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Lord Nelson to take part in Melbourne Int'l Tall Ships Festival

by Heather Ewing on 3 Sep 2013
Lord Nelson .. .
55-metre Lord Nelson, square rigger operated by UK charity, the Jubilee Sailing Trust, has set sail from Adelaide bound for Melbourne, where she will take part in the Melbourne International Tall Ships Festival 2013.

Lord Nelson is designed and built to allow disabled and able bodied people to sail the ship together. Features include braille signage, wheelchair lifts between decks, hearing loops and a speaking compass, as well as a bowsprit wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, allowing everyone on board to have their ‘King of the World’ moment at the very front of the ship.

The unique tall ship has been invited to take part in the RAN International Fleet Review in Sydney next month and as part of her first ever visit to Australia is calling into ports en route to Sydney harbour.

Having already visited Fremantle, Albany, and Adelaide, from where she set sail this morning, Lord Nelson is due to arrive in Port Philip Bay on Friday and will come alongside at Seaworks in Williamstown on the morning of Saturday 7 September to participate in the Melbourne International Tall Ships Festival 2013. During her week-long visit she will be open to the public at Seaworks.

The invitation from the Royal Australian Navy was the catalyst for Lord Nelson’s departure from the UK last October on the first ever circumnavigation of the globe by an accessible tall ship. The two-year, 50,000-mile Norton Rose Fulbright Sail the World Challenge will see the ship call in to more than 30 ports on six continents and round three Great Capes; she has already sailed around the Cape of Good Hope in South Africa and Cape Leeuwin in Australia. Early next year she will round the infamous Cape Horn at the very tip of South America.

The voyage is carrying the message of equality and inclusion to every port of call. Norton Rose Fulbright, which has five offices in Australia including one in Melbourne, is supporting this inaugural world voyage under their banner of 'All abilities. All aboard.' The global legal practice supports the Jubilee Sailing Trust’s values of diversity, inclusion and integration.

Crew are paired up in a buddy system and work together to support each other during their time at sea. The minimum age is 16 and there is no upper age limit. Everyone works to his or her ability and the ship’s ethos is to focus on what people can do, rather than what they can’t.

Joining the ship in South Australia for the five-day voyage from Adelaide to Melbourne are ten staff from Bendigo and Adelaide Bank. The financial institution is making the most of Lord Nelson’s visit to Australia to enable their staff to take advantage of a unique team-building opportunity.

Change Manager Sharnie Curnow has joined the crew in Adelaide and said, 'I’m so excited to be able to crew the Lord Nelson on her voyage to Melbourne working with such a diverse team.'

She added, 'It’s really a credit to my employer Bendigo and Adelaide Bank to offer such unique team building opportunity like this, although I have to admit, I’ve got plenty of seasickness tablets packed!'

A limited number of berths are still available for disabled and abled bodied people from across Australia to join Lord Nelson on the voyage from Sydney to Auckland and wider availability during her forthcoming visit to New Zealand. For more information, including voyage dates and availability, visit www.jst.org.uk, email info@jst.org.uk or call 03 9981 3312 in Australia.

As well as Lord Nelson, the Jubilee Sailing Trust operates a second accessible tall ship, Tenacious, and more than 37,000 people have sailed with the organisation since it was founded in 1978, 14,000 of whom are physically disabled, including 5,000 wheelchair users.

Lord Nelson will be berthed at Seaworks, Williamstown, for the duration of the Melbourne International Tall Ships Festival 2013

Public open days: Members of the public can visit the ship during the festival. Lord Nelson will be open from 10am to 4pm daily, with the exception of Thursday 12 September. Piers are open to the public to view all the ships taking part until 10pm every evening.

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