Brian Treliving (left) being presented with his Veteran Medal.
Brian Treliving, a British veteran sailor from the very first Tall Ships Races in 1956, visited Sail Training International’ offices recently. Brian was a young trainee on board the British Royal Naval ketch Marabu during the Race and he recalled how much he enjoyed his experience.
He was part of a crew of eight that joined the festivities in Dartmouth before setting off for Torbay to start off on the Race to Lisbon. Brian remembers that the first day of the Race took place in gentle conditions and the frustration of being becalmed off Ushant before the breeze finally picked up and produced some exciting racing conditions. He also recalled how the Marabu crew had hoped that they might get some inside information from the British Naval race support ship on how the other vessels were doing due to their Royal Naval connection, however the Naval ship was giving nothing away!
Marabu finished the Race in 4th on corrected time after being becalmed for up to 20 hours and getting pipped at the post for 3rd place by the French yacht Sereine. However, this didn’t stop the crew from enjoying the hospitality and entertainment that Lisbon had to offer!
Brian noted how times have changed in the last 55 years and that at the time of the race Marabu had no engine or facility for transmitting via radio. He said that the menu was very basic although most welcome after the long watches.
Paul Bishop, Head of Race Directorate of Sail Training International presented Brian with a 50th anniversary commemorative veteran medal and thanked him for visiting and sharing his sail training stories. Brian plans to wear this in Greenock where he will be visiting The Tall Ships Races this summer and hopes to visit some familiar vessels that took part in the 1956 race such as Christian Radich and Maybe.
Picured below: 1956 medal that Brian was presented with 55 years ago for taking part in the very first Tall Ships Races.