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Proceeds go towards bursary funding to enable more people to take part in Sail Training.


Alexander Fairey at the 2019 Cowes Small Ships Race

The Discovery Sailing Projects have been the lucky recipients of the funds remaining after the Little Brig Sailing Trust closed down last year.
Around £2500 remained after the closure of the Little Brig Sailing Trust, based in Gosport. After a competitive process in which ASTO members could apply for the funding, the LBST Trustees awarded the Discovery Sailing Project for upgrades to their smaller yacht Alexander Fairey.

Alexander Fairey is owned by the Alexander Fairey Memorial Fund and is operated by the Discovery Sailing Project. DSP make Alex available for members of all ASTO organisations to charter at very reasonable rates. Over the past 2 years she has been used by members of the Rona Sailing Project, Ocean Youth Trust South and Adventures Offshore. She is an excellent yacht for those who have gained their Day Skipper qualification to get experience of being in command, without a more experienced and qualified sailor needing to be on board. Alex was also chartered by ASTO to run a Yachtmaster Instructor course in March 2019.

The funding from the Little Brig Sailing Trust will pay for some much needed upgrades on Alex this year. These include a new Genoa, new running rigging and new bunk cushions.

The LBST Trustees chose the DSP project in particular because the vessel is available to be used by other ASTO members.

To find out more and discuss chartering Alex, take a look at or contact Andy Broadbent, Project Organiser, on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A new project hopes to give more than 350 disadvantaged children in Plymouth the chance to enjoy hands-on adventures aboard traditional wooden sailing ships.

This unique ‘Spirit of Adventure’ project will be part of the Mayflower Ocean Festival, which takes place 4-10 May 2020, and a crowdfunding page has been launched to help make it a reality.

Spirit of Adventure aims to connect young people with the Mayflower story and with the ocean. The project is aimed at disadvantaged children, including children who are living in poverty, children in care and young carers, who have not had the chance to go sailing before.

Sarah Gibson, Chief Executive of the Plymouth Waterfront Partnership BID (PWP), the organisation running the crowd funder, says: “Even though Plymouth boasts an enviable waterfront location as Britain’s Ocean City, many of our children and young people are disconnected with the ocean. We know that some of the city’s children have never been to Plymouth Hoe or visited the Barbican, let alone been on a wooden sailing boat. The schools we’re working with are located in some of the most deprived areas of the city. These children deserve to feel their own spirit of adventure, to test their skills as team players, as sailors and citizens of Britain’s Ocean City.”

PWP has teamed up with ASTO members The Island Trust and Sailing Tectona, as well as the Lynher Barge and the Bounty Project to run the adventurous sailing sessions. The four organisations have seven vessels between them which will undertake daily voyages in Plymouth Sound during the Mayflower Ocean Festival.

Each day, groups of children will work together as a team, hoisting the sails and sailing the boats themselves with support from expert staff. They will build communication, social and cooperation skills, and feel a sense of responsibility and achievement, giving a much-needed confidence boost and memories to last a lifetime.

“We’re thrilled to be working on this project – and when better to do it than during this extra special Mayflower 400 commemorative year. We’re asking local people and businesses to support Plymouth children and get behind this project to help make it happen,” continues Sarah.

In order to make the project a reality, PWP and its partners need to raise £50,000. This will pay for all safety and boat costs, as well as transport, refreshments and resources for the young people.

You can support this project by donating online

The 2020 UK Sail Training Conference takes place on Friday, 24th January 2020 at The Spark, Solent University, East Park Terrace, Southampton SO14 0YN. How to find the venue

The conference is open for coffee from 0845 with the opening plenary starting at 0930 sharp. The conference will finish at 1700. 

The full conference programme is now available. Please note the second page which includes details of each session.

If you have booked a space and would like to note your preference for sessions please use this link: Conference session choices This is not compulsory but helps us allocate the appropriate size room. If you have chosen your sessions by 1200 on Wednesday 22nd January they will be listed on your conference badge.

