by Lindsey Bell
British Keelboat Academy - Following the success of the Squad Selections for the British Keelboat Academy (BKA) at the end of last year, the RYA has announced plans to link with three regional centres to offer keelboat race training.
British Keelboat Academy’s TP52, John Merricks II at sunset - Race to St. Malo
Plas Menai National Watersports Centre (Caernarfon, North Wales) Port Edgar Marina and Sailing School (Edinburgh, Scotland) and UKSA (Cowes, Isle of Wight) will be piloting this scheme, offering experienced dinghy sailors and existing keelboat sailors an opportunity to attend a series of weekends of training, run by highly experienced RYA keelboat coaches.
The training will consist of sessions on the water covering areas including boat handling and sail trim. This will be followed up with debriefs ashore, giving the sailors feedback on the session, and also additional technical input into areas such as teamwork and tactics. All sailors will also be given advice on opportunities to develop their keelboat sailing, both locally and elsewhere.
As well as providing input during the training, coaches will also be looking to talent-spot suitable sailors for the British Keelboat Academy. This national keelboat race training offers the squad of the country’s top young keelboat sailors the opportunities to develop their skills, experience and contacts to allow them to compete at the highest level. The most promising young sailors for each regional training will automatically be offered a place for the competitive selections for the BKA, held in the autumn.
RYA Racing Manager John Derbyshire, one of the BKA’s Directors, commented: 'I’m very excited about this new initiative that offers a real opportunity to aspiring keelboat sailors around the UK. It’s great to have such enthusiasm from the centres and hope that this will become a great platform into the national programme.'
Plas Menai Dates: 26-27 March, 16-17 April, 18-19 June, 20-21 August and 17-18 September
Port Edgar Dates: 7-8 May, 4-5 June and 20-21 August
UKSA Dates: 2-3rd April, 7-8th May and 27-28th August
To be part of this exciting new training programme, please contact the venues directly to book. Sailors will normally be aged between 16-21 years old.
Full details are available on the British Keelboat Academy website www.britishkeelboatacademy.org