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Thalassa

Inclusive Antwerp welcomes Trainees with the Help of the John E. Burnett Bursary

March 24, 2022

The clock continues to count down to the return of The Tall Ships Races and the third Host Port of this year’s races, Antwerp, is preparing to welcome the world famous Tall Ships with its most inclusive event yet when it hosts them from 22-25 July.

Following on from a series of successful events since they first hosted The Tall Ships Races in 1993, the city and port of Antwerp has made inclusivity a central theme to their celebrations in 2022. One of the initiatives the city and port will be using to do this is sponsoring a number of disabled young people to take part in the Cruise-in-Company leg of the event, from Harlingen to Antwerp, with support from the John E. Burnett Bursary.

Five young disabled people who are members of the Belgian Unified Sailing team will join the Class A Tall Ship, Thalassa, as it sails from the Netherlands to Belgium on a scenic cruise along the North Sea coast. The aim of the voyage will be to welcome the trainees as full members of the crew, taking part in all aspects of sailing the majestic ship.

The plans come after Antwerp and the Oman Bursary Fund supported five young competition winners to take part in sailing voyages in 2021. Coming from a range of backgrounds, the trainees sailed on board the Tall Ship Thalassa and took part in all aspects of life on board. They learned about the ship, life on the water and, more importantly, themselves and what they’re truly capable of.

The trainees enjoyed and benefitted from the experience so much, a return voyage was always on the cards. This came about when one of the young people on board, Thibeau Bastien, who is a Special Olympics athlete returned and extolled the positive impact of the voyage.

Such was his excitement following his sailing trip, Unified Sailing Belgium began making arrangements with the city and port of Antwerp to send five young disabled people to participate in The Tall Ships Races 2022. With support and funding from the city and port of Antwerp and the John E. Burnett Bursary, the trainees will join the Tall Ship Thalassa during the Cruise-in-Company leg, sailing from Harlingen to Antwerp.

The John E. Burnett Bursary was launched by Sail Training International in 2021 in memory of John Burnett. With similar goals to our other bursaries, the scheme is aimed at disabled people of any age. The purpose of the fund is to encourage self-development by actively participating in a Sail Training voyage on a Tall Ship during a Sail Training International Tall Ships Race or Regatta.

Taking part in the Cruise-in-Company leg of The Tall Ships Races will provide the participants with the opportunity to take part in a cruise of adventure between two Host Ports. There’ll be a perfect mix of invigorating sailing and exploring amazing bays, natural landscapes, historical ports and much more.

This fantastic project continues a long tradition of supporting participation in The Tall Ships Races. Every year we are proud to be able to provide a range of bursaries and funds that support disadvantaged youth to take part in our events. If you or someone you know would like to take part in The Tall Ships Races and would benefit from help, you can find out all about the support available on our Funds and Bursaries pages.

About the Races

The Tall Ships Races 2022 will see the international fleet of Tall Ships and Small Ships return to the North Sea. From 7 July-7 August, we will visit EsbjergHarlingenAntwerp and Aalborg.

The event will mark a welcome return to all four Host Ports who have hosted a total of 16 Tall Ships Races and Regattas so far. The series will see the majestic Tall Ships sailing from Esbjerg, Denmark, south through the North Sea to Harlingen, Netherlands, as part of an exhilarating Race One.

Following this they will enjoy a stunning Cruise-in-Company leg further south to Antwerp, Belgium, enjoying spectacular coastal sailing. Race Two will take the fleet from Antwerp, Belgium, back north through the North Sea to Aalborg, Denmark, for the final celebrations.

COVID-19 Event Planning

The latest information regarding our events and COVIDS-19 can be found here.

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