Small Ships Race

Three Small Ships sailing in the Solent

Our annual Small Ships Race is 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.

Three Small Ships sailing in the Solent

Our annual Small Ships Race is 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 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.

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 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.

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.

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

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

Small Ships Race 2020

It’s official! Our upcoming annual Small Ships Race is set to go ahead (albeit in a slightly limited capacity) on October 3rd, and we’re so excited to get back out on the water and have some fun.

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

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

This means that for those who aren’t able to be out on the water with us, you can still get involved and win some prizes! The Sailonline Race will open for practice on Tuesday 29th September 2020, and the race itself will start on Saturday at the same time as the real race. Further details on www.sailonline.org.  To help us see which real Sail Trainers are taking part, we suggest that you choose a username that identifies your vessel, or prefix with the name of your 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 will also be hosting a live-streamed ‘Virtual Prize-Giving’ over on our Facebook page after the Small Ships Race and our Virtual SSR has finished. 

Small Ships Race 2020

It’s official! Our upcoming annual Small Ships Race is set to go ahead (albeit in a slightly limited capacity) on October 3rd, and we’re so excited to get back out on the water and have some fun.

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

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

This means that for those who aren’t able to be out on the water with us, you can still get involved and win some prizes! The Sailonline Race will open for practice on Tuesday 29th September 2020, and the race itself will start on Saturday at the same time as the real race. Further details on www.sailonline.org.  To help us see which real Sail Trainers are taking part, we suggest that you choose a username that identifies your vessel, or prefix with the name of your 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 will also be hosting a live-streamed ‘Virtual Prize-Giving’ over on our Facebook page after the Small Ships Race and our Virtual SSR has finished. 

Small Ships Race 2018

This annual event is a popular end to the Sail Training season, with around 25 boats 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.

The 2018 event was spectacular as always – 23 vessels entered, with 21 completing the course. Full results are available to view here. Photos of the racing are here, the prize giving here and a video here.

The Cowes Small Ships Race is organised by ASTO in partnership with the Royal London Yacht Club and supported by Isle of Wight based organisations including the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes Yacht Haven, Herapath Shenton Trust, RLYC Youth Trust, Cowes Rotary, Delphie Lakeman Trust and others. If you would like to support the event, or work with young people on the Isle of Wight who would like to take part, please contact [email protected]

Small Ships Race 2018

This annual event is a popular end to the Sail Training season, with around 25 boats 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.

The 2018 event was spectacular as always – 23 vessels entered, with 21 completing the course. Full results are available to view here. Photos of the racing are here, the prize giving here and a video here.

The Cowes Small Ships Race is organised by ASTO in partnership with the Royal London Yacht Club and supported by Isle of Wight based organisations including the Royal Yacht Squadron, Cowes Yacht Haven, Herapath Shenton Trust, RLYC Youth Trust, Cowes Rotary, Delphie Lakeman Trust and others. If you would like to support the event, or work with young people on the Isle of Wight who would like to take part, please contact [email protected]