Cowes Annual Race
Small Ships Races
Category: Small Ships Races
Published on Monday, 31 January 2011 12:56
Written by ASTO Office
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. 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 and Portland. 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.
ASTO now organises two types of race event, an annual 'round-the-cans' race, and about every 2 years a longer 'passage race'. 2013 will see a special race commemorating Hammond Innes Centenary
, watch for details. The 'round-the-cans' event now happens on the first weekend in October every year out of Cowes. This short Solent based event is extremely popular in the Sail Training world, with 29 boats and 355 people taking part last year. A second, longer passage making race is held during the summer, typically with at least two host ports and a longer stretch of offshore racing.
Visit the links to the left for information about this year's events or read archive race reports.
The races are open to ASTO members and non-members alike. Minimum waterline length for entries is 7.3m (24ft). At least half of all of those on board the vessel during the race must be 25 years old or under. Details of how to enter a vessel in the race are available here
If you want to watch the races, or perhaps get involved as a sponsor, please contact ASTO on
or 02392 503 222.