Oxford Sailing Club, Farmoor Reservoir will welcome in excess of 280 young sailors this weekend (20-21 October) as they commence battle for the coveted RYA Eric Twiname Youth and Junior Team Racing Championship titles.  

This annual event, one of the highlights of the RYA’s Racing calendar, is set to be an exciting weekend with team racing providing sailors the opportunity to develop their boat handling, rule understanding and team work whilst racing in a fun yet competitive arena.  

A maximum of 24 teams consisting of six sailors in the Junior fleet and 23 teams in the Youth fleet will take to the waters of Farmoor Reservoir. For some, this will be the sailor’s first experience of competitive team racing while for others this will be a fierce encounter as they seek event victory and the all-important Championship title.  

Team racing is exciting and sociable in which a team of sailors work together to try and establish an overall winning combination. One race typically lasts for ten minutes but each team usually gets to do between 6 and 16 races during the regatta, with an approximate 250 races scheduled for this weekend. As well as being an exciting form of sailing in its own right, team racing helps to sharpen up many useful fleet racing skills, especially close boat on boat tactics and is also a great transitional step between fleet racing and match racing.  

With entries open in the two age groups, under 16 (Junior) and under 19 (Youth), to teams of six sailors, the line-up of young aspiring sailors spans a vast variety of abilities.  

In the Youth fleet (under 19) which is raced in Fireflies, West Kirby Sailing Club were crowned champions for an incredible fourth year running at the 2011 Championships and will be ready to defend their title for a consecutive fifth year. Will the superstars from West Kirby shine once again or could their domination of team racing soon come to an end?  

‘Bluefin’ were crowned 2011 Junior Team Racing champions for a second consecutive year as they competed in Feva’s at last year’s event.  However, with the current champions not entering this time around,  the door is now open for a new champion to be crowned in the Under 16 fleet. With a strong line up announced, it is set to be a thrilling encounter as a number of teams will be vying for success.  

Tim Hall, RYA Competitions Manager, commented: “This event is now really well established in the Junior and Youth calendar alongside fleet racing events showing that the sailors really enjoy a different challenge and the skills needed for Team Racing. With the support of the Eric Twiname trust, we are looking forward to another really exciting weekend of action packed racing. To add to the whole experience we have arranged commentators to provide information through a PA system this year which will give spectators a dialogue of racing on how the teams are progressing.  

“We are also very much looking forward to using the new facilities at Oxford Sailing Club as a recently completed extension supported by the RYA and Sport England will replace the draughty marquee we have used in earlier years.”  

Teams competing in the Junior (under 16) fleet:

Parkstone Toppers 2
Cardiff Bay YC
Sevenoaks B
Sevenoaks A
Ty Bach Dynamite
Fiddlers Fevas
Parkstone Toppers
Hayling Harriers
Oxford Pirates
Hayling Hardnuts
Bowmoor Optimistics
South Staffs Sailing Club
West Kirby Eagles
Team From South
Team Itchenor
Yorkshire Dales SC
Weir Wood
NSSA Junior
Not the Spinnaker Team
Spinnaker Junior JETS  

Teams competing in the Youth (under 19) fleet:

RGS Guildford
Ardingly B
Ardingly A
Sevenoaks B
Sevenoaks A
Winchester Blue
Parkstone/ Cadets
West Kirby 2
West Kirby 1
Norwich 2
Norwich 1
Tonbridge Black
Oakham A
Oakham B
NSSA Youth ~
Spinnaker Youth JETS  

For further information regarding the RYA Eric Twiname Youth and Junior Team Racing Championships 2012 please visit www.ryaracingevents.org.uk