Australian sailing ship to visit Cape Town

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The Australian Sail Training Ship Young Endeavour will call on Cape Town between 18 and 24 November, at the end of the penultimate leg of its world voyage. The visit to South Africa is part of a 12-month circumnavigation of the world – the vessel’s first such deployment in over 20 years.

According to the Australian High Commission in South Africa, the voyage included the ship’s participation in Anzac Centenary Commemorations in Gallipoli, Turkey, in April 2015 and representing Australia during the 2015 International Tall Ship Races in the North Sea. The vessel departed Rio de Janeiro en route to Cape Town on 24 October and will – after the welcome respite of a few days “rest” in the Mother City – set sail for Fremantle in West Australia on the final leg of its journey on 24 November.

In addition to the Young Endeavour’s bilateral engagement with the South African Navy during its port visit, the ship’s crew will participate in community outreach/development activities in Cape Town facilitated by the High Commission and will host an Open Day from 10am to 3pm on Saturday 21 November (at its berth at Jetty No. 2 at the V&A Waterfront), when members of the public are encouraged to take advantage of the opportunity to view this vessel.

The square-rigged tall ship – 44 metres in length with a 32 metre mainmast and ten sails – was the gift given by the United Kingdom to Australia, on the occasion of the Bicentenary in 1988 (commemorating 200 years since the arrival of the first fleet of British ships in Sydney). Although operated by the Royal Australian Navy (RAN), Young Endeavour is primarily used to provide sail training to Australian youth through the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme. The ship is manned by 12 RAN personnel and 24 youth sailors.

Since 1988 the Youth Scheme, in partnership with the Australian Government and the RAN, has provided challenging training voyages for more than 12,000 young people, and has hosted a further 10,000 guests from organisations supporting youth with special needs. For over 25 years, the Youth Scheme has been recognised internationally as a leading youth development programme, with experience indicating that young people reap enormous benefit from the sail training programme – and in turn, the Australian people also benefit as participants recognise their potential to make positive contributions in our communities, the Australian High Commission said.

The last RAN vessel to visit South Africa was the helicopter frigate HMAS Anzac, which arrived in Cape Town on 6 July as part of her Northern Trident 2015 deployment. The warship departed Sydney on 15 March for the Mediterranean to participate in the 100th anniversary of the ANZAC landings at Gallipoli during the First World War.

Both the Australian and South African navies are members of the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium, with ship visits providing an important opportunity to work with the South African Navy.