Countdown to 2024 RYA Youth Nationals

Over 300 competitors set to race at UK's premier youth regatta
27 Mar 24
2024 Youth Nationals preview

The UK’s best young racing talents are preparing for action at the 2024 RYA Youth National Championships, which get underway at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy on Easter Monday.

Over 300 competitors across the ILCA 6, ILCA 7, 420, 29er, Nacra 15 and iQFOiL classes will battle it out across five days of competition (1-5 April).

The annual celebration of youth racing is open to a range of sailors, from those experiencing their first season in the youth classes as well as those vying for the podium spots and a chance of selection to the Youth Sailing World Championships in Lake Garda (ITA) this July.

The RYA Youth Nationals has been a springboard for some of the world’s best racers over the years, but has also helped embed a lifelong love of the sport and created enduring friendships across the fleets.

After a successful pilot last year, the event will stage Olympic-style medal racing on the final day (for classes with over 20 entries), with the potential to host sprint-style racing for the 29er fleet on one day of their qualifying series.  

Riders in the iQFOiL windfoiling event will also (subject to weather conditions) experience a mix of course, sprint slalom and marathon races and a medal series format similar to their senior Olympic counterparts.

The RYA will also be staging various information and support sessions for both sailors and parents who are on site throughout the week, including sporting parent workshops, talent programmes and outlining the various options, pathways and opportunities that exist for sailors beyond youth sailing.

2024 Youth Nationals preview

GPS race tech

The RYA has once again teamed up with MarkSetBot to make use of their robotic marks and GPS course-setting technology to help set races up more accurately, efficiently and sustainably.

Used worldwide at numerous events including SailGP, TP52, RC44 events and the America’s Cup Preliminary Regatta, the self-propelled buoys will be used on the 29er course area and for medal race courses, utilising GPS to zero in on a specific location, holding their position until instructed to move. 

Race management teams can reposition them via a simple mobile interface, leading to a more environmentally-friendly solution with less need for volunteers, mark-laying boats or potentially damaging anchors on the sea bed.

RYA Youth Racing Manager Oli Woodcock said: “We’re into the final countdown now, and I’m really looking forward to what I’m sure will be a great event, no matter whether a sailor is aiming to chase for the medals or they’re experiencing the event for the first time.

“We’re always looking for ways to build upon the event experience. The Sailor Hub was a really popular addition last year to enhance the social side of things and create an opportunity to mix with competitors from other classes, and we’re continuing the learning for both sailors and race teams with new race tech and new formats.”

A full list of regatta entries can be found on the RYA Youth Nationals event website, along with some 'ones to watch' across the fleets at the 2024 event.

Be sure to check out updates throughout the week via the event site and on British Youth Sailing’s Instagram.