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The Open Ocean and the Chance of Change
A 2,700 mile nautical race called the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers is going to kick off along the African coast in November and finish in the Caribbean in December. Although some of the top sailors in the world will compete, as usual, the non-profit organisation SailFuture has enrolled ten unusual crew members into this year’s race.
Ten juvenile offenders were chosen to take part as crew members in the race in an initiative called Sail for Justice. It was created with the goal of proving that young offenders can change their lives around and become valuable members of society. SailFuture officials believe that by placing serious responsibility on the youngsters, they are given a renewed sense of purpose and increased self worth. Mark Hunter, co-founder of the organisation believes that juvenile offenders should refuse to accept that they are defined by the worst things they’ve done. According to Hunter these youths ought to fight to prove their worth. The youngsters about to embark on a journey of a lifetime will have the opportunity to prove Hunter right, while enjoying boundless freedom, for a change.
Defy the odds
The ten participants were selected from around 170 applicants in detention centres across the US. Gavin Bayer is one of them. Troubled from a young age, Bayer has been in several group homes for delinquents. He started his criminal activities with breaking into cars and petty theft. This soon escalated into breaking and entering. They young man was caught for burgling a house and was sentenced to serve 10 months at the Orange Youth Academy. Despite his unscrupulous past, Gavin Bayer achieved his GED while detained and managed to write a winning essay that got him into the Sail for Justice expedition. After the event, the crew will receive vocational training with a view of starting anew as contributing members of society. The boat they will be sailing is aptly named ‘Defy the Odds’.