Young people from all over the UK are gearing up for an exciting challenge this summer as they countdown to the start of the Falmouth to Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta, which takes place from August 28 to September 9.
Over 280 young people from a wide range of backgrounds will be sailing under the banner of the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO), the UK’s sail training umbrella organisation.
Nearly half of the 47 sail training vessels from around the world lining up to sail in the regatta, organised by Sail Training International, are ASTO members. At least half of the crew on board each vessel will be under 25.
ASTO has 18 member vessels from all over the British Isles taking part including ships from Scotland, Wales, East Anglia and the South of England.
Lucy Gross, general manager of ASTO, said: “It’s fantastic that nearly half the vessels on the start line for this year’s Falmouth to Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta will be our members giving young people from all over the UK a life changing experience. The trainees taking part will find out first hand what they can achieve when they push themselves beyond their comfort zone. It is an experience they will remember for the rest of their lives and will give them invaluable skills and experience.
“We know that sail training can make an important difference to young people’s lives when they return ashore. The message that comes back week in and week out from our ASTO members is that the sail training experience increases their confidence, communication skills and ability to work as a team, which can have a huge impact on all areas of their lives.”
“We’re really excited to have so many ASTO vessels from all over the UK signed up for this year’s Falmouth to Royal Greenwich Tall Ships Regatta. The number of vessels taking part in the Regatta has exceeded our expectations and we look forward to welcoming the ships and their crews to Falmouth for a packed programme of entertainment,” comments Sam Groom, Falmouth Tall Ships Regatta manager, for Cornwall Development Company. ”Participating in the race as crew member is a wonderful opportunity for young people right across Cornwall and further afield to take part in a truly once in a lifetime experience. It is not too late to sign up to take part in the race, the regatta website provides further details.”
On race day, August 31, the fleet of tall ships will pass between Henry VIII’s twin Tudor castles of Pendennis and St Mawes in a parade of sail to the start line in Falmouth Bay and finish the race off the Isle of Wight before cruising in company to London, where the 47 diverse sailing craft are expected to arrive on September 5.
ASTO, the Association of sail training organisations, is a registered charity with a membership made up of more than 30 not-for-profit bodies that operate more than 50 vessels around the UK. ASTO members offer year round sail training opportunities all over the UK, around Europe and also further afield in locations such as the Canaries and the Caribbean.
For further information about ASTO and its member organisations see www.asto.org.uk.
For the latest information about the Regatta in Falmouth see www.falmouthtallships.co.uk, join us on Facebook ‘Tall Ships Falmouth 2014’ or follow us on Twitter @tallships_2014