The prestigious regatta, the UK’s premier youth racing event, was due to take place from April 3 to 10 in Pwllheli, north Wales.
Around 750 young people and adults from all over the UK were expected to be on site at Plas Heli, the Welsh National Sailing Academy and Events Centre.
However, last night the Government advised against mass gatherings, to minimise social contact and avoid non-essential travel to curb the spread of the virus.
In light of this the RYA has suspended all activity, including the Youth Nationals, until April 30 when the situation will be reviewed.
It will be the first time since the Youth Nationals began in 1978 that the event has not taken place as planned.
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The RYA’s intention will be to run the event later in the year and we will now work with the youth classes to deliver a new plan. More details on this will be announced in due course.
Regarding summer team selection, RYA selectors will continue to review all sailors’ performances to date and if required this information can be used to inform their decisions.
Mark Nicholls, RYA Youth Racing Manager, said: “No-one wants to have to cancel sports events, especially when they are as loved as the Youth Nationals is, but these are extraordinary times and we must follow Government guidance.
“The threat of coronavirus is a serious one and it is our duty to do all in our power to limit its spread and protect the health of our sailors, volunteers, race officials and staff.
“We appreciate this will be disappointing news for everyone who had been looking forward to another great Youth National Championships.
“We will be working hard on plans to stage the Youth Nationals later in the year, and will release further details once the picture is clearer.”
Stephen Tudor, chairman of Plas Heli, added: “Everyone at Plas Heli, The Welsh National Sailing Academy and Event Centre, RYA Cymru Wales and Gwynedd Council is extremely disappointed that this prestigious event has been postponed, but all agree and respect the decision taken in what are extremely difficult times. We fully appreciate the need to keep everyone safe. We will be working closely with RYA to explore all options going forward.”
As per the RYA suspension of activity, the Junior Easter Camp due to take place at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy from April 17 to 19 is cancelled.
Refunds will be issued automatically by April 3. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you have not received a refund by this time.
With regards to the Eric Twiname Championships due to be hosted at Rutland Sailing Club from May 8 to 10, we are continuing to monitor developments and will make a decision closer to the event.
The latest guidance from the RYA can be found here.