Please select your home edition
Edition
Sailingfast 2018 2 728x90

Young sailors overcome strong headwinds to arrive in Dartmouth for postponed Mayflower 400 Race

by Association of Sail Training Organisations 22 Aug 23:12 BST
Mayflower 401 Small Ships Race © Max Mudie

After two days of beating into a strong westerly headwind, 12 UK Sail Training vessels, crewed by young people, arrived safely in Dartmouth on Thursday morning to mark the end of ASTO's Mayflower 401 Small Ships Race.

The week's event, which began on Sunday 15th August, saw a fleet of UK Sail Training youth charities take part in a race to commemorate the 401-year anniversary of the Mayflower. Originally billed as the Mayflower 400 SSR last year, the event was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Sail Training vessels use the experience of being at sea to teach young people about resilience and overcoming challenges, while having fun and making new friends.

The race began at Southampton's Ocean Village Marina and saw the vessels round the eastern end of the Isle of Wight before making their way West again towards Dartmouth. Strong winds and rough seas battered the fleet but amongst the crews, spirits remained high. Many of the young people had not sailed before, let alone through the night in difficult conditions. The first vessel to cross the finish line just south of the Mew Stone was Challenge Wales' 72ft yacht, Challenge Wales, shortly followed by Morning Star Trust's Sigma 38, Eastern Star.

Much like the Mayflower in 1620, a few vessels in the fleet were forced to stop for rest and repairs, with Ocean Youth Trust South's Prolific anchoring in Studland Bay in the early hours of Wednesday morning. Meanwhile other vessels including Boleh Trust's junk yacht, Boleh, and The Island Trust's topsail Schooner, Johanna Lucretia, made the decision to retire early due to the strong westerly winds making sailing very difficult. Repairs were made rapidly, and all vessels and crews were able to continue sailing later in the week.

The sense of achievement and joy of the young people was evident in the on-the-water prize-giving ceremony where trophies and prizes were hand-delivered to the winning vessels moored in Dart Harbour by way of water taxi.

At the prize-giving, ASTO's Chair, Mark Todd, said to the young crews: 'You were probably challenged on that race, worried whether you could do it, and you did, so next time life throws a challenge at you, remember this experience and know you can get through it. Your first night at sea was boating to windward in big seas and big winds, and you should feel immensely proud of yourselves. Teamwork, determination, resilience and communication skills is what Sail Training is all about and they're skills that will help you get through life.'

This event was the first opportunity for Sail Training vessels and young people to gather since the lockdown. Since mid-July, over 30 Sail Training charities are finally able again to provide life-changing positive experiences for young people and disabled people.

List of Prize Winners:

  • Seven Seas Trophy (Line honours) - Challenge Wales, Challenge Wales
  • Aurora Trophy (First after corrected time) - Jolie Brise, Dauntsey's School
  • Richard Langhorn Trophy (Spirit of the race) - Olga, Sailing Tectona CiC
  • Bloodhound Cup (Youngest average age crew) - Jolie Brise, Dauntsey's School
Visit www.uksailtraining.org to learn more about ASTO, Sail Training, and the positive work the UK Sail Training member organisations do. To find out more about other Mayflower 400 commemorative events in the South, visit: www.dartmouthmayflower400.uk

A video of the prize-giving is available on www.facebook.com/uksailtraining

Related Articles

Cowes Small Ships Race 2021
Success for all at youth charity's annual sailing race This weekend (Saturday 2nd October), over 90 young people took to the water for the Cowes Small Ships Race. This youth charity sailing race is organised by ASTO, a Gosport-based charity which promotes Sail Training in the UK. Posted on 6 Oct
ASTO Small Ships Race 2021: 4 days to go
More than 100 young people will take part in a youth charity's annual sailing race The Cowes Small Ships Race is hosted by the Gosport-based charity, ASTO (Association of Sail Training Organisations) with support from the Royal London Yacht Club and Royal Yacht Squadron. Posted on 28 Sep
Youth charities back on the water at Mayflower 400
The Mayflower 401 Small Ships Race will see thirteen UK Sail Training vessels take part ASTO (Association of Sail Training Organisations) are delighted to announce that we will be holding our Mayflower 401 Anniversary Small Ships Race this month. Posted on 7 Aug
ASTO's annual Cowes Small Ships Race
Successes at youth charity's annual sailing race This weekend saw Sail Training vessels take to the water for ASTO's annual 'round the cans' race in the Solent. Posted on 5 Oct 2020
ASTO's annual Cowes Small Ships Race preview
Youth Charity's annual sailing regatta to go ahead this weekend ASTO's annual Cowes Small Ships Race, which has run for almost 20 years, is set to go ahead this Saturday, but due to Covid-19 restrictions it will not take place in its usual form. Posted on 29 Sep 2020
ASTO Cowes Small Ships Race 2019
Very light winds for the fleet on Saturday Given that the remains of Storm Lorenzo were evident both before and after this race, it was always going to be a choice of too much wind or none at all: so the ASTO race committee, mindful of the young sailors in the fleet Posted on 9 Oct 2019
Small Ships Race preview
UK's smaller Sail Training vessels gather in Cowes Saturday 5th October 2019 sees the annual Small Ships race return to Cowes: this end-of-season event sees many of the UK's smaller Sail Training vessels race around the Solent after a start off the Royal Yacht Squadron. Posted on 27 Sep 2019
15th annual ASTO Small Ships Race
A busy day for Sail Training in the Solent In between the thick fog and the gale-force winds the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO) managed to fit in its 15th annual Small Ships Race on Saturday. Posted on 9 Oct 2018
Small Ships Race on Saturday 6th October
Now with added Tall Ships! The date of this year's Small Ships Race - for smaller British Sail Training vessels - is Saturday 6th October. Posted on 3 Oct 2018
ASTO Cowes Small Ships Race
Challenging weather in the Solent on Saturday Steady Force 6 winds did not deter the vessels in Saturday's annual Small Ships Race. Twenty entrants – from a 10 metre long yacht to a 33 metre ketch, and with 180 young trainees taking part – braved challenging weather in the Solent. Posted on 10 Oct 2017