get them ready for their first trips, this Easter.

If you are free — even for a day or two — from Wednesday, January 17 and would like to get your hands dirty for a good cause, please do get in touch.

Within this period we are also running our scheduled Volunteer Maintenance Weekend over January 20 and 21.

Operations Manager, Ben Wheatley, said: “We have crew on board to look after you, feed you and make you welcome. If this sounds like fun to you, please do get in touch by phone or email.”

For more information call 01803 88 33 55 or email



Working on Leader's masts in Totnes

The Unforgettable Sea – Sailing on Leader in 1999 Posted on

The Trinity Sailing office team were sent a lovely memoir over the festive break, written by an 81-year-old Nottingham-based lady who sailed on board Leader back in 1999. She rediscovered the vessel, over Christmas, while doing some research online. We wanted to share her article with you as her experience will be very similar to yours, for those who have joined us on board over the years.

Viv Apple writes:

“In 1999, at the age of 63, I took the first of four sailing holidays I would never forget, on Leader, a Brixham sailing trawler built in 1892 as part of the West Country’s long-gone fishing fleet. Thirty metres long and Ketch rigged to enable her to be handled by a small crew, Leader was fishing in UK waters until 1907, when she was sold to Swedish owners, and after some years as a sail training vessel and then hired for charter, she was brought home to South Devon in 1996 and underwent a full programme of restoration.

“As a result the hold, where in the past huge catches of fish were stored, is now a roomy saloon with a large table where crew and visitors enjoy meals and plan the following day’s sailing. In addition, Leader was fitted with seventeen bunks, two showers, two ‘heads’ (toilets) and a small galley where the cook produces amazing food no matter how rough the seas outside.

“Brixham has also changed, from a fishing port filled with trawlers and the work of hand-processing fish on the quay to a holiday resort, with all that this implies. But it still has the most delicious fresh fish I’ve ever tasted, in a small restaurant which my friend Sheila and I discovered the night before our first trip on Leader.

“The next day, on that first morning, we were literally ‘shown the ropes’ by the crew.  After the surprise of learning the origins of this old saying, it was good to learn how to cheese a rope, keep the decks tidy, and wash up after the evening meal. Somehow, as we pulled away from the quayside and out towards the open sea, I knew I’d love every minute of it.

“The weather affects conditions constantly and therefore affects everything that happens on board a boat. I experienced some interesting extremes of weather over the four holidays, which eventually took me around the Devon and Cornwall coast, to the Scilly Isles, to Scotland, to Jersey and Guernsey and to Brittany. On a fine day with a moderate breeze, once the sails were set we could sunbathe on deck, or stand forward of the mast and lean over the gunwales (not too far over), watching and listening to the bow wave breaking against the hull.  Later, I was allowed to take the helm for a while. To feel the power of the wind pushing that thirty metre sailing vessel forward while I held the wheel and kept an eye on the compass beside me was nothing less than awesome. Ewan, who was keeping an eye on me, allowed a shift of only two or three degrees either way, which added another dimension to the task.

“The air above the sea is cooler than that on land, especially in a fresh breeze, so unless there happens to be a heatwave it is necessary to wear several layers of clothing on deck. This was fine until we had to visit the heads (loos), especially as we happen to be female, so the result was a lesson in self-control. The best example of this happened while we were crossing the English Channel on our way to the Brittany coast. With a wind Force 5 or 6 the sea was medium to rough, so Sheila and I were sitting on deck with our security lines clipped on, wearing the necessary waterproofs and six layers of clothing. We enjoyed watching the waves breaking over the bows and sometimes breaking over us, which was fun for the first two or three hours, but then we realised that ‘nature’ was calling. Could we be bothered to unclip our safety lines, edge our way along the deck to the cabin entrance, climb down the gangway steps to our bunks, then take off all our protective layers? The unspoken answer was clearly ‘NO’.  About an hour later, Leader was at last approaching the French coast and we had to smile: we were happily bedraggled but we had crossed the Channel intact, and best of all we could now safely have a mug of hot coffee!

