Events

All you need to know about our flagship youth and junior regattas

 

The prestigious RYA Youth National Championships is the highlight of the youth racing calendar where the country’s most promising young racers go head to head in a week of fun, exciting action.  

 

Historically the Youth Nationals is contested in British Youth Sailing’s Recognised Classes – ILCA 6 and 7, 420, 29er, and Nacra 15 – and from 2020 this includes the kite and wind foiling classes.

 

The results are used to select the British Youth Sailing Team to represent Great Britain at international regattas such as the Youth World Championships as well as the domestic youth squad for the year ahead.

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RYA Regional Junior Championships
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The Regional Junior Championships consist of a number of regional regattas that happen simultaneously to form a countrywide celebration of sailing.
 
Thousands of children aged between six and 16 descend on venues across the UK for a weekend of fun on the water. Among those who take part are some of the nation’s most promising young racers, as well as a host of kids getting their first taste of sailing. 
 
Competitors will be split into three fleets – a 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 are often on hand at a number of venues to talk to competitors and give them coaching tips. 
 
The Regional Junior Championships were previously known as the RYA Zone Championships, but in 2018 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.
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The iconic Eric Twiname Junior Championships, organised by the RYA in conjunction with the Eric Twiname Trust, sees junior sailors come together to race and represent their region or home country.
 
It takes place in the following British Youth Sailing recognised junior classes – Optimist, RS Tera, RS Feva and Topper dinghies – as well as four different rig sizes of Bic Techno windsurfer.
 
The first event took place in 1986 and has seen thousands of young sailors compete, including Olympians past and present. Sailing stars Ben Ainslie and Iain Percy were among the early winners of the regatta before going on to Olympic greatness.
 
The regatta, named in memory of legendary sailor, author and journalist Eric Twiname, is regarded by many young racers as a rite of passage as they continue their journey to become top-level racers.
Twiname made his name in sailing winning numerous national titles in a range of dinghy classes, as well as in team racing where he captained the British Universities Sailing Association.
 
He was also greatly influential in shaping the Racing Rules which govern racing in the UK, sitting on the RYA’s Racing Rules Committee and working as the Racing Rules Advisor to the British Olympic Association.
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The RYA Eric Twiname Youth and Junior Team Racing Championships take place at Farmoor Reservoir, near Oxford, every October.

Unlike conventional fleet racing regattas, the Eric Twiname Youth & Junior Team Racing Championships sees groups of young sailors sharing RS Feva and Firefly dinghies, carrying out on-water changeovers.

One race typically lasts around ten minutes but each team usually gets to do between six and 16 races during the regatta, with an approximate 250 races scheduled over a weekend.
 
As well as being an exciting form of sailing in its own right, team racing helps to sharpen up many useful fleet racing skills, especially close boat on boat tactics and is also a great transitional step between fleet racing and match racing.
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