COLLEGE bosses have helped sponsor a student ahead of her voyage of a lifetime.
Amy Kirby, from the West Park area of Hartlepool, is to join the crew of the town-based vessel Black Diamond when they set sail later this month.
The excited 17-year-old is the only crew member from town and will be away for up to four weeks for the event which will see her sail to Holland and Norway.
It has been made possible, in part, thanks to £200 of sponsorship from Hartlepool Sixth Form College, which she attends, while the Blakelock Road College is also providing the sportswear she will be wearing.
Amy is currently studying art, textiles, media studies and psychology.
Acting principal Carole Horseman said: “I am delighted that Amy has secured her place on the Black Diamond.
“She will be an asset to the crew and the college is pleased to be able to support her so that she can achieve her dream.”
Amy has also received £250 sponsorship from Hartlepool Small Crafts, which is based in Commercial Street.
Amy, who is taking part in the summer extravaganza as part of her efforts to complete the Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, said: “It is going to be a real challenge but it is one I am really looking forward to.”
The Black Diamond is a Class C vessel and will be competing with between 15 and 20 in its class and almost 100 Tall Ships overall.
It leaves Hartlepool on Monday, June 30, for Harlingen, in Holland, and the ship needs to be there for Thursday, July 3 ahead of the first race leg from there to Fredrikstad, in Norway.
There will then be a cruise in company from Fredrikstad to Bergen, at which point Amy will head home.
For the remaining crew members, there is the final leg, which is a race from Bergen to Esbjerg, in Denmark, where there will be a major maritime celebration, before the vessel sets sail for Hartlepool.