Please select your home edition
Edition
KZRaceFurlers

British Keelboat League kicks off 2024 season in style

by British Keelboat League 21 Mar 02:17 PDT
Sailing Champions League qualifier 1 in Vilamoura © Joao Costa Ferreira

The British Keelboat League has kicked off its 2024 season in style. A record number of teams raced in the first two BKL qualifiers of the year and two British clubs have been competing with the SAILING Champions League in Europe.

The BKL aims to break down barriers to keelboat racing with a #rockupandrace series offering inter-club fleet racing at venues around the country.

With a rigged and ready-to-go fleet of keelboats at each weekend qualifier, teams compete in a series of short sprint races against other clubs.

The top teams are then invited to a national final to battle it out for the overall BKL title and a chance to compete in the SAILING Champions League 2025.

This year's final will be hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club in September 2024.

Schools championship

The first two teams to qualify for the BKL 2024 final are Ryde School with Upper Chine and Sherborne School after the season got under way with the BKL Schools Championship in London (9-10 March 2024).

Eighteen teams from 11schools took the opportunity to race the Royal Thames Yacht Club's fleet of Sonar keelboats at Queen Mary Sailing Club, in an event promoted by the British Schools Dinghy Racing Association.

More than 40 races in total saw Ryde School with Upper Chine posting an impressive series of results to finish first overall with 12 wins, five 2nds and three 3rds, with Sherbourne Gold second overall and Oxford third.

As Brian Mumford, Head of Sailing at Kings School Canterbury, summed up: "What a great event!"

Scottish students march forth

Elevens team competed in the second qualifier of the year with the BKL Forth/Scottish Student Sailing Keelboat Championship (16-17 March 2024).

Organised by Scottish Student Sailing and Port Edgar Yacht Club, Inverkeithing Bay on the Forth provided the backdrop for the racing in Hunter 707s.

The Saturday saw a building breeze and sunshine for an action-packed 14 races but a lack of wind on the Sunday meant it wasn't to be on the second day.

Strathclyde University, with two teams in first and second overall, qualified for one place in the BKL final, and Dundee University in third overall claimed the other spot.

Scottish Student Sailing thanked all who supported the event, including race officer Eilidh Millar, Port Edgar YC, K-Sail, RYA Scotland, Tunnocks and the volunteers.

SAILING Champions League

Teams have also been in action with the SAILING Champions League in Europe after qualifying with last year's BKL.

Marconi Sailing Club and West Hoe Sailing club competed in Vilamoura, Portugal (15-17 March), finishing 12th and 15th respectively.

Although neither qualified for the final, as Marconi SC helm Dan Nickalls explained afterwards: "It was a fantastic few days of high-quality racing. We were genuinely competitive throughout, our boat handling underwent some minor transformations learning from other teams and our tactical skills developed as we learned from our mistakes. Exhausted but happy!"

West Hoe SC's Tom Low said his club's newly assembled team was on an "almost vertical learning curve" but had relished the challenge and enjoyed "the honour of sailing in such a highly competitive international event".

British teams at Sailing Champions League Qualifier 1

Next up for British clubs in the SAILING Champions League will be teams from Royal Thames Yacht Club and Solent University competing in Berlin, 12-14 April.

Take part!

Could your club make it to the 2024 BKL finals and win through to compete in Europe?

Entries are now open for the third qualifier on the calendar, the Women's BKL Championship, sailing asymmetric RS21keelboats.

Part of the Women's Open Keelboat Championship, 11-12 May at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hamble, early bird entries close 31 March 2024.

The BKL is open to teams from any British sailing club. Look out for entries opening in for the rest of the 2024 qualifiers and save the dates!

  • 18-19 May, Royal Corinthian YC, Burnham on Crouch, Hunter 707
  • 15-16 June, Marconi SC/Stone SC, East Coast, Essex, SB20
  • 20-21 July, Rutland SC, Midlands, RS21
  • Date to be confirmed, BKL Sailability, WPNSA, Dorset, Elliott 7M
  • 27-29 September, BKL Final at Royal Southern Yacht Club, J70

Keep up to date with all the news by following @britishkeelboatleague on Facebook and Instagram and at britishkeelboatleague.co.uk

Related Articles

Cup Spy June 14: All quiet on the Barcelona Front
After Thursday's dismasting by the Swiss team, only two of the five teams based in Barcelona sailed After Thursday's dramatic dismasting, only two of the five teams based in Barcelona sailed Friday in a fresh southerly breeze and a seastate claimed by the Recon teams to be up to 1.5metres. Luna Rossa called an early end to their session. Posted today at 1:31 am
XS 52 SUPER SERIES Newport RI Trophy Day 4
Quantum Racing powered by American Magic on the cusp of hometown win After no racing was possible today at the XS 52 SUPER SERIES Newport Trophy due to insufficient wind Quantum Racing powered by American Magic will go afloat Sunday carrying a three points lead. Posted today at 12:25 am
Ullman Sails Long Beach Race Week update
Diverse fleet deep in talent lined up Jeff Janov, owner of the Melges 32 appropriately named The Baby Screams, has been racing Ullmans Sails Long Beach Race Week (LBRW) since around 1982. Posted on 15 Jun
Ensis Engadinwing Formula Wing Europeans day 5
Ghio and Spanu crowned European Champions Mathis Ghio [FRA] and Maddalena Spanu [ITA] are the new Formula Wing European Champions. Posted on 15 Jun
Argentario Sailing Week day 3
Alzavola celebrates 100th birthday The third day of racing at Argentario Sailing Week kicked off shortly after 12 with 10 knots from the south east: a shifty breeze that rotated all the way to the south west during the race. Posted on 15 Jun
J/24 Range Rover European Championship day 3
Irish boat Headcase is the provisional leader After yesterday's 4 races in a Mistral wind, today the J/24 fleet sailed a further 3 races in a Scirocco breeze that built from an initial 12 knots to reach 20-22 knots. Posted on 15 Jun
Local boat Notorious wins Gold Roman Bowl
In the 2024 Round the Island Race The Race Team and Island Sailing Club are delighted to announce that TP52 Notorious is first overall in the IRC Class and wins the coveted Gold Roman Bowl and the Observer Trophy for Monohull Line Honours. Posted on 15 Jun
Noble Marine UK Musto Skiff Nationals day 1
The event at Filey started with a mix of sunshine and rain This year, the Musto Skiff fleet is at Filey Sailing Club for their UK National Championship, which is kindly sponsored once again by Noble Marine. The stunning bay can be seen a few miles out, and the local members gave us a very warm welcome on arrival. Posted on 15 Jun
ORC Double-Handed Worlds in Norway
Three new champions crowned in Tønsberg The ORC Double-Handed World Championship, organized by the Royal Norwegian Yacht Club (Kongelig Norsk Seilforening - KNS) in collaboration with the Offshore Racing Congress (ORC), celebrated three new ORC Double-Handed World Champions in Tønsberg, Norway. Posted on 15 Jun
St. Maarten Heineken Regatta Reigns
As Largest Regatta in the Caribbean Once again, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta is the largest regatta in the region, having welcomed 115 boats from over 20 different countries for the 44th edition February 29 - March 3, 2024. Posted on 15 Jun
J Composites J/45Doyle_SailWorld_728X90px-04 BOTTOM37th AC Store 2024-one-728X90 BOTTOM