Plans are underway for a new handicap Midlands Junior Traveller Series to launch 2019, to give all youngsters across the region the chance to race against others away from their clubs. 

This new series will differ to the established county circuits and RYA junior class regional travellers in that it is open to all classes, racing using the Portsmouth Yardstick scheme, and promotes inter-club travel and racing opportunities across the entire region for youngsters who are 'pre-squad' stage in their sailing.

Two dates have already been confirmed for the new series - Notts County SC on Saturday 8 June and Rutland SC on Saturday 31 August - and we would love to hear from any more clubs who would like to host one of these inaugural series events next summer.

In addition, the series will also create opportunities for the training and development of new race officials across the region. Any Club Race Officers, those who have done the RYA Race Officer theory course or anyone who simply wants to get more experience away from their home club is invited to get involved and be mentored by an appointed RYA National Race Officer at one or more of the events.

The series is being driven by Tom Rusbridge, who is now studying for his PhD in the Midlands and has joined the RYA Regional Race Officials team having previously enjoyed success running a similar series for the West Sussex Schools and Youth Sailing Association.

Tom said: "I grew up sailing a Laser 2 and Wayfarers, but while many clubs have good club racing for these classes there are no region-wide circuits for handicap racing in this range of classes.

"This new series is targeted at young sailors who would like some experience of racing away from home in a range of classes. Those classes who have a healthy local circuit are of course more than welcome to attend, but as racing will be on a handicap basis any dinghy class which has an RYA PYN is welcome."

Interested in hosting an event?

What's involved?

  • commit to hosting a one day event at a weekend
  • host to provide a responsible club-based event director, volunteers and use of committee/safety boats
  • series to provide the Race Officer, Mentor National Race Officer and protest committee
  • club to collect entry fee, which they can keep
  • series to provide SIs, in consultation with club

Clubs are invited to send an expression of interest to Tom at

Next Gen Race Officials

Tom is passionate about inspiring the next generation of race officials, especially young sailors like himself. He believes sailors at the top-end age-wise of schools' association teams would be particularly good candidates for trainee Race Officers.

There are two courses coming up in the Midlands, which anyone from any club who wants to support the running of better and fairer racing in the region can get involved in. The new Regional Junior Traveller series will then provide an opportunity to put this new knowledge into practice.  

Club Rules Adviser Course (spring - date and location TBC)

Supports clubs in developing the use of Advisory and RYA Arbitration hearings to bring about a more immediate and accessible rules disputes resolution processes than protest hearings. Put simply, if there is an on-the-water dispute, this will give you someone in the club to turn to to get it resolved in as fair, informal and diplomatic a way as possible. The course is the first step on the RYA Judging ladder. The course runs for five hours from 10am - 3pm and includes a lunch break. Full details will be confirmed soon. 

RYA Race Officer Course - Notts County SC (19-20 January 2019)

This course enables candidates to gain their Race Officer Theory Course Certificate and preparation involves being familiar with the RYA Race Management Guide. The course is the first rung on the RYA Race Officer ladder. Here's everything you need to know about eligibility - Race Officer: Requirements for Qualification. You can book here - RYA Race Officer Course.

Want to be a Race Officer or Judge, but not sure where to start?

Let us know what you want to achieve! Our Midlands RYA Regional Race Officials team of David Wilkins, Steve Watson, William Jeffcoate and Nadina Lincoln plus Tom can help you try to make it happen.

In addition, Tom is always happy supervise someone in the early stages of their development working in a race management role at each of the 15+ events he officiates at every year. If you would like to gain experience and knowledge as part of Tom's team email him at