Saturday, 5th October 2019 sees the annual Small Ships race return to Cowes; this end of season event sees many of the UK’s smaller Sail Training vessels race around the Solent after a start off the Royal Yacht Squadron.
This year’s fleet has three new entries; the Island Trust is bringing their new topsail schooner Johanna Lucretia, which will be sailing with students from the Isle of Wight College; from Chatham comes the yacht Bright Star, entered by the Morning Star Trust who will also be racing their concrete ketch, Morning Star of Revelation; and the Ballard School from New Milton will have an all girl crew on their Contessa, High Spirit.
Amongst the rest of the 25 entries the specially adapted catamaran Spirit of Scott Bader will have young people from Cowes Sailability and Cowes Enterprise College; Tenacity of Bolton – another concrete ketch – will be crewed by HTP College, and Cowes Sea Cadets will be on the classic Gipsy Moth IV, famous as the yacht that Sir Francis Chichester sailed around the world in, back in 1967.
JOLIE BRISE ahead of TS CITY OF LONDON at the ASTO Small Ships Race Cowes 2018 – Credit Max Mudie / ASTO
More Sea Cadets will be on the MS-SC yachts Sir Stelios and City of London – you can’t miss them with their jazzy coloured hulls. Royal Navy cadets from the Combined Cadet Force will be on Cornish Air and Bellerophon. The rest of the fleet will include old favourites such as the pilot cutter Jolie Brise, Rona II from the Hamble, Fastnet racer Scaramouche, and the ketch Maybe.
As usual, the fleet will parade past the Royal Yacht Squadron platform at approximately 0915, anywhere on the seafront near to the famous Squadron cannon will be a good vantage point; there should be lots of Mexican waves from the crews on board.
ASTO would like to thank many Isle of Wight based organisations for their support for this event, including the Royal London Yacht Club, Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes Rotary, Cowes Harbour Commission, Cowes Yacht Haven, Herapath Shenton Trust and others.
ASTO will be live blogging the event throughout the day – search ‘UK Sail Training’ on Facebook.
Written by Max Mudie for ASTO.
Note to editors: This event is organised by the Gosport-based charity the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO) which represents over 30 Sail Training vessels from all around the UK; this can be anything from a large, wooden three masted barque that takes mixed abilities to smaller glass fibre yachts. Sail Training is internationally recognised as an adventurous activity that allows young people to discover their true potential.
Top photo: Sea Cadet yacht TS SIR STELIOS at the ASTO Small Ships Race Cowes 2018 – Credit Max Mudie / ASTO