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Small Ships Races








The Cowes Small Ships Race takes place on the first Saturday every October, Saturday 5 October 2019 this year. This annual event is a popular end to the Sail Training season, with around 25 boats taking part each year. Each of the boats are crewed by young and disabled people, many of whom have never sailed before. While the race is highly competitive, prizes are also awarded for the best dressed crew and the Spirit of the Race.

The 2018 event was spectacular as always - 23 vessels entered, with 21 completing the course. A summary of the racing is on the news page ('Home port'), with full results available here.

Photos of the racing are here, the prize giving here and a video here.

The Cowes Small Ships Race is organised by ASTO in partnership with the Royal London Yacht Club and supported by Isle of Wight based organisations including the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes Yacht Haven, Herapath Shenton Trust, RLYC Youth Trust, Cowes Rotary, Delphie Lakeman Trust and others. If you would like to support the event, or work with young people on the Isle of Wight who would like to take part, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The Chatham to Gosport Small Ships Race 2018 saw 5 Sail Training vessels in friendly competition. 

The fleet arrived in Chatham Sunday 19 August in blustery conditions. The crew of Morning Star organised crew games and a barbecue. A Skipper's briefing was held on board Morning Star to discuss the racing. Many thanks to Richard Stone from the Medway Yacht Club for his local advice and offer to run a practice race.

Due to lack of wind on Monday, 20th August, the practice race was cancelled. Instead, the fleet motored to Ramsgate undertaking the Cheesecake Challenge on the way! Many thanks to Ramsgate Marina for accomodating the fleet at such short notice.

On Tuesday 21st August the race to Gosport started off Ramsgate, in light headwinds and thick fog. This cleared by the afternoon and the crews found themselves tacking along the coast making good speed. The wind eased off on Wednesday morning and remained from the west, meaning crews needed to tack frequently to make any progress. 

The time limit for the race was shortened to ensure all crews would get to Gosport in time. Those vessels that had not finished the race by midnight on Wednesday were therefore able to report their position and a theoretical finish time was calculated. Due to the time correction factor issued by Sail Training International, all boats are in with a chance of winning.

Pictures of the prize giving are on


Overall Winner: Scaramouche

Winner of the Richard Langhorn Trophy (voted for by all crews as the vessel that best represents the Spirit of the Race): Leila

Name Class Corrected Time
Scaramouche D 19h 39m 47s
Leila B 23h 50m 52s
Ocean Scout C 1d 00h 21m 02s
Offshore Scout C 1d 00h 51m 03s
Morning Star B 1d 01h 33m 29s



ASTO organised a short event in Torbay to celebrate the start of the transatlantic Tall Ships Regatta in April 2017. 7 vessels took part in this short round the cans race. Very many thanks to Tor Bay Harbour and the Royal Torbay Yacht Club for their support. 

Pictures from the event are available here or here . ( uksailtraining) 

Vessels taking part included Leader and Golden Vanity (Trinity Sailing), Moosk, Pegasus and Tectona (Island Trust) and Aspiration and Endeavour (South Devon College).


Cowes Small Ships Race 2017 James M Pilgrim Social Res 5468

This year's race was very windy with strong tides, making for a fast and exciting race. The fleet headed through the forts and towards Bembridge Ledge before returning to finish off Cowes. 22 vessels were entered although only 20 competed. Newcomers included Ocean Youth Trust South's new vessel Prolific, and the Sea Cadets' new yacht City of London. As in the last few years, Spirit of Scott Bader competed in a class of their own, with people with various disabilities on board. Full Race Results can be found here, pictures of the race here and pictures of the prize giving here.

ASTO would like to thank the Royal London Yacht Club and Royal Yacht Squadron for their support in organising this race, as well as Cowes Yacht Haven for the venue. Several Isle of Wight organisations provide funding for young people to take part. If you are involved with a youth organisation or school on the Island, and would like to take part next year, please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Royal Dart Yacht Club.

Organised by ASTO with generous support from












The Dartmouth to Gosport Small Ships Race 2016 brought together Sail Training vessels and young people in friendly competition. 17 vessels took part in the practice race and 19 in the race to Gosport. Stories and pictures from the race can be found on the UK Sail Training facebook page. (You do not need to log in to Facebook to see the pictures). Anyone wanting high resolution pictures or prints please contact ASTO on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Practice race results

Dartmouth to Gosport race results


ASTO would like to thank all supporters of the race, without whom the event would not have been possible. In particular we would like to thank:

Members of the Royal Dart Yacht Club

Dart Harbour Navigation Authority

Hornet Services Sailing Club

Joint Services Adventurous Sail Training Centre

Sea Cadets Offshore

Portsmouth Harbour QHM

Gosport Borough Council

Gosport Marine Scene

Radio Haslar


If your port or yacht club would like to host a Small Ships Race, please contact ASTO on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.