BBC “Great Railway Journeys” presenter (and former politician) Michael Portillo has been taking the helm of the Penarth-based training yacht “Challenge Wales” in the latest episode of his tv series shown last night.
The sail training provided by Challenge Wales aims to give young people opportuniotiers to learn “life skills” which can build confidence, teamwork, motivation and help them present themselves to future employers.
All young people aged 12 – 25 years can apply for bursary funding to subsidise their voyages. In 2017, Challenge Wales received the ‘UK Sail Training Vessel of the Year’ award from the Maritime & Coastguard Agency and the Association of Sail Training Organisations.
Meanwhile, the Challenge Wales organisation has taken ownership of a second ocean-going vessel – a 60ft schooner, currently named Ocean Venture which is also based at Penarth. Slightly smaller than the 72 foot Challenge Wales yacht, the additional vessel will enable sail training activities to be expanded into North and West Wales, Ireland and other ports around the UK.
The project has been supported by the European Regional Development Fund through Welsh Government and through the Social Business Growth Fund, which is managed by WCVA (Welsh Council of Voluntary Action).
The project has been supported by the European Regional Development Fund through Welsh Government and through the Social Business Growth Fund, which is managed by WCVA (Welsh Council of Voluntary Action). 2018 has been designated as The Year of the Sea – a celebration in which both the Challenge Wales vessels will be involved.