38 young people and 18 volunteers from The Rona Sailing Project are set to take part in one of the most anticipated youth sail training events of the year, with nearly 200 other young people from around the UK. The Cowes Small Ships Race is hosted by Gosport-based charity, ASTO (Association of Sail Training Organisations), with support from the Royal London Yacht Club and Royal Yacht Squadron.
The RSP’s vessels, Donald Searle, Rona II and Merrilyn are expected to join 17 other vessels over the weekend, to set off from Cowes Yacht Haven and race round the cans in the Solent. The organisations taking part are all youth charities or organisations specialising in youth development.
Sail Training teaches young people about the importance of teamwork, communication, and other key skills that they can use later in life. Sail Training can also improve young people’s mental health and wellbeing as it can help to boost levels of self-confidence, self-esteem, and resilience.
The Small Ships Race gives young people from different backgrounds the chance to meet and connect in a fun, friendly and competitive environment.
Lucy Grodie, General Manager of ASTO, said: “I’m pleased that so many UK Sail Training vessels are returning to Cowes this weekend to compete in our annual Small Ships Race. Not only is it a great opportunity for the young people taking part, but it also allows our UK Sail Training members to celebrate a successful season.”
“Sail Training is once again thriving…”
She added: “The world is still feeling the impacts of the pandemic, but Sail Training is once again thriving and providing positive, life-changing, experiences for so many young and disabled people across the country.”
Follow UK Sail Training on social media to see all the latest Small Ships Race updates and learn more about our work. @UKSailTraining.
The Rona Sailing Project is immensely grateful to ASTO for putting on such a great event and we are looking forward to entering all three vessels into the event for the first time since 2019.