by Živilė Putnienė
The selection of sailing trainees for The Tall Ships Races, which lasted more than two months, is over. Among the 90 received application forms, most of the registered applicants were from Klaipėda, Vilnius and Kaunas. On June 30, when the ships are moored, 46 sailing trainees will embark upon an unforgettable trip together with The Tall Ships Races and their trip will be covered by Klaipėda Municipality.
“The beautiful partnership between the City of Klaipeda and Sail Training International this summer will give as much as half a hundred young people in Lithuania, I believe, not only the most memorable event of this year, but also one of the most meaningful experiences in their entire lives. I very much wish every selected future cadet, perhaps for the first time standing on the deck of the ship, to feel that inexplicable attraction to the sea. Starting this extraordinary journey, which fundamentally strengthens the grounds of sailing and maritime culture, I wish that each of the selected young people would have half seas over and always have fair wind in the sails of their ship,” says Vytautas Grubliauskas, the Mayor of Klaipėda City.
More sailing trainees
THE SELECTION OF SAILING TRAINEES inviting to become a sailing cadet and embarking on an unforgettable voyage together with The Tall Ships Races has been completed. By the end of the registration, on May 1, Klaipėdos šventės, Public Establishment, has received 82 application forms, another eight application forms were received after the deadline, they therefore were not evaluated. The largest number of registered applicants was from Klaipėda – 33, Vilnius – 24, and Kaunas – 21. One application form was received from Aalborg (Denmark), one or several application forms were received from Jonava, Alytus, Palanga, Žiežmariai, Plungė.
Although, according to the organizers, the initial goal was to send 30 cadets, yet in view of great interest, favorable negotiations with the ships and evaluation of the possibilities, as many as 46 trainees will be invited for an impressive voyage by sea. The commission, which evaluated the received application forms and motivation letters, consisted of four persons: one representative of Klaipėda City Municipality and one representative of the event coordinator Klaipėdos Šventės, a cadet selection specialist and a captain.
“I am very pleased that even now, when there is a lot of uncertainty and doubt about the pandemic in the world, we have received a record number of people interested. Assessing the application forms received and reading the motivation letters, which formed an important part of the competitive score, it was clear that most of the young people are ambitious, know what they want, follow a purposeful path and, most importantly, are indifferent to sailing. I am sure that in a week on the high seas, these young people will remain faithful to the sea for a lifetime,” says Violeta Ulevičienė, the Project Manager.
By signing the contract, all selected trainees will undertake to provide vaccination documentation, confirmation they had the illness or to have a mandatory 72-hour PCR test. The sailing trip of the selected young people will be covered at the expense of Klaipėda City Municipality. The cadets will travel to the next race port on the following ships: Atyla (Class B, Spain), Morgenster (Class A, Netherlands), Brabander (Class B, Lithuania), Helena (Class C, Finland), ST IV (Class C, Estonia), Patricia (Class D, Belgium). The average trip price per trainee is 700 euros.
“This is an extraordinary chance,” say future cadets
Assessing the received application forms, the top 10 were cadets of the cadet school or the Lithuanian Maritime Academy, who were awarded additional points. All selected young people are already informed.
The young man from Pasvalys scored the most points after the top ten.
“It is one of the most joyful news lately. I really want to be a member of the crew because I love the sea endlessly. The fact that I live far from it and seeing the sea is almost a holiday also contributed to this love. I also think sailing is an exceptionally extreme challenge, and I want to face every challenge and overcome it. I hope that this will be my unforgettable adventure and maybe the beginning of a new hobby,” says Justas Petrulis.
Another future cadet, Ona, named this trip a great opportunity to improve her sailing skills.
“I decided that I really wanted to sail and saw this application form as a very big opportunity. It was only this year that I started learning to sail and I am already very fond of this sport. I am a scout and plan to become a sea scout in the near future. Being able to embark on this journey means that I will be able to try sailing in a different environment, pick up a huge amount of experience from professionals and, of course, have a good time between interesting and new people. I have heard that seasickness is just a myth, so I am not afraid of anything,” says Ona Akelė, a future sailing trainee from Vilnius.
Algimantas Kaulius from Klaipėda, who has always had a great passion for technology, cars and ships, says that he has no doubt that this is a chance of a lifetime.
“A few years ago, I attended courses to get recreational ship rights because we have a motorboat in the family. It was only after gaining the rights to sail that I immediately realized that I really enjoyed this activity. I love water, active leisure, so I think sailing would be a very interesting experience for me as well. In fact, I think that the opportunity to try sailing could be the beginning of another of my new hobbies, after all, I am from Klaipėda, so water, sea and ships are an integral part of our city, and at the same time a part of us as residents of this city,” says Algimantas Kaulius.
Passing on the experience of sailing to young people and fostering maritime culture are one of the most important goals of the Sail Training International, which is organizing The Tall Ships Races, and the sailing ships participating in the race.