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ASTO Patron HRH The Countess of Wessex and her daughter Lady Louise Mountbatten-Windsor joined one of the Gosport-based charity’s member vessels, Donald Searle for a day sail in the Solent on Monday (6 August).

The Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO) is a registered charity with a membership made up of more than 30 not-for-profit bodies that operate more than 50 vessels around the UK offering Sail Training opportunities for young people from all backgrounds.

The Countess of Wessex and Lady Louise, 14, teamed up with a group of teenage girls from across the UK and Ireland who are currently embarked on a six-day sailing adventure on the 75-ft ketch operated by the Rona Sailing Project, which runs programmes from Easter to October each year.

ASTO President Rear Admiral John Lang, who welcomed the Royal party at Haslar Marina this morning, said: “We’re delighted that our Patron HRH The Countess of Wessex and her daughter Lady Louise could join one of our member vessels today to see first hand the great work done by one of the many Sail Training organisations that offer programmes across the UK. The Rona Sailing Project is one amongst many vessel operators who work tirelessly to widen the horizons and self confidence of young people from all backgrounds and abilities through their Sail Training activities.”

Donald Searle set sail from Haslar Marina in Gosport on Monday morning and everybody on board, including the Royal crew mates, got involved in hauling the sails and helming during their day sail in light airs under glorious August sunshine.

Amongst the crew on board today were seven girls aged between 16 and 19 from across the UK and Ireland who are taking part in a six-day trip starting and finishing at the Rona Sailing Project’s base in Hamble, Hampshire.

One of the trainees sailing on board Donald Searle was Hannah McKenzie, 19, from Glasgow who is sailing with the Rona Sailing Project for the third time.

“It’s been a really great day and having our special guests on board reinforced the amazing experience we’ve been having over the last days. The great thing about Sail Training is working together with people from all different backgrounds and bonding together as a team.

“I didn’t used to cope well in large groups and kept to myself, but Sail Training has given me so much more confidence and social skills, which has really helped for interviews and at university.”

For Donald Searle’s skipper Bill Jermey, 69, today’s visit was particularly special as this is his final voyage with the Rona Sailing Project after first sailing with the organisation as a trainee aged 15. Since 1989 he has volunteered with the charity and has sailed as skipper for the last 25 years.

For further information about ASTO, its member organisations and opportunities for young people from all backgrounds to get involved in Sail Training across the UK visit: www.uksailtraining.org

ASTO reception Sunderland 090 resize credit ASTO Max Mudie credit ASTO Max MudieBenefits of Sail Training for young people showcased to north-east youth organisations


Representatives from educational organisations across the north-east attended a reception aboard the Sail Training vessel TS Royalist in Sunderland yesterday (Thursday 12 July), two days ahead of the start of Race 1 of The Tall Ships Races 2018 to Esbjerg, Denmark. Hosted by the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO) – the umbrella body for Sail Training vessels in the UK – representatives from ASTO, their local members OceanYouth Trust North and Maybe Sailing, and Skippers of some of the nine ASTO vessels gathered in Sunderland for the race joined local invited guests for an exclusive reception aboard the four year-old brig operated by the Marine Society & Sea Cadets.

With an emphasis on promoting year-round opportunities for young people, ASTO was able to showcase to educational organisations how the challenging and adventurous activities of Sail Training can be pivotal in developing skills such as teamwork and leadership. The reception also provided an opportunity to highlight the fact that not all vessels competing in Tall Ships Races are tall ships; many are large yachts that have been specially adapted to offer life changing experiences for young people. A total of nine ASTO member vessels with 133 young people on board, including eight ASTO-sponsored trainees, are taking part in the North Sea race that starts from Sunderland on Saturday.

On the success of the reception aboard TS Royalist, Lucy Gross, ASTO General Manager, said: “The Tall Ships Races are a fantastic opportunity for young people from all sorts of backgrounds. Sail Training is a great way of learning about communication, leadership and resilience and the young people taking part will come back more confident and with a sense of achievement. But Sail Training doesn't just happen during the Tall Ships Races, the UK Sail Training fleet runs voyages all year round that any young person can benefit from. We've hosted this reception to make more youth organisations aware of the opportunities and to put them in touch directly with the ships.”

Skipper Steve Burgess from Rona Sailing Project, commenting on what the three ASTO bursary-funded crew members on board are likely to experience when they set sail on Saturday, said: "In common with all race crews, Rona II trainees will face a number of challenges. Whatever the conditions, they’ll be sharing a 21m yacht with 22 other people. The experience of living and working together will set them up for whatever they face in the future. They’ll always remember it, alongside the significant international friendship of a Tall Ships Race."

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Ten UK Sail Training vessels, all members of ASTO, are taking part in the Tall Ships Races 2018 organised by Sail Training International. 7 of the ships are taking part in the whole series of races from Sunderland to Denmark, Norway and the Netherlands, with 3 only taking part in one or two stages. All the vessels will be crewed by young people or people with disabilities, many of whom have never sailed before.

The Tall Ships Races are the biggest annual showcase event for Sail Training in Europe. Ships from many different nations take part, all using the medium of sailing to teach their young crews about their hidden strengths, teamwork, communication and resilience. All while having an exciting adventure in the fresh air!

Sail Training in the UK happens all year round, with voyages available for youth groups, school groups and individuals, from a few days on board to a week, or even longer. While the fleet encompasses many different types of ship, they all have in common that the crew need to live and work together to make the voyage a success. Browse this website to find out about the different organisations, voyages available and how to book space for you or your group.

Can't wait that long?  Morning Star (pictured) still needs some trainess for the races this month. No sailing experience necessary, details in our newsletter or sign up to the right.

Competition: Win a week’s sailing trip with songwriter Richard Stilgoe worth £745

From thestage.co.uk - Apr 26, 2018

tenacious

The Jubilee Sailing Trust, in partnership with the Orpheus Trust, offers you the chance to sail on board SV Tenacious for a week, creating and performing a new show with Cats and Phantom of the Opera songwriter Richard Stilgoe. Come experience life on board a tall ship whilst spending time with one of musical theatre’s greatest masterminds in a truly unique environment.

After an introduction by Richard Stilgoe, the Orpheus Centre and the Jubilee Sailing Trust are working together in the summer of 2018 to produce a Songs on the Sea voyage crewed by students of the Orpheus Centre, their assistants, skilled tutors, and other disabled young adults. Richard Stilgoe will be participating in the voyage himself so this will be a once in a lifetime opportunity to work with one of Britain’s top songwriters on the world’s largest operational wooden ship to create a completely original performance.

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