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New look for the British Keelboat Academy programme

'BKA sailors competing on-board a J80'    © Paul Wyeth / RYA

Aspiring young sailors who wish to further their skills, experience and knowledge of keelboat racing can now apply online for a new look British Keelboat Academy programme which is being launched this winter.

Over the past 10 years, the RYA Keelboat Programme, the GBR Yacht Racing Academy and the British Keelboat Academy have produced some amazing talent. Some of which have gone on to race in some of the biggest events in the world including the Volvo Ocean Race and the America’s Cup.

During 2013, the UKSA and RYA reviewed the current structure and decided it was time for change to make better use of the boats and funding available.

Now all of the pieces are in place, the RYA and UKSA are proud to introduce the new British Keelboat Academy (BKA14). BKA14 is split in to three areas, depending on sailors’ ability and experience.

Core training

This is aimed at entry level sailors, with dinghy racing experience and will introduce the key skills to be part of a successful keelboat team. The programme will utilise top locations including the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic sailing venue in Weymouth and Portland and the UKSA headquarters in Cowes, as well top RYA qualified coaches.

BKA sailors competing on-board J109 Yeoman of Wight -  © Paul Wyeth - RYA  

Spread over four weekends, each weekend will use a variety of keelboats, from the RYA’s fleet of Olympics 6m Elliot’s to the successful one design J109 and will focus on different areas including inshore racing, match racing and offshore racing. On completion, sailors will qualify for the BKA Crewsearch programme.

Max amount of sailors:


Age limits:

18-24 (Must be 18 by the 1st December 2013)

Training fee:

£350 (food and accommodation included) per person


Training w/e 1: 17 - 19 January 2014 (RYA House, Weymouth)


Training w/e 2: 7 - 9 February 2014 (UKSA)


Training w/e 3: 28 – 2 March 2014 (UKSA)


Training w/e 4: 21- 23 March 2014 (Hamble and UKSA)

Please click here to apply for the BKA14 Core Squad. Applications will close on Friday 13th December 2013.

BKA Crewsearch

The BKA Crewsearch database will be a free service, bringing owners and sailors together. The aim is to give the sailors as many opportunities as possible to build their experience and knowledge. Any sailor going through the BKA programmes will automatically qualify to go on the system. This will give BKA sailors unlimited access to some of the best sailing events and opportunities in the world.

If you are an owner and interested in getting involved with the BKA Crewsearch, please email

BKA Elite Squad

The BKA Elite Squad will take the best sailors from the BKA Crewsearch and the racing industry, and push their skills to a professional level. Sailors will spend two weekends training alongside Niklas Zennstrom RAN team on Farr 45s based in the Hamble, Solent. They will then go on to compete in four key events throughout 2014. Successful candidates will have opportunities to join professional teams overseas.

Max amount of sailors:


Age limits:

18-24 (Must be 18 by the 1st December 2013)

Training fee:

£350 (food and accommodation provided whilst training) per person


Training w/e 1: 14 - 16 March (Hamble/UKSA) TBC


Training w/e 2: 5 - 6 April (Hamble/UKSA) TBC


Warsash Spring Championships TBC


RORC Easter Challenge TBC


Vice Admirals Cup TBC


Hamble Big Boat Championships TBC

Please click here to apply for the BKA14 Elite Squad. Allocations will close on Friday 13th December 2013.

Along with top coaching and a free Crewsearch service, the BKA sailors will get discounted clothing and discounted courses from the UKSA.

If you would like to apply to any of the programmes, please use the links under each programme. For further information including the Selection Criteria for each squad click here.

British Keelboat Academy

by Matt Carter


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4:48 PM Fri 8 Nov 2013GMT

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