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Sail Training Fleet to Race to Weymouth and Portland

2nd November 2011
Sail Training Fleet to Race to Weymouth and Portland
#TALL SHIPS – A large fleet of Sail Training vessels will race to Portland on the UK south coast in the summer of 2012. On the second weekend in June, 300 young people from Dorset and London will gather in West India Docks to prepare for the London to Portland Small Ships Race. 25 vessels ranging from 100 year old pilot cutters to modern ocean racing yachts are due to take part in an offshore race from London to Portland, and each boat will be crewed by young people from 12 years upwards.
The charities running the vessels use Sail Training to provide life changing opportunities for young and disabled people from across the UK. Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy (WPNSA) is working together with the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO) to organise this spectacular youth event.
The ships will depart London on 11th June, 2012 and race to Weymouth and Portland, arriving on 15th June, 2012. On the 16th June, HM The Queen's representative in Dorset, the Lord Lieutenant, Val Pitt-Rivers will start another race within Weymouth Bay by firing a cannon from the Nothe Fort. The races will be followed with a prize-giving at the Academy in the evening of the 16th.
John Tweed, Chief Executive at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, commented, "This is a first class opportunity to link young people from Dorset with London in such a positive youth adventure. The sailing will be just a small part of the overall experience; the young people involved will also gain valuable life-skills to benefit them for a long time afterwards. It's a very exciting project and one we're very pleased to be on board with.
The event has been strongly supported not only by the Sailing Academy working closely with ASTO; we have also received enormous help from Portland Marina and Portland Harbour Authority.
The spectacle provided by these remarkable vessels will be a great opportunity for people in Weymouth and Portland to come and enjoy – and start to build excitement for the very special sailing events taking place a few weeks later."
There are 60 places available for young people from Dorset to take part in this adventure. Schools are being contacted about this opportunity, but anyone interested in taking part should contact ASTO on 02392 503 222. To find out more about Sail Training, take a look at www.uksailtraining.org
Published in Tall Ships
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