If you weren't, this event replaces the RYA Zone Championships and has been redesigned to give even more young sailors and clubs the incentive and opportunity to take part in what is a regional end-of-season celebration of junior sailing.   

However hard it has tried in recent years to introduce regatta fleets, the RYA Zone Championships just couldn't shake the stigma of being an 'elite' event for aspiring Zone squad sailors. This meant it wasn't really achieving its aim to act as a fun, low-level introduction to big events for new or inexperienced sailors, as well as offering competitive fleet racing for our region's junior sailors.   

That's where the new BYS South Regional Junior Championships come in. Basically they will have much more for everybody of all abilities.   The first BYS South Regional Junior Championships take place at WPNSA on 29th and 30th September. And although the exact details are being ironed out they will target three clear groups in a sort of 'event within an event' format.   

So who are BYS South Regional Junior Championships for?  

 ·   Championship Fleet: This is still an indicator for those who do want to apply for Zone squads so there will be one serious racing fleet for each of the BYS recognised junior classes. 

·     Coached Racing Fleet for sailors who can sail around triangle courses and want to start racing. This fleet will be run by Zones coaches or the equivalent and will be a brilliant learning experience for sailors who want to improve their racing skills. 

 ·      Fun OnBoard Fleet will be run for newer sailors. Led by local OnBoard instructors, it will be a bit of a regional end-of-season OnBoard festival filled with games, kids sailing, all types of boats and heaps of OnBoard club camaraderie.

Duncan West, RYA South and South West High Performance Manager, has been heavily involved in the overhaul.   He said: "The BYS South Regional Junior Championships are an end of the season chance to celebrate the progress of every single youngster that has enjoyed sailing across the South over the season.   The event will provide a focal point for new and existing sailors entering or already sailing in the pathway and is for everyone, from youngsters, with no aspirations to race and just want to have fun on the water with their club mates, to potential Zone sailors."   

The Championships will see individual spot prizes rewarding attitude, teamwork, improvement and commitment, all that sort of thing, awarded over the weekend, along with the regional champion prizes for girls and boys sailing the recognised classes. The club trophy for the club with the most sailors entered will also be awarded   

Duncan added: "This is a brilliant opportunity to bring all our clubs together to round off the season."