by Matt Carter
Sailors still to enter the 2013 RYA Zone and Home Country Championships have until Sunday 22 September to put their entries in.
Fiona Anderson,Techno 6.8 - 2012 RYA Zone and Home Country Championships
More than 1,000 young sailors are set to gather at nine Zone venues across England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland on the weekend of 28-29 September for what is considered one of the premier events in the RYA Junior racing calendar.
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.
Thanks to an exciting new partnership between the RYA’s OnBoard participation programmes and the John Merricks Sailing Trust, one sailor from the regatta/Windsurfing fleet from each venue is likely to be provided with the use of a race specification brand new boat for a period of two years following selection prior to the equipment being donated to the club where they started out. This reiterates the unique place of the regatta in the calendar as a great event for sailors to set themselves an end-of-year goal after training and racing during the summer months whilst also giving young sailors an invaluable learning experience to help start them along the pathway to success.
Zak Morton,Topper,GBR 47306 - 2012 RYA Zone and Home Country Championships
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 Grafham Water Sailing Club as part of their UK Junior Squad indicator series.
Continuing on the success from last year, 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.
Duncan Truswell, RYA Youth Racing Manager, commented: 'The RYA Zone and Home Country Championships are once again shaping up to be a fantastic event. For many of the competitors it will be the first time they have taken part in a regional RYA competition, where they will receive coaching and support from RYA staff and coaches. For others it will be a key milestone for those aiming for selection for the Zone and Home Country squads.
OnBoard - 2012 RYA Zone and Home Country Championships
'The event is the RYA Regional Championship for each Zone and is aimed at sailors from clubs within the region aged under 16 and racing in the RYA pathway classes. Each of the nine venues used this time have been specifically selected and are renowned for staging major events, I am sure they will provide the youngsters with the perfect setting to develop their sailing skills and racing ability.
'We are particularly hoping to see a bumper entry for the regatta fleets with young sailors from OnBoard vying to impress selectors and stake their claim for one of 10 boats/boards which will be donated each year to help the progression of non-sailors within our fantastic sport.'
Competitors are urged to submit their entries, together with the entry fee, online at www.ryaracingevents.org.uk before Sunday 22 September. Due to safety considerations and the size and complexity of the event, entries after this date cannot be accepted.
Madeleine Watkins and Harriet Watkins,Mirror,GBR 706 - 2012 RYA Zone and Home Country Championships
Harvey Martin,Feva GBR 1883 - 2012 RYA Zone and Home Country Championships
The 2013 RYA Zone and Home Countries Championships will be staged at the following venues:
· The RYA South Zone Championships – Poole Yacht Club.
· The RYA South West Zone Championships – Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.
· The RYA South East Zone Championships – Queen Mary Sailing Club.
· The RYA East Zone Championships– Grafham Water Sailing Club.
· The RYA West Zone Championships– Draycote Water Sailing Club.
· The RYA North Zone Championships – Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club.
· Welsh Youth and Junior Championships – New Quay Sailing Club, Ceredigion
· RYA Scotland Youth and Junior Championships – East Lothian Yacht Club
· RYANI Youth Championships and NI Schools Cup In association with McCready Sailboats – Ballyholme Yacht Club, Co Down
For further information on the RYA Racing Programme visit the RYA website.