Small Ships Race

Three Small Ships sailing in the Solent

Our Small Ships Races are youth events open to any Sail Training vessels of which at least half the crew is under 25. 

Small Ships Races are run for vessel under 24 m, using the racing rules of Tall Ships Races.

We run an annual race based in Cowes, and a longer passage race every two years.

Three Small Ships sailing in the Solent

Our Small Ships Races are youth events open to any Sail Training vessels of which at least half the crew is under 25. 

Small Ships Races are run for vessel under 24 m, using the racing rules of Tall Ships Races.

We run an annual race based in Cowes, and a longer passage race every two years.

The inaugural 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, Portland and Dartmouth. 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.

Cowes SSR

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 up to 30 boats and 350+ people taking part. The 2021 Race will be on the 2nd October 2021.

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Passage Race

Every 2 years we hold a slightly longer 'Passage Race' with at least two host ports and a longer stretch of offshore racing. This usually takes place over the course of four days and ends with a parade. The next passage race will be the Mayflower Regatta from 15th to 20th August 2021.

Read more

The inaugural 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, Portland and Dartmouth. 

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.

Cowes SSR

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 up to 30 boats and 350+ people taking part. The next race will be on the 2nd October 2021.

Read more

Passage Race

Every 2 years we hold a slightly longer 'Passage Race' with at least two host ports and a longer stretch of offshore racing. This usually takes place over the course of four days and ends with a parade. The next passage race will be the Mayflower Regatta from 15th to 20th August 2021.

Read more

Further information about our Small Ships Races can be found below. 

Further information about our Small Ships Races can be found below. 

Mayflower 401 Small Ships Race

The Mayflower 401 Anniversary Small Ships Race took place from Sunday 15th August to Friday 20th August 2021. It started at Ocean Village Marina in Southampton, and finished at the Royal Dart Yacht Club in Dartmouth.

Twelve UK Sail Training vessels took part including Ocean Youth Trust South, the Rona Sailing Project, the Island Trust, Morning Star Trust, and others.

This event was held to commemorate the 401-year anniversary of the departure of the Mayflower on her way to transport Pilgrims to the ‘new world’ in 1620. Originally, this event was scheduled to be held last year to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s departure from Southampton. However, it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Mayflower Small Ships Race retraced part of the route the Mayflower took, kicking off in Southampton with some shore-based fun and festivities (government guidance permitting), before a 2/3-day passage race towards Dartmouth, where the Mayflower visited in 1620 before she headed towards Plymouth to embark on the historic Transatlantic voyage.

Further details of the event can be viewed in our full press release here.

Click the buttons below to learn more about Mayflower 400 commemorations.

Mayflower 401 Small Ships Race

The Mayflower 401 Anniversary Small Ships Race took place from Sunday 15th August to Friday 20th August 2021. It started at Ocean Village Marina in Southampton, and finished at the Royal Dart Yacht Club in Dartmouth.

Twelve UK Sail Training vessels took part including Ocean Youth Trust South, the Rona Sailing Project, the Island Trust, Morning Star Trust, and others.

This event was held to commemorate the 401-year anniversary of the departure of the Mayflower on her way to transport Pilgrims to the ‘new world’ in 1620. Originally, this event was scheduled to be held last year to coincide with the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower’s departure from Southampton. However, it was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Mayflower Small Ships Race retraced part of the route the Mayflower took, kicking off in Southampton with some shore-based fun and festivities (government guidance permitting), before a 2/3-day passage race towards Dartmouth, where the Mayflower visited in 1620 before she headed towards Plymouth to embark on the historic Transatlantic voyage.

Further details of the event can be viewed in our full press release here.

Click the buttons below to learn more about Mayflower 400 commemorations.

 

Small Ships Race 2020

This annual event is a popular end to the Sail Training season, with around 25 boats usually taking part each year. Each of the boats are crewed by young and disabled people, many of whom have never sailed before. While the race is highly competitive, prizes are also awarded for the best dressed crew and the Spirit of the Race.

Our 2020 Small Ships Race went ahead, albeit in a slightly limited capacity, on October 3rd, and we were very excited to get back out on the water and have some fun.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we couldn’t host our usual shore-based event, but we were able to hold the offshore race, with every precaution being taken to ensure that we fully complied with RYA and government guidelines.

We were also thrilled to announce last year that in addition to our offshore race, we were holding a brand new VIRTUAL Small Ships Race in partnership with Sailonline.

This meant that for those who weren’t able to be out on the water with us, they could still get involved and win some prizes! The Sailonline Race opened for practice on Tuesday 29th September 2020, and the race itself started on the Saturday at the same time as the real race. Further details can be found on Sailonline.  To help us see which real Sail Trainers were taking part, we suggested that participants chose a username that identifies their vessel, or prefix with the name of their organisation (for example, prefix ‘RSP’ for the Rona Sailing Project, or ‘OYT’ for the Ocean Youth Trust.)

Instead of our usual evening awards ceremony, we also hosted a streamed ‘Virtual Prize-Giving’ over on our Facebook page after the Small Ships Race and our Virtual SSR had finished.

Small Ships Race 2020

This annual event is a popular end to the Sail Training season, with around 25 boats usually taking part each year. Each of the boats are crewed by young and disabled people, many of whom have never sailed before. While the race is highly competitive, prizes are also awarded for the best dressed crew and the Spirit of the Race.

Our 2020 Small Ships Race went ahead, albeit in a slightly limited capacity, on October 3rd, and we were very excited to get back out on the water and have some fun.

Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we couldn’t host our usual shore-based event, but we were able to hold the offshore race, with every precaution being taken to ensure that we fully complied with RYA and government guidelines.

We were also thrilled to announce last year that in addition to our offshore race, we were holding a brand new VIRTUAL Small Ships Race in partnership with Sailonline.

This meant that for those who weren’t able to be out on the water with us, they could still get involved and win some prizes! The Sailonline Race opened for practice on Tuesday 29th September 2020, and the race itself started on the Saturday at the same time as the real race. Further details can be found on Sailonline. To help us see which real Sail Trainers were taking part, we suggested that participants chose a username that identifies their vessel, or prefix with the name of their organisation (for example, prefix ‘RSP’ for the Rona Sailing Project, or ‘OYT’ for the Ocean Youth Trust.)

Instead of our usual evening awards ceremony, we also hosted a streamed ‘Virtual Prize-Giving’ over on our Facebook page after the Small Ships Race and our Virtual SSR had finished.

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