STS Young Endeavour is joining a race on every sailor’s bucket list, the Rolex Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.
While the 44 metre brigantine won’t be chasing line honours, she will play an important support role acting as the standby radio relay ship.
Lieutenant Commander Mike Gough, Commanding Officer Young Endeavour said the southern ocean could throw up many perils, so the role of the Royal Australian Navy’s sail training ship was important.
“The weather conditions on the southern ocean can be unpredictable and ships can get into trouble,” he said.
“Our role will be to relay any messages of distress from ships in the race to the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, so the most appropriate support can be provided.
“Not all racing yachts have satellite communications, so we are in a position to provide an important service.”
The yacht race is also an opportunity for Young Endeavour alumni who have the sailing bug to sail in a world class event.
Stephen O’Sullivan, one of the lucky alumni drawn from a ballot for the race said that it was something he has wanted to do for a long time.
“I grew up in Sydney and watched the start of the Sydney to Hobart each year. It’s a real tradition and as a kid who sailed, it’s been something I’ve wanted to do for a long time,” he said.
“When my name was drawn from the ballot, I was incredibly excited. I can’t wait to see what challenges the Tasman Sea brings up.”
The 2018 Sydney to Hobart will be Stephen’s third voyage on Young Endeavour, and he feels incredibly lucky.
“I did a youth development voyage in 2014 and helped out as an assistant watch leader in 2016. To be selected from the ballot for a third time for a once in a lifetime voyage is mind blowing.
“Sailing a tall ship is challenging. There are so many different lines, yards and square sails. I really love the mental aspect to it.
“I’m looking forward to the voyage and meeting my ship mates. Young Endeavour attracts really interesting, wonderful people who all have a spirit of adventure in common. You step onboard knowing no one and in a few hours you’re best mates.”
Young Endeavour sails with the Rolex Sydney to Hobart fleet on Boxing Day and is scheduled to arrive in Hobart on New Years Eve. (Ms Natalie Staples - author)