Kambalda kids conquer Leeuwin sail adventure

Published on Monday, 23 December 2019 at 4:00:00 PM

Kambalda locals Haylee Keast and Liam Blondel joined a voyage of a lifetime in October on board STS Leeuwin II.

The two Year 10 School Captains from Kambalda West District High School departed from Fremantle on 7 October for an adventure at sea. The Shire of Coolgardie contributed $1,000 in funding to help the duo join the voyage.  

The week-long Youth Explorer Voyage aims to challenge and inspire young people to realise their personal potential through the unique medium of tall ship sailing. The voyage encouraged Haylee and Liam to step out of their comfort zone through challenges such as climbing the 33-metre main mast and working aloft, navigating the ship and taking the helm, standing watch while sailing through the night, and setting and handling the sails.

Haylee (15) said she was grateful for the once in a lifetime opportunity to sail on Leeuwin.

“It was a real highlight to explore such a different environment to the bush. I loved pushing myself out of my comfort zone,” said Haylee.

“I am proud of myself for making to the top of the main mast, as I am terrified of heights!”

Liam (15) said climbing the mast was a daunting experience, but the view from the top made it all worth it.

“It was such an amazing experience, it didn’t feel real. The highlight for me was the people I met, they made the journey so much better,” said Liam.

“I am so grateful to have had the chance to go on the Leeuwin and I would strongly recommend a Youth Explorer Voyage to all who are interested - it is an adventure of a lifetime!”

Leeuwin Ocean Adventure Chief Executive Officer, Carol Shannon, said both Haylee and Liam were excellent sail trainees and have been invited back to Leeuwin to be part of the volunteer crew.

“These were really fine young people. Both Haylee and Liam were quick to learn new skills and really gave the voyage experience their all. Haylee’s maturity and willingness to ‘get in there’ and work hard were particularly noted by her team leader.”

Leeuwin Ocean Adventure is looking to welcome another Shire of Coolgardie community member on board a voyage thanks to the generosity of Independence Group (IGO). The $1,750 sponsorship is available to a young man or woman from Coolgardie for an upcoming 2020 voyage. For more information and to apply, email ceo@sailleeuwin.com


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