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Sails set for Lowestoft pupils’ voyage of a lifetime

Published on 10/09/18

A group of pupils from East Point Academy are about to weigh anchor for a life-changing journey in a historic sailing boat.

Nine students from East Point Academy will embark on Monday, September 17 for a voyage from Denmark to Lowestoft in a 100-year-old wooden sailing boat, the Excelsior, which they will help to skipper themselves. 

Some of the students taking part in the trip have special educational needs; others have faced challenges such as having low self-esteem or being in care.

Onboard the Excelsior they will take on vital roles such as hoisting sails, navigating, steering, cooking, and cleaning, as the boat sails through the Danish fjords and along the coasts of Holland and Germany before making the 24-hour crossing back to Lowestoft.

Their progress can be followed via the school's Facebook page which will be updated with photos and videos from the extraordinary voyage.

Members of the public are invited to welcome the Excelsior and its crew as they return to Lowestoft Marina on Sunday, September 23 at around midday.

The once-in-a-lifetime trip was made possible thanks to kind donations from the public as well as sponsors The Norfolk Boat charity, Sentinel Leisure Trust, Broadlands Holiday Village owners Tingdene, and construction company Wellington.

Group leader Chantalle Calver said: “I could not be more proud of the children I am taking aboard the Excelsior.

"A number of these children are about to embark on their very first trip abroad, and for some this is their first trip away from home. They are keen to get started, with excitement and nerves all bundled into one.

“I can't wait to spend the week with these kids, watching them grow in confidence, seeing their vibrant personalities and sense of adventure soar.”