“When a charter boat is fully booked, she has to get back to her home port ready for the next group on time, no matter what the weather. Thus, in another year, we found ourselves having to set sail from the Channel Islands with an overnight crossing ahead and a forecast of fog.  Like other charter boats, Leader is fitted with an auxiliary engine for emergencies and for when there is insufficient wind for the sails alone. That night we set off early and, knowing we might face a difficult crossing, the skipper assigned  each of the four crew and twelve guests a half-hour shift on watch throughout the night. I think my watch was about 1.30 – 2.00am, but it hardly mattered because it was such a new experience that we were awake for longer than that anyway. I put on the usual six (or seven) layers and stood on deck peering through the fog at more fog. We were given a small battery-driven foghorn which we had to sound every two minutes (or it may have been 90 seconds). No sails of course, but just the steady thrum of the engine echoing eerily around us. Suddenly, there was a shout from someone on the far side of the deck, Quick! – Come and look at this!”  I went quickly across and we peered down into the water where Dave was pointing. Three more people emerged from below decks and we all stared into the sea to where thousands (or maybe millions) of tiny florescent creatures were moving rapidly in all directions, like a night-time city as seen from an aeroplane.  “What are they?” someone asked. Nobody knew, but we were all aware that we had just seen something amazing we would not have seen but for the fog that night. Afterwards, we talked of the dangers of pollution and of our ongoing relationship with the oceans, which made us feel extremely small.

“Despite being both incredibly beautiful and highly dangerous, there is no doubt that the sea is a wonderful place; it nurtures countless creatures from microscopic plankton to the 180 ton blue whale.  I was lucky to experience even a small part of it, and despite the discomforts of getting soaked or climbing into and out of a small bunk, I would do it all again.”

Picture supplied by Viv Apple.

Leader 1999

Come and work with us at The Trinity Sailing Foundation Posted on

The Trinity Sailing Foundation is on the look out for three new people to join the team.

We are recruiting three new crew members: A cook, a mate, and a skipper.

The skipper will be working on a seasonal contract — between January to September 2018 — on board Golden Vanity.

The successful candidate will hold a minimum of (valid, commercially-endorsed) RYA Yachtmaster Offshore and Cruising Instructor certificates, along with a valid ENG 1 or ML5 medical fitness certificate. Ideally they will also hold an RYA Yachtmaster Instructor Certificate.

This person will have previous experience skippering traditionally-rigged sailing vessels and relevant maintenance skills. The skipper will be responsible for the overall management and operation the vessel, both during voyages and maintenance periods as required. They will also undertake training of other seastaff and trainees including relevant RYA qualifications.  A positive approach to developing a “safety culture” on board and embracing current legislation is required in this role.

The new mate will be working on board Provident, or Leader, during the same seasonal period.

This person will hold a minimum of RYA Day Skipper or RYA Watch Leader certification along with a valid ENG 1 or ML5 medical fitness certificate. They will have previous experience of sail training, ideally carried out on board traditionally-rigged sailing vessels. This person will be competent to stand a navigational watch during a cross channel passage, and they will have some maintenance skills.

Our new cook will be working on board Provident, during the same seasonal period. This person will hold a valid food hygiene certificate and a valid ENG1 or ML5 medical fitness certificate.

They will have experience of catering for 16 people or more. The cook will be responsible for all catering and food/galley hygiene on board, providing three meals per day with suitable refreshments in between. They will also have responsibility for victualling, with support and assistance from our shorebased office team.

During Sail Training voyages the cook will involve the trainees in preparation, service and clearing down after each meal, helping to give them an educational experience in the galley and teaching them new skills.

During adult charter voyages the cook will be responsible for the preparation and cooking of each meal, with help serving and clearing down from the seastaff, but the ability to manage the galley alone if necessary is important.

All job offers will be subject to an:

  • Interview at our office
  • On board assessment
  • Enhanced DBS check

For more information, or to apply, email a CV to, or call 01803 88 33 55 for more information.


Trinity Crew

Golden Vanity Trust Christmas Quiz Posted on

A fundraising quiz, in aid of the Golden Vanity Trust, is being held in Brixham tomorrow.

The Queens Arms, in Station Hill, will play host to The Golden Vanity Charity Christmas Quiz on Friday, December 15, from 8pm.

Entrants will be given a free mince pie if they attend in a Christmas-themed outfit, and there will also be a raffle. It is £1 to enter, with a maximum of four people per team. The top prize is a gallon of ale.

Golden Vanity Quiz 2017

New Fundraising Tool for The Trinity Sailing Foundation Posted on

The Trinity Sailing Foundation has launched a new fundraising tool so you can help support the charity when shopping online.

Christmas is coming, which means a lot of our supporters will be buying gifts on the internet. Now every time you buy something online this season – from stocking fillers to your festive food and drink or even a winter holiday – you could be raising money for Trinity with easyfundraising.

With over 3,300 retailers including John Lewis, Amazon, and Expedia ready to give us a totally FREE donation for every online purchase it’s time to get shopping! Sign up here it wont cost you a thing and will be helping support The Trinity Sailing Foundation and hundreds of disadvantaged young people.

Here is a short video which shows you how simple it is and how you can support our work: