The RAN-crewed brigantine STS Young Endeavour has reached her maximum design speed under sail in ideal conditions off Newcastle recently.
With wind speeds of up to 45 knots and a four metre swell, the conditions were a challenge for the 21 strong youth crew who had control of the square-rigged tall ship.
Despite being pummelled by wind, rain and a passing hail storm, the sailing was exhilarating for the young crew.
“It was our roughest day by far, but the youth command team really stepped up,” 19-year old Patrick Kisi said.
Having learnt communication, leadership and teamwork skills in the week leading up to command day, the crew were able to successfully put training into practice.
“You get in that situation where everyone is on the same page and it clicks. If there is a hole, people will fill it. If someone doesn’t quite know what to do, those around them help out.
“It all came together really nicely, it was incredible,” Patrick said.
As Young Endeavour approached her speed limit under sail, the youth gathered on the bridge of the 44-metre brigantine to watch the speedometer reach the milestone.
“I think if anything that experience brought us all closer together,” 17 year-old Heather Hilda-Childs said.
“The more challenging it is the more we have to work together.”
Commanding Officer Young Endeavour, Lieutenant Commander Mike Gough said that while it was testing for the youth, the professional RAN staff crew were keeping a close eye on the conditions.
“It’s not the first time that Young Endeavour has reached 14 knots, but it was great for the youth crew to experience what the ship can do,” he said.
“There was definitely a smile on everyone’s faces, it was a memorable day.
“While the youth crew had command of the ship, the Royal Australian Navy crew were supervising and supporting them at all times to ensure their safety and care,” Lieutenant Commander Gough said.
Young Endeavour conducts up to 20 11-day voyages along the coast of Australia each year. In the last 30 years, more than 13,300 young Australians have benefitted from the internationally recognised sail training program delivered by Royal Australian Navy personnel.