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Teen matelots muster for Tall Ships trip

By Lesley Houston

Published 26/06/2015

With less than a week to go, Rebekah Shirley is inviting everyone to experience the Tall Ships Races from July 2-5
With less than a week to go, Rebekah Shirley is inviting everyone to experience the Tall Ships Races from July 2-5

More than 40 teenagers will join a delegation of around 100 sailors from Northern Ireland setting sail on an epic voyage across the North Sea with the Tall Ships.

As the countdown to the popular event continues, novice mariners will join seasoned matelots aboard the fleet of vintage vessels bound for Norway on Sunday.

Sixteen-year-olds Jane Emerson, from Cushendall, and Paddy Anderson, from Lisburn, will be putting their best sea legs forward as part of the flotilla departing local waters in the Tall Ships Parade of Ships.

The young mariners reflect the diversity of the crews chosen for the sea passage, with the St Killian's College girl Jane, a keen sailor since the age of eight, while Paddy, who attends Belfast Inst, has had little experience of a seafaring kind.

The pair were among ordinary people given the unique opportunity to part in what, for most, will be a trip of a lifetime.

It will be the third time Belfast has hosted the Tall Ships, and this year's event will feature twice as many of the massive Class A ships than 2009.

Organisers believe the event at Queen's Quay and Pollock Dock in Belfast will attract up to 750,000 people, with a further 500,000 lining the shores along the lough to Whitehead as the ships leave port on Sunday, July 5.

The Belfast Telegraph is the exclusive publisher of the official souvenir programme which sells at £6 plus p&p and is available to order now from www.belfast telegraph.co.uk.

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