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Sail Training & Rotary

Rotary International is one of the largest humanitarian service organizations in the world, with over 34,000 local Rotary clubs in nearly 200 countries.

Sail Training International and Rotary International share the common aims of encouraging youth development while supporting efforts towards international friendship and understanding.

STAR is Sail Training And Rotary and is the title of the Sail Training International initiative to enhance collaborations ranging from Rotary Club sponsorship of trainees sailing on tall ships, to projects undertaken jointly by Rotary clubs and host ports.

The sail training and Rotary relationship has existed since at least 1972 when the Rotary Club of Toronto, Canada funded the purchase of the engine for the Toronto Brigantines vessel Playfair.

A landmark sail training and Rotary collaboration took place in 2005 when eight Rotary clubs in and around Fredrikstad, Norway joined forces to make it possible for 25 young people to sail aboard the Norwegian tall ship Christian Radich in the Tall  Ships’ Race from Newcastle Gateshead, U.K., to Fredrikstad, Norway.  The clubs also helped to recruit over 100 additional young trainees for the race.

A second major success occurred in 2010 when the Rotary Club of Cleveland, Ohio, U.S.A. became the Cleveland Port Organizer for the American Sail Training Association (now Tall Ships America) Great Lakes Tall Ships Challenge Series®.  The effort was undertaken as the Cleveland club’s 100th anniversary commemorative project.

Please read the articles listed on the right side of this page to learn more about STAR and its history.

Questions about STAR may be submitted to STI Rotary Liaisons:

Hal Barstow, a Rotarian and Board member of the Los Angeles Maritime Institute.

Bjørn Jørstad, a member and Past President of the Rotary Club of Onsøy, Norway.

Knut Western, director of Tall Ships Races Europe, Sail Training International.

More general information about Rotary International can be accessed at

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