Trinity Blog

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Relay Southwest heads aid of Trinity Posted on

At 6.00am this morning the Relay Southwest team kicked off their circumnavigation of Devon and Cornwall – running over 130 miles, cycling over 160 miles and sailing 80 miles from Falmouth to Torbay….non-stop.

The team headed off from Torquay this morning with runners completing 13 mile relays towards Axminster before going coast to coast. When they arrive in Barnstaple, (via Ilfracombe), at approximately 0300 Wednesday morning the cycle team will take over.Relay Southwest - heading off

The cycle team will then head to Lands End and then back up to Falmouth. The ride will be completed in four legs, with a total distance of just over 160 miles.

The sailing team will then sail Provident back to Torbay. The sail will start late on Wednesday afternoon and will continue non-stop through the night, aiming to arrive  around lunch time on Thursday 4th July – please join us in Torquay Harbour when you will be able to cheer the team back in.

Please follow the Relay Southwest team on  @RelaySouthwest, and for more info please see the Relay Southwest website.

You can donate to support them by texting TTSF24 £5 (or the amount you would like to send) to 70070.


Relay Southwest - team@start

Open day on Provident – Torquay 5th July Posted on

Brixham sailing trawler ‘Provident’ open to the public

On Friday 5th July Trinity Sailing will be welcoming people on board Provident to take a look around the 1924-built vessel.

She is arriving in Torquay on Thursday, July 4, as the boat is being used by a charity fundraising team, called Relay Southwest, who will be sailing her non-stop from Falmouth.

The open day is being held in the harbour on the following day, between 9am and 4.30pm, on Friday, July 5, which will also include demonstrations and displays from the police and fire service, along with a food market.

Toby Russell from Trinity said: “This is an opportunity for people to come along and see what spending time on one of these beautiful vessels is like, whether you have a strong interest in Brixham Trawlers, or you have just seen one of our boats on the water and been captivated by the sight of them and want to have a look around — everyone is welcome.

“Along with our experienced crew members, I will be there to welcome people and answer any questions that people may have about Provident, and what we can offer through our sail training experiences or sailing voyages on our boats.

“The sail training work we provide benefits hundreds of young people up and down the country”.

DS Simon Costin, who is coordinating the Relay Southwest event, said: “The benefits of sail training for young people can’t be overstated. Through Relay Southwest we are raising funds that will directly benefit the young people of Torbay, so we want the people of Torbay to get behind us.”

The Relay Southwest Team will attempt to circumnavigate Devon and Cornwall by running over 130 miles, cycling more than 160 miles, and sailing 80 nautical miles in under 80 hours.

The aim of the event is to increase awareness of the issues affecting young people and raise money for the Trinity Sailing Foundation.

Young people from all kinds of backgrounds, and all levels of ability, gain enormously from the opportunity of sail training with Trinity on traditional vessels.


Provident - Relay Southwest

Donate to Trinity using JustTextGiving Posted on

A new and easy way to support Trinity’s work

JustTextGiving by Vodafone is a new and easy way you can support our work. Simply text: TTSF24 £10 (or the amount you would like to send) to 70070.

All text donations are free, and won’t come out of any inclusive texts you have as part of your price plan – even if you’re not with Vodafone. You just pay the cost of your donation. Every penny you donate to Trinity Sailing Foundation using JustTextGiving will come to us to support our charitable objectives.  To find out more, see the relevant pages on the JustTextGiving website.

There’s lots of ways you can donate to support our work,  please view our Donate Now pages.

JustTextGiving Logo

Torbay Lass – press release Posted on

The campaign to save the former Brixham sailing trawler ‘Torbay Lass’ has taken a major step forward with a bid for a £900,000 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund having now been submitted.

The total cost of the project to save the 1923-built historic vessel is estimated at £1.27 million, and even if the Lottery grant is obtained there will still be £370,000 required from other sources.

An initial decision on the grant application will be made in September which, if successful, will lead to a more detailed application being made in February 2014, with a final decision in June of that year.Logo Dk blue

Meanwhile, Torbay Lass remains at Tilbury Docks on the River Thames, where she has been threatened with eviction. Her owners say they have no money with which to find her a berth elsewhere.

Totnes MP Dr Sarah Wollaston and Torbay’s Elected Mayor Gordon Oliver have both written to Tilbury’s owners asking for a stay of execution until September. If the initial Heritage Lottery Fund application is successful Torbay Lass would then be moved to Brixham. Because of her condition temporary repairs would first have to be carried out and she would make the passage in fair weather, with an escort vessel.

Torbay Lass is one of 200 vessels that form the nation’s National Historic Fleet, vessels that include HMS Victor, Cutty Sark and SS Great Britain. Six of the vessels in the Fleet are former Brixham sailing trawlers, a testimony to their reputation as an iconic class of working vessel in the days of sail.

Five of the six have already been brought back to Torbay and restored. The aim is to complete the locally-built heritage fleet based in Brixham by restoring Torbay Lass in the harbour area, with the work open to the public. The work will take two years to complete.

