Providing annual sail training opportunities to young people aged between 15 and 25 years from all over Shetland.

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This is what our 2024 trainees will get up to:

We are inviting applications from young people aged 15-25 from Shetland to take part in sponsored sail training voyages in The Tall Ships Races during July and August this year.

Our mission is to inspire positive change through the adventure, challenge, and experience of sail training. Sail training is an adventure you will remember for the rest of your life. We very much welcome applications from all abilities and backgrounds.

The application process for Tall Ships placements is in two stages but you only need to submit one application.

Stage 1: Taster Day Sails, Shetland

11 – 14 April 2024

Back by popular demand! Try an experience of sailing on Shetland’s own tall ship, Swan to get a taster of adventure at sea and being onboard a working tall ship.

This is a selection event aimed at those considering taking part in the Tall Ship Races in 2024 (Stage 2). The day sails offer just a small taste of a longer passage at sea, enabling you to learn about working a boat, including working sails, watch systems, taking the helm, and basic navigation.

You will get to experience traditional sailing, meet others who have done it before, try a new challenge and learn more about taking part in The Tall Ships Races.

There are no costs involved for taking part in the taster days.

Stage 2: The Tall Ships Races 2024

Race Three - MARIEHAMN - Åland Islands (Finland) ❘ SZCZECIN - Poland

Wednesday 24 July to Monday 5 August (13 nights) onboard Roald Amundsen

Built in Germany in 1952, Roald Amundsen is just over 40 metres long! The vessel has 17 permanent crew and 31 trainee crew berths. German and English are the languages spoken onboard.

After the excitement of the Tall Ships Races returning to Lerwick in 2023, we couldn't miss the chance to offer young people in Shetland the opportunity to travel even further afield! Participating in the internationally renowned festival, The Tall Ship Races 2024 will take in all the Baltic region has to offer. The legendary Tall Ships Races delivers international fun, friendship, action-packed racing, and festival experiences.

Mariehamn is the capital city of the Åland Islands, located off the south west coast of Finland in the Baltic Sea. The city will be the fifth port of the Tall Ships Races 2024 and will welcome the fleet for a fantastic maritime event.

After participating in all the festivities in the port, you’ll race south through the Baltic Sea to Szczecin, one of the largest cities in the north of Poland. It’s known as Poland’s “green city of ecology” and it’s famous for its yachting. Being the final race of the event, it is sure to be an exciting one, and you’ll be captivated by the thrill of the competition. Once you reach Poland, you and your fellow shipmates, now great friends too, will celebrate the end of the race with international crews on other vessels.

Applicants must be 15 years of age on 27 June 2024, the start of The Tall Ships Races 2024 event series. The upper age limit is 25 years at the time of travel.

Key notes:

  • Dates are approximate, inclusive of travel estimated between embarkation and disembarkation ports.
  • No previous sailing experience is necessary.
  • We welcome applications from those who have applied previously.
  • You must have an address in Shetland to apply.
  • Successful applicants may be required to travel both via ferry and/or flights to meet their ship. Although you will be travelling as part of a small group, you will nonetheless need a degree of self-reliance during the trip.
  • If you are selected for a Tall Ships placement, a personal contribution of £350 towards your voyage is needed. If the personal contribution is a barrier to applying for a placement, please get in touch with us so we can discuss alternative ways to support your application.

Applications closed 5pm, Friday 29 March 2024


You must read our guidance notes before completing your application. We are happy to accept applications that have been scribed on your behalf.


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Lerwick Port AuthorityArven Offshore Wind Farm
Associate Sponsors
The Swan Trust
Grant Funders
Bell's Nautical TrustShetland Community Benefit FundSIC Coastal Communities Fund