Thousands of youngsters will take to the water this weekend for a countrywide celebration of sailing as part of British Youth Sailing’s Regional Junior Championships.  

Children aged between six and 16 will descend on eight venues across the UK for two days of fun afloat on September 29 and 30.  

Among those taking part will be some of the nation’s most promising young racers, as well as a host of kids getting their first taste of sailing.  

For the first time, competitors will be split into three fleets – a new Fun OnBoard fleet for newcomers, a coached regatta fleet for those developing their racing skills and a championship fleet for experienced racers.  

Members of the British Sailing Team will also be on hand at a number of venues to talk to competitors and give them coaching tips.  

Regattas are being held in each of the RYA’s regions and home countries:

  • East – Grafham Water SC, Huntingdon, Cambs 
  • London and South East – Queen Mary SC, Ashford, Surrey
  • South and South West – WPNSA, Portland, Dorset
  • North – Ullswater SC, Ullswater, Cumbria
  • Midlands – Northampton SC, Northampton, East Midlands
  • Scotland – Helensburgh SC, Helensburgh
  • Wales – Pembrokeshire YC, Milford Haven
  • Northern Ireland – Royal North of Ireland YC, Cultra, Co. Down   

Along with prizes for event winners there will be a range of prizes for sailors exhibiting the British Youth Sailing Values and Behaviours and showing a passion for the sport.  

The Regional Junior Championships were previously known as the RYA Zone Championships, but the decision was taken to change the name so as to truly reflect the nature of the regattas: a fun, inclusive festival of sailing for under 16s regardless of ability, but with a championship element for serious racers.  

“We’re so excited about this year’s Regional Junior Championships,” said Mark Nicholls, the RYA’s Youth Racing Manager.  

“We’ve had a record number of entries this year, and with the introduction of the Fun Onboard fleet we will be introducing a huge number of youngsters to sailing.  

“The regatta fleet will benefit from great support from our expert coaches, and we’re expecting some hotly contested racing in the championship fleet.  

“It’s shaping up to be a hugely enjoyable weekend of racing offering something for everyone, and we can’t wait to get started.”  

British Youth Sailing will be running a photo competition for competitors on Instagram during the event, with prizes to be won.  

To enter, upload your best photos of the event and tag British Youth Sailing (@britishyouthsailing) or use the hashtag #RJC2018. The winners will be announced following the event.  

For the all the latest news, photos and videos from the Regional Junior Championships, stay tuned to British Youth Sailing’s social media channels: Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.