Fantastic voyage

The crew of Duet mooring the vessel
The crew of Duet mooring the vessel
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A 100-year-old sailing ship is coming to Hartlepool as part of a voyage which is changing children’s lives.

And when it arrives in town, its young crew will get a heroes’ welcome from one of Hartlepool’s very own champions.

The Duet, which is Britain’s longest serving sail training vessel, is touring the UK anti-clockwise in a series of voyages which link all the Olympic venues.

She will be in Hartlepool next Thursday on the journey in which her crew includes young people from Barnardo’s Lincolnshire, who are being treated to a life-changing trip.

The Duet is part of a small sailing fleet of vessels operated by The Cirdan Sailing Trust, a charity specialising in personal development opportunities for disadvantaged young people.

Despite her lack of size, the Duet has twice been the overall winner of The Tall Ships Races.

She is sailing around the UK in 11 sectors, each one with a different young crew on board. The crew on the second leg of the voyage will be arriving in Hartlepool.

Eventually, 60 young people will have completed a leg of the adventure.

Duet’s journey started on the Thames and it will finish back in London to coincide with the Olympic closing ceremony celebrations.

As Britain’s longest serving sail training vessel, Duet has sailed more than 250,000 miles, providing a life changing experience for more than 8,000 young people over the last 50 years.

When she arrives at each of the host ports on the UK voyage, her crew will be greeted and presented with certificates to mark her achievements.

The person doing the honours in Hartlepool is the Great Britain Under 18’s ice hockey player Amy Campbell.

She said: “Travelling the world to represent my country in ladies ice hockey is great fun and an enormous privilege but it has taken a lot of dedication and belief in myself to get this far.

“I know that the young people sailing aboard Duet will face their own challenges on their voyage to success. I can promise them that it will all be worth it, because I have learned that every challenge you overcome builds you into a stronger and more capable person.”

Amy will congratulate the young people and present them with Certificates of Achievement at a ceremony in Hartlepool Marina attended by town MP Iain Wright MP.