Check out the latest crew news.

Charles Robertson is stepping down as skipper to pursue an exciting project with another vessel, which is about to set sail from New Zealand. Charles joined Irene as first mate in 2013 and the owners are very proud to have played a part in his career development over the past four years. He has been extremely popular with guests and is wished fair winds and following seas, on his new adventure.

Stepping into the Skippers role is Lara Caine. Lara joins Irene after three years skippering Provident, a Brixham Trawler operated by the Trinity Sailing Foundation. She also trains young naval officers in sailing at the Britannia Naval College. Lara brings a wealth of experience in sailing traditional vessels and in providing experiences for guests on board these sailing vessels.

Leslie Morrish, the vessel’s owner since 1965, said “Lara is a fabulous choice for Irene’s skipper. Her experience with Trinity Sailing Foundation will be invaluable. She is a consummate sailor of traditional vessels and I’m sure our guests will thoroughly enjoy their voyages under Lara’s leadership. Whilst Irene’s design may have changed very little over the past 110 years, it is pleasing that the attitudes to crew have moved on. Sailing and leadership skills are now the factors that define a good skipper and not gender! We wish Lara every success in this next chapter for Irene.”

Joining Lara will be some additional new crew members to allow Irene to operate a rotation basis for the team this year. The ship’s manager, Stuart Grimwood explained “The schedule for 2017 is more demanding than in previous years and it’s important that the team have adequate down time. Consequently, there will be a number of new opportunities for young people to join the crew and develop their sailing skills with us. The team this year will increase from 4 to 8 people and include a Host for the first time. This will allow us to continue providing fabulous service below decks as well as great sailing above decks. New roles will include a new chef, a new first mate and new deckhands. The team are currently learning the ropes on the trip home from the Canary Isles, where we’ve spent the winter.”