Please select your home edition
Edition
Bakewell-White Yacht Design

British Keelboat Academy sailors battle it out on the Solent

by Matt Carter on 3 May 2012
BKA sailors competing - Warsash Spring Championships 2012 © Paul Wyeth / RYA http://www.rya.org.uk
British Keelboat Academy sailors competed on board the J109 Yeoman of Wight, Farr 45 Kólga and the BKA’s fleet of J80s at the RORC Easter Challenge held from 6th to 8th April, followed by the Warsash Spring Championships held from 21st to 22nd April and 28th to 29th April.

Testing weather conditions varying from no wind with strong tides, to squally gales with horizontal hail was a challenge worthy of the British Keelboat Academy as some of the country’s top young sailors battled it out across the three weekends of competitive action out on the Solent.

The British Keelboat Academy’s J109 Yeoman of Wight, which competed in IRC Class 3, was the most successful at the RORC Easter Challenge as skipper Luke McCarthy and his crew finished the three-day regatta in second out of a fleet of 13, just one point off the highly competitive and well-sailed MATilda.

Lizzy Foreman, BKA sailor from Reading/ Queen Mary Reservoir Sailing Club and crew member of the J109 Yeoman of Wight, commented: 'A key reason for our success was that our manoeuvres were really slick after having spent a good amount of time practising them out in the cold, wet weather. This allowed us to be very heads up and aware of what was going on out of the boat, resulting in better tactical calls and improved results.

'If there was one major lesson to be learnt from the regatta, it is that every second really does count; one poor hoist, slow tack or over-trimmed sail really can mean the difference between first and second. We are very much looking forward to the rest of the season; buoyed on to do the best we can in order to qualify for one of the British Commodore’s Cup teams.'

The Farr 45 Kolga finished fourth in a tough fleet of IRC optimised boats, while the three J80 crews finished mid-fleet in what was a light, shifty and testing regatta.


A fortnight after the RORC Easter Challenge, all five British Keelboat Academy boats were once again all competing in the Warsash Spring Championship 2012. The first weekend (21-22 April) witnessed a building breeze across both days, reaching 20 knots on the Sunday which provided the BKA crews with some testing, yet exciting racing. The second and final weekend (28-29 April) of the Championships welcomed a moderate breeze on the Saturday along with cold, wet and miserable conditions, while the Sunday was blown out with no racing due to 40 knot gusts and huge swells in the Solent.

Throughout the four races on the final weekend, all three J80 boats showed signs of excellence, and learned a lot more about bigger fleet racing. The BKA’s J80-3 had pulled up to first BKA boat (12th overall), while J80-2 finished 13th, followed closely behind by J80-1 in 15th out of a fleet of 25.

'I’m sure all of the J80 crews learnt a lot about sailing in the heavy winds – not having had a training session together in that kind of breeze, certain manoeuvres became much better and our overall communication in a competitive environment also improved,' explained 19-year-old Serena de Nahlik, J80-2 Bowman from Warwickshire/Draycote Water Sailing Club.

Plymouth University student Jack Whiting, Main Trimmer on J80-3, added: 'Looking back over the weekend we have a great platform to build on for the world championships this June in Dartmouth and the training we have done as British Keelboat Academy members has really paid off and enabled us to achieve good results in a highly competitive fleet.'

The sailors on board Kolga battled against miserable conditions on Saturday (28 April) with a moderate breeze that allowed four races to be run, all of which were incredibly tight with places changing constantly.

'We finished with a shoreline of 2-4-1-4, a bit inconsistent and that is what hurt us overall. We finished second over the weekend just a little further from Rán on points than we would have liked but a successful weekend racing none the less,' explained BKA Squad member James French from Newbridge, Isle of Wight.

Luke McCarthy, British Keelboat Academy Head Coach, explained: 'These events are very much the start of the sailors’ campaigns for this season, and are a great opportunity for all the British Keelboat Academy crews to test themselves on the racecourse. The training over the winter has meant we are at a reasonable place, but all crews still have areas for development, all the sailors are very much in this mind-set and the last few weekends were in many cases as much an opportunity to highlight areas that still need work as they were about the results.

