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South Zone update May 2018

News from Duncan West, the RYA's High Performance Manager for the South and South West.

RYA South Zone Squads    

The weather has continued to be mixed with no wind and ice to heavy rain and gales, luckily we had no training over the Dinghy Show weekend, so we did not lose any training to the snow.  Hopefully with spring definitely in the air we will see great sailing conditions for the rest of training, which concludes with a joint Topper and Optimist camp at WPNSA at the end of May. Lynn Billows launched the Topper Class All Girls Training (a joint RYA Class association initiative), at their winter championships at WPNSA last month. The national events season has started with the Toppers holding their winter championships at WPNSA, the Optimist there spring championships at Royal Lymington YC.   

Youth Nationals    

The youth sailors from the region have been up to Largs, Scotland for this year’s Youth Nationals for dinghy classes, over Easter experiencing some very cold and challenging sailing. The windsurfers have had their Youth Nationals at WPNSA the following week. 

We have had some notable successes. 

29er Boys: 2nd, James Hammett & Piers Nicholl, HISC; 3rd Freddie Peters & Elliott Wells HISC; 4th Henry Jameson & Toby Atherton HISC / Gurnard SC 

29er Girls: 3rd Freya Black & Millie Aldridge HISC/Parkstone Y C  

29er Mixed 2nd Iain Bird & Anna Rowe   HISC/IBRSC; 3rd Elizabeth Albone & Oliver King            MKSC/ HISC 420 Boys: 2nd Bertie Fisher & Fraser Hemmings            Itchenor SC; 3rd Haydn Sewell & William Heathcote R Lymington Y C 

420 Girls: 1st Vita Heathcote & Milly Boyle, R Lymington Y C; 

420 Mixed: 3rd Eleanor Keers & Aaron Chadwick, Itchenor SC  

Laser Radial Boy: 1st Jake Bowhay, Stokes Bay S C; 3rd Arthur Fry, R Lymington Y C 

Laser Radial Girl: 1st Chloe Barr, Stokes Bay SC; 4th Matilda Nicholls, R Lymington YC / Aldeburgh Y C 

Laser Standard: 4th Jordan Giles, R Lymington Y C 

Nacra 15 Open: 1st William Smith & Abigail Clarke, Grafham SC/ R Lymington Y C; 4th Ben Harris & Annabel Luxton            Weston/Royal Lymington YC   

While the Youth nationals were running, in Greece our Laser 4.7 sailors were experiencing great success with Flo Nicholls Royal Lymington YC, winning the U16 European Championships and Abby Childerley Royal Southern YC 2nd.  While Finley Dickinson HISC, also winning Gold in the Boys event.   

Following from these events the World Sailing Youth Worlds team were selected with a strong representation from southern regions sailors. More info here.   

The British Youth Sailing Team for the 2018 Youth Sailing World Championships: 

420 Girls: Vita Heathcote (16) and Milly Boyle (17) – Royal Lymington Yacht Club 

29er Girls: Freya Black (16) and Millie Aldridge (17) – HISC / Parkstone Sailing Club 

Laser Radial Girls: Matilda Nicholls (16) – Royal Lymington Y. C. 

Boys: Jake Bowhay (17) – Stokes Bay S. C.  

Nacra 15    William Smith (16) and Abigail Clarke (17) - Grafham Water S. C. / Royal Lymington Y. C.   

Introducing the new British Youth Sailing Recognised Club  

For the past 18 years, that RYA Champion Club and previously Volvo Champion Club has been running. During this period we have seen thousands of club sailors progress through the British Youth Sailing Pathway and develop a lifelong love of the sport of sailing. 

Following a thorough review, we have taken the decision that now it is the right time to end the RYA Champion Club programme and this will take effect on the 31st March 2018. This will be replaced by a new RYA programme “British Youth Sailing Recognised Club”, with the intention to more accurately target the benefits of the accreditation of the clubs that are demonstrating high quality race training and racing in the British Youth Sailing Recognised Classes and supporting the RYA Pathway. 

To ensure that the accredited clubs continue to meet the minimum criteria, British Youth Sailing Recognised Clubs will have to meet the requirements of an annual inspection. 

At the Dinghy Show we launch British Youth Sailing Recognised Club, which will be our new sign of a quality youth training and racing club that is aligned to the British Youth Sailing Performance Pathway. Clubs are invited to apply for Recognised Club status. We aim to be able to provide for these new Recognised Clubs: Support and advice from your Regional HPM; coach development opportunities for your club coaches; a dedicated website with resources and videos. Recognised Clubs will be asked to renew annually. 

If your club meets the new higher criteria for a British Youth Sailing Recognised Club and would like to apply for recognition please see the new webpage to download the application form and find out further information.   

British Youth Sailing Regional Junior Championships   

We have changed the name of the Zone Championships to try to truly reflect the nature of the event to British Youth Sailing Regional Junior Championships. At this event we will be running three fleets, Championship Fleet, Coached Regatta Fleet and Fun OnBoard Fleet. We will continue to run the Club Trophy for the club that has the most entry’s at the event. It will be held 29th 30th September at WPNSA. So who are BYS South West 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 course 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.   


Windsurf activity in the region is looking up, Oxford SC had a very successful Open day with over 20 young sailors attending, there is increased activity at Calshot Flyers Team15 club and Andrew Simpson Watersports Centre, Reading is in discussions about forming a Team15 club. As the “Best of the East” swept the country we run the Team15 club development day at Burghfield SC. We are also going to be supporting a windsurf instructor course run at Axbridge Sat/Sun 16/17 June, Fri/Sat/Sun 22/23/24 June for Team15 volunteers. There is also an Intermediate Instructor course running at Andrew Simpson Watersports Centre, Reading 1st to 4th July. We are working hard to support grass roots windsurfing participation and always looking for new clubs. If you are interested in setting up a Team15 club please do get in contact.   

The Team15 interclubs have been confirmed for 2018   

Event 1: 19th May 2018 Oxford 

Event 2: 23rd June 2018 ASWC Reading

Event 3: 21st July 2018 Portsmouth   

Racing Coach Development 

 We have just run a course at HISC and Royal Lymington YC this summer. Any club wishing to host a course needs to programme it as soon as possible as there is a 3 mouth setup time so we are look at course in the autumn. Information on RCL2 course can be found here.   The RCL3 course will be running again in 2018, aimed at experienced club coaches looking to reflect and develop their coaching. Any coach looking to gain more information about the course can find it here. 

KEY DATES for 2018 and 2019 

 5th – 7th May 2018: RYA Eric Twiname Zone and Home Country Championships, Rutland Water SC. 

15th – 16th September 2018: National Windsurfing Championships, Rutland Water SC. 

29th – 30th September 2018: British Youth Sailing South Regional Junior Championships, WPNSA 

20th – 21st October 2018: RYA Youth Team Racing Championships, Oxford SC  

13th – 19th April 2019: RYA Youth National Championships, WPNSA, Dorset.

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