The inaugural British Youth Sailing (BYS) Regional Junior Championships will be a real celebration of junior sailing - catering for all abilities from rookie sailors to experienced racers.

The event replaces the former Zone Championships and aims to provide a broader format to encourage more young sailors to take part. Held at multiple regional venues over the last weekend in September, the BYS North Regional Junior Championships will take place at Ullswater Yacht Club with racing fleets for the Topper, Optimist, RS Tera Sport and RS Feva XL. There will also be regatta fleets for Topper, Tera and Optimist sailors and an OnBoard fun fleet for those learning sailing through OnBoard groups. Entry is now open here along with all the event details and race documents.

Sam Usher, RYA North East Regional Development Officer, said: “It will be a great introduction to big events for new or inexperienced sailors while at the same time offering competitive fleet racing for junior sailors in BYS-recognised classes, including those who want to apply for a place in the 2018-19 RYA Zone Squads.”

He added that with the introduction of an OnBoard fleet for the first time, the event would bring together junior sailors of all abilities from across the region: “The OnBoard fleet activity will be full of on-the-water games with the core focus of improving skills and sailors enjoying their time on the water.

"With activities to help progress young sailors no matter what their skill level is, it will be a fantastic opportunity for them to get out there and sail with kids from other OnBoard clubs and experience the thrill of sailing at a big event. Myself and the regional team will be there and we're looking forward to seeing lots of young sailors take to the water.”

For clubs, parents and sailors wanting to get set for the first ever BYS Regional Junior Championships, check out our RYA North East Q&A guide:

Overview

The BYS Regional Junior Championships take place at nine regional venues over the weekend of 29-30 September, including at Ullswater SC for the North, with sailors choosing the event they want to enter according to the class they sail and where they live. The Championships will cater for squad sailors and experienced racing sailors and are also a great opportunity for club sailors looking to travel for the first time. With three different fleets there is something for all levels of sailing experience.

Why has the event name changed?

The former Zone Championships always welcomed regatta fleet sailors but primarily attracted main fleet racing sailors seeking selection for squad places. The aim is to now encourage greater participation and provide a pathway for up and coming young sailors of all backgrounds and abilities. The change of name to British Youth Sailing Regional Junior Championships is designed to reflect this new emphasis.

What are the different fleets?

Championship Fleet: There will be championship racing for the following BYS Recognised Junior Classes: Optimist, Topper, RS Tera Sport and RS Feva XL. Sailors may stay afloat all day and there will be up to seven races over the weekend. The results count as an indicator for those who want to apply for RYA Zone Squads.

Coached Regatta Racing Fleet: For Optimist, Topper and RS Tera Sport sailors who can sail around a triangle course and want to start racing. This fleet will be run by Zone coaches or the equivalent and will be a brilliant learning experience for sailors who want to improve their racing skills. It’s also great preparation for joining the Championship fleet next year. Sailors can sign up for either the Saturday or Sunday or for both days.

Fun OnBoard Fleet: End-of-season festival filled with games-with-aims and heaps of OnBoard club camaraderie. Led by local OnBoard instructors and aimed at the under-13 age group, any suitable class of dinghy is welcome, with either one or two-day entry available.

What about windsurfers?

Junior windsurfers from the North region will be competing at the BYS Regional Junior Championships Midlands  event over the same weekend, 29-30 September, at Northampton Sailing Club.  This event is for new and existing windsurfers entering or already windsurfing in the BYS Pathway, with Championship Fleets for the  4.5, 5.8, 6.8 and 7.8 Bic Techno windsurf classes. An ideal end-of-season goal for T15 windsurfers, with all levels of experience welcome. It is also an indicator event for those wanting to apply for a place in the North & Midlands Zone squad.

Will there be prizes?

Along with prizes for event winners, top boys and top girls, there will be a range of prizes for sailors exhibiting British Youth Sailing values and behaviours and showing a passion for the sport. There is a Club Trophy for the club that has the most entries at the event.

Where can I find out more?

For all the details and documents check out the following links for the North championship for junior sailors, and Midlands championship for North region windsurfers. For both of these events the Notice of Race is now available - click on the PDF under ‘Latest Document Updates’. Venue information can also be found on these pages. 

How do I apply for a squad?

The regional championships are indicator event for sailors and windsurfers in BYS Recognised Junior classes who want to be selected for one of the RYA Zone Squads. Sailors wanting to be considered for a Zone Squad place must race in the Championship Fleet and submit an application for the relevant squad for their class and home address/home club. Zone Squads offer regional coaching for talented young sailors looking to develop their racing skills to progress into the RYA UK Junior Squads. For details visit the RYA Zone Squad pages to find out about indicator events and selection policies. Zone Squad applications open 1 August. 

What is the deadline for entering?

Entry for the BYS Regional Junior Championships is now open and the final date to submit your entry by is 23 September, the weekend before the event.