Spectacular small ships race starts in #Southend!
29th May 2012
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Spectacular small ships race starts in Southend!

Southend’s World Famous Pier has been picked as the launch location for the prestigious London to Portland Small Ships Race.

On Monday 11th June, 15 breathtaking Sail Training vessels will gather off the Pier to compete in the event, run by the Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO).

Once the starting signals are given at 5.40pm and 5.50pm, they will leap into action to race to the Olympic sailing venue of Portland, where they are expected to arrive on Friday 15th June.

Visitors to the Pier will be treated to the sight of these magnificent boats under full sail jostling at the start line.

The boats range from a 100 year old pilot cutter to a modern ocean racing yacht and include the 45m tall ship Pelican of London.

All are crewed by young people from 12 to 25 years old, many of whom have never sailed before.

The charities running the vessels use Sail Training to provide life changing opportunities for young and disabled people from across the UK.

Southend-on-Sea Borough Council’s Executive Councillor for Culture and Tourism, Councillor Derek Jarvis said: “We are extremely pleased to be part of this wonderful event. It will be a great opportunity for the residents of Southend and our visitors to watch the start of the race from the unique vantage point of the Pier Head.”

Places are still available for young people to take part in this fantastic adventure, which is supported by generous assistance from Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, and Brewin Dolphin.

Any young people or youth groups interested in taking part should contact ASTO on 02392 503 222 or email admin@asto.org.uk To find out more about Sail Training, take a look at www.uksailtraining.org

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Claire T

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