Young sailors are preparing for the annual ‘Battle of the Zones’ with the 31st RYA Eric Twiname Championships set for Rutland Sailing Club over the weekend (6-7 May).

The RYA Eric Twiname Championships is one of the premier events on the junior racing calendar. Over 270 sailors have been invited to race in three dinghy classes, Optimist, Topper and RS Feva, as well as four windsurfing classes (4.5, 5.8, Techno 6.8 and Techno 7.8) from the six English Zones, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Defending Eric Twiname Shield champions, Wales, will be back to try and see off their rival Zones after an impressive performance in the 2016 edition which also saw them secure the Dinghy Trophy. Meanwhile, the South East will be hoping to retain the Eric Twiname Windsurf Trophy having dominated the 6.8m and 7.8m Techno classes.

After a winter of training in their respective Zones and Home Countries sailors are individually invited to attend the event, for some this is the first time they will race on a national scale. As the event is jointly funded by the RYA and the Eric Twiname Trust there is no entry fees for the sailors.

The Eric Twiname Trust was set up by Eric’s father Alec, Eric had many talents and one of his strongest passions was sailing. The trust has funded many areas of sailing over the years but now concentrates on youth sailing, in particular racing.

As well as being the lead sponsor for the RYA Eric Twiname Championships, the Trust funds the purchase of boats for organisations and supports the Eric Twiname Youth and Junior Team Racing Championships which will be held at Oxford Sailing Club later this year.

Chris Atherton, Event Director and RYA Senior High Performance Manager: “The RYA Eric Twiname Championships is always a brilliant event which sailors really look forward to. By bringing the best young sailors from across the country together it is a great opportunity for them to put their skills to the test against their peers.

“We at the RYA would like to thank the Eric Twiname Trust for their continued support of the event and I look forward to seeing all the sailors take to the waters of Rutland for a fantastic weekend of racing.”

The Laser 4.7 Junior Squad selection event will also take place over the weekend at Rutland Sailing Club.

As well as racing, the sailors will take part in some teambuilding activities. A human table football tournament will be set-up on Saturday afternoon, the RYA Zone and Home Country teams will go head-to-head against each other and their coaches.

Racing is scheduled to take place over 6-7 May at Rutland Sailing Club. You can follow the action on the event website, the British Youth Sailing Team Facebook and on Twitter @RYAYouthRacing.