Sail Training Info


Small Ships Races


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Previous Races

A fantastic day at the 11th Cowes Small Ships Race

SSR2014startSaturday 4th October saw the start of the 11th Cowes Small Ships Race, a race between 27 Sail Training vessels all crewed by young people under 25.

The Small Ships Race takes place every year on the first weekend of October and marks the end of the sailing season for most of the vessels taking part. The event is supported by many Isle of Wight based charities and yacht clubs, including the Royal London Yacht Club, Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes Yacht Haven and the Herapath-Shenton Trust. Around 230 young people, many of whom have never sailed before, took part in this exciting day.

The race was preceeded by a Parade of Sail in which the ships came close up to the RYS platform to wave at the supporters. Even though it was cold and wet, spirits were high and there were plenty of mexican waves and cheers.

The race started at 1030 just as a cold front came through, making for wet and windy conditions and poor visibility. The vessels headed off towards Yarmouth in a northwesterly breeze.

Soon the weather cleared, and by the time the front runners were on their way back towards Cowes the wind had eased to F 3 to 4. This made it tactically interesting for the Skippers. The first boat crossed the finish line in warm sunshine: Challenge Wales received line honours for the race.

Video of the Parade of Sail is here (thank you to Vectis Television)

Full race results are available here.

Photos of the race are here. (thanks go to

If you are looking for specific pictures of the race or prizegiving please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for details.

Clyde Small Ships Race 2014

The Clyde Small Ships Race is over. 

Even though there was very little wind, a good time was had by the trainees and skippers. The highlight of the week was taking part in the Commonwealth Flotilla up the river into the Clyde on Saturday 26th July.

Pictures of the Small Ships Race and Prizegiving are available here.

Full race results are here.

ASTO would like to thank RYA Scotland, James Watt Dock Marina, Portavadie Marina and the Scottish Sailing Institute for their help and support for the event. Extra special thanks go to Robbie Crow from OYT Scotland for the on the ground organisation.

The next ASTO Small Ships Race will be the round the cans race in the Solent on October 4th.


ASTO and RYA Scotland are jointly organising a Small Ships Race in the Clyde in July 2014.

The Small Ships Race is a regular event that sees young people from 12 to 25 compete against other Sail Training vessels. The fleet consists of everything from a 35 foot bermudan sloop to a 90 foot gaff rigged schooner. The common factor is that most of the young crew on board have never sailed before. Together they will experience teamwork, tolerance and responsibility all while having an exciting adventure!

The Clyde Small Ships Race 2014 will bring Sail Training to the Clyde in the lead up to the Commonwealth Games and will join with the RYA Scotland Homecoming Muster and Cruise in Company. Some of the vessels will then join the spectacular Commonwealth Flotilla that will see 250 vessels sail into the heart of Glasgow.


Further details of the partner events are on Flotilla 2014.


Previous Race Reports

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.

The next Cowes Small Ships Race will be on the 3rd October 2015. Please check here nearer the time for entry details. 

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.