Following on from the success of its first full season last year, the RYA will again partner with the Royal Thames Yacht Club (RTYC) to run the 2017 British Keelboat League bringing the exciting, high-speed format to new venues and providing even more opportunities to take part.

With over 100 sailors from 20 clubs competing in 2016, this year’s series promises to be even bigger and better as teams of four or five club sailors race in one design matched keelboats.

The RYA will once again be working with clubs across the country to host the qualifying series where clubs test their skills against each other with the emphasis on running as many 15-minute races in as quick succession as possible. Six qualifiers are planned around the country with entry open to all clubs.

The best clubs from each region will receive an invitation to the British Keelboat League Final in Cowes this September with the winner taking the prestigious Theodore Pim Trophy and being crowned #bestsailingclub in the UK.

Competitors will also be vying for a coveted spot in the Sailing Champions League 2018 with the opportunity to race against the top club crews from around Europe.

The 2017 British Keelboat League will once again receive generous support from Bainbridge Marine and Selden Masts who will be providing prizes and equipment to help equalise the boats.

Jack Fenwick, RYA Keelboat Development Manager, is excited for the year ahead: “Following on from a brilliant first year of the British Keelboat League, we are thrilled to once again be delivering this fantastic opportunity for sailors of all backgrounds to come together and compete on an even playing field.

“We are on the search for the best racing clubs in the country. No matter your age, gender or class this competition offers an equal platform for the best sailors from all corners of our sport to race against each other in an exciting and rewarding format.

“The great thing about the League is that you do not need your own boat, you can turn up to an event and just go racing in boats provided. There is also a fun social atmosphere at our events, sailors spend a lot of time mingling afloat and have a great time ashore.

“Working with the RTYC, we aim to keep developing the League and get even more sailors and clubs involved. I’m looking forward to seeing the racing get underway with the Youth Qualifier for sailors aged under 25 in April” concluded Fenwick.

The 2017 National League kicks off on 1-2 April, with the Youth Qualifier (U25) at Royal Southern YC before moving to Scotland at the end of April for Q1 at the Royal Northern & Clyde YC.