Tall Ships ambassadors spread word among Sunderland International Airshow crowds

Tall Ships ambassadors Luke Hall, Brandon Barker and Lucy Robinson at the airshow.
Tall Ships ambassadors Luke Hall, Brandon Barker and Lucy Robinson at the airshow.
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Sunderland will welcome the Tall Ships race next year and three of the city's young ambassadors are at the airshow today.

Luke Hall, Lucy Robinson and Brandon Barker will all be taking part in next year's race.

Luke and Lucy, both 17, are waiting to learn which ships they will be on.

But 19-year-old Brandon, who uses a wheelchair, knows he will be sailing on the specially-adapted Lord Nelson.

Luke, from Houghton-le-Spring, has already started training at Sunderland Yacht Club.

"There are 26 of us all together," he said. "I am really looking forward to it. It has already helped me to grow in confidence.

"It is something I have been able to tell people, that I am learning to sail."

Lucy, from Moorside, is due to start her training soon.

"We will take part in the four-day festival while the ships are here and then we sail on the first leg to Denmark," she said.

"Not many people get an opportunity like that, so I am really excited."

Brandon, from Red House, is the only one of the three with any real previous experience, having sailed twice before.

Being in a wheelchair poses challenges on-board, but he loves it.

"When the ship is rocking, it can be difficult to control the chair and keep hold of the sails and control the ship," he said.

"But it is still amazing. Last time I managed to get up the mast to the second platform."