This was one of four venues across the UK with racing in British Youth Sailing’s recognised dinghy and windsurfer classes. Among those taking part were some of the nation’s most promising young sailors, as well as a host of kids getting their first taste of racing in a fun, inclusive festival of sailing for under 16s regardless of ability, but with a championship element for serious racers.
Competitors were 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.
Ian Walker, double Olympic medallist, America’s Cup sailor, winning Volvo Ocean Race skipper and now RYA director of racing was on hand to help out with prizegiving.
Along with prizes for event winners there were a range of prizes for sailors exhibiting the British Youth Sailing Values and Behaviours and showing a passion for the sport.
Mark Nicholls, the RYA’s Youth Racing Manager, said: “The Regional Junior Championships is all about providing kids with a positive racing experience.
“We want youngsters to have fun on the water and develop a love for sailing that sees them stay in the sport long into adulthood.”
Steve Mitchell, RYA regional development officer, who was on hand to support the OnBoard fleet, said: "The day was a real success and it was great to see so many kids out on the water enjoying themselves. Well done to all the competitors who braved Datchet Water in all fleets during this event.
"The regatta fleet had a fantastic beach team, made up of family and friends from clubs across the region who were not shy helping both in and out of the water to launch and recover the children, which included: Newhaven & Seaford SC, Littleton SC, Hillingdon Outdoor Activity Centre, Crawley Mariners YC, Erith YC, Downs SC, Wilsonian SC…and the list goes on!! Sorry if I have missed anyone.
"It was the inaugural year for the OnBoard Fun Fleet and while we didn’t see large numbers due to weather it was certainly a good first year to learn from. Thank you to Freddie and Katie for delivering some fine activity for these newbies who all reported they had a great time."
Helen Hofmann, RYA London and South East regional team chair added:
“"Despite some challenging weather conditions, successful racing took
place over the weekend. Huge thanks goes to all the team helping with
the event, and parents for their committed support."
Full results from the regattas can be found here
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Youngsters who would like to try sailing you can find and how and see the endless possibilities sailing and windsurfing can bring here