Please select your home edition
Edition
Fever-Tree 728x90

Melbourne Tall Ships Festival - Lord Nelson sets sail for Tasmania

by Heather Ewing on 14 Sep 2013
Lord Nelson sailing Heather Ewing
British tall ship, Lord Nelson, has set sail from Williamstown, Victoria, bound for Hobart, Tasmania, after taking part in the week-long Melbourne International Tall Ships Festival.

The unique 55-metre square rigger, which is one of only two ships in the world accessible to disabled and able bodied sailors, took centre stage at the event along with eight other Australian and international tall ships. Tens of thousands of visitors passed through the gates, many of them climbing on board to take a look around Lord Nelson.

Sunshine broke through the cloud as the ship slipped away from the dock this morning to sail in company with the other tall ships to the east of Port Phillip Bay to Capel Sound, where she will anchor overnight before passing through the Heads and out into the Bass Strait at approximately 10am local time tomorrow (Sunday) morning.

During the week Lord Nelson, which is owned and operated by UK charity, the Jubilee Sailing Trust, played host to children from North Altona Primary School, as well as a number of corporate fundraising events and, on Thursday, headed up a stunning parade of sail as all of the ships headed out into Port Phillip Bay for the day.

Australian Paralympic sailor, Michael McClean, who won Gold at the Sydney 2000 games, took the helm to dock Lord Nelson as she came back alongside and was on the dock to wave her off to Tasmania this morning.

Michael, who also climbed the mast during the day sail, has been the festival liaison for Lord Nelson for the duration of the event.

'Having the experience, even on a day sail, just to go out there and climb up to the first platform, was brilliant, absolutely brilliant. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed helping out. My job was just to do whatever Captain Barbara needed, and hopefully I’ve done that well for everybody,' he said.

Visibly moved as he spoke about ‘Nellie’ and the opportunities the ship offers, Michael explained, 'The first thing that comes to my mind is: how does someone think, ‘Let’s build a tall ship that’s accessible to wheelchairs?’ And then to put it into practice as well… I think it’s just a fabulous experience and probably the highlight is the way that the crew that are on board treat people with disabilities. You come on board and you’re just one of the crew and that’s kind of what I like about sailing: you’re just a sailor, there’s no special things done for you, so I think it’s absolutely brilliant.'

Thursday’s parade of sail was the first time that the Australian tall ship, Young Endeavour, and Lord Nelson, both designed by renowned British naval architect, Colin Mudie, had sailed together since 1987, when Young Endeavour departed UK waters for Australia as a gift to the nation from the British Government to commemorate the Australian Bicentenary in 1988.

Lord Nelson has been a hit with the crowds who have come in their droves to visit the ships during their stay in Williamstown.

The Master of Lord Nelson, Captain Barbara Campbell, said, 'It’s been manic – there’s been so much to do. I don’t think there’s been a day when I haven’t either given a speech about the Jubilee Sailing Trust, a talk, or a slide presentation. People are genuinely very interested. Someone said they didn’t know that this area had so many people with disabilities who came flocking down to the ships to see them, and especially us. The weekends were really busy, the evenings were crowded, so there’s been a huge amount of interest and it has been a great event.'

There are a number of Tasmanians on board for the voyage from Melbourne to Hobart, among them Matthew Holland from Devonport.

Matthew, who is in the Royal Australian Air Force explains, 'My Flight Sergeant asked if I’d be interested in doing it and as soon as I found out it was going to Tasmania I said yes. I thought it would be an awesome opportunity.'

More used to dealing with fast planes in his role as ground crew for the RAAF’s Roulettes aerobatic team, Matthew has a few concerns about setting sail into the unknown on a 55-metre ship.

'I do get seasick but I think I’ve talked myself into it – two days ago I started feeling sick! It’s alright at the moment while we’re alongside, but we’ll see.'

Laughing, he adds, 'I wasn’t too happy about the brief we just had about going down the west coast because being a Tassie boy I’ve been to the west coast and I know how rough it is. I’ve been on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry a few times and I’ve always said that’s the smallest boat I want to cross the Bass Strait in, but we’ll see how we go.'

Lord Nelson’s crew brings together people from all walks of life, most of whom have never met each other before and the same is true of the voyage from Melbourne to Hobart where the crew comprises a mix of nationalities.

'I’ve never met anyone on board before,' confirms Matthew. 'There’s one other person on board from Sale from the Air Force as well and I met him for the first time today.'

Matthew is one of a number of Australian Defence Force personnel joining Lord Nelson in Melbourne for the voyages to Tasmania and on to Sydney.

Next month Lord Nelson will take part in the Royal Australian Navy International Fleet Review in Sydney. The invitation to the RAN centenary celebrations was the catalyst for Lord Nelson’s two-year circumnavigation, the Norton Rose Fulbright Sail the World Challenge, which aims to promote inclusion and equality in each of the 30 ports of call on the 50,000-mile voyage.

Norton Rose Fulbright, which has five offices in Australia, including one in Melbourne, is supporting this unique global 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.

While Australians have sailed on board Lord Nelson on previous voyages, this is the first time they have been able to do so in home waters, as the ship makes her way from Fremantle via Adelaide, Melbourne and Hobart to Sydney on her inaugural visit to Australia.

