Rubicon 3, an expedition sailing company started by two ex-UKSA Yachtmaster Instructors, has taken Martin Smith, a recent graduate of our Professional Yachtmaster (Offshore) course, on their first expedition to St Petersburg. Martin was one of several strong applicants to take a funded place onboard this once-in-a-lifetime voyage. The aim of the scheme is to help kick start someone’s career at sea by delivering valuable experiences, miles and tuition.

Sailing onboard Hummingbird, a Clipper 60 with three circumnavigations under her belt, the Rubicon 3 crew left London on April 16 and headed out to the Baltic states. With stops in iconic cities such as Kiel, Gdansk, Riga and Tallinn before entering St Petersburg itself, it promises to be an amazing trip. The return journey takes them through Scandinavia, stopping in Helsinki, cruising through the Finnish Archipelago and on into Stockholm and Copenhagen, before finishing in Gothenberg. The second half of the summer sees them cruise around Scotland and up to the Norwegian Arctic Circle, return to the UK via the Norwegian fjords. Places are sold on a berth-by-berth basis.

Rachael Sprot, of Rubicon 3, said: “The quality of the students who applied for this place was high. All the applicants demonstrated good sailing skills, a great work ethic and leadership and team work skills which will be invaluable in a career at sea. It is a testament to UKSA’s ability to prepare people for the marine industry.”

Co-founder Bruce Jacobs said he believes the opportunities for further developments to the scheme are strong. Bruce and Rachael met while working for UKSA in 2011 and set up the company in July last year.

As part of the link up with UKSA for the scholarship, they are offering the wider UKSA family 20% off the cost of any sailing trips in the 2014 season. One leg which might be of particular interest to ex-students is Gothenberg to the UK which is a passage-making master class for those who need to brush up on their navigation and sailing skills. It will start with pilotage and coastal navigation techniques in the stunning Bohuslan coast, before undertaking a 400nm offshore passage across the North Sea to Inverness by sextant alone.  Go to or [email protected] for more details.

We will have regular updates on Martin’s progress throughout the next few months.