Scholarships named after town hero to provide ‘wonderful opportunity’ aboard iconic fishing smack

The Excelsior - the iconic Lowestoft-based fishing smack. Picture: Mike Page

The Excelsior - the iconic Lowestoft-based fishing smack. Picture: Mike Page - Credit: Archant

A unique opportunity is being offered to young people as an exciting project is unveiled.

Skipper Thomas Crisp VC. Pictures: JOHN HOLMES

Skipper Thomas Crisp VC. Pictures: JOHN HOLMES - Credit: Archant

The Lowestoft sailing charity, Excelsior Trust, is offering - for the first time - up to four sailing scholarships this summer for young people aged between 16 and 24, who live in the East Anglian region.

This exciting project is named after Lowestoft hero Thomas Crisp (VC, DSC, RNR) the distinguished skipper of the armed Lowestoft Smack 'Nelson' who died in the First World War while battling German U-Boats in the North Sea.

The Excelsior. Picture: Bill Hancock

The Excelsior. Picture: Bill Hancock - Credit: Archant

The Tom Crisp Sailing Scholarships, worth more than £2,000 to each successful applicant, will give young people the chance to sail for almost a month on Excelsior, visiting the South Coast, the Channel Islands and Paimpol in Brittany where the Lowestoft smack is taking part in the Paimpol International Festival which attracts thousands of enthusiasts, traditional craft and tall ships.

No previous sailing experience is required but the scholarships are aimed at individuals who have an enthusiasm for the opportunity and an ability to take individual responsibility and work as part of the crew.

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Excelsior will begin her month-long voyage departing from Lowestoft on July 21.

Mayor of Lowestoft, Alice Taylor, said: "Lowestoft Town Council is thrilled to support The Excelsior Trust in this wonderful educational opportunity for our young people to learn about Lowestoft's rich maritime heritage in a practical, hands-on experience.

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"These remarkable opportunities bring together one of Lowestoft's heroes Tom Crisp, and the Lowestoft Smack Excelsior - an icon of the town's great fishing industry - in a celebration of learning about going to sea."

Excelsior trustee Laurence Vulliamy said: "The Excelsior Trust are pleased to be launching these generous and significant sailing opportunities for young local people, named after Tom Crisp - one of Lowestoft's finest sailors.

"The experiences gained at sea will be life changing for each participant.

"We know the voyages will be a great success, and the Trust hopes to be able to offer these scholarships each year up to Excelsior's centenary in 2021."

Applicants should send an email to with details of their name, home address, age, education provider or employer.

The email should include a short description of themselves, their interests and why they would make an excellent member of the Excelsior crew in no more than 200 words.

Call 07768 395 465 for further information.

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