The 2021 Eric Twiname Junior Championships is to be postponed until the summer in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The regatta, which pits hundreds of budding young sailors against each other in a ‘battle of the RYA Regions’, was due to take place at Bassenthwaite Sailing Club near Cockermouth, Cumbria, from May 1 to 3.
However, given the uncertainty surrounding current national lockdown, and the fact that the competitors – chosen from the British Youth Sailing Regional Training Groups and Home Country Squads – have had very little time to train over the winter months, the decision has been made to postpone.
Doing so will hopefully give organisers more clarity and will give young sailors more time to train locally and better prepare, when lockdown restrictions are eased.
The RYA, Bassenthwaite Sailing Club and the Eric Twiname Trust have agreed that it is in the best interests of all stakeholders to reschedule, and are now considering the option of the weekend of July 10 and 11.
This year’s championships is particularly poignant as Bassenthwaite Sailing Club was the home club of influential sailor and journalist Eric Twiname, in whose memory the event is named.
Twiname was a talented sailor but it was his first book, Dinghy Team Racing, and his work to develop racing rules, for which he is most revered.
Chris Atherton, the RYA’s National Performance Manager, said: “While we are disappointed to be delaying another much-loved regatta, we feel that it is the right decision for all involved.
“Delaying until the summer will hopefully allow young sailors to get back to training with their Regional Training Groups and Home Country Squads ahead of the regatta.
“It will also give us more time to plan for the best event possible, and for the national vaccination programme to take effect.
“Bassenthwaite is the home of Eric Twiname and we look forward to celebrating his legacy with a fun, safe event later this year.”
Jon Denwood, Commodore of Bassenthwaite Sailing Club, added: “Bassenthwaite Sailing Club fully supports the difficult decision to postpone the Eric Twiname Junior Championship 2021, and members are looking forward to welcoming competitors, their families and representatives of the RYA to our wonderful venue in July.”