Lady Dodd is tickled to see MAST ship set sail

Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust will stage its second annual Sir Ken and Lady Dodd Tall Ship Sailing Experience for young people later this summer. Peter Elson reports

Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust, MAST
Young people will sail on TS Maybe on the 2024 Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust voyages


Teenagers and young adults will take to the high seas this summer when Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust (MAST) stages its second annual Sir Ken and Lady Dodd Tall Ship Sailing Experience.

The historic gaff ketch TS Maybe will undertake three one-week voyages around the Irish Sea between August 11 and 31, visiting Whitehaven and Dublin, and finishing in Liverpool. 

MAST, which has organised these regattas for 13 years, is one of the UK’s top tall ship sailing charities giving many young disadvantaged people aged 14 to 26 their first chance to participate as tall ship trainee crews.  

Apprentices from leading North West companies will also crew TS Maybe under professional supervision and mentors sponsored by their employers Cammell Laird Shipbuilders, Peel Ports, Sellafield, and the Ken Dodd Charitable Foundation.

At the end of the third voyage, Lady Dodd, as MAST President and the charitable trust’s leading individual supporter, will present the Sir Ken Dodd Cup to the winning trainee crew.  Schedule: 

  • Voyage 1 is from Dublin to Liverpool on August 11 to 18 (trainee crew travel outbound by Stena Line ferry). Subsidised by MAST. 
  • Voyage 2 is from Liverpool to Whitehaven on August 18 to 25 (trainee crew return by minibus to Liverpool). Sponsored by Sellafield.
  • Voyage 3 is from Whitehaven to Liverpool on August 25 to 31 (trainee crew travel to Whitehaven by minibus). Sponsored by Peel Ports.

Lady Dodd, widow of legendary Liverpool comic Sir Ken Dodd and MAST president, who is a leading Merseyside arts and education benefactor, said: “As Ken sang, happiness is the greatest gift that we possess, and you can do that by the celebration of working and sharing joy as a team. 

“MAST is the perfect embodiment of this and the reason why I’m thrilled to be involved with the charity to support the young people of Merseyside.

“Ken was very interested in helping young people in Merseyside to get on in life and he’d be very proud of having his name associated with a charity like MAST which is doing so much for them.”

Jim Graves, MAST founder, added: “Sailing on a tall ship is about teamwork, learning to co-operate and take orders for everyone’s benefit in a fantastic floating environment. 


Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust, MAST
Lady Dodd with apprentices from Cammell Laird
Merseyside Adventure Sailing Trust, MAST
Lady Dodd and Jim Graves with the Ken Dodd Cup


“It’s the ultimate experience for character development and, thanks to our sponsors like Lady Dodd and the companies involved, we are very pleased to also give this unique chance to disadvantaged young people.

“Some of these young people have never been beyond Merseyside, never mind set foot on a sailing ship before. We’re also very proud to work with our sponsors in giving their apprentices the chance to go to sea on a tall ship.

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“Lady Dodd’s support for MAST has been crucial to us in achieving these goals to broaden the horizons of young people and to make Liverpool the tall ship centre for northern Britain. 

“The Sir Ken and Lady Dodd Tall Ship Sailing Experience is an incredible asset for the young people of not just Merseyside but the entire north of the UK.”

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