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On board the Spirit to give something back

Tori Muir is one of two Gisborne crew who will sail on the Spirit of New Zealand to Whitianga as part of the Tuia 250 Flotilla.

She will be joined by Nic Charrington when the Spirit of New Zealand sets sail today.

Nic is one of two masters (skippers), who sails both as master and first mate and programme director.

Tori is part of the relief crew and became involved with the Spirit of Adventure Trust when she sailed on board on the Spirit of New Zealand as a trainee when she was a student at Lytton High.

“It was one of the best things I did at high school,” she said.

She kept coming back to the Spirit, first as a leading hand and then as volunteer crew.

“I love giving something back and being with young people. It’s great to watch them develop while on board.”

Tori’s involvement with the Spirit continued and after gaining her ticket as an inshore launch master, she now sails regularly as a relieving mate. She also has a NZ Ocean Yachtmaster (blue water endorsed) qualification, and the UK Nautical Institute Square Rig Masters Certificate.

She is looking forward to the trip which will take a crew of between 12 and 14 people, and 40 young people from Gisborne, to Whitianga.

The Spirit of New Zealand promotes youth development and the group joining the Tuia 250 Flotilla has been carefully selected to represent a cross-section of New Zealand.

The next group of 40 trainees joins today and they will head to Tolaga Bay en route to Whitianga where they are due to arrive on Friday.

Around 280 people are taking part in the Tuia 250 voyages, with all seven legs of the trip paid for by the Ministry for Culture and Heritage.

Spirit of Adventure Trust chief executive Dean Lawrence said they dealt with secondary schools around New Zealand and looked for diversity in terms of geographic location, socio-economic and ethnic mix and gender.

“With Tuia 250 we had a good level of subscription and we have a good cross- section of New Zealand.

“We’re trying to set that future direction so with the mix of young people on board we encourage them to share their stories and their own backgrounds and learn to understand and respect the diversity we have in New Zealand.”

SETTING SAIL: Gisborne woman Tori Muir on board the Spirit of New Zealand in Gisborne’s Inner Harbour. An experienced sailor who works as relief crew on the Spirit she has also sailed as mate/crew on the two expedition vessels, Tiama and Evohe, mainly to NZ’s sub-Antarctic islands, and is a regional and national member of the maritime oil spill response team. Picture by Rebecca Grunwell