SEVEN PUPILS FROM Gordonstoun School helping to crew the ‘Ocean Spirit of Moray’ have been crowned as winners on the first leg of the prestigious Tall Ships race.
The Moray ship won the first stage of the 2015 event after they crowned a spectacular festival in Belfast last week by taking the opening Northern Ireland to Norway leg.
During their stay in Belfast the Moray students showed off their ship and cemented friendships with crews from other entrants – including students from Rockport, County Down with whom the crew shared a networking programme.
Competing against 50 other Tall Ships entrants, the Ocean Spirt of Moray set out on the 700-mile race to Norway – crossing the finishing line a Alesund ahead of the pack. The crew are now readying the ship for the second leg of the race which will set out from Kristiansand heading for the Denmark port of Aalborg on July 25.
“It was excellent to hear of the success of the students in the first leg of the race,” Gordonstoun principal Simon Reid said, adding: “Taking part in something as unique as this is a wonderful opportunity for them – we are really proud of their achievement.”
The Ocean Spirit of Moray is the latest in a line of ships owned by the school which has had sail training on its curriculum since the 1930’s. Pupils undertake seamanship training using Hopeman Harbour as their base.
The Tall Ships races are organised by Sail Training International and attract thousands of visitors at every port they visit. Ships berthed alongside the Ocean Spirit of Moray this year included the Cisne Branco from the Brazilian Navy and Guayas from Ecuador.