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When the Tall ships departed in the Parade of Sail along the Thames, one Tall ship was left behind in West India Dock.
The ship is the TS Royalist and last night a celebration took place to honour its service for the Sea Cadet organisation. Although it was a celebration , there was a tinge of sadness as the old ship is due to be decommissioned after over 40 years service.
TS Royalist was built by Groves and Guttridge, Cowes, Isle of Wight. and launched in 1971 by Princess Anne, in her years of service it is estimated she has taken over 30,000 cadets to sea. The cadets generally join the ship for a week and learn the rudiments of sailing a large ship.
The Sea Cadets organisation is a national nautical youth charity offering young people between 10 and 18 a taste of the nautical life and is based on the customs and traditions of the Royal Navy. The organisation also help the young people to develop a range of life skills and boost confidence and self esteem.
The TS Royalist is built of steel, with an overall length of 29 metres (97 feet), and is designed as a traditional square-rigged brig . However in recent years she has became increasingly expensive to maintain, therefore the decision was made to commission the building of a new ship with advanced sailing ability and performance.
Raising nearly 4 million pounds in two years , the organisation awarded the contract to a Spanish shipbuilder but is sourcing a considerable amount of the equipment from the UK.
The TS Royalist is a familiar participant in the Tall Ship festivals and races and regularly visits many UK ports and ports in France and other part of Europe.