ABP Apprentices take to the high seas in UK’s biggest tall ships race

June 23, 2015

Adam Wilson, Niall Robson, Lucy Walker, Chris Huntington and Keeta Rowlands are all taking part in the 2nd Annual Apprentice Ship Cup

A group of five apprentices from Associated British Ports (ABP) Humber are taking to the high seas in a tall ships race which is aimed purely at apprentices from across Europe.

The five ABP representatives are Marine Operations Apprentices Keeta Rowlands, Lucy Walker and Niall Robson and Engineering Apprentices Adam Wilson and Chris Huntington, who will travel to Liverpool to take part in the Apprentice Ship Cup, the biggest tall ship regatta in the UK.

ABP Engineering Apprentice Chris Huntington explains why he wanted to take part:

“I thought it would be a good experience and I'll actually get to see what happens at sea rather than just seeing the ships come and go in dock. I think I'll enjoy the challenge of being up at all hours and working with new people, although I won't enjoy the lack of sleep!
“I'll learn how far I can push myself, I think I will be completely out of my comfort zone.”

ABP Marine Training Manager Martin Gough said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for these young people and we didn’t hesitate in offering them the chance to take part. The experience will benefit both their professional and personal development and will provide memories I’m sure they’ll treasure for many years to come.
“We wish them well and we’re looking forward to keeping up with their adventures throughout the course of their journey.”


Over 300 young people from the UK, France, Ireland and the Netherlands will sail alongside professional crew on six tall ships between Liverpool, Dublin and Glasgow, before making their way back to Liverpool for the Apprentice Ship Cup gala dinner. The event is designed to give apprentices the chance to develop their teamworking and problem-solving skills, as well as their self–confidence and leadership and communication skills.

The teams, which come from companies including Peel Ports, United Utilities and Argos, as well as ABP, also get the chance to develop practical sailing, seamanship and navigation skills.

The ABP apprentices will take part in the final leg of the race between Glasgow and Liverpool aboard tall ship Bessie Ellen between 21-27 June, where they will be tasked with steering and helmsmanship, climbing the mast and rigging, setting the sails, keeping navigation watch and domestic duties such as cooking and cleaning.