Evan Clulee of Kaukapakapa and Ali McWhannell of Palmerston North joined a team of 53 people to sail on the Tenacious. The ship’s design allowed both able-bodied and disabled team members to be the crew. Their trip had them working hard and taking turns doing shift work even into the small hours of the morning.
Ali said: “It was exciting and hard work but I would definitely do it again. I loved the challenge of doing something new. I’m so grateful to do something that some would only dream about.”
Evan said: “It was an amazing trip. I met lots of people on board and no one distinguished between the able-bodied crew member and disabled crew members. We all were encouraged and had our boundaries pushed, including working in 4 hours shifts on occasion starting at midnight. I’ve learnt so much about yachts and this has encouraged me to explore getting out in the water again. I’m so grateful for this amazing trip, thanks to the team at Enable New Zealand for helping make this happen.”
Enable New Zealand General Manager, Scott Ambridge said: “We’re really pleased that Ali and Evan enjoyed their trip. Sending them on the Tenacious challenged them personally and they both have grown through this experience. We’re really glad to have been able to give them this opportunity.”
The Jubilee Sailing Trust brings the tall Ships Tenacious and Lord Nelson periodically. The ships are custom designed to be accessible allowing them to provide life-changing adventures to people of all ages, backgrounds and levels of physical ability. Over the last 35 years they have provided, 5,548 wheelchair users, 1,899 people who are blind, 547 amputees, 1,671 with cerebral palsy and 1295 with hearing impairments, an opportunity to sail.
• Launched in 2000, SV Tenacious is the largest wooden tall ship built in the United Kingdom in the last 100 years. It is 65 metres (213.25 feet) long including bowsprit, and it is rigged as a (three-masted) barque with two mizzen gaffs. Its deck is 49.85 metres long, its hull is 54.02 metres long, and it has a beam of 10.6 metres at its widest point. On 6 of April 2000 Tenacious was officially named in a ceremony attended by HRH The Duke of York.