The annual Small Ships race, a youth event where at least half of the crew on each vessel need to be between 12-24 years of age, starts off Cowes on Saturday (7th October).
This race for smaller Sail Training vessels is organised by the Association of Sail Training Organisations based in Gosport. It takes place on the first Saturday in October each year and this year will see nearly 200 teenagers take part.
In 2017 there will be 4 new entries joining the regular fleet:
• Prolific, owned by Southampton based Ocean Youth Trust South, replacing their old vessel, John Laing, whose red hull was familiar from many past races. This new one is a 22 metre ketch, fresh from racing the big tall ships in the Baltic.
• The Sea Cadets’ new yacht, City of London, is a replacement for one of their Tradewind 35 yachts, City Liveryman.
• The Combined Cadet Force are entering 2 yachts: Cornish Air, which has raced before, and Amaryllis.
Old favourites include the pilot cutter Jolie Brise, based in Hamble and operated by Dauntsey’s school: she has just completed 2 transatlantic crossings while taking part in the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta. Finally, the yacht Scaramouche, with a crew from Greig City Academy in Tottenham, has had a busy summer including taking part in the Fastnet race.
Island kids are taking part on board T.S. Caroline Allen – the world’s smallest tall ship.
This event is for novice sailors aged 12 to 24; the start will be off the Royal Yacht Squadron at 09:30 but the Parade of Sail of all entered vessels usually has lots of cheering and Mexican waving and is best seen from Cowes Parade, near the cannon.