Entries are now open for the new-look RYA Youth National Championships, which will see kiteboarding and para sailing join the action for the first time.
The 2019 regatta, the UK’s premiere youth racing event, will take place from April 12 to 19 at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, home of Olympic sailing in the UK.
Hundreds of Britain’s most talented young sailors are expected to descend on WPNSA for the week-long regatta that serves as a celebration of youth sailing.
Historically the Youth Nationals is contested in British Youth Sailing’s Recognised Classes – Laser Radial, 420, 29er, Nacra 15 and BIC Techno 293 – and remains unchanged in 2019.
The Topper and Laser 4.7 classes will join the line-up for the first time to attract the country’s strongest junior sailors.
And in another first for the regatta, this year sees the addition of the RS Venture Connect, Hansa 303 and 2.4mR para classes as well as twin tip kiteboarding.
The inclusion of the para classes reaffirms British Youth Sailing’s commitment to their long-term future in the UK by continuing to develop a pathway.
Twin-tip kiting will feature after Formula Kite’s inclusion in the list of events for the 2024 Paris Olympics.
It also builds on the #kite4gold talent search, a joint venture recently run with the British Kite Sports Association, the English Institute of Sport and UK Sport to identify talented female riders capable of winning gold at Paris 2024.
Mark Nicholls, the RYA’s Youth Racing Manager, said: “The Youth National Championships offers so much to young sailors. For some it’s their first experience of racing in big fleets, for others it is a chance to impress and gain a place on our youth squads. But we can still do more.
“By adding kiteboarding and para classes we feel we are encouraging more sailors at a grass roots level to get involved and have a great experience which they can take forward throughout their time in the sport.”
Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy last hosted the Youth National Championships in 2015.
The regatta will make use of the world-class facilities it offers as part of the legacy of the London 2012 Olympics.
It will be used as a selection regatta for the Youth World Championships, which this year takes place in Gydnia, Poland.
Entrants must be aged under 21 on 31 December 2019 with the exception of the 420, Topper, Twin Tip and para classes. Further details of requirements can be found in the Notice of Race.
Discounted early bird entries close on January 31 2019. For more details about the regatta click here.