The UK Sail Training conference is an opportunity for all Sail Trainers in the UK to get together, share common issues and good practice and be inspired.

Booking is now closed but please get in touch on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to enquire about last minute spaces.


Leading youth work charity, Ocean Youth Trust Scotland, is to run a series of all-female Employability voyages at sea, thanks to vital funding aimed at getting vulnerable girls into work.

The Inverclyde-based charity provides residential youth work on the waves for young people aged between 12 and 25. However, this will be the first time the charity has run voyages tailored specifically to all-female groups.

The funding has been awarded by the Tampon Tax Community Fund, which supports women and girls of all ages across the UK to build their skills, confidence and self-esteem.

OYT Scotland will run two five-day Employability Skills focused voyages for two groups of disadvantaged young women and girls from across Scotland. The aim of the project is to empower between 20 - 24 young females, developing their self-confidence, leadership skills and equipping them with qualifications to help them realise their true potential and secure future training or employment opportunities both on land and at sea.

OYT Scotland, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2019, takes to sea more than 800 young people every year on residential youth work voyages aboard its sailing yachts. While on board, young people are required to embrace the principles of teamwork, communication, responsibility, leadership, domestic tasks and can earn SQA qualifications - in addition to learning the skills involved with sailing an ocean-going yacht.

Yasmin Price (17) is completing a Modern Apprenticeship at OYT Scotland and, as a result of her experiences sailing with the Trust, is committed to pursuing a career at sea. During her current apprenticeship, she is developing skills and knowledge that will allow her to gain RYA qualifications and valuable experience that will further her future career goals to work at sea full time.

Challenge Wales awardChallengeWalesracinginFinlandS

We're excited to announce that ASTO member Challenge Wales has scooped the international award of ‘Sail Training Organisation of the Year’ at the Sail Training International conference in Antwerp.

Challenge Wales, which operates the Sail Training vessels Challenge Wales | Wales Tall Ship and Adventure Wales won the award due to the work it has done during 2019 with hundreds of disadvantaged young people, helping them to develop their employability skills. The Charity is only the third UK recipient of the Award since the awards started in 2007.

The predominantly-run volunteer charity provides social and personal development training for those aged 12 – 25 years and has worked with homeless/risk of homeless young people as well as young carers, those in the care system, young people with learning difficulties, LGBTQ groups, college and school pupils and those who are financially disadvantaged through unemployment or lack of opportunities. The charity has also developed Agored Cymru accredited learning, undertaken onboard, giving young people something tangible for their CV.

Paul Bishop, Head of Race Directorate at Sail Training International said: “This has been a great year for Challenge Wales and they have been an inspiration to all of us involved in Sail Training. They have worked with hundreds of young people from diverse backgrounds, offering unique and inclusive sail training programmes. Challenge Wales made a terrific contribution to The Tall Ships Races and a real difference to the young people who participated, encouraging international friendship and cultural understanding. Challenge Wales engages in remarkable youth development, which demonstrates innovation, best practice and delivering excellence – which is why they are so deserving of the Sail Training Organisation of the Year Award.”

Trustee of Challenge Wales, Vicky Williams said: “Winning this award, in our tenth year of operating, is an amazing accolade to our volunteers, supporters and team. We’ve had some amazing results getting young people back into employment, volunteering or education and through independent evaluation our sail training programme has been evidenced to show that it has a positive impact on young people’s mental health and wellbeing as well as developing their life skills. Sail Training is a great leveller and challenges the individual. Our programme also adapts with us and this year we raised awareness of sustainability and one-use plastic issues and its impact on the ocean. It is great that our work is being recognised within the industry and at an international level.”

Challenge Wales has an exciting sail training programme planned for 2020 that young people and groups can be part of, with bursary funding available to support many young people aged 12 – 25 years.

Spaces available now

Alba crew waving

Click on the picture to find the latest berth availability on Sail Training vessels.

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