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MDL supports Mayflower 401 event in aid of youth sailing charities

Ocean Village Marina is delighted to support ASTO’s (Association of Sail Training Organisations) Mayflower 401 Anniversary Small Ships Race this month. The regatta will take place from Sunday 15th August to Friday 20th August 2021, and will commence at Ocean Village Marina in Southampton, finishing at the Royal Dart Yacht Club in Dartmouth.

The Mayflower 401 Small Ships Race will see thirteen UK Sail Training vessels take part, including those owned and operated by Ocean Youth Trust South, the Rona Sailing Project, The Island Trust, Morning Star Trust, and others.

For the past 40 years, we have developed a close relationship with Ocean Youth Trust South, recognising the charity’s fantastic work with young people and the life changing experience that sailing can offer. Paul Atkins, Marina Manager at Ocean Village Marina explains “MDL annually sponsors a five-day trip aboard OYT’s Prolific for inspirational young people, which forms the basis of MDL’s Sail Training Awards, so Ocean Village Marina is thrilled to be able to extend this support to another such worthwhile cause.”

For many of the youth charities taking part, this will be their first major event in two years due to the impact and restrictions of the pandemic. Most vessels were only able to restart residential Sail Training in the last two months. This race will serve as a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the reopening of this incredibly valuable sector, which provides life-changing experiences for disadvantaged young people and disabled people of any age.

The Mayflower 401 Small Ships Race is being held to commemorate the 401-year anniversary of the departure of the Mayflower ship on her way to transport pilgrims from Southampton to the ‘new world’ in 1620. Originally, the race was due to go ahead last summer to coincide with other Mayflower 400 events taking place across the South. The event is being supported by Ocean Village Marina, where the vessels taking part will be moored prior to the start of the race.

Over 100 young people will take part in the three-day passage race which, like the Mayflower, will leave from Southampton and call into Dartmouth. Many of the young people competing in this race have never had the opportunity to go sailing before and will work as a team to steer, set sail, and navigate.

Lucy Grodie from ASTO said: "I’m so pleased we are finally able to host the Mayflower 401 Small Ships Race. Sail Training is a brilliant way for young people to gain confidence, learn new skills and enjoy the outdoors. The benefits Sail Training can bring to so many young people are especially important after such a tough 18 months."

While the event is billed as a race, it’s really the taking part and making the effort that counts. The young crews will come away with a renewed sense of what they can do, new friends and memories for life.
Lucy Grodie, General Manager of ASTO

To find out more about ASTO, Sail Training, and the positive work, visit www.uksailtraining.org.

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