Edinburgh University’s June Xu gives speech to Sultan

June Xu and 20 other international students were invited to Oman to participate in a sail training event recently. She is currently doing a PhD at Edinburgh university. The subject of her research is Cross Cultural competence and sail training. 

Originally from Jiangsu, China, Yujun XU (or “June Xu” as her English friends know her) became the proud winner of Sail Training International’s coveted Torbay Cup in 2013, an award given for outstanding individual achievement and personal effort during the annual Tall Ships Races.

sultan and youths copy

Here is part of her speech:

“Hello everyone, my name is June Xu and I come from China. It is an honour to be standing here, to share my sail training stories with you.

Two years ago, I was a 23 years-old master’s degree student at Edinburgh University, Scotland. I first heard about sail training when I noticed a poster advertising the 2013 International Tall Ships Races. I was attracted at the first glance. However, I was slightly anxious of the potential danger since I’d never tried sailing before. Thankfully, a couple of days later, my adventurous spirit defeated my fear. The reason I said “thankfully” here is that the actual experience finally proved this was a wise decision. I will say, this opportunity, sponsored by a bursary from Oman, changed the course of my life, totally.

So, two months later, in July 2013, I arrived in Latvia and boarded a ship called Gulden Leeuw. A seven-day memorable voyage then started, from Riga, Latvia to Szczecin, Poland

I was surprised to be awarded a prize for my voyage – the Torbay Cup. I looked after the actual cup for a year and I even took it home to China. After all, I was told to look after it, carefully.
I used the prize money to sail in the 2014 Tall Ships Race between Falmouth and London and I was a member of the first Chinese team in the Tall ships’ Races.

A journey on board will change people by making them get rid of social media for some time, and by uniting them with worldwide strangers in a small community “away from the outside world”. They have to learn to pull together because they are all in the same boat. The endless potential of young adults can be inspired on a sail-training voyage. 

Thank you , again, Oman , for your support for the youth of today for helping them to be the leaders of tomorrow.”


Sail training adventures are available to all. There are some interesting events in June 2016. Do join in, you never know where it may lead.

Contact: [email protected]


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