Young Endeavour joins tall ship races

Published on Ms Jennifer Reilly (author), PO Brett Douglas (photographer)

Petty Officer Jodie Matters aboard Sail Training Ship Young Endeavour during the Tall Ship Races. (photo: PO Brett Douglas)
Petty Officer Jodie Matters aboard Sail Training Ship Young Endeavour during the Tall Ship Races.

STS Young Endeavour has sailed across the North Sea to compete in the Sail Training International Tall Ship Races from Norway to Denmark - further north than the brigantine has previously sailed.

Petty Officer Communication and Information Systems Jodie Matters set sail from Australia on 22 December 2014 as the Communications Officer for Young Endeavour’s World Voyage. In eight months at sea she has rounded Cape Horn, attended the Anzac Centenary commemorations off the Gallipoli Peninsula, and visited 14 countries in South America, the Atlantic Ocean, on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea, in the United Kingdom and in Scandinavia.

While she counts being part of the Anzac Centenary at Gallipoli and attending Carnival in Rio de Janeiro as highlights of the voyage, Petty Officer Matters says competing in the Tall Ships Races and sailing in company in the North Sea has been the stand out event of the 12 month circumnavigation so far. 

“Sailing with close to ninety tall ships in the Sail Training International fleet has been fantastic," she said.

"There is an incredibly social atmosphere at the Tall Ships Races, it’s great to spend so much time with other crews committed to youth development. 

"Sailing out with so many ships during the Parade of Sail out of Kristiansand, Norway, was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever seen. 

“During the race everyone helped each other out, particularly the smaller vessels in Classes C and D that don’t have HF radio capability and relied on the bigger ships to relay information for them - it’s quite a friendly frequency!”

After Sail Training International brought the race time limit forward due to adverse weather, Young Endeavour finished in fifth position in Class A, and 18th on corrected time.

While a qualified Watch Leader who has worked on deck delivering the Young Endeavour Youth Development Program throughout the deployment, during the Tall Ships Races Petty Officer Matters was responsible for all communications with Race Control. 

She is also responsible for ensuring ‘dress ship’ during the many tall ship festivals and ceremonial occasions. Many tall ships, including Young Endeavour, sail in to harbour with music playing, canons firing and flags flying, which adds to the experience for the millions of spectators ashore and in small boats.

“I expect the next three ports to be very social, rather than competitive, as we celebrate sailing and sail training in Aalborg, at Sail Bremerhaven and at Sail Amsterdam.

"It’s the first time I’ve been involved with Sail Training International, and now that we’ve finished the race I’m looking forward to more opportunities for cross decking and sailing in company, which will be fantastic."

Young Endeavour will participate in Tall Ship Festivals in Norway, Denmark, Germany and The Netherlands before commencing her passage home via the old clipper route, sailing across the Atlantic and around the Cape of Good Hope to Fremantle. 

Petty Officer Matters will return home from The Netherlands for three months and plans to re-join the crew in Cape Town for the final passage home to Australia. 

Young Endeavour is scheduled to return to Australia in December 2015. 

Follow the voyage at www.youngendeavour.gov.au.