Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars

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

InSunSport - NZBakewell-White Yacht DesignNewport Boat Show 2016 660x82

Related Articles

Last call! Counting down to a good time! - Register today
We are a week away from the start of the inaugural Camden Classics Cup and busy confirming numbers with our caterers We are a week away from the start of the inaugural Camden Classics Cup and busy confirming numbers with our caterers and libation suppliers. Meanwhile, the race committee is finalizing courses for a variety of possible conditions and making offerings to the weather deities. It is going to be a great time.
Posted today at 10:41 am
Governor's Cup – Tough fight on Day 3
Racing began at noon with lighter winds and warmer weather with temperatures in the high 80’s. 2016 Governor's Cup - Racing began at noon with lighter winds and warmer weather with temperatures in the high 80’s. As the day went on, there were big swells. There was a warning that life guards were tracking a ten foot Great White Shark in the vicinity of the weather mark. However, it was not seen again throughout the day.
Posted today at 5:34 am
Teams gather for Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup
Sunday sees the start of racing at the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, where eight teams will be competing 2016 Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup - Sunday sees the start of racing at the Brewin Dolphin Commodores' Cup, where eight teams will be competing in this the 13th edition of the Royal Ocean Racing Club's biennial championship for three boat teams with Corinthian crews.
Posted today at 5:02 am
Transat Québec Saint-Malo - Gonzalo Botin (Tales II) takes Class40 win
Transat Québec Saint-Malo - Gonzalo Botin (Tales II) takes the Class40 win in Saint-Malo While it started on July 10 resembling a friendly Sunday regatta on the St. Lawrence River, the fleet racing in close contact, this ninth edition of the Transat Québec Saint-Malo presented in collaboration with the City of Lévis is drawing to a more dramatic close today as competition in the lead-up to the finish line remains fierce after many of the racers spent the night in the English Channel
Posted today at 4:33 am
Balboa Yacht Club’s 50th Gov Cup Finale will be held on Saturday
The highly anticipated four final flights of the second round robin began at noon on Friday with about five knots of win 2016 Governor's Cup - The highly anticipated four final flights of the second round robin began at noon on Friday with about five knots of wind and continued temperatures in the high 80’s. It did increase to about nine knots but by four o’clock that afternoon, the wind died so the teams were sent back to prepare for the reception at the club that evening.
Posted today at 12:55 am
One day left to decide medal winners at ORC World Championship 2016
The high pressure system that has brought warm sunny conditions to Denmark this week did the same again today The high pressure system that has brought warm sunny conditions to Denmark this week did the same again today, but this time so effectively that it was doubtful any wind would be sufficiently strong and stable enough to race.
Posted on 22 Jul
LV America's Cup World Series – Pushing for speed in Portsmouth
Oracle Team USA finished practice on Friday looking to find more speed before racing starts to count on the weekend. Oracle Team USA finished official practice in Portsmouth on Friday looking to find more speed before racing starts to count on the weekend. It was a day of mixed results on a practice day that had skipper Jimmy Spithill wanting more when he pushed the pedal down.
Posted on 22 Jul
Entries now open for Transpac Los Angeles-Honolulu Race 2017
This iconic ocean racing will have its first race start for the Aloha class of heavy traditional cruising-type yachts The Transpacific YC is pleased to announce the entry process is open and the Notice of Race published for the 49th edition of next year's race.
Posted on 22 Jul
52 Super Series – Making the last day count
Consistency across the first racing days is a crucial component of winning on the highly charged, evenly matched series Consistency across the first racing days is a fundamental component of winning on the highly charged, very evenly matched series, but this season has seen several different teams blow their chances of a podium finish with a miserable finale. It seems that delivering solid results amidst the pressure cooker environment of the last races is telling.
Posted on 22 Jul
Who can replace the Vendée Globe skippers?
What happens if one of the candidates for the upcoming event injures himself or falls ill prior to the start? What happens if one of the candidates for the upcoming event injures himself or falls ill prior to the start, to the extent that his participation in the event proves impossible? Such a scenario has never come up before, though the procedure in such an eventuality is set out in the Sailing Instructions. Explanations from Guillaume Evrard, Assistant Race Director.
Posted on 22 Jul