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We’re Recruiting for A New Chair of Trustees

May 7, 2024

Sail Training International is recruiting for a new Chair to lead our Board of Trustees. Our new Chair will build on our successes, having the responsibility to deliver Sail Training International’s mission and provide leadership to the wider organisation.

We’re looking for an influential, supportive leader who builds confidence and consensus. Your responsibilities will include chairing and facilitating meetings, giving direction to policy, providing leadership for the organisation and our subsidiary companies, representing and acting as a spokesperson for the charity, all while bringing impartiality and objectivity.

This is an exciting opportunity for an individual looking to continue the development of sail training around the world, at a time of significant development.


Sail Training International is a charity (not-for-profit organisation) organisation which promotes sail training to young people through a worldwide membership and activities. Our purpose is the development and education of young people through the sail training experience, regardless of their nationality, culture, religion, gender or social background.

We achieve our purpose through a range of activities and services including, organising international sail training events – the best known being The Tall Ships Races – organising conferences and seminars, providing funding and bursaries for young people to take part in sail training, funding international research and much more.

You can find out more about our work and organisation here.


The ideal candidate for Chair of the Trustees will possess a unique blend of skills and have experience within sail training or The Tall Ships Races, governance within the voluntary/non-profit sector, practical financial management, and a passion for youth work and education. The role will require a time commitment on average of 15 hours per month with 2-3 weeks per year travelling internationally to attend our events and conferences.

The role will begin from November 2024 and you can find out more details about the position and skills we’re looking for below.


  • Safeguard and promote the Charity’s mission
  • Act as the senior representative and spokesperson for Sail Training International
  • Ensure annual and longer-term strategic plans remain relevant with regard to wider environment and are monitored and executed by relevant parts of the Group
  • Ensure Boards operate to a high standard of governance and financial probity
  • Ensure the Trustees and Directors of Group companies have relevant skills and backgrounds


  • Previous experience of sail training and/or The Tall Ships Races (essential)
  • Governance at Board level with voluntary/non-profit organisations (essential)
  • Management and oversight of finance at a practical level (essential)
  • Working understanding (or a willingness to learn) of UK charity law and legislation (essential)
  • Coordination of large numbers of workers/volunteers (desirable)
  • Education to tertiary/degree level (desirable)
  • Experience within youth work or the education of young people (desirable)


  • Networking (essential)
  • Negotiating skills and a diplomatic approach to dealing with people from different cultures and backgrounds (essential)
  • Strategic thinking (essential)
  • Strong written and oral communication (essential)
  • Good command of English (essential)
  • Working understanding of economic/geopolitical issues (essential)
  • Basic ability in other languages (desirable)


To provide guidance on the typical time commitments of the role, below is the activities of the current Chair.

  • Weekly meeting with CEO (typically 1.5hrs)
  • 5-6 Board meetings per year (approx 1.5 – 2hrs each)
  • 5 days participating in our Annual Conference and associated meetings
  • 10-14 days annual travel associated with our events, including time at sea

If you share our commitment to the cause of youth development and the promotion of international friendship and understanding, and feel your experience and skills meet the needs of the role, we’d love to hear from you.

Interested candidates should send a CV and supporting letter to Alan James, the Chief Executive Officer of Sail Training International, at

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