Photo credit Tall Ship Newswire

Photo credit Tall Ship Newswire

NEWPORT, R.I. — The American Sail Training Association (ASTA) will hold its annual fundraiser on Friday, June 15, 2001, at Sail Newport's Special Event Pier at Fort Adams State Park. "Sail Back to the Seventies" will have a retro, early-seventies theme reflecting the period during which ASTA was founded. In keeping with the theme, there will be a raffle of a modern-day version of a 1970's icon, a 2001 Volkswagen Beetle, which will be on display at various Newport locations in coming weeks.

The "Sail Back to the Seventies" party will start at 6:15 p.m.; and, in addition to the "Bug" raffle, will feature a silent auction, entertainment and complimentary beverages and hors d'oeuvres. The silent auction will be held dockside during the reception and will feature many items, including a cruise on the Star Clipper and nautical artwork, generously donated by local and national businesses. As an added bit of excitement, the winning raffle ticket for the Volkswagen Beetle will be drawn. Classic rock music by Maxx Capacity will bring back memories from the late 60s and early 70s, which will also be reflected by the décor and period dress (think tie-dye!) which is encouraged.

One of the highlights of the day's events will be the opportunity to sail aboard a tall ship. Last year's day sail aboard the topsail schooner Aurora sold out very quickly, prompting an additional vessel to offer day sails this year to accommodate demand. Vessels will depart from Fort Adams returning in time for the start of the festivities. Five to seven tall ships, including the Continental Sloop Providence, the sloop Brandaris, the topsail schooner Aurora, the gaff schooner Tree of Life, the cutter Lark, and the brigantines Fritha and Black Pearl are planning to be dockside and allow attendees to tour their vessels during the event.

In 1972, the USCG barque Eagle and the brigantine Black Pearl, skippered by Newport's own Barclay H. Warburton III, were the first U.S. vessels to participate in the Cutty Sark Tall Ship Races in Europe. In 1973, as a result of his experiences the prior year at the Cutty Sark Races, Warburton founded ASTA.

ASTA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to encourage character building through sail training, promote sail training to the North American public and to support education under sail. ASTA organizes sail-training races and rallies, a professional conference, an International Safety Forum, an Education Under Sail Forum and annual regional meetings. This year ASTA celebrates the launching of Tall Ships Challenge 2001 which is a series of sail-training races, rallies and port festivals throughout the summer in the Great Lakes.

Proceeds from this year's fundraiser will benefit the Henry H. Anderson, Jr. Sail Training Scholarship Program, the ASTA Sailing Vessel Assistance Grant Program, the ASTA Crew Development Grant Program as well as the ASTA general operating fund.

Proper shoes are required to board vessels. Tickets are $50 per person; combination fundraiser/day sail tickets are $70 per person; and raffle tickets are $100 each. See To purchase tickets, call 401-846-1775.