Sail Training Info


Small Ships Races



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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 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 of sailing these exciting ships.

ASTO now organises two types of race event: an annual 'round-the-cans' race, and about every 2 years a longer 'passage race' with at least two host ports and a longer stretch of offshore racing. 
There is no passage race planned for 2015 however ASTO are in talks for events for 2016 and 2017, details of which will be announced soon.
The 'round-the-cans' Small Ships Race happens on the first weekend in October every year out of Cowes. This short event is extremely popular in the Sail Training world, with 29 boats and 355 people taking part last year. 

Visit the links to the left for information about this year's events, how to take part and read archive race reports.

Are you Ready....


Cowes 2015 - Congratulations to all vessels  and crews that took part in this year's Cowes Small Ships Race.  Pictures and a race report will be posted on the home port soon, in the meantime 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).

ASTO would like to wish all the crews a safe trip home and we hope to see you all again next year!

Next year's Race will be Saturday 1st October 2016, with boats arriving on Friday 30th September and departing Sunday 2nd October.

Cowes Small Ships Races

The first Cowes Small Ships Race happened in 2004 and it has become a very popular event in the Sail Training calendar since. Entries usually number around 25 vessels for the event which now takes place on the first Saturday of October every year. Sail Training vessels aren't the only ones taking part: teams have been entered from the MCA, the Army, and from the 'Captain's Daughters', an informal group that usually volunteer as watchleaders with various Sail Training organisations. The only rule to take part is that half of the crew need to be under 25. 

Participating boats gather in Cowes on Friday afternoon, with a race on the Saturday and prize giving on Saturday evening. For more details please contact ASTO or check the links on the left.


A Small Ships Race is planned from Dartmouth to Gosport in August 2016 with generous assistance from the Royal Dart Yacht Club and Gosport Marine Scene.

Please put this exciting event in your diaries and check here nearer the time for entry details. 

In Dartmouth, the event will celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Royal Dart Yacht Club. Confirmed dates for the event:

Saturday 20th August – Fleet gathers in Dartmouth

Sunday 21st August –   crew training, possible practice race, shorebased fun and games, crew barbecue and Skippers briefing

Monday 22nd August –  Fleet departs Dartmouth, possible sailing practice, Race Start

Weds 24th August –      Fleet arrive Solent. Crew parade and Prize Giving in Gosport. Suggested crew departure Thursday morning.

Cowes 2014

Report, Results, Parade of Sail video (thanks to Vectis Television) and Photos (thanks to

Clyde Small Ships Race (2014)

Results , Photos and Prizegiving photos

Cowes 2013

Race report, Results, and Photos (courtesy of Andy Wales)

Hammond Innes Race

Race report, Results and Trophies

Cowes 2012

Race report and list of Results and Trophies awarded

London to Portland Small Ships Race (2012)

Race Report, Spotter's GuideResults and full list of prizes

Cowes 2011

Race Report, Results and full list of prizes

Cowes 2010

Race report and full list of prizes

Cowes 2009

Race report and full list of prizes.

Spaces available now

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