Junior talents shine at 2024 RYA Eric Twiname Championships

Bank holiday junior sailing showdown
08 May 24

Over the early May Bank Holiday weekend (4-6 May 2024), Rutland Sailing Club became a hub of energy as around 300 junior sailors took to the water for the highly anticipated RYA Eric Twiname Junior Championships. 

The event, now in its 36th edition, encourages junior sailors to race and represent their region or Home Country in the British Youth Sailing recognised junior classes of Optimist, Topper, RS Tera, RS Feva and Techno windsurfer.

The North region, having shared the spoils with the South West last year, won the prestigious Eric Twiname Shield outright this year, which is awarded to the overall winning region or Home Country.

The North region also picked up the Eric Twiname Dinghy Trophy, with London & South East’s windsurfing talents impressing to take home the Eric Twiname Windsurfing Cup.

This year’s event introduced new formats such as short-course and long-course races that injected a fresh feel to the competition which was well received by the young racers. Among the notable additions was the RS Tera Pro class to this year’s event that increased the diversity of the racing fleet, as well as the new introduction of bibs for frontrunners which added an extra layer of competitiveness to the event. 

2024 RYA Eric Twiname Championships, credit Mark Radford/RYA

Sailing conditions on Saturday were optimal, providing a perfect backdrop for the juniors to battle it out. Amidst the intensity of competition, juniors and parents found moments to reconnect with friends and families as well as strategising for upcoming races or simply enjoying the vibrant event atmosphere.

Sunday brought its own set of challenges, with a slightly delayed start due to the lack of wind, necessitating practice sessions led by coaches that offered valuable insights and exercises to eager participants. As the breeze picked up, racing resumed under sunny skies, albeit with tricky wind conditions. Fortunately, the originally forecasted rain held off, allowing for a full schedule of racing across three course areas.

Chris Atherton, RYA Junior Racing Manager, extended his appreciation to all involved: “A huge thanks to Rutland Sailing Club for their hospitality and for the collective effort of parents, umpires, coaches, race officers, and volunteers that all pulled together and contributed to the event's success.” 

2024 RYA Eric Twiname Championships, credit Mark Radford/RYA

One parent said: “A truly fantastic event enjoyed by the whole family. Really well organised and communicated.” Another added: “A great venue, and really friendly staff. Well worth the journey from west Wales.”

None of this would have been possible without the generous support of the the Eric Twiname Trust. Their commitment to nurturing young sailing talents each year play a pivotal role in making this event possible. 

For detailed event results, visit the results page.

2024 RYA Eric Twiname Championships, credit Mark Radford/RYA