Cowes Small Ships Race

Saturday 5th October 2019 sees the annual Small Ships Race return to Cowes. This end-of-season event, organised by Gosport based charity the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO), 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 its 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 also racing its concrete ketch, Morning Star of Revelation; and the Ballard School from New Milton will have an all-girl crew on its 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, in 1967.

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 RYS platform at approximately 09:15 – anywhere on the seafront near to the famous Squadron cannon will be a good vantage point.

Many Isle of Wight-based organisations are supporting this event including the Royal London Yacht Club, Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes Rotary, Cowes Harbour Commission, Cowes Yacht Haven, and Herapath Shenton Trust.

ASTO will be live blogging the event throughout the day, search @UKSailTraining on Facebook.

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