Sea History 070 - Summer 1994

Page 24

In the Beginning w ith its corporate Th e Sa il Trainin g sponsor, Berry Bros. and Rudd- is "to enAssociation (ST A), able young people of es tabli s hed in th e United Kingdom in all nati ons to race to1956 to carry on the ~ gether at sea under idea embodied in the i sail ," and the genius :i: of the ST A has been Inte rn a ti o na l T a ll Ships Race of that ~ to consistentl y keep ~ the foc us on the trainyear, deserves much of the credit for these ~ ees aboard the ships. deve lo pm e nts. As ~ G iven the alreadythe races (and the ::> noted economic benu harbor events that at~ efit to cities hosting i;; the fl eet, as we ll as tended them) grew steadily in popular~ th e need of many 5u vessels for commerity , they provided a s timulu s to th e ~ c ial sponsorship in O:i: order to make ends growth of numerous 0. sail training projects meet in their effort to The British training ship Royalist heels over in a stiff breeze. This handy lillle brig has within the UK, most given a splendid account of herself since her launching in 1971. Her role is to take Sea prov ide sail training of which- unlike the Cadets to sea as an extension of their onshore and small boat training. She is typical of o pp o rtuniti es fo r bi g sc hoo lships - the growing number of small sail training vessels (under 200-ft) thal offer diverse yo ung peopl e, there had little or nothing programs to a broad range of public. is an ever-present to do with training danger of the events profess iona l seafarers. Rather, they grew more or less direc tl y be ing swamped in a sea of commerciali sm. There is no out of the idea embodied in the first Outward Bound school denying the importance of commercia l support, of course, but establi shed at Aberdovey, Wales in 1941 , that an ex perience a balance is essential , and using its proven ability to bring of seafa ring under sail is ideall y suited to develop qualities of together large numbers of ships-most of them small-tocourage, endurance, discipline, self- re li ance, resourcefulness, medium in size, but generall y with a liberal handful of the bi g teamwo rk , to lerance, and hum ili ty (to name only a few) in schoolships-the STA has done its utmost to hold host ports yo ung people. In short, it is a nearl y ideal character-molding to strict conditions regarding prov ision of services to ships and ex perience. In the words of Lawrence Holt, the Briti sh ship- who lesome acti vities for crews and trainees and has been ping magnate who funded the Aberdovey project in coll abo- generall y successful in preventing commerciali sm from overration with the legendary Kurt Hahn , father of the Outward shadow ing the ideals of sail training during the shoreside Bo und movement, it was to be " less a training for the sea than events of each race series. through the sea, and so benefit all walks of life ." Thi s has continued to be the prevalent model for sail Sail Training Goes Worldwide training programs in England , most of which stress the aim s of Another result of the STA's phenomenal success, and a character development and advenheartening validation of its ideals, ture rather than seamanship, and most A small boy takes a compass reading al an American has been the establi shment of sail of which, incidentally ,operate much Sail Training Association "Dockside Demo. " These trainin g associations in other couns m a ll e r vesse ls th a n the b ig exhibits, often held in conjunction with ASTA Tall Ships tries. T hese retain strong ties to the ST A, but tend to foc us more broadl y schoo lships. The Ocean Youth Club, Rallys, engage the public and publicize sail training. on coordin ating and encouraging the fo r example, sails a fl eet of 12 ketches :fir up to 72' in length , with berth s fo r a development of sail training programs ,,. dozen trainees each on week- long and less on the narrower role of orga\ crui ses; the largest vessels in the UK ni zing annual races . The first of such a re th e ST A's own sc hoo ners, associations was the Ameri can Sa il Malcolm Miller and Sir Wi nston T raining Assoc iation , or AST A, establi shed in 1973 and initi all y modChurchill, 150' in length with berths for 39 trainees each on crui ses of two eled quite closely on the ST A , with the idea of organi zing races among to three weeks. Ori gin all y biennial events, the the re latively fe w sail training vesST A races are no w held annuall y, sels then operating in US waters. In and regularly rotate between the Balthe more than 20 years since its fo unding, however, ASTA-and sail traintic, North Sea, the Bay of Biscay, ing in the US-have evolved in ways and occasionall y the Med ite rranean. The stated aim of the Races-called that refl ect our own geographic and the "Cutty Sark Tall Ships Races" cul tural characteristics and respond since 1972, in recogniti on of the to American needs. The same is, of ST A's long and happy relati onship course, true in the other countries