The 2020 Youth National Championships will now be held at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy due to current COVID-19 restrictions in Wales.
The event had been due to take place at Plas Heli, the Welsh National Sailing Academy, but this is not possible under current Welsh Government restrictions despite the encouraging move forward of pilot events in the country announced today [Friday 21 Aug].
The RYA had hoped that the Welsh government would announce the easing of the measures enough to hold the premier youth event in north Wales, but with even the smallest amount of uncertainty surrounding number of attendance it was decided that a move offered more time for robust processes and procedures to be put in place.
The Youth Nationals were originally due to be held in April, but the regatta was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
To ensure that the 2020 RYA Youth National Championships can go ahead, the decision has been taken to move the regatta to WPNSA. The dates of the regatta – October 24 to 27 – will remain the same.
Racing will take place in the ILCA 6 and 7 singlehanded dinghies (formerly Laser Radial and Laser Standard), and 420 and 29er doublehanded classes.
The Kite Foil, Nacra 15 and windfoiling classes will contest their national youth titles alongside an extended Olympic Classes National Ranker at WPNSA from October 30 to November 1.
Entry for the events at WPNSA will go live at 10am on September 1, on a first-come first served basis. To ensure the regattas remain safe, there will be a limit on the number of boats across all four classes for the first weekend and for the youth classes at the Olympic Ranker event.
To enter the Youth Nationals click here and for the Ranker click here. The closing date for standard entries is September 30. Due to the manual approval process of entries, the RYA website may accept entries after the quotas have been filled. In this circumstance you will be contacted to arrange a refund.
Mark Nicholls, the RYA’s Youth Racing Manager, said: “We delayed our decisions in the hope there would be some change in guidance or a definitive indication that we could be in a position to run the event in Wales in October. We recognise this isn’t the case and that guidance differs from each Home Countries devolved government.
“Whilst it is disappointing we can’t run the event at such a fine venue, we collectively felt it was better to base a decision on current guidance rather than uncertain future advice to give everyone involved enough time to prepare and to ensure a safe event for all.
“Unfortunately, this means that the planned Youth Nationals at Plas Heli will no longer be able to take place as we originally intended. However, we are delighted that WPNSA can host the regatta and that we will be able to offer world class racing to the many young sailors who’ve so far been deprived of it this year.”
With the 2020 Youth Worlds cancelled the Youth Nationals is no longer considered a team selection for that event. However, it is the intention to use the Youth Nationals to begin to consider sailors for selection to Youth Squads. Dependant on sailors ability to attend and showcase their sailing skills, Youth Squads may be selected at the event.
In the event of a rise in COVID-19 cases, the RYA may have to cancel or reduce the size of the event. If this is the case, affected entries will be refunded.