Trinity Blog

Latest from Trinity Sailing

Meet the Team – Martin “Stan” Stanfield Posted on

In the run up to the 2017 season getting underway we will be introducing the current Trinity Sailing Foundation team. Today we caught up with another member of our sea staff — Martin “Stan” Stanfield.


What is your role at Trinity Sailing?

I’m the skipper of Leader. This is my fifth year working for Trinity. I arrived on a work placement whilst at South Devon College and, as yet, they have been unable to get rid of me.

What did you do prior to joining the team?

I went to South Devon College on their “yacht ops” degree to get my Yacht Master qualification.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

The three boats are so special; it’s a massive privilege to be working on them. I love introducing people to the world of traditional sailing, as well as going to new places and building relationships with clients you enjoy seeing return each year.

Where is your favourite sailing destination?

When sailing out of Oban I always try to fit in visits to the islands of Staffa and Lunga. One is full of puffins and the other has the famous Fingal’s Cave. That is always a magical day of sailing and I enjoy running people ashore in the rib, while Leader is anchored in the Lee.

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

Sailing other people’s boats.



Meet the Team – Stephen Brennan Posted on

In the run up to the 2017 season getting underway we will be introducing the current Trinity Sailing Foundation team. Today we caught up with another member of our sea staff — Stephen Brennan.


What is your role at Trinity Sailing?

I am the new bosun on Leader. Like Eli, who is bosun on Provi, I joined about a month ago and initially got stuck in with Leader’s maintenance work which was taking place in Polruan at Tom’s Yard. Now I am back in Brixham doing all sorts of jobs before she starts sailing in the spring,

What did you do prior to joining the team?

I was doing cetacean studies in the Mediterranean as a marine scientist and ecologist on vessels of difference sizes with deckhand duties. I’ve also done some trans-atlantic crossing as assistant bosun. Most recently I was crew on the delivery of a 16m Catamaran around Italy, from Venice to Genoa. Working as a marine scientist showed me that I love being at sea and I am making a slight career change so that I might spend more time with my hands dirty rather than in the office.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I am looking forward to going to new destinations, meeting new people and doing a lot of sailing.

Where is your favourite sailing destination?

Anywhere around Oban, in Scotland, I can see why it’s so popular.

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

Diving, drinking Beamish, reading, travelling. I’m also learning to play the piano; unfortunately there’s no room for that on Leader.

Stephen Brennan

Meet the team… Eli Pacey Posted on

In the run up to the 2017 season getting underway we will be introducing the current Trinity Sailing Foundation team. Today we caught up with another member of our sea staff — Eli Pacey.


What is your role at Trinity Sailing?

I am the new bosun on board Provident.

How long have your worked for Trinity Sailing?

Not long, just a month. I’m having a lot of fun so far though. I helped sail Leader around to Fowey for some maintenance and I spent a few, very cold, weeks living on board in Polruan helping with her refit. I am now in Brixham helping get Provi ready for sea, and this week I have been servicing her blocks.

What did you do prior to joining the team?

I was a bosun’s mate with another sail training organisation, prior to that I was working as a shop assistant. I spent most of my early life living over in Spain.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

It’s early days but right now I particularly enjoy giving both Stephen and Harry hugs.

What’s your favourite sailing destination?

I haven’t sailed too much around here with my previous job, I have mainly been sailing around the Canary Islands. I am looking forward to exploring the Isles of Scilly this season.

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

Giving hugs, running, reading — and even more sailing.

Eli Pacey

Meet the team… Martin Hendry Posted on

In the run up to the 2017 season getting underway, we will be introducing the current Trinity Sailing Foundation team. Today we caught up with a member of our sea staff — Martin Hendry.


What is your role at Trinity Sailing Foundation?
I am mate aboard Provident. This is a bit of a challenge for me, currently, as we have a big ongoing project to replace much of her deck ready for the new season which I am overseeing.
What did you do prior to joining the team?
This is my third year with the Trinity Sailing Foundation, though this will be my first year sailing on Provident. Last year I worked for another sail training organisation but now I am back where I belong. Before I joined the team here — the first time that is — I did a woodworking apprenticeship. Before that I was working some dead-end jobs and I haven’t looked back since.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
The social interaction with both holiday guests and sail trainees. The variety as well, it’s nice to have a couple of weeks of sail training and and then switch to a few weeks of cruising with adult guests, and vice versa. 
Where is your favourite sailing destination?
Binic, in Brittany. It’s the first place I sailed to and it is also the first place where I encountered Trinity Sailing. I hope to be going back there this year!
When you are not sailing, what else do you enjoy doing?
Karaoke and singing in general, board games, video gaming, watching shows, reading comics.
Martin Hendry

Meet the team… Ben Wheatley Posted on

In the run up to the 2017 season getting underway, we will be introducing the current Trinity Sailing Foundation team. To kick things off, here’s a bit of information about our Operations Director Ben Wheatley…

What is your role at Trinity Sailing Foundation?