The opportunity has been snapped up and only a handful of berths are now available on the voyage from Sydney to Auckland next month, however there are places available on the New Zealand legs of the journey. For more information visit JST Website or email: info@jst.org.uk or call 03 9981 3312 in Australia.

The ship was built to accommodate a wide range of physical disabilities and features include wheelchair lifts between decks, a speaking compass, braille signage, hearing loops and a bowsprit that is wide enough to accommodate a wheelchair, so everyone can have their ‘King of the World’ moment. Disabled and able bodied crew work together in a ‘buddy’ system, supporting each other as they sail the ship across the world’s oceans.

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. They are the only vessels in the world to offer such an experience to people of all abilities, nationalities and backgrounds.

Lord Nelson embarked on her 23-month voyage from Southampton in the UK in October last year, riding the wave of success enjoyed by the London 2012 Paralympic Games.

Barz Optics - Melanin LensesInsun - AC ProgramPredictWind.com

Related Articles

Team Aqua takes control of RC44 Sotogrande Cup
With racing cancelled yesterday due to severe conditions, the fleet ventured out today in marginally improved conditions Once again the wind, although shifty, was less of an issue than the sea state, which was initially so massive that the RC44s were disappearing up to their spreaders in the troughs.
Posted today at 6:59 pm
Skiff success in first Hyeres World Cup finals day
Fletcher and Bithell held on tightly to the silver spot going in to the 49er finale to secure a third straight podium The French Riviera venue served up perfect conditions for the first of the event’s two medal race days, with bright sunshine and winds averaging 15 knots providing the ideal playground.
Posted today at 6:50 pm
All on for Team Oman Air in second half of Extreme Sailing Series
Team Oman Air have everything to play for going into the back half of the second round after racing in Qingdao Skipper Phil Robertson's men spent almost three hours poised for action as they waited for the breeze to materialise but, unlike yesterday's opener when a 15-knot wind appeared halfway through the afternoon, it wasn't to be.
Posted today at 3:40 pm
World Sailing Show - Video news - May 2017 - Volvo 65, America's Cup
May 2017 edition of World Sailing News, which this month features Volvo Ocean Race, America's Cup and more May 2017 edition of World Sailing News, which this month features: Winding the clock back on a Volvo 65 and taking a race boat that already has over 40,000 hard miles under its keel might not be your idea of a perfect start for another lap of the planet. But the newly refurbished fleet of Volvo 65s are better than new. We went to Portugal to find out how this can be so.
Posted today at 11:41 am
Top Chinese sailor aims to inspire in hometown of Qingdao
24-year-old, better known by his nickname Black, is back in his home city of Qingdao as Extreme Sailing Series™ returns The 24-year-old, better known by his nickname Black, is back in his home city of Qingdao as the Extreme Sailing Series™ returns to China’s Olympic Sailing City for an incredible seventh time.
Posted today at 11:18 am
Sailing World Cup - Medal races on LIVE NOW - Day 1
Live coverage of the first day of Medal Racing at Sailing World Cup Hyeres starts at 12:00 CEST Live coverage of the first day of Medal Racing at Sailing World Cup Hyeres starts at 12:00 CEST . First up is the Mens 49er skiff
Posted today at 10:48 am
Comanche on the warpath for Transpac record
Jim Clark’s 100-foot Comanche has joined fleet of 62 entries preparing for Transpacific YC’s biennial LA-Honolulu race Jim Clark’s 100-foot Comanche has recently joined the fleet of 62 entries currently preparing for the 49th edition of the Transpacific YC’s biennial LA-Honolulu race, with one goal: to set a new race record. This 100-foot carbon fiber ocean greyhound designed by VPLP/Verdier and built by Hodgdon Yachts in 2014 was created to be quite simply the fastest sailing yacht in the world
Posted today at 5:29 am
Countdown to Transpac - Under 70 days to go
With just under 70 days to go to the first start of 49th biennial Transpac, skippers and sailors, are all working hard With just under 70 days to go to the first start of the 49th biennial Transpac, skippers and sailors, sponsors, families, spectators and organizers from the Transpacific YC are all working hard on their preparation tasks for this classic 2225-mile race from LA to Honolulu. In all, 63 monohull and multihull entries from seven countries around the Pacific and beyond are now entered
Posted today at 5:17 am
Phil Sharp to kick off Class 40 Championship with Grand Prix Guyader
This will be first attempt for the team racing together on Imerys who are eager to be part of sailing regattas in France In 2016, after just three weeks of season preparation and a series of tired sails that racing soon shredded, Phil came third in the Class 40 Championship. This year he has his sights set firmly on winning and will be aiming for top results in all events including the Grand Prix Guyader.
Posted on 28 Apr
RC44 Sotogrande Cup – Rain does not stay on the plain
Rain of Old Testament magnitude descended on Spain's Costa del Sol for day two. While the wind was not excessive Even as RC44 crews and race management surfaced for their breakfast this morning, it was evident that the onshore easterly breeze, that had been blowing all night, had caused the sea state to build to the extent that waves were already breaking over the harbour wall.
Posted on 28 Apr