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Reserve Forces & Cadets Association
Northern Ireland



21 August 2017

TS ROYALIST returned to the United Kingdom to a hero’s welcome after becoming the first British ship in 31 years to win Sail Training International's Tall Ships Race – a fantastic feat on its own, without taking into consideration that it was TS Royalist's first race and the crew was mostly made up of teenagers.  Royalist competed against vessels from around the world in the 380 mile journey that took her from Sweden to Finland, Lithuania and Poland.

Taking part in the adventure were cadets and instructors from Training Ship Broadsword, Dundonald Sea Cadets.  Petty Officer Gareth Hampton was part of the crew for Race 1 and was joined by sister Able Cadet Laura Hampton for Race 2.  Also taking part was their Mum, Petty Officer Noella Hampton, who was Coxswain for Race 1 and Chief Petty Officer Nigel Frazer, who was the permanent chef on-board.

TS Royalist is the flagship of the Sea Cadets and was commissioned by Princess Ann the Princess Royal in 2015. The vessel is a training ship for the Marine Society & Sea Cadets and takes 24 young people between the ages of I3 and 18 on a voyage each week, teaching them seamanship, navigation, teamwork & leadership and valuable life skills based on the traditions and values of The Royal Navy.

“It was a very exciting voyage; it was constant and challenging and everyone involved has made new friends and had the opportunity and experience of a lifetime with fantastic memories of new cultures,” said Noella.

On return to the UK, TS Royalist made its way up the River Thames yesterday for a victory sail, culminating in Tower Bridge being raised.