The annual RYA Zone and Home Country Championships will see around 1,000 of England and Scotland’s most talented junior sailors and windsurfers converge on seven venues throughout the UK on Saturday and Sunday in a bid to show who will be the ones to watch in the coming years.
The RYA Zone Championships traditionally mark the end of the Junior racing season and the start of a hard winter’s training. For most of the young guns this weekend will be the pinnacle of their season calendar and the focal point of their training.
Having honed their skills at club training and competitions throughout the year, the Championships present the opportunity for the sailors to challenge themselves against the best of their peers within their area, under the watchful eye of their local RYA High Performance Managers and other senior RYA racing staff.
John Derbyshire, RYA Performance Director, will be attending the South West Zone Championship at Restronguet Sailing Club in Cornwall and as always he is looking forward to seeing the wealth of talent and potential on display.
John said: “The Zone and Home Country Championships are a key part of selection for the RYA Zone and Home Country squads which will assist around 550 sailors to progress their skills this winter. RYA coaches will be on hand to talent spot and provide feedback throughout the two days.”
Racing will be held in the Optimist, Topper, Laser 4.7, RS Feva, Cadet, Mirror and Hobie Dragoon dinghy classes while the windsurfers will compete in the BIC Techno 293 4.5, 5.5, 6.8 and 7.8 classes. Some 800 boats are expected to take part in the Zone and Home Country Championships over the course of the weekend.
Wales and Northern Ireland enjoyed their Home Country Championships earlier this summer but next year all nine UK regions will stage their Championship events on the same weekend.
South Zone – Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, Dorset
South West Zone - Restronguet Sailing Club, Cornwall
South East Zone – Bewl Valley Sailing Club, Kent
East Zone – Grafham Water Sailing Club, Cambridgeshire
West Zone – Ullswater Yacht Club, Cumbria
North Zone – Notts County Sailing Club, Nottinghamshire
Scotland – Loch Venacher Sailing Club
Picture by Alex Whitehead/SWpix.com
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