by Matt Carter
Entries are now open online for the 2014 RYA Zone and Home Countries Championships with more than 1,000 young sailors and windsurfers set to descend on nine venues around the UK on the weekend of 27 – 28 September.
Optimist fleet during the 2013 RYA Zone and Home Countries Championships
The Championships traditionally mark the end of the Junior racing season and the start of a hard winter’s training. The regatta is a great first-time event for club level Junior class sailors, giving them the opportunity and support to get a real feel of a Championship atmosphere. It is a fantastic stepping stone into regional and national racing and race training programmes and also a key event for any young sailor wishing to be selected for the RYA Zone and Home Country Squads.
Racing takes place across the nine RYA recognised Junior dinghy and windsurfing classes including the Mirror, Optimist, Topper, RS Feva, Cadets and the windsurfers on the Bic Techno using the open 4.5, and 5.8 rigs, and the Techno 6.8s and Techno 7.8s – classes vary according to each venue. The Laser 4.7 fleet will also be represented at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy as part of their UK Junior Squad indicator series.
All of the Zones and Home Country Championship events will also offer ‘novice’ regatta fleets for Toppers, Optimists and the RS Tera. Fleets will vary according to each venue.
Alex McFarlane,Topper,GBR,46835 - 2013 RYA Zone and Home Countries Championships
Paul Wren, RYA High Performance Manager, commented: 'The RYA Zone and Home Country Championships are always a fantastic experience for the young sailors and this year’s event will be no different. Taking place across nine venues across the UK, the regattas give sailors the opportunity to compete in a fun and friendly environment whilst under the watchful eye of their local RYA High Performance Manager. In addition, we are also expecting a handful of British Sailing Team members to attend a number of events this year to help inspire the next generation of sailors.'
Competitors are urged to submit their entries, together with the entry fee, online here before Sunday 21 September. Due to safety considerations and the size and complexity of the event, entries after this date cannot be accepted.
The 2014 RYA Zone and Home Countries Championships will be staged at the following venues:
• South Zone – Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy
• South West Zone – Paignton Sailing Club
• South East Zone – Bewl Valley Sailing Club
• East Zone – Dabchicks Sailing Club and West Mersea Yacht Club
• West – Blithfield Sailing Club
• North – Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club
• Wales – Pembrokeshire Yacht Club
• Scotland – Largs Sailing Club
• Northern Ireland – Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club
For further information on the 2014 RYA Zone and Home Countries Championships and for details on how to enter, please visit the event website.