More than 200 Volunteers attend the annual RSP reunion

The Trustees of the Rona Sailing Project were delighted to welcome more than 200 enthusiastic volunteers to the Project's Annual Reunion. Held on January 6th at the Royal Overseas League in London, the Annual Reunion is one of the highlights of the RSP Calendar, drawing volunteers of all ranks to celebrate the fantastic achievements of the Project over the 2017 season and to plan and prepare for upcoming 2018 season.

Awards were also given to some volunteers for outstanding volunteerism in 2017 and long service to those who have given 25 and 40 years to the Rona Sailing Project. As a volunteer-based organisation, we depend on the dedicated service of so many people and we were very happy that so many dedicated volunteers attended this great event, and we extend our thanks to them and all RSP volunteers. 

We wish everyone a safe and happy sailing season.


Crew feedback

2017 was a great season for the Rona Sailing Project, with Rona II and her crew of 16-25 year olds participating in the epic Transatlantic Tall Ships Race, visiting Portugal, the Canaries, Bermuda, Canada, America and France. Closer to home not only was a full Sail Training Voyage programme run on Donald Searle and Merrilyn, visiting ports on the South Coast of England, France and the Channel Islands, volunteers and crew also visited Ireland and participated in the ASTO Small Ships race.

The Rona Sailing Project asks all trainees to complete a Feedback Form at the end of their voyages. There are various questions, which we use with a view to getting better at what we do. However we are particularly proud that 99% say that they would recommend the Project to a friend, and 98% that they have made new friends.

If you or someone you know would like to sail with the RSP - please contact us for details or on 01489 885098


Rona Sailing Project does well at the ASTO Small Ships Race

The annual Small Ships organised by ASTO was held in Cowes on Saturday 7th of October.  While the race is highly competitive, prizes are also awarded for the best dressed crew and the Spirit of the Race which makes the event a lot of fun for all the young people taking part.

Four of the 22 vessels taking part this weekend were from the Rona Sailing Project. Crewed by 14-19 year old Scott and Amory Award holders from the 2017 season, Lady Shona, Merrilyn, Rona II and Donald Searle certainly were a force to be reckoned with.

Jake Carter, who skippered Lady Shona won the youngest skipper award, while Merrilyn and Donald Searle skippered by Jim Clarke and Steve Burgess respectively both won third in their class. Merrilyn also got a prize for the youngest combined crew.

Rona II, skippered by Bill Jermey was not only 1st in class but also was the first boat home to win line honours. Very many congratulations and well done to all the RSP crew and Afterguard, who did themselves and us very proud.

The RSP would also like to thank ASTO for organising on such a fantastic event and for their continued support to the Sail Training Organisations in the UK. We are already look forward to the 2018 Small Ships Race


RDV 2017 overall results

RDV 2017 Leg 5 results are in and Rona II was raced well by her crew achieving 1st in fleet on elapsed time and 1st in class C/D on corrected time. We were also awarded the Fleet Media Prize.

The Rendez Vous 2017 Campaign was a huge success for the Rona Sailing Project and the campaign team lead by Gareth Parker (pictured below being held by his crew)

Rona II, achieved first in class C/D in the overall 2017 Series and a special commendation as one of only four vessels to complete the entire RDV 2017 race series.

Huge congratulations to everyone who sailed on Rona II and to all the many volunteers who contributed to the overall campaign, you have done yourselves and the Rona Sailing Project proud.

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Rona II in Le Havre

Below is a picture of Rona II's reflection on a building as she left  Canada with a fantastic farewell from the crowds! Having finished the last leg of the race off the Eddystone Lighthouse, she is now safe in Le Havre enjoying the festivities. A delivery crew will join her there, and she will finally be at home on Tuesday 5th of September after an epic 5 months away. 133 afterguard and trainees have had an amazing summer bringing home lots of silverware and lifelong memories.


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Rona II in Quebec

Rona II is as far away from her home base as she's ever been and here is a picture of her passing the iconic and most photographed hotel in the world, the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac in Quebec.

