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The ASTO Small Ships Races are a youth event open to any Sail Training vessels of which at least half the crew is under 25. Small Ships races are run under the rules of Tall Ships Races but with, as the name suggests, some smaller vessels involved (usually under 24 metres long, with up to 16 trainees on board). The inaugural ASTO Small Ships Race from Weymouth to St. Malo in 2002 was deemed to be a tremendous success by all involved. Since then, host ports have included Ipswich, Delfzijl, Glasgow, Greenock, Belfast, Cowes, Torquay, St. Peter Port, London, Portland and most recently Dartmouth to Gosport. Although these events are termed races, and there is certainly hot competition on the water, the main aim is to bring a range of Sail Training vessels together for their crews to compete, socialise and rise to the challenge of sailing these exciting ships.
Visit the links to the left for information about these events, how to take part and read archive race reports.
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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 and pictures of the race here.
Torbay Small Ships Race 2017
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.
Vessels taking part included Leader and Golden Vanity (Trinity Sailing), Moosk, Pegasus and Tectona (Island Trust) and Aspiration and Endeavour (South Devon College).
25 vessels took part on a day that included every type of weather. Newcomers to the Cowes event included Morning Star and Yoda (Portsmouth Sail Training Trust) Full race results are here and a race report (press release) here, with some cracking pictures courtesy of tallshipstock.com online.
Dartmouth to Gosport 2016 (to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Royal Dart Yacht Club)
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
Congratulations to all vessels and crews that took part in the 2015 Cowes Small Ships Race. Here are the full Race Results. They are ordered by corrected time and also show elapsed time (time it took to complete the course). There were 3 separate starts for Classes B (1030 start), C1 (1040 start) and C2 and E (1050 start).
Clyde Small Ships Race (2014)
Hammond Innes Race
London to Portland Small Ships Race (2012)