Leader is the largest and oldest boat taking part at the 2016 Small Ships Races, it has been confirmed.
Traditional craft and modern sail training vessels from across the UK will be taking part in a competitive race from Dartmouth to Gosport later this month. At 105 ft, the 1892 Brixham trawler— built at W. A. Gibbs’ yard at Galmpton on the River Dart — carries 3,150 sq ft of sail on a gaff ketch rig, measures 80 ft on deck, has a beam of 19 ft and a draught of 10 ft — weighing in at 105 tonnes.
The ASTO (Association of Sail Training Organisations) Small Ships Races are run under the rules of Tall Ships Races with the aim to bring a range of crafts together for their crews to compete and socialise with similar boats during a thrilling week at sea.
Owned and operated by the Trinity Sailing Foundation, Leader will be sailing with 12 guests aged between 15 and 25, along with her regular crew. The vessel will be joined by 1924-built Brixham trawler Provident — also owned by the charity — which will have a team of 11 deserving young people on board, sponsored by the Royal Dart Yacht Club as part of their 150th anniversary celebrations.
Harry Gottschalk, Trinity Sailing’s Marketing & Sales Manager, said: “The fleet will meet up in the River Dart on Saturday, August 20. After around 48 hours of practice races, crew meetings and celebrations, Leader and the other vessels will set off for Gosport. After the competition the crew members will be heading out on a parade through the town centre, ahead of a prize-giving ceremony and final party. Trinity’s two vessels will then spend three nights gently sailing back to Brixham, stopping off at various ports and anchorages from some exploring on the way back.”
If you are aged between 15 and 25 years-old, at the time of going to press, there are still two spaces available on board Leader. Call Trinity Sailing on 01803 88 33 55, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.trinitysailing.org to find out more.