At the recent Captains Dinner before the start of the Tall Ships Races, Ian Lerner, Captain of Ocean Spirit of Moray, confirmed how relevant Sail Training is in today's world.
Ian spoke about the impact that Sail Training has on young people:
“I have been lucky enough to have spent the last 30 years on sail training ships and the last 21 years running Ocean Spirit.
“Whilst fundamentally young people haven’t really changed that much over the years, society has. The distractions of modern life make it easier than ever for young people to avoid the kind of essential experiences that we all know help to develop the character and resilience so necessary to become good citizens in an ever changing world.
“Sail training provides opportunities for young people from all backgrounds to find out about themselves and what is really important in life. It helps them to realize that its people not things that matter, and that sometimes the most significant lesson in life is to have the confidence to just be yourself.
"And all this comes from our encounters with the sea in ships that need people to sail them, people who must work together and overcome many challenges to get the boat safely to their destination. Being at sea and learning to put the ship and their shipmates before themselves is perhaps not always something that comes naturally to our trainees, but we all know that the common bond that is formed amongst young people when they face the oceans can be a life changing experience, and we know it works not because they have seen it on YouTube, but because it is real.
"Back in the 1960’s Kurt Hahn famously said that the Moray Firth was his best school teacher, and I believe that today more than ever we need young people who have the self-belief and determination to take charge of our world in the future. From my perspective the more of them that have seen life from the deck of a ship and pulled on a rope with others, the brighter our future will be."
(speech text from the Sail Training International website)