Historic vessels to set sail along Swansea’s coast
SWANSEA will be transported back to the early 20th Century on Friday when two historic vessels set sail along the city’s coastline.
The vessels will leave from Swansea Museum’s pontoon in the marina at about 10am.
Thirteen young people aged between 12 and 17 and connected with Swansea’s Dylan Thomas Community School will be on board Olga and Duet during the expedition. As part of the Duke of Edinburgh Award programme, the pupils have been preparing for the trip by learning to sail and developing their sea survival skills.
Swansea Council supported the restoration of Olga as part of a multi-million pound scheme to make Swansea Bay a Watersports Centre of Excellence. The scheme is being funded by the Wales European Funding Office and the Welsh Government through Visit Wales and the Regeneration Area programme.
A grant towards Olga's conservation was also received from the Department of Culture, Media and Sport through the Museums, Libraries and Archives PRISM foundation.
Drawings and specifications from 1909 were used to design the gallery and saloon. Olga is on the National Historic Ships register and forms part of Swansea Museum’s maritime collection.
The 50-foot Duet yacht has given more than 8,000 young people adventurous sailing experiences since becoming a training vessel in 1960.
To mark her centenary this year, the vessel is being sailed around Britain by crews of young people. The project, called Voyage to Success 2012, has been awarded the London 2012 Inspire mark in recognition of its contribution to providing challenge and opportunity for young people during the Olympic year.
The Swansea young people will sail Duet to Falmouth on the next leg of its UK-wide trip when the vessel leaves Swansea on Sunday.
Cllr Nick Bradley, Swansea Council’s Cabinet Member for Regeneration, said: “Swansea has a rich maritime history and seeing two historic vessels sailing along the city’s coastline once again will be a glorious sight.
“It’s also terrific that young people local to Swansea will be among the first to help sail Olga before taking Duet to Cornwall as part of a nationwide celebration. It promises to be a fun and educational classical sailing experience that they’ll cherish for years to come.
“Olga’s restoration is just one of several schemes that will help Swansea Bay make the most of its stunning seaside location through developing a reputation for watersports excellence.”
Champion for the day on Friday is local youth worker Jo Gooding, who was part of the first ever all-women’s team to compete in the Whitbread Round the World race in 1989. Her role is to inspire and congratulate the young people and to present them with certificates of achievement.
Have a look at www.swansea.gov.uk/