The iconic Eric Twiname Junior Championships will be a ‘homecoming’ in 2021 with the event hosted by Bassenthwaite Sailing Club, home club of the late Eric Twiname whom the regatta was named after.
The much-loved annual event will take place over the Early May Bank Holiday on Bassenthwaite Lake near Cockermouth, Cumbria, for the first time since 1991.
Seen as a rite of passage for young racing sailors, the regatta brings together hundreds of talented youngsters from all over the country to vie for the title of top region as well as podium places in the British Youth Sailing Recognised Classes.
The Eric Twiname Junior Championships was named in honour of sailor, author and journalist Eric Twiname.
Twiname made his name in sailing winning numerous national titles in a range of dinghy classes, as well as in team racing where he captained the British Universities Sailing Association.
He was also greatly influential in shaping the Racing Rules which govern racing in the UK, sitting on the RYA’s Racing Rules Committee and working as the Racing Rules Advisor to the British Olympic Association.
The Eric Twiname Junior Championships, run jointly by the RYA and the Eric Twiname Trust, first took place in 1986 and has seen thousands of young sailors compete, including Olympians past and present.
Sailing stars Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy were among the early winners of the regatta before going on to Olympic greatness.
Home to number of lifelong serving members of the Eric Twiname Trust, Bassenthwaite SC was chosen to host the 2021 regatta after demonstrating a great understanding and insight into the running of the event combined with the facilities to accommodate the number of attending sailors.
Chris Atherton, RYA National Performance Manager, said: “During the bid process Bassenthwaite Sailing Club showed us that they understand the traditions of the championships and more importantly how they could fulfil a safe competition for all.
“It’s not lost on anyone that it was Eric Twiname’s home club and I’m sure this will add to the experience of the young sailors. For someone who gave so much to sailing it’s only fitting that we return to his club to honour his memory with this fantastic event.”
As well as a celebration of Twiname’s contribution to sailing, it is hoped the 2021 regatta will serve as a resumption of normal service after the 2020 event was cancelled in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Bruce Aitken, Secretary for The Eric Twiname Trust, said: “I speak for everyone at the Eric Twiname Trust when I say congratulations to Bassenthwaite Sailing Club. Eric enjoyed many years at Bassenthwaite and for his championships to return is something he would be so proud of.
“The ET Championships is a great event for us. To see so many young racers out on the water enjoying their sailing is always something very special and we are looking forward to seeing it again after what has been a testing 2020 for everyone.”
Jon Denwood, Vice Commodore at Bassenthwaite SC, said: “Everyone at Bassenthwaite Sailing Club is delighted to be chosen to host the Eric Twiname Championships in 2021. Eric learned to sail at Bassenthwaite and the Twiname family were actively involved for many years.
"We are really looking forward to welcoming junior sailors from all over the UK here to enjoy our beautiful lake and facilities."
The ET Championships has been held at Rutland Sailing Club from 2003 and after a brief hiatus for the 2021 event will return as hosts for the 2022 and 2023 editions.