As part of Rotary Club of Brighton’s commitment to Youth Services, our club sponsors a lot of young people with personal development programs and unique opportunities to optimise their potential. The Rotary Youth Sailing Challenge, is a new Youth program that was offered for the first time in 2023 by District 9800, to coincide with the 2023 Melbourne Rotary International Convention.
This unique tall ship multi-day sailing program is designed to challenge participants in ways which they could not experience ashore, during which lifelong skills such as team building and leadership are learnt through this once in a lifetime adventure. 
In May 2023, twenty seven students aged 15-17 years old departed from Prot Adelaide on a 7 day open water voyage from Adelaide to Melbourne on the tall ship the “One and All”, a tall ship based on the original rig of an 1850s brigantine. This trip involved these intrepid young participants (from across Victoria, South Australia and NSW) braving rough seas in an intensive work and social experience and surviving the challenges of sea sickness, living in close quarters aboard the ship for a week, to work as part of a team subject to nature’s elements, while living without electronic communications in a maritime environment. These trainees became part of a crew, joining one of three watches tasked with keeping the ship operational 24 hours a day and literally “learning the ropes” so that they were able to successfully achieve the responsibility of operating the ship and taking command while the permanent crew keep a watchful eye. The Rotary Club of Brighton supported three students to take part in this unique sailing opportunity. Congratulations to the Bayside students Zoe, Kristen and Flynn who embraced this once in a lifetime challenge!
In September 2023, our Club supported six local students with the launch of the District 9800 Rotary Youth Sailing Challenge on The Enterprize on a multi-day voyage sailing from Victoria Harbour, Docklands. The 27-metre topsail schooner Enterprize is a replica of the tall ship that brought the first European settlers from Tasmania to found the city of Melbourne in 1835. The students learnt the basics of setting and dousing sails, coiling lines, helming and bow watch, as well as sharing responsibilities such as cooking, cleaning, energy and water conservation and maintaining a night watch system. Congratulations to Brighton Sec students Mikaela, Isla, Abi, Fred, Zac and Nick who completed this trip and lived aboard ship for four days.
We were lucky enough to have Zoe, Mikaela and Nick come and share their experiences (and thank our members for their support) at the November 30 Club meeting. These young people shared that they not only enjoyed their voyage, how much they’d learnt about sailing but also about themselves through their extraordinary experiences from being stretched out of their comfort zones, and that they developed some amazing from their journey. 
District 9800 and the Rotary Club of Brighton will look to offer opportunities to young people (15-17 years old) to sail on The Enterprize in 2024. For more information, go to or contact