Anyone on the Solent this Saturday 6 October will be able to see a fleet of classic training vessels and tall ships taking part in the Small Ships Race

The annual Small Ships Race for sail training vessels will be starting in Cowes this Saturday 6 October. With over half the UK’s sail training fleet due to cross the line, it promises to be quite a spectacle, and will include the 100-year-old, Fastnet-winning pilot cutter, Jolie Brise. The Dauntsey school vessel will be joined by the Island Trust’s own pilot cutter Pegasus, as well as City of London and Sir Stelios, owned by the Marine Society and Sea Cadets, and the Combined Cadet Force’s Amaryllis and Cornish Air.

Chatham based ketch Morning Star of Revelation will be lining up against Tenacity of Bolton, entered for the first time by Portsmouth’s Tall Ships Youth Trust. They will be sailing with young sailors from the Isle of Wight who will also be aboard the yacht UKSA Ambition.

In order to take part, half the crew members on each vessel must be between 12 and 25. Most Sail Training vessels are operated by charities who use the experience to teach life skills to young people.

Commodore David Gower of the Royal London Yacht Club said: ‘We are more than proud to be associated with the ASTO annual Small Ships Race on Saturday 6th October. The event has been running for 15 years and the club has supported it from the start. The club’s Youth Trust also makes a financial contribution towards the event.’

This year’s Small Ships Race coincides with the inaugural Cator Trophy which marks the 40th anniversary of the Jubilee Sailing Trust. This race will see the two biggest vessels in the UK Sail Training family, three masted barques STS Lord Nelson and SV Tenacious, sail across the Solent to the finish line in Southampton where the crews will join the JST’s 40th anniversary Community Celebrations. Both ships are designed and built to sail with mixed ability crews including sailors in wheelchairs.

The best place to watch the event on Saturday will be on the Cowes sea front near the Royal Yacht Squadron cannon: there will be a Parade of Sail from 0915 with race starts expected from 1000.