Keen sailor Scott Sandison saw off global competition to be named Sail Training International Sail Trainer of the Year 2014.
The 21-year-old is now the proud possessor of a trophy that has been given to young people in the UK, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Poland. Now it has come to Shetland, and Scott said he is “really chuffed”.
His work on Shetland’s sail training boat Swan, where he moved from trainee to trainer, won him the award in the category “professional, under 25”, and he said: “I’m still no believing it yet. I had no idea.”
Scott, from Nesting, developed a passion for sailing while on the Swan on his first trip in 2010. Since then the vessel has taken him to Norway seven times, to Ireland, Orkney and all around Britain. He started as a deckhand and has since worked on every aspect of the vessel.
Sail Training International race director Paul Bishop, in announcing the winner, referred to Scott’s enthusiasm and competence on his first trip on the Swan in the Tall Ships’ race from Kristiansand, Norway, to Hartlepool in north-east England.
This was again noted in 2011 when he sailed in the race leg from Waterford, Ireland to Greenock, Scotland. When in 2013 the job of bosun on the Swan became available, the trustees had no hesitation in offering the position to Scott.
Secretary of the Swan trust Peter Campbell said: “Scott has through his dedication to the job, his obvious enjoyment of sailing and his interaction with young people aboard, proved himself to be a valuable asset to the Swan.”
Since then he has spent two summers working on the Swan, while winters are spent working at the salmon. Scott has also sailed on the barque Europa, a square-rigger.
Explaining his love of sailing, he said: “It’s hard work but I get enjoyment from it. It’s hard to explain, I like sailing, I like meeting people, and showing people how to sail.”
Scott has now set his sights higher, and next year hopes to be first mate. He added: “Some day I’d like to be captain of a tall ship, that’s what I’m working towards.”
This dedication meant that Scott missed the trophy presentation, which was held two weeks ago in Spain. At the time he was in the Isle of Wight, getting his RYA Yachtmaster offshore qualification, having been awarded a Trinity House scholarship in September which he used to do this.
The trophy was collected on his behalf by Mr Campbell at the Sail Training International and Tall Ships Conference at La Coruna, Spain two weeks ago
Back in Shetland, Scott was presented with the trophy on Saturday by Melanie Henderson, of Sail Training Shetland.
It was a double celebration, as the Vevoe Trophy for best Swan trainee of 2014 was presented to Curstaidh Mackay at the same event.
Mr Campbell praised Scott’s achievement, and said: “This is the third time in four years that a trophy at the annual Sail Training International and Tall Ships Conference has been awarded to the Swan and those associated with the boat.
“In 2011 the Swan was awarded the Sail Training Organisation of the Year trophy, in 2013 Ailish Parham was awarded the trophy for Young Volunteer of the Year, and now Scott Sandison has become Young Sail Trainer of the Year. Quite an achievement for a small organisation.”