It’s not every day that STS Young Endeavour hits her maximum design speed under sail, but conditions off Newcastle in mid-June saw the brigantine reach 14 knots under sail.

With wind speeds of up to45 knots and a four metre swell, the conditions were a challenge for the 21 strong youth crew who had control of the square-rigged tall ship.

Despite being pummelled by wind, rain and a passing hail storm, the sailing exhilarated youth crew.

“It was our roughest day by far, but the youth command team really stepped up,” 19-year old Patrick Kisi said.

Having learnt communication, leadership and teamwork skills in the week leading up to command day, the youth crew were able to put all that they had learnt into practice.

“You get in that situation where everyone is on the same page and it clicks. If there is a hole, people will fill it. If someone doesn’t quite know what to do, those around them help them. It all came together really nicely.  It was incredible.”

As Young Endeavour approached her speed limit under sail, the youth gathered on the bridge of the 44-metre brigantine to watch the speedometer reach the milestone.

“I think if anything that experience brought us all closer together. The more challenging it is the more we have to work together,” 17 year-old Heather Hilda-Childs said.

Commanding Officer Young Endeavour Lieutenant Commander Mike Gough said that while it was testing for the youth crew, the professional Royal Australian Navy staff crew was keeping a close eye on the conditions.

“It’s not the first time that Young Endeavour has reached 14 knots, but it was great for the youth crew to get to experience what the ship can do.  There was definitely a smile on everyone’s faces.  It was a memorable day.”

“While the youth crew had command of the ship, the Royal Australian Navy crew were supervising and supporting them at all times to ensure their safety and care,” Lieutenant Commander Gough said.

Young Endeavour conducts up to twenty 11-day voyages along the coast of Australia each year.  In the last 30 years, more than 13,300 young Australians have benefitted from the internationally recognised sail training program delivered by Royal Australian Navy personnel.