I look after the operational side of the organisation, supporting the skippers and crew on board the vessels during the season, and coordinating the refit plans in the winter. I have been at Trinity since February 2013 when I joined as Golden Vanity’s skipper.

What did you do prior to joining the team?

I spent 12 years working at sea on a number of square riggers and worked my way up through the ranks to first mate. This was great and I saw some amazing places however I reached the age where I needed somewhere to base myself and start a family, and Trinity was a good fit as it means I can still enjoy a life at sea as well as home life.

What do you enjoy most about your role?

I enjoy the variety of challenges the job brings. I spend some time out sailing, which I love, and some time on maintenance tasks, whilst also having the opportunity to work from our office in Brixham and interface with the rest of our shore-based  team. This allows a good balance of family life and work.

Where is your favourite sailing destination?

The west coast of Scotland; such variety, stunning scenery and great sailing opportunities. There is always something new to visit.

When you are not sailing, what else do you enjoy doing?

I enjoy spending time with my family, hillwalking and doing up our house.

Ben Wheatley

Fundraising Talk in aid of The Trinity Sailing Foundation Posted on

A fundraising talk is being held in Torquay this month in aid of the Trinity Sailing Foundation.

Major Ranulf Rayner — one of the charity’s patrons — will be giving a talk on the America’s Cup, having written several books on the subject.

The talk, which is free to attend, is being held at Royal Torbay Yacht Club, in Beacon Terrace, on Saturday, February 25th. For more information call Martin in Trinity’s office on 01803 88 33 55 or email



Rayner Talk Poster

Paimpol 2017 – Festival du Chant de Marin Posted on

An exciting preview video showcasing this year’s Festival du Chant de Marin has been launched by the organisers.

Leader and Provident will be both be attending the Paimpol Festival this August which is a highlight in the 2017 sailing calendar.

All berths on Leader are now full, however there are still two berths available on board Provident. If this promotional video tickles your fancy please book quickly to avoid disappointment.

Our vessels will be calling in to Paimpol as part of an extended Brittany cruise, allowing us to spend more time than usual exploring various ports and pretty anchorages along this fantastic stretch of the French coastline. We also anticipate spending a short amount of time visiting some of the Channel Islands.

Berths are available for £1,095 — which works out to just £121 a night — for this nine-night cruising holiday adventure. To book, or find out more, call Harry in the office on 01803 88 33 55 or email

Maritime festival

Devon yachtsman to return to historic sailing vessel for first time in 45 years Posted on

A Devon-based yachtsman who took 88 days to cross the Atlantic in a single-handed race — arriving 68 days behind the winner — is to sail the boat he used in the competition for the first time in 45 years.

 Peter Crowther still holds the record for the slowest-ever crossing in the Original Single-handed Transatlantic Race (OSTAR) set in 1972 when he left Plymouth for Rhode Island USA on the historic gaff-cutter ‘Golden Vanity.’

This May the 74-year-old pub landlord will set sail on his 10th and last OSTAR, this time on a more modern Swan 38. Two weeks before the event he will be taking his family out for a nostalgic voyage along the south Devon coast on the boat he used for the original crossing.

At 29 the then yachting magazine journalist decided to take part in the race, despite having no interest in finishing first. Golden Vanity was built as a pleasure boat, rather than a racing vessel, and Peter just wanted to have the experience of taking part. On his journey — which saw him come last out of 55 entrants — he was joined by his cat Gypsy and her 6 kittens, each of which named after JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings characters.

Peter said: “I ran out of cat food quite quickly and then they had all my meat, so I was pretty hungry.”

Golden Vanity, built in 1908, was owned by Peter at the time and as came over the horizon the other competitors had long since gone home. It was a gruelling crossing and during the race the yachtsman had to replace the rigging three times and re-sew one of his sails.  At one point a hurricane warning message, stuffed in to a bottle, was thrown on board by a passing fishing vessel while he was below deck. The race was his first OSTAR, though he had already undertaken two transatlantic crossings in 1970 and 1971.

