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Alan Villiers

Alan Villiers was an Australian seaman, historian and a founder of the modern sail training. He grew up around Melbourne docks watching the commercial sailing ships come and go, and joined the barque Rothesay Bay as a 15-year-old apprentice, trading between Australia and New Zealand.

Villiers later joined the great explorer and whaler Carl Anton Larsen and his whaling factory ship, the Sir James Clark Ross, the largest whale factory ship in the world, weighing in at 12,000 tons. Villiers’ account of his first voyage was published as Whaling in the Frozen South.

Villiers’ working passage aboard the Herzogin Cecilie in 1927 resulted in the publication of Falmouth for Orders, the first of 47 books he wrote about life on the ocean during the dying days of commercial sail.

Villiers wanted to document life aboard the great sailing ships before it was too late and wrote By Way of Cape Horn after his experiences crewing the full-rigged Grace Harwar from Australia to Ireland in 1929. The voyage took 138 days and led to the film The Cape Horn Road

In 1934 Villiers purchased the Georg Stage, a 400 tonne fully rigged sailing ship built in 1882. Villiers circumnavigated the globe with an amateur crew and used the environment of the sea to build character and discipline in his young crew and developed the modern concept of sail training

The Award is presented to the Sail Training International represented by Chairman Jonathan Cheshire who sends this message.

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