by Matt Carter
At last year’s RYA Eric Twiname Championships, it was the RYA South Zone who showed their steel and claimed championships honours but the slate will once again be wiped clean when the battle for the 2013 title takes place at Rutland Sailing Club this weekend (11-12 May).
Optimist fleet,James Hammett,GBR 6070 - 2012 RYA Eric Twiname Championship
Always fiercely competitive the Championships, now in its 27th year, are the pinnacle of the RYA s Junior racing calendar for the RYA Zone and Home Country Squads.
The annual two day regatta will see young competitors in over 225 boats and windsurfers pit their sailing skills against the best young talents from each of the six English Zones, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, for the prestige of picking up the coveted Eric Twiname Shield and being named top RYA Zone.
The event which is an integral part of the RYA Junior racing programme will offer RYA Zone and Home Country Squad sailors competitive racing in a fun and friendly environment. The weekend will welcome boats from across seven of the RYA Junior classes - Optimist, Topper, and Feva dinghy classes with the windsurfers racing on Bic Techno boards with 4.5m, 5.8m, 6.8m and 7.8m rigs.
Last year’s event saw competitors representing the RYA South Zone reign victorious at Rutland Water as the ‘Battle of the Zones’ came to a thrilling finish. In clinching their prestigious victory the RYA South Zone also won the Eric Twiname Dinghy Trophy while the RYA North Zone for a remarkable third year running retained the Eric Twiname Windsurfing Trophy.
Chris Atherton, RYA Senior High Performance Manager, said: 'The standard of racing at the RYA Eric Twiname Championships is always very high and is not only a real reflection of the quality of Junior sailors we have right across the UK but is also testament to the hard work the sailors and coaches from all the Zone and Home Country squads have put in over the winter. Sailors will have been looking forward to this regatta for many months as its not only a fun and enjoyable event but many will use this regatta as a stepping stone to go on and contest RYA National Junior Squad selections.'
Thanks to the long-standing and on-going support of the Eric Twiname Memorial Trust, the event, for sailors aged between eight and 15, is very cheap to enter with almost all of the costs associated with the running of the regatta met by the RYA and the Trust.
The second part of the selection process for the 2013 RYA Laser 4.7 National Junior squad will also take place alongside the Championships, with results from Rutland used in conjunction with those from further indicator events later in the season.
Racing is scheduled to start at Rutland at 11.25am on Saturday 11th May with a maximum of six races set for the weekend (up to four races on Saturday, and up to two on Sunday). No warning signal will be made after 3pm on Sunday 12th May.
For more information on the RYA Eric Twiname Championships the event website.