Four Greenwich students learned the ropes of a Tall Ship as part of the 2017 Rendez-Vous Tall Ships Regatta, and gained some valuable life and work lessons along the way.

Eduardo Revolo, who has just finished his second year of a BA Hons in international business, was one of the novice sailors on the Tall Ship, the Blue Clipper, which left Greenwich on 16 April, relying on just the power of the wind to get to Sines Portugal by 29 April in the first race of the 2017 Regatta.

He found out about the Regatta from the university's Business School employability office. "I saw an email offering this opportunity to become a trainee crew member in the Tall Ship Regatta and I applied straightaway. I've never sailed before in my life. The challenge will be to try to learn as fast as possible because we'll have a very limited time to do things and will be competing against other ships."

While on-board, the trainee crew members learned how to climb the rigging, steer the ship and other sailing skills, while also building their confidence, leadership and teamwork skills, under the guidance of professional crew members.

Eduardo loved his first taste of sailing so much that he didn't want it to end and stayed on-board until the Canary Islands before flying home to sit his exams.

"After two weeks at sea you change your perspective on many things," he explains. "Probably the most important thing is that you realise that you can achieve something that you have never thought about before. You learn to think on your feet because you have to react quickly if things are going wrong on the boat. Carrying out the tasks and sailing in bad weather really tests your firmness of mind and ability to think clearly. The best bit, which was also the most challenging, was definitely crossing the Bay of Biscay where the sea is usually rough.

Anna Rabiej, a first year student in tourism management with Spanish language, described it as an unforgettable experience that she would recommend to anyone.

"I loved the peaceful atmosphere at sea and it was really beautiful at times. One of the best bits was watching dolphins playing by our boat but there were also challenges, like keeping watch between midnight and 4am. Sometimes, especially at night, it was very cold and dark, and I had to find lots of strength and patience to get through it. Being on a boat with a group of people for that long you have no choice but to accept everyone and get along. We quickly had to learn how to work as a team to do the many jobs on the boat.

"Doing this has also taught me to say yes to every opportunity in life because experiences are the best teachers."

The Royal Borough of Greenwich provided the funding to cover the cost of sailing and return travel for the four University of Greenwich students who are taking part. Students underwent a stringent selection and interview process to ensure that they would benefit from and be able to cope with the demands of life on-board.