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Army Team Gear Up For Tall Ships Race

Novice sailors will be among crew of 'Dasher' during three weeks of sailing across the North Sea...

A team from the Army are swapping the ground for the open water by taking on the challenge of the annual Tall Ships Race.

The annual event is held each summer in European waters.

Army sailing team's boat 'Dasher' for Tall Ships Race

The crew of the Army ship 'Dasher' comprises officers and soldiers, both male and female. The rules of the race dictate that half of the crew must be under 25.

Sapper Freddie Ironside from 21 Engineer Regiment is one of many who have never sailed before but is looking forward to the experience

"I'm probably concerned about the weather - I hope it doesn't turn for the worse"

Army sailing team at Tall Ships Race in Sunderland

Colonel Andy Hadfield, who is leading one of the five crews on Dasher is also a Deputy Commander in 4th Infantry Brigade. 

He says many newcomers to sailing can feel overwhelmed when they are set off on a voyage a long way from home.

"There's just you in the middle of a huge ocean and not much around you"

Tall Ships Race sailor with life jacket

The first Tall Ships race involved 20 ships sailing between the UK and Portugal in July 1956.

The organisers wanted to give young people the opportunity to have a potentially life-changing experience, develop new skills, visit new ports and work with other sailors from across the globe in the spirit of adventure.

Tall Ships Race Route
IMAGE: The Tall Ships Races Sunderland 2018

The 2018 event will see more than 50 vessels of various sizes travel more than 1,000 nautical miles across the North Sea over three weeks.

Performers at Tall Ships Race in Sunderland
Performers entertain visitors to the Tall Ships Race marina in Sunderland