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Hundreds of young people from across the UK gearing up for Falmouth to Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta

Young people from all over the UK are gearing up for an exciting challenge this summer as they countdown to the start of the Falmouth to Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta, which takes place from 28 August to 9 September 2014.

Over 280 young people from a wide range of backgrounds will be sailing under the banner of the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO), the UK's Sail Training umbrella organisation.

Nearly half of the 47 Sail Training vessels from around the world lining up to sail in the regatta, organised by Sail Training International, are ASTO members. At least half of the crew on board each vessel will be under 25.

ASTO has 18 member vessels from all over the British Isles taking part including Scotland, Wales, East Anglia and the South of England.

Lucy Gross, general manager of ASTO, said: "It's fantastic that nearly half the vessels on the start line for this year's Falmouth to Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta will be our members giving young people from all over the UK a life changing experience. The trainees taking part will find out first hand what they can achieve when they push themselves beyond their comfort zone. It is an experience they will remember for the rest of their lives and will give them invaluable skills and experience.

"We know that Sail Training can make an important difference to young people's lives when they return ashore. The message that comes back week in and week out from our ASTO members is that the Sail Training experience increases their confidence, communication skills and ability to work as a team, which can have a huge impact on all areas of their lives."

"We're really excited to have so many ASTO vessels from all over the UK signed up for this year's Falmouth to Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta. The number of vessels taking part in the Regatta has exceeded our expectations and we look forward to welcoming the ships and their crews to Falmouth for a packed programme of entertainment," comments Sam Groom, Falmouth Tall Ships Regatta Manager. "Participating in the Race as crew member is a wonderful opportunity for young people right across Cornwall and further afield to take part in a truly once in a lifetime experience."

On race day 31st August, the fleet of Tall Ships will pass between Henry VIII's twin Tudor castles of Pendennis and St Mawes in a magnificent Parade of Sail to the start line in Falmouth Bay and finish the race off the Isle of Wight before cruising in company to London, where the 47 diverse sailing craft are expected to arrive on 5 September.