The Steering Group that is overseeing the project includes Torbay Council, Brixham Town Council, Torbay Development Agency, Brixham Chamber of Commerce, TorBay Harbour Authority, South Devon College and Brixham Trawler Agents, as well as individuals such as former Pilot Captain Bob Curtis, shipwright Bob Cann and heritage enthusiast Bill Wakeham. The campaign is being led by the Trinity Sailing Foundation, which owns and operates three of the other former sailing trawlers.

Dr Wollaston MP, Mr Oliver, Torbay Development Agency and Brixham Town Council have all written to the Heritage Lottery Fund backing the bid.

A survey of Torbay Lass, carried out last month at Greenwich, has revealed the extensive nature of the restoration work required to save her. However, the surveyor has said she can make the trip under her own power provided precautions are taken.

Trinity’s chairman Struan Coupar says: The submission of the initial application to HLF is the first milestone. Between now and the decision day in September we need to start raising the additional money that will be required, and widen the campaign to attract wide support and involvement from the community.”

Sailing trawlers were first developed by the fishermen of TorBay and became the model for deep sea trawling in Europe during the 19th century. At one time more than 3,000 were in commission, based in ports like Hull, Grimsby and Lowestoft as well as Brixham and Plymouth. They vastly increased the catches made by previous methods, and linked up with the developing railway network to bring fresh fish to all parts of the country.

Keep checking these pages for more info, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.



As this release was about to go out word was received that the owners of Tilbury have agreed that the vessel may stay there until the end of September. Mr Coupar said: “This is excellent news – just what was needed – and thanks to the intervention of Dr Wollaston MP and Mayor Oliver.”

Leader heads to Merseyside Posted on


Trinity’s flagship vessel Leader is now offering adventure sailing opportunities for groups and individuals in Merseyside this summer.

Due to popular demand we have revised the 1892 boat’s sailing programme to include four voyages operating out of the historic docklands of Liverpool, combining city culture with endless cruising opportunities around the Irish Sea.

This is a perfect base to explore, with possible destinations in Ireland, the Isle of Man and the south west coast of Scotland.

For a fixed rate price of £545 this is the perfect opportunity to have a real adventure on board one of the oldest Brixham trawlers still sailing in Britain, with added modern comforts, not to mention all of your freshly prepared meals for the length of the voyage.

Under the direction of the Skipper, Mate and Cook, you will be responsible for all aspects of running the vessel:

  • Putting up the sails
  • Steering
  • Navigating
  • Keeping Watch
  • Cooking

This is a great opportunity to try something completely different, meet new people, make friends, work as a team and learn lots of useful skills.  No previous sailing experience is required.

Book now to avoid disappointment, and find out more, on 01803 88 33 55.

HLF supports Shipshape Heritage Training Partnership project Posted on

National Historic Ships UK (NHS-UK) has today announced that it has received initial support for a £261,100 bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) through the ‘Skills for the Future’ programme.

The development grant of £12,200 will support NHS-UK in progressing plans for the Shipshape Heritage Training Project – an initiative that aims to prevent the loss of the traditional skills and techniques involved in conserving, handling and maintaining historic vessels.

Trinity Sailing Foundation will work alongside NHS UK (lead partner), Scottish Fisheries Museum Trust, Dauntseys School Sailing Club, Sea-Change Sailing Trust and Excelsior Sailing Trust to develop plans to create ten 12-month training placements where trainees will work with a variety of historic vessels receiving specialist training in the significance of these vessels and how to operate them safely and effectively. They will also undertake a historic vessel maintenance course at the International Boatbuilding Training College and an interpretation placement at the Scottish Fisheries Museum.

Toby Russell from Trinity said “We have always believed in the importance of marrying training in historic vessel handling and conservation for our staff development. This is a unique opportunity to work with other partners –  to develop this training approach further, share our learning, and ultimately help develop more trained people within our sector. This is great news for all those involved with conserving our maritime heritage and congratulations to NHS-UK for securing this development funding”.

To see the full press release from NHS-UK click HERE and for more info on the Shipshape Network please visit the website.

Brixham trawler 'Leader' 1892

Update on the ‘Torbay Lass’ appeal Posted on

Torbay Lass surveyed

As a first step in establishing the current condition of the historic Brixham sailing trawler Torbay Lass, and the extent of the work that will be required to restore her, a full out-of-the-water survey by a marine surveyor was essential.

As the vessel’s owners lacked the funds to undertake the survey, Trinity approached several bodies with a potential interest in the future of the vessel, and we are extremely grateful for the support of the following:

National Historic Ships UK
Torbay Council
Torbay Development Agency
Brixham Town Council

The survey was carried out at Greenwich on 10th May by David Cannell and Associates. Their report was received four days later and formed the basis for obtaining estimates for the cost of restoration. The resulting budget was included in a grant application made to the Heritage Lottery Fund on 27th May. An initial decision on that application will be made known in September.

