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Melbourne Tall Ships Festival - Lord Nelson takes centre stage

by Heather Ewing on 6 Sep 2013
Lord Nelson sails past Point Lonsdale lighthouse Heather Ewing
The unique 55-metre square rigger sailed through the Rip this morning to make her way up through Port Phillip Bay and is now at anchor off Williamstown. Tomorrow morning she will come alongside at Seaworks to take centre stage at the festival and the ship will be open to the public on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Captain Barbara Campbell, said, 'In Adelaide the ship was inundated with visitors, a complete contrast to the quiet of being at sea. Once we had cleared Kangaroo Island we set all sail and have been under sail for most of the passage to Port Phillip. We looked a stunning sight with all our square sails set; it’s a shame that the general public cannot see the ship under full sail at sea.'

Captain Campbell added, 'All the crew, many who are first time sailors, look forward to our arrival in Williamstown where we feel sure we will receive another warm welcome.'

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 a few more places available on the New Zealand legs of the journey.
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.

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 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.


Norton Rose Fulbright Australia Managing Partner, Wayne Spanner, said, 'This is a truly exciting event which brings together able and disabled people to sail side by side across the world’s oceans on this extraordinary ship. Norton Rose Fulbright is proud to be associated with such a worthwhile cause.'

Lord Nelson is set to become the first accessible tall ship in the world to round three Great Capes: Cape of Good Hope, Cape Leeuwin and the infamous Cape Horn. For more information on how to get on board visit Jubilee Sailing Trust website email info@jst.org.uk or call or call 03 9981 3312.

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 were 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. Australian Paralympians, Michael McLean and Joanne Formosa will visit Lord Nelson during the Melbourne International Tall Ships Festival 2013.

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