'In addition to working on specific areas which have been identified from the April regattas, most of the teams are still concentrating on finalising their funding in order to complete their campaigns to the level they are capable of, so hopefully with a bit of luck all the crews will be fortunate in their quest for financial backing which will then enable them to focus all of their attention on the World Championships and 2012 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup,' concluded McCarthy.

For full results from the RORC Easter Challenge 2012 please click here.

For full results from the Warsash Spring Championships 2012 please click here.




For more information about the British Keelboat Academy and how you can help with fundraising, please visit the British Keelboat Academy website

Naiad/Oracle SupplierInSunSport - NZWildwind 2016 660x82

Related Articles

J22 World Championship - More Day 2 action-shots by Christopher Howell
Christopher Howell was on water at 2016 J22 World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action. Photographer Christopher Howell was on water at 2016 J22 World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action.
Posted today at 4:03 am
2016 J22 World Championship - Day 2 action-shots by Christopher Howell
Christopher Howell was on water at 2016 J22 World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action. Photographer Christopher Howell was on water at 2016 J22 World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 2 action.
Posted today at 4:01 am
Michael Marshall excels in wind and waves on J/22 Worlds Day 2
The day before J/22 Worlds began Mike Marshall led a panel discussion focused on techniques for heavy breeze and waves. 2016 J/22 World Championship - The day before the J/22 World Championship began at Cork/Sail Kingston in Ontario Canada, Mike Marshall led a panel discussion focused on techniques for heavy breeze and waves.
Posted today at 3:40 am
Spring into summer with NCYC’s Inner Spring Regatta
Entry is open 2016 NCYC Inner Spring Regatta to be held over the 10th and 11th of September. Entry is open 2016 NCYC Inner Spring Regatta to be held over the 10th and 11th of September. With six on the entry list in the first 24 hours this will be a regatta not to miss.
Posted today at 3:20 am
Debriefing the 2016 Rio Olympics—Sailing news North America and beyond
Editorial Editorial
Posted on 23 Aug
The Clipper Race turns 20!
Throughout the race, tales of crew celebrating birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion Throughout the race, tales of Clipper Race crew celebrating their birthdays on board filter back and they are always a special occasion, likely to remain a completely unique event in their lifetime.
Posted on 23 Aug
Consistency is key for Chris Doyle on Day 1 of J/22 World Championship
Chris Doyle of New York showed why he’s reigning J/22 World Champion on the opening day of the 2016 J/22 World Champs 2016 J/22 World Championship - Chris Doyle of New York showed why he’s the reigning J/22 World Champion on the opening day of the 2016 J/22 World Championship. Three races were completed in gorgeous Lake Ontario conditions at the event hosted by CORK/Sail Kingston in Ontario Canada.
Posted on 23 Aug
2016 J22 World Championship - Day 1 action-shots by Christopher Howell
Photographer Christopher Howell was on water at 2016 J22 World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day Photographer Christopher Howell was on water at 2016 J22 World Championship and provided this gallery of images from Day 1 action.
Posted on 23 Aug
A magnificent fleet gathers in Cowes for Etchells World Championship
58 teams from all over the world have entered the championship, hosted by the Royal London Yacht Club. Twenty teams are from Great Britain and a dozen each from Australia and the United States of America. Four entries are from Hong Kong and as far afield as: Bermuda, Ireland, New Zealand, Portugal, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.
Posted on 22 Aug
FAST40+ Class to be the first to have honour of racing for One Ton Cup
14 FAST40+ racing yachts are expected, flying the flags of England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and the USA 14 high performance FAST40+ racing yachts are expected for the One Ton Cup, flying the flags of England, Germany, Ireland, Scotland, South Africa and the United States of America. The crew, of which only five can be professionals, come from countries all over the world.
Posted on 22 Aug