High-flying Sam is on top of the world after swapping skies for seas

RAF officer Sam Grant is preparing to sail off on the trip of a lifetime.

RAF officer Sam Grant is preparing to sail off on the trip of a lifetime.

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A high-flying Royal Air Force officer is swapping the skies for the seas – for a global trip of a lifetime.

Flight Lieutenant Sam Grant, from Whitburn, has been plucked from the air to take part in the Exercise Transglobe Expedition – an ambitious mission which gives airmen, soldiers and sailors an opportunity to sail the world on two yachts.

As a novice sailor this is an ideal trip to learn how it’s done

Sam Grant

The globe-trotting project, which has has been set up to develop leadership skills, initiative and resilience in military personnel.

They set sail from Gosport, in Hampshire, in July, taking in Cape Town, Montevideo, New York and other far-flung destinations, during a route spanning 35,000 nautical miles over 13 months.

A total of 392 women and men, from both the reserve and regular services, will take part during the 13 legs of the journey, until the yachts dock back in Gosport in August.

Sam will be crewing Adventure of Hornet, which is a joint services Challenge 72 yacht, during Exercise Transglobe’s ninth leg, which starts in Montevideo, Uruguay, and ends in St Lucia, in the Caribbean. This journey will include sailing over the equator, where there will be the traditional Crossing the Line ceremony

Sam, who attended Whitburn C of E School before he joined the RAF in 2008, and is based at RAF Boulmer, in Northumberland, said: “As a novice sailor this is an ideal trip to learn how it’s done,”

Nick Trundle, who is in charge of the venture, said: “Exercise Transglobe will, in the true spirit of service adventure training, seriously challenge all who take part.

“It has been two years in the planning and we are all delighted that it is going well.”