A REGATTA is set to sale from Southampton this month to mark the 401st anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower.

The Association of Sail Training Organisations (ASTO) has announced that the Mayflower 401 Anniversary Small Ships race will begin on August 15 at Ocean Village Marina.

The race will run until August 20 and is due to finish at the Royal Dart Yacht Club in Dartmouth.

Thirteen UK Sail Training vessels will take part in the event which was delayed a year after originally being planned to mark the 440th anniversary of the sailing of the Mayflower on her way to transport Pilgrims from the city to the new world in 1620.

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."

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 and so the race is expected to provide an opportunity to celebrate the reopening of the sector.

The event is being supported by Ocean Village Marina, the Royal Southampton Yacht Club, Dart Harbour, and the Royal Dart Yacht Club.