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The voyage of a lifetime

Twenty-two-year-old Nick Smith is the only Bermudian taking part in the entire Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta.

“I took part in a trip on the Spirit of Bermuda and it left me wanting more, so when this chance came up I grabbed it,” said Nick before he set sail.

His journey began in Greenwich, on April 13 and will end in Le Havre, France, on September 3. He will be coming home when the ships berth in St George's from May 26 to May 31 and Hamilton from June 1 to June 5.

Former Saltus Grammar School student Nick said: “All the ships are working ships, so it will be four hours on and eight hours off, every day. It's not going to be a holiday.”

Nick is sailing on three ships: the Christian Radich, the Wylde Swan and the Gulden Leeuw. The longest leg of the voyage will be from Quebec to Greenwich.

He added: “This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me. It is not something you experience normally. It will take me out of my comfort zone and take me to parts of the world I would not otherwise see.

“My parents, Peter and Maria, are a little nervous and my mom waved me off. She is nervous but excited. They both realise what an opportunity this is.”

Nick has received some bursaries to help cover the $14,000 cost of the trip and has applied for others.

Craig Nikolai, Project Management, Tall Ships Bermuda 2017 & Sail Training Association of Bermuda, said he was full of admiration for Nick.

“You don't have to do the entire voyage like Nick, you can sign up for different legs and it is open to anyone over the age of sixteen.”

Dr Nikolai said bursaries of up to 75 per cent of the total cost were available for those demonstrating financial need and who are aged between 16 and 25. The STA will also help with ways to raise the extra twenty-five per cent.

“This opportunity, with the ships coming to Bermuda, simply does not come around very often and we hope that Bermudians take advantage for what really could be the voyage of a lifetime.”

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Published May 25, 2017 at 4:35 pm (Updated May 25, 2017 at 4:35 pm)

The voyage of a lifetime

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