Winners with tall tales to tell
Five youngsters from the South West are preparing for the adventure of a lifetime after winning places aboard a tall ship sailing to Portugal.
This week's Falmouth Funchal 500 Tall Ships Regatta is expected to be the South West's biggest spectator event of the summer with 50,000 viewing the Parade of Sail on Saturday.
Aboard the TS Pelican will be five winners of a special competition for 16 to 25 year-olds held by event sponsor South West Water.
Georgina Aldis, 18, from St Teath, who is shortly to begin a degree at Southampton University
James Pellatt, 20, a Plymouth University business student from St Agnes
Ashlee Rees, 16, a sixth form student from Falmouth.
Royal Marine recruit Sam White, 18, from Lipson in Plymouth
Xophie Hooper, 17, an A-level student from Exeter
Ashlee is the youngest winner and was on holiday in Spain when she heard she had won her place from her grandmother back in Cornwall.
She said: "I live in Falmouth and have seen the tall ship several times in the harbour and always wondered what it would be like to actually sail on them. Now I've got the chance to find out."
Just days after returning from Portugal, Sam White will be starting the Royal Marine recruitment training course at Lympstone in a bid to gain the famed green beret.
He said: "I do a bit of sailing and but have never been on a real big ship apart from a tour around HMS Victory but she wasn't moving.
"I am really looking forward to it and hoping it will be good preparation for the Marine training course when I get back."
The winners correctly answered that the South West has the best bathing water quality in the European Union in 2006 thanks to South West Water's £2 billion Clean Sweep programme.
South West Water Chief Executive Chris Loughlin said: "I'd like to congratulate all the winners and wish them the best of luck on their journey.
"As a sponsor of the Funchal 500 Tall Ships Regatta in Falmouth, we thought offering youngsters a berth on board a tall ship was the perfect way of celebrating the positive impact Clean Sweep has had on the quality of our bathing water around the region.
All five winners will be sail cadets on the Pelican as she sails to Ilhavo in Portugal on the next leg of the Tall Ships race following the Parade of Sail this Saturday.
Published: 8 September 2008
Notes to editors
There will be a chance to interview and photograph the winners on board the TS Pelican at Queen's Wharf in Falmouth this Friday at 3pm.