The history of PASAB

The “Penzance Around Scilly and Back” (PASAB) race was started in 1978 as a single race and has developed into a series of three races that now takes place annually over the last weekend in July.

For details of the next PASAB race see the event website.

Early races (1978 – 79)

Plans for the first race were put together by Richard Wood, Brian Saunders and Colin Harrison in the late 1970s with the first race taking place in August 1978. Mike Manzi, a local jeweller, volunteered to make the Manzi trophy which to this day is presented to the overall winner.

PASAB 1986
PASAB 1986

The first two editions of PASAB took place as a single race. Starting on a Friday evening, the race took competitors from Penzance to Lowlee and Mountamopus cardinal marks before passing south of Wolf Rock lighthouse.

The fleet then passed around the Isles of Scilly (Scilly to Starboard) before again passing south of Wolf Rock and then back to a finish in Penzance.

Brian Sanders was keen to make the event up to 100 miles, hence the Mountamopus leg at the start of the race.

PASAB Sailing Instructions 1979-1980

Yachts & Yachting Offshore News – 1978

Two leg format (1980 – 81)

It was soon felt that a stopover in Scilly would add to the event and in 1981 PASAB was run over two legs.

Again starting on the Friday evening boats sailed along the same course as in previous races with the boats stopping in St Marys (having taken St Marys to starboard and passing up St Marys sound).

The second leg then started from St Marys, going south down St Marys sound and passing around Bishops Rock Lighthouse and the rest of the Islands. The fleet would then sail south of Wolf Rock to again finish in Penzance.

Yachts & Yachting Offshore News – 1980

Three leg format (1983 – )

The stopover had become popular and by 1983 it was made into a 2 day stay on the islands with a third leg added.

PASAB Sailing Instructions 1983

PASAB 2001
PASAB 2001

Leg 1 would now be the race to Scilly from Penzance, Leg 2 would be the race around the Island and Leg 3 would be the race back to Penzance. This is the format that survives through to today, apart from two years (2004-05) when the “round the island” race was split into two races make four legs in total.

In most years since the three leg format was introduced Leg 1 has started on Friday evening at 20:00, Leg 2 has been sailed on Sunday and Leg 3 has been sailed on Monday.

In 2000 the long weekend was extended to four days with an extra day free or in the case of 2004-05 two island races. Since 2006 the event has reverted to three days.

PASAB Sailing Instructions 2007


To celebrate the 30th Anniversary of the PASAB we ran a second PASAB in 2008 over the original “non-stop” route.

PASAB ONE 2008 Sailing Instructions


2003 –

The full results of the 2003 race onwards can be found on our results webpage.

1984 – 1992

PASAB Prize Winners 1984 – 1992

1978 – 1983

PASAB Results 1978 – 1983

The Venus Trophy

Today the Venus Trophy is presented on the Isles of Scilly to the first boat overall on Leg 2 (Around the Islands). Here is a list of winners from 1978 to 2008.

Venus Trophy Winners 1978 – 2008