Countdown to British Keelboat League at Burnham

Fast and fun racing for club teams at legendary venue
04 Jul 23

Five 707 keelboats on the startline at a British Keelboat League event at Royal Corinthian YC Burnham 2021

The British Keelboat League is heading to Burnham for its next #rockupandrace extravaganza.

The countdown to the qualifier at Royal Corinthian Yacht Club has begun and teams wanting to secure their place are encouraged to get their entries in as soon as possible.

A packed schedule of fast turnaround and fun racing will see eight to 12 teams competing over the weekend of 22-23 July in the club’s ready-to-go fleet of matched Hunter 707s.

Entries are open here at £400 per team and the deadline for signing up is midnight on Friday 14 July.

Peter Ward, BKL 2023 Coordinator, said: “For the next round at Burnham we’re inviting teams of five and there’s no weight limit, so it’s a great opportunity for friends to get-together to represent their club and enjoy a brilliant weekend of exciting racing at this fantastic club.

“The real beauty of the BKL is that it’s so easy to join in. You don’t have to own or trail a boat, you just turn up with your mates, have a little practice sail and then you’re straight into racing.

“It’s worth remembering that although it’s called a keelboat league, it’s suitable for any competitive sailor as the boats are really like big dinghies, and each race is only 15 to 20-minutes so if you get it wrong, you’re soon finished and then you get another go.

“There are also more teams than boats and when it’s your time off the boat, there is an opportunity to spectate and chat with other competitors and clubs, making it super sociable and a really enjoyable weekend. Come along, you will love it!”

Four Hunter 707s racing on the River Crouch at Burnham on sunny day at British Keelboat League event 2021

Warm welcome

The clubhouse will be open all weekend from early to late, with drinks, snacks and lunch available to purchase. There’s plenty of space on the panoramic balcony for family and friends, with the club’s chef preparing a ‘BKL Meal’ for the Saturday night at £15pp.

RCYC has a list of local accommodation to support teams looking for somewhere to stay and for those with tents or campervans, the club also has a camping field with electric hook up on a first arrival-first served basis at £18 per night with/without electric.

Those already entered include a youth team gunning for a place in the final and a team from the home club, whose crew member Petru Balau says: “After joining a small North London sailing club, I found myself part of the team entered for the BKL event at Royal Corinthian Yacht Club in 2017. That event didn’t go that well for us, racing wise, but the legendary welcoming atmosphere at the RCYC paved the way for me to join the club.

“I’ve entered this year’s BKL at the club with a Squib national champion at the helm, two of the best lady sailors I know in the middle of the boat and another club member on tactics. Years ago I set myself a goal to win the BKL, so bring it on!”

Champions league

The BKL series motto is: “THINK Football Champions League - SAIL British Keelboat League.”

Teams can enter one or more BKL qualifier and the winner and runner-up from each event – plus the top scoring women’s team and youth team (under-25) from across the series – will be invited to the national final at Royal Southern Yacht Club in September 2023. Four teams will then have the chance to represent their clubs and GBR in the Sailing Champions League in Europe in 2024.

Enter now for the BKL at Burnham and for further information, or to book the BKL meal or camping field, contact the RCYC Office by emailing or calling 01621 782105.

Four 707 keelboats racing upwind on River Crouch on sunny day with an umpire's RIB just behind them at British Keelboat League event Burnham 2021.

Pictures: Roger Mant