Australia: The Norton Rose Sail the World Challenge: Norton Rose and Jubilee Sailing Trust partner on epic
Last Updated: 26 October 2012

Norton Rose and Jubilee Sailing Trust partner on epic 50,000-mile tall ship challenge

International law firm Norton Rose is working in partnership with the Jubilee Sailing Trust to support the tall ship Lord Nelson as she embarks on a two-year voyage, the Norton Rose Sail the World Challenge, taking crews of able-bodied and disabled sailors around the world. This has never been attempted before.

Over the next two years, Lord Nelson will sail four times across the Equator, covering 50,000 miles, seven continents and 30 countries. Lord Nelson – built and operated by the Jubilee Sailing Trust – is one of only two tall ships in the world equipped to sail with a mixed crew of disabled and able-bodied sailors.

Former Royal Marine Alan Henderson, who was wounded in a bomb blast two years ago, was among the crew when Lord Nelson set sail from Southampton on Sunday 21 October. The tall ship will cross the Equator, covering 5,000 nautical miles, and sail for 55 days and nights to reach Rio de Janeiro in December. The crew (including Alan) will disembark in Rio, to be replaced by a new crew of 38 sailors drawn from all over the world who will join Lord Nelson's ten permanent crew members.

Lord Nelson will go on to sail nine more ocean legs – from Rio to Cape Town; from the Cape of Good Hope to the port of Kochi; from India to Singapore; from the Indian Ocean to Australia and the Tall Ships Race; from the Bay of Islands in New Zealand to the Southern Ocean and Cape Horn; pausing in the ice floes of the Antarctic; before following the trade winds the length of South America and the Caribbean up to Halifax, Iceland and then homeward to Southampton.

At each stage of the Norton Rose Sail the World Challenge, Lord Nelson will pick up new crew and will run week-long in-country voyages and daysails.

Norton Rose supports a number of charitable organisations through its corporate responsibility and diversity programmes and aims to work with local charities to offer individuals (and their buddies) the opportunity of joining the in-country voyage when Lord Nelson visits South Africa, Australia and Singapore. The firm is also enabling people with physical disabilities to join the crew on different stages of this epic voyage.

Lord Nelson is a square-rigged three-masted 55-metre barque. She was built and is operated by the Jubilee Sailing Trust in Southampton and can accommodate an integrated crew of all physical abilities. Her equipment includes hoists to enable wheelchairs to be lifted up the rigging. She is regularly crewed by people with cerebral palsy, people who are blind and people who have suffered amputations and spinal injuries.

The Jubilee Sailing Trust is experienced in showing all crew members the full extent of what they are capable of on board the ship, requiring and enabling the crew to bond and work as an integrated team for the life of each voyage. Everyone on board plays a role in sailing the tall ship.

Peter Martyr, Global Chief Executive at Norton Rose, commented:

"The London 2012 Paralympic Games were a step change for shifting people's perception towards disability. We are delighted to be involved in a project that builds on that awareness and promotes integration. We have over 40 offices around the world – in many of the countries covered by the Challenge – and we will take full advantage of our geographical coverage to maintain awareness and build on the spirit of inclusion.

"Across the firm, we support disadvantaged and disabled communities, both financially and through our volunteering programmes. The Norton Rose Sail the World Challenge will allow us to give a number of individuals, and their buddies, the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join the crew of Lord Nelson."

Simon FT Cox and Patrick Farrell, both London-based Norton Rose partners and heavily involved with the Norton Rose Charitable Foundation, are two of the driving forces behind the firm's involvement in the Norton Rose Sail the World Challenge.

Simon FT Cox commented:

"This is the voyage of a lifetime, and I like its boldness and simplicity. What do we really mean when we talk about diversity? It has to be about inclusion and respect for the individual. And this is what the Jubilee Sailing Trust and the Norton Rose Sail the World Challenge is all about."

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