UK Sailing League Trial Event

05/11/2015

On the 31st October and 1st November RTYC and the RYA launched the first ever club keelboat fleet racing league in the UK at Queen Mary Sailing Club. Seven teams participated in the trial event.

The UK Sailing League is a new keelboat model that has been successfully run in Germany over a number of years. RTYC bought into the concept and partnered with the RYA to help launch the new enterprise. Sailing clubs from all around the UK competed at the trial event, the format will now be rolled out across the UK.

The event uses a round-robin schedule with teams racing each other a number of times before the team with the lowest number of points is crowned the winner. Six boats competed in each 15 minute race with teams rotating boats throughout the event.  

On Saturday evening a presentation about the Sailing Champions League, which is now operating all over Europe, was given to all visiting sailing clubs who are now being encouraged and supported by the RYA and RTYC to run their own event within their region. 
The RYA will the assist in the running of these events with the end goal being a greater participation in club keelboat racing around the country.  

Royal Corinthian Yacht Club (RCYC) can already see how the concept would work, said Justin Waples: “Certainly we feel the RCYC at Burnham is well suited to hosting an event both on and off the water.”  

Ramsay Leuchars said Port Edgar Yacht Club in Scotland is hoping to make an impact on the water as well as learning about the new concept: ‘This weekend we are most looking forward to seeing how this event could work elsewhere and the chance to compete against other sailors that we wouldn't normally be able to due to logistics and types of boat normally sailed.’  
Nigel King, RYA Keelboat Manager said: ‘This new format of racing is really exciting for us and one we think will take off. The idea is to increase the numbers of sailors taking part in keelboat racing and help clubs build up a strong base of keelboat sailors.’

Whilst the boats, race officials, umpires and sailors were ready for a weekend packed full of back to back racing, the weather had a different plan altogether. On Saturday, with wind speeds averaging 1-2kts, PRO Linda Pennington, bravely squeezed three races out of the dying wind before calling a halt to the sailing. Sunday’s weather proved even more challenging with dense fog settling all across London, and no more than 10m visibility on the reservoir. Unfortunately, a result could not be determined as a whole round robin is required to be sailed.

Everyone involved, graciously recognised that this was a trial event, and took it as a great opportunity to discuss the format for the upcoming UK League. Thank you to everyone who helped to make the weekend a success, we look forward to seeing more of these events taking place throughout the UK.

Port Edgar made a short film about their experience of the Sailing League, view it here

 
Entries:
Port Edgar
Royal Corinthian
Queen Mary
Royal Southern
Royal Western
Poole
Royal Thames