It was far from the end of interesting and dramatic OSTAR crossings for Peter. In 1996 he did not even finish and made the headlines when his yacht Galway Blazer — which he owned for 23 years after he sold Golden Vanity — sank 500 miles south west of Ireland. He was dramatically rescued by a passing container ship after letting off a flare from a cold and wet emergency life raft.

Golden Vanity was sold by Peter when he decided he wanted to get a bit more competitive with the racing. He also felt he was pushing the historic vessel too hard as she was not designed for competitive sports.

“I think I had abused her a bit too much and had outgrown her, I think around then I had a change in attitude to sailing,” said Peter.

Aesthetically ‘Vanity’ looks a little different today. In Peter’s days she had a fireplace in the bulkhead between the saloon and the fore cabin — as well as an orange and yellow hull.

The upcoming OSTAR will mean Peter has to take time out from running his Stoke Fleming pub, The Green Dragon, where he has been landlord for 24 years. Regulars are used to his disappearances; they know by now that he’ll be back in two or three month’s time. In the meanwhile, wife Alix will take station at the pumps and keep their loyal customers fed. This he will be competing on Suomi Kudu, a Swan 38 owned by Peter’s brother in law.

Golden Vanity, which is now owned and operated by the Trinity Sailing Foundation, also has an interesting history. She was built for the marine artist Arthur Briscoe by J Sanders & Co, at Galmpton, on the River Dart. 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.

In 1999 the vessel became part of the Trinity Sailing Foundation, where she remains today, offering cruising holidays, RYA courses, and Duke of Edinburgh Residentials and Expeditions. For more information on sailing Golden Vanity visit


Peter Crowther in 1972

Join Leader for the Small Ships 2017 Posted on

Trinity Sailing is pleased to announce that Leader will be taking part in the 2017 ASTO (Association of Sail Training Organisations) Small Ships Race.

The event, which will be held in Torquay, will coincide with the Easter holidays and the gathering of scores of other traditional vessels taking part in the Tall Ships Race from Tor Bay to Portugal.

For the Small Ships Race, the fleet will arrive in Torquay on Monday, April 17, ahead of the Round-the-Cans Race which will take part on the following Tuesday. People aged 16-25 will be able to join Leader — built in 1892 —for three nights of sailing adventure, alongside port-based activities.

The Leader voyage takes place between Tuesday, April 18 and Friday, April 21. Berths are available for £345, which includes all food, drink, bedding, wet weather gear and safety equipment. For more information call 01803 88 33 55 or email

Small Ships 2017

Leader sails to Cornwall for winter maintenance Posted on

Trinity’s sailing’s oldest and largest vessel has left her home port for some essential winter maintenance work.

Leader, built in 1892 at Galmpton on the river Dart, has just completed a passage from Brixham to Polruan — by Fowey —to be hauled out of the water on the slipway of the C Toms and Son shipyard.

Leader is there for approximately two weeks whilst the hull undergoes its annual cleaning and antifouling, the stern gland packing and hull anodes are renewed. While she is out of the water some caulking of hull seams will also be done by way of preventative maintenance.

Ben Wheatley, Trinity Sailing’s Operations Manager said “This is a great opportunity to access the parts of the vessel we cannot easily reach while she is operational during the sailing season. We are taking the opportunity to carry out some scheduled maintenance at the same time as we do some work on the sterngland and replace the sacrificial anodes. The maintenance work is never ending when you are dealing with a traditional vessel like this, and we are very grateful to those who have been down to help us out in Brixham in preparation for the slipping at Toms’ Yard.”

This gives her hardworking crew of Trinity staff and volunteers a change of scene from Brixham harbour, where Leader has been berthed since October last year following the end of her successful 2016 sailing season.

All three of Trinity Sailing’s vessels; Leader (1892), Provident (1924) and Golden Vanity (1908), sail from April to October and are refitted during the winter months by a core team of Trinity seastaff. These professional skippers and mates are supported by a band of dedicated volunteers who give up their free time to travel to Brixham and help maintain these important historic vessels. If you are interested in getting involved, please call us on 01803 88 33 55 or by emailing

You can view Leader’s full sailing programme for 2017 here.


Leader January 2017