The final leg 6 crew of the Rendez Vous 2017 will head to Canada this coming Saturday to join Rona II and will race her back to Le Havre, finishing by September 3rd. We wish them all the very best of luck and look forward to seeing them all returning safely to le Havre.


2017 so far

We are now well over the halfway point in the season and what a season it has been so far.  While Rona II is representing the Project on the other side of the Atlantic, Donald Searle and Merrilyn have been working hard this side with over 1100 people having sailed on the boats to date.

Many congratulations to all the race crews who have represented themselves and the Project impeccably and in their adventures managed to pick up some silverware.

Leg 3 (Bermuda – Boston) 2nd in class

Leg 4 (Boston – Prince Edward Island) 1st in class

Good luck to all on Leg 5 who begin the adventure from Halifax, Canada back to Le Havre on 1 August.  Fair winds to Rona II and her crew!

You can follow the race adventures on and also track the boat back across the Atlantic on

You can also read about one of our crews experience on Leg 1 via  

We still have a few places left on our voyages this season so if you are interested in taking part then please contact us

The 2018 programme will be released in September and so it begins all over again!


Haberdashers' award grant to the Rona Sailing Project

We are delighted to share the news that the RSP has received a grant from the Haberdashers’ Company to support disadvantaged young people to sail with us during the 2017 season. This grant will be used to ensure that young people who are experiencing difficulties in their lives including young carers , have the opportunity to experience sail training. As a volunteer-based organisation, we depend on such charitable donations along with the time and commitment of all of so many volunteers to run our sail training programme.

 The support from The Haberdashers’ Company ensures that the sail training experience is accessible to a range of young people who otherwise would not have the opportunity. These people include young people from a range of socio-economic backgrounds experiencing social, emotional and mental health issues. We are confident that the support from the Haberdashers’ will equip them with invaluable life skills and experience to help them overcome problems they are experiencing. We see time and time again, the change in young people’s confidence and self-esteem which in turn makes a difference in how they view themselves and deal with people. We look forward to supporting young people to achieve their goals in 2017 with the assistance of the Haberdashers’ Company, to whom we extend our sincere thanks.

 Please contact us on 01489 885098  if you or someone you know would like to sail with the Rona Sailing Project.

The Haberdashers Company

The Haberdashers Company

Leg 1 from start to finish

Well done to all on Leg 1 on the Rendez-Vous 2017 Tall Ships Regatta (Greenwich - Torbay - Sines 8 - 30 April).  An experience they will never forget.

  • Skipper - Roy Anderson
  • Mate - Charles Clarke
  • Watch Officer - Ciara Jones
  • Watch Officer - Rybeka Parsons
  • Watch Officer - Paul Craig
  • Watch Leader - Aidan Sykes
  • Watch Leader - Will Grigsby
  • Watch Leader - Ferghal Swanwick
  • Crew - Jordan Tappenden, Thomas Irmiger, Jeremy Zhen, Joshua Pearson, Alex Earey, Harry Raffan, James Ainsworth, Dom Hall, Isaac Bury, Thomas Kendall, Thomas Chapman, Oisin Cullen, Joe Oram, Charles Nainty-Luxmoore

To read more about their experiences and the future legs please go to our Facebook page.

Rona II takes line honours for Leg 1

Quoted from Paul Bishop, Race Director Sail Training International...

“The final stages of race one proved to be incredibly exciting with many of the supports staying awake at home to witness the close finish between Rona II (UK) and Peter von Danzig (Germany) unfold on our live satellite tracker website. Both crews have sailed outstanding races with the lead changing frequently over 1,000 miles of racing. In the end Rona II managed to gain line honours in sight of her rival by 17 minutes and 55 seconds.

Roy Anderson, skipper of Rona II said “we had a neck and neck race with Peter von Danzig right up to the finish line” and he wished them good luck for race two to Bermuda. Hans-Heinrich von Maydell, skipper of Peter von Danzig congratulated Rona II on their success and explained that Rona II had made a good tactical decision by standing further off the Portuguese Coast to gain from the stronger winds. Both crews are enjoying the warm hospitality and weather here in Sines and there are plans for well-deserved celebrations”.