Port Pendennis opened its doors to welcome home the 3-strong fleet of the Turn to Starboard Round Britain Challenge.
Crowds of people lined the jetty at the marina while spectator boats took to the water to welcome home the crews as they ended a 2-month circumnavigation of the British Isles. As the sun shone on Sunday afternoon, the fleet crossed the official finish line after a challenging battle across 2000 nautical miles of Britain’s coastline.
Three crews set sail from Falmouth on board the ‘Spirit of Falmouth’, a 92-foot long tall ship and two support yachts on June 1. After spending two months sailing in an anti-clockwise direction around the British Isles, the team arrived home one day ahead of the planned schedule.
The epic expedition has been organised by Turn to Starboard founder and former RAF squadron leader Shaun Pascoe. It aims to help participants gain new skills while raising awareness of the challenges some veterans face after leaving the military. He said: “Not only has the crew faced their own challenges after Service life, they have faced incredible challenges throughout the journey. From rebuilding the tall ships gearbox after it malfunctioned near the Isle of Wight to braving huge waves in the Irish Sea, the team has shown resilience in every situation. It was wonderful to see the crowds of supporters at Pendennis Point and at the marina and made it a very special welcome home for all the crew. ”
A team of 38 veterans – many with little or no sailing experience – has taken part in the expedition which is also supported by The Endeavour Fund. Fourteen veterans completed the whole voyage with the rest completing shorter sections of the route, along with beneficiaries of the Prince’s Trust and a documentary film crew.
All three vessels stopped at ports such as Newcastle, the Orkney Islands and the along the route. In Liverpool, the crew were invited to berth outside Merseyside Maritime Museum in celebration of a brand new exhibition marking 250 years of the Pilotage Service. The crew played a part in telling the story of the Liverpool pilots and their vital role in navigating ships in and out of the port.
After reaching the Isles of Scilly last week, the crew took a three-day break before sailing the final leg to Falmouth.
For more information or to donate to the charity, visit www.turntostarboard.co.uk.