February 26, 2015
TS Royalist Army Cadets Youth United

Five Army Cadet Force Cadets had the opportunity to spend a week on board TS ROYALIST sailing from Newcastle to Inverness, as part of a Youth United voyage. 

This is the final season TS ROYALIST will be used to teach Cadets; she is being retired from the Sea Cadet fleet after 40 years and 30,000 having been taken to sea. A contract has been awarded and a replacement vessel will be commissioned later this year.

Roy Taylor, TS Royalist’s Sailing Master and Relief Commanding Officer said, “Sailing is only part of it because our emphasis is also on team work, communication, navigation and fun. When [Cadets] join us on TS Royalist, they do so on a level playing field and have the same opportunity to make the most of the adventure but after a week, they leave us having experienced ownership, a sense of duty and loyalty. Some cadets also secure valuable qualifications on board which give them a head start in life – we see this as a sound investment in the citizens of tomorrow.” 

Cadet Corporal Sandy Tannahill, of The Black Watch Battalion ACF joined youngsters from the Sea Cadets, Air Training Corps and other youth organisations to make up the 24 Cadets and 9 adults on board. Reflecting on his experience Sandy said, “At [ACF] Cadets I teach a lot of the time, so this was a completely different experience which I will tell the whole detachment to go for! Cadets gives me confidence; from the opportunities, the courses, teaching…everything really!”

Cadet Sargent Darren Valentine (Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet for Dundee) spoke of the very few home comforts on board. “When I first saw the sleeping arrangements I thought, ‘oh no! This will be the worst!’ But actually it was the best nights sleep I’ve ever had and the food has been great! Mixed Cadet opportunities like Youth United are fantastic, I really hope to do more of that.”

Sarah Rawlings, Deputy Chief Executive of Highland Reserve Forces’ and Cadets’ Association, who visited the 96ft brig in port in Inverness said “ to sail on board such a fabulous vessel is the opportunity of a life time, builds confidence and enables individuals to see that they can have a go at something they might have thought was beyond their reach”.