The surveyor also reported that if some temporary repairs are carried out it would then be possible for Torbay Lass to be moved to Brixham under her own power, in calm weather and with an escort vessel in attendance.

Torbay Lass appeal

2014 Tall Ships programme launched Posted on

Be part of the Tall Ships experience!

After two years away from the Tall Ships races we are delighted to release our 2014 Tall Ships programme when you can become part of the crew on board ‘Leader’ for this spectacular sailing event.

Next year, the Tall Ships Races will be based in the North Sea and you can be part of Leader’s crew racing against over 150 tall ships, from around the world. The Tall Ships experience is not just about racing classic boats however. You will get to spend several days in each host port, and join in boat parades and sports events as well as getting to visit local attractions and join international crew parties.

The race series attracts up to 3,000 young people from over 30 nations – it is a truly international festival of the sea and you will come away with new friends and memories that last a lifetime.

To find out more please visit our our Tall ships pages or speak to one of the team on 01803 883355 to start planning your adventure…

Tall ships 2014 news


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A campaign has been launched to save one of Devon’s most important historic ships from the breaker’s yard.

Launched in 1923, she is one of just six surviving Brixham sailing trawlers.

In recent years the other five have been saved, restored and brought back to the town. Now the last, Torbay Lass, is in danger and in urgent need of rescue.

All six of the surviving vessels are in the National Historic Fleet, the 200 vessels judged to be of pre-eminent significance in terms of maritime heritage, and meriting high priority in terms of conservation.

The charity which is the vessel’s current owner has appealed for help to “Save Torbay Lass”. It has been unable to maintain her and the port authorities at Tilbury, where she is kept, have said she must be removed by the end of April.

Mick Shirley, chairman of the charity, says: “We are desperate. Unless a new owner can be found and extensive repairs carried out, she will be lost. It would be wonderful if she could be moved back to Devon, where local interest would be greater and her survival assured.”

The community campaign, involving various groups with maritime heritage interests, is being supported by the Conservative MP for Totnes, Dr. Sarah Wollaston, and Torbay’s mayor, Gordon Oliver, among others.

“Torbay Lass is an iconic part of Britain’s maritime heritage,” says Struan Coupar of the Trinity Sailing Foundation, one of the groups involved.

”It seems inconceivable that she should be lost without one final effort being made to save her.

“Saving her and restoring her to seaworthy condition will be a major undertaking, costing many hundreds of thousands of pounds.”

Trinity is a sail training charity which is already responsible for the preservation of three of the other surviving vessels.

The campaign has three objectives:

  • To return her to Brixham, to the community from which she came, and restore her original name;
  • To carry out major repairs to the vessel and equip her to meet modern safety standards;
  • To provide her with a worthwhile modern role as a sail training vessel, and so secure her long-term future as the final part of Brixham’s heritage fleet.

Torbay Lass was built by R Jackman & Sons in 1923 and fished under sail until 1938. Converted to a yacht in 1939 and subsequently renamed “Kenya Jacaranda”, she was used as a sail training vessel for more than half a century, from 1952 until 2006.

Withdrawn from service because of her deteriorating condition, she sank at her mooring in Tilbury docks in 2010, but was refloated.

Torbay Lass is one of just a handful of Brixham sailing trawlers to survive in UK waters, out of a fleet once numbered in hundreds.

Like the other survivors she is part of the National Historic Fleet, the vessels judged to be of major importance in terms of maritime heritage. They include HMS Victory, Cutty Sark and SS Great Britain.

The Brixham sailing trawler was a legendary class of working boat, the foundation for a vast British trawling industry that grew up in the 19th century. The design, developed in Devon, became the standard for deep sea trawling throughout Europe.

For further information, or for interview and photo opportunities, call 01803 883355. Alternatively send an e-mail to

Torbay Lass

National Historic Ships grant for Provident Project Posted on

We are very pleased to announce that National Historic Ships have awarded a ‘sustainability grant’ of £1,000 towards the Provident Project.

The funding will be used specifically for the work being carried to Provident’s keel, when local shipwrights will be addressing problems caused by a marine isopod called gribble, which are related to woodlice. Gribbles bore into the wood and the affected areas become spongy and friable. Where this occurs in areas such as the keel there is the potential for structural problems if left untreated.

Toby at Trinity said “This grant is a great boost to our fundraising efforts and we would like to thank National Historic Ships for their support of this important project.

Our shipwrights will first begin work to remove the impacted areas of keel and garboard planks and then replace with new timber.  They will then fit a new steel shoe surrounding the wooden keel, which will protect the keel against future problems.

The work to Provident will be going ahead in Plymouth before Provident returns to Brixham for the final fitting out before the start of her sailing season in May”.

There’s lots of opportunities to get involved in the Provident project – either helping out on the vessel or by helping Trinity develop maritime education and promotional materials. Please call the Office on 01803 883355 and speak to one of the team if you would like to volunteer on the project.

For further info on National Historic Ships click here.

Basic CMYK