Scottish boy selected to sail on Thailand to Sri Lanka leg

17-year-old Shannon McWilliam, from Rosyth, Fife, has been selected to take part in a once in a life time opportunity to sail on the Gipsy Moth IV on the Thailand to Sri Lanka Leg in January 2007.

Shannon – who has no previous sailing experience – was picked following a selection weekend held at the United Kingdom Sailing Academy (UKSA) on 25-26 August which included team-building activities and sailing on Laser Pico’s and keelboats. He was understandably thrilled by the judges’ decision:

‘As soon as I opened the letter and saw the word ‘Congratulations’ I was in tears, the feeling was amazing. I called my girlfriend, my mum and even my dad and yet still didn’t believe it myself!’

UKSA Ambassador Shirley Robertson commented, ‘I’m so pleased that fellow Scotsman Shannon has been given this opportunity. The Gipsy Moth IV project has been very successful in giving many youngsters the chance to meet people and see places they would never have dreamed of.’

The crew-place on Gypsy Moth IV was offered by Volvo Car UK as part of a competition to under 25-year-old members of over 130 Volvo RYA Champion Clubs, relatives of Volvo employees and The Scout Association.

Shannon will be sailing the Gipsy Moth IV from Phuket, Thailand to Galle, Sri Lanka from 2 – 19 January 2007. During the journey Shannon will be involved in the day to day running of the ship including navigating and cooking. Shannon will also keep a video diary and record sightings of sea life along the route. He will be encouraged to learn more about each country’s culture and will be actively involved in local community and environmental projects at the stopover points.