Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

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Displaying items by tag: British Keelboat League

The RYA Scotland/British Keelboat League Youth Weekend at Port Edgar Yacht Club took place over the weekend of 3-4 September with 54 youth sailors out experiencing 707 keelboat racing on the Forth.

“The consensus from everyone involved was that it had been a fantastic weekend and something we absolutely must do it again,” reflected James Allan after pulling the weekend together for 11 teams of young sailors from across the country.

“It all started after an approach from Malcolm Stewart of A-Plan Marine Insurance who wanted to encourage some Scottish participation in the British Keelboat League.

“The discussions with RYA Scotland crafted a generous offer of support to attract young people into keelboat racing and, with agreement of the British Keelboat League, a prize of direct entry into the BKL Championship Finals.”

In addition, RYA Scotland looked to support clubs in developing keelboat sailing in their younger club members, developing teamwork principles and providing an entirely different boating experience for sailors between 16 and 24.

Port Edgar Yacht Club hosted the event and the 707 Class Association provided event support and boats alongside the essential logistical and volunteer support. It resulted in a weekend that included a day’s coaching and a day’s racing in a fleet of 707 keelboats.

54 young people turned out for the weekend at Port Edgar Yacht Club in South Queensferry54 young people turned out for the weekend at Port Edgar Yacht Club in South Queensferry

Coaching kicked off early on Saturday and took 54 young people out into some pretty challenging conditions. A series of follow-the-leader and up and down wind soon got everyone familiar with the boats and the need for teamwork.

Rapid-fire practice starts for the afternoon gave the watching support boats great entertainment as the crews gained confidence on the line and things got closer and closer. It was a long but very enjoyable day.

In the end six out of 11 teams were invited to progress to Sunday’s race schedule: Strathclyde University, RORC, Lunga SC, Crhu, East Patch Eejits and Clueless.

Sunday started pretty wet and blustery, perfect conditions to practice all the new skills and as expected the racing started close and remained that way all day. Starts were all tight and positions changed in every race.

Races were fast and close running for about 15 minutes each. with boat changes after every second race. By the afternoon it was clear there were people beginning to feel the effort and mistakes were creeping in to all the crews.

With the wind shifting and easing and the tide turning, the race team shuffled the course and strategies had to be amended for the final two races.

The day finished with only seven points separating second and sixth places but a solid win for Jake Miller, Anna Sturrock, Calum Bell, Laura Young and Sam Carr of Team Strathclyde on 51 points.

Results from the RYA Scotland/British Keelboat League Youth Weekend on 3-4 September

Calum Bell was trimming with Team Strath and commented on the experience: “I loved it, as did our team. It was a tough competition against so many talented sailors so we were delighted with the result. It was great to race the 707s and the class reached out to the Universities to get involved, which was great.

“Strathclyde University has a wide pool of sailors so we were able to bring a good team together with experience across a range of boats. I am the current club dinghy captain, with a primary focus on team racing Fireflies, so we were used to tight, short and sharp racing where you are always setting up for the next mark and looking for small gains as a team. Well done to all involved and we're looking forward to the finals in a few weeks time.”

Eilidh Miller, one of the team of officials who helped at the event noted: “It was so nice to watch the progress of teams learning new boats on a windy Saturday to the very close races on Sunday. Good 12 races completed in varying conditions with very few rules infringements and every team getting a race win shows the competitiveness of the sailors.”

Thanking everyone at the prize-giving, James Allan, chief executive at RYA Scotland noted the fantastic support of the volunteers from Port Edgar Yacht Club and the 707 Class Association along with the race team and the coaches without whom the weekend could never have happened.

Kevin Aitken from the RYA Scotland Board, and representing prize sponsors Crewsaver, thanked everyone for taking part as well as the team who had put the event together, and made a particular note of the fantastic prize from sponsors A-Plan Insurance which will see the Strathclyde University Team head down to the British Keelboat League Championship Finals at Royal Southern Yacht Club over the weekend of 30 September to 2 October.

Scots already through to the BKL finals include Ali Morrish, Emily Robertson, Anna Dobson and Catherine Martin Jones sailing for RNCYC, who qualified through winning the Women's Championship. Find out more and follow the teams at the BKL’s official noticeboard for 2022.

Published in Scottish Waters

The British Keelboat League (BKL) is urging teams to get their entries in for 2022 following the launch of a new format designed to make the series bigger and better than ever.

In an exciting innovation for this year’s BKL, there will be an invitational Premiership for club teams plus a Championship for all-comers wanting to take part in the pay-and-play series.

Visiting stunning locations across the country, a fleet of ready-to-go keelboats at each event will make it easy for sailors to simply #RockUpAndRace and teams will be able to compete with either four or five crew on board. Entry for all events is now open at British Keelboat League and clubs wanting to enter the Premiership need to register their interest by 1st April.

Richard Moxey, RYA Keelboat Development Manager, said: “We’re really looking forward to this year’s BKL which promises all the thrill of previous years for clubs alongside a fantastic opportunity to widen participation so that even more people can enjoy keelboat racing.”

British Keelboat League Premiership

Twelve clubs will be invited to compete in the prestigious new Premiership division. Points will be accumulated across three events with no discard and the overall winners will be invited to compete in next year’s Sailing Champions League in Europe.

Clubs do not need to have the same team members on board at all three events so crew can alternate to suit individual availability for the series, which will take place as follows:

  • 28-29 May: Carsington Sailing Club, Derbyshire
  • 13-14 August: Queen Mary Sailing Club, Londo
  • 30 September-2 October: BKL final, Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hampshire

Among the clubs invited to take part in the BKL Premiership 2022 is Marconi SC in Essex, which won the BKL’s Cardiff qualifier in 2021 and finished an impressive fifth overall in the final.

Peter Ward from the club said: “Our members were fixed to their devices as each result came in. It was like the whole club were invested in the success our young sailors were achieving in the BKL. We've participated in the BKL since 2016 and it has provided a focus for our club as we've introduced our young sailors to keelboat racing. To be selected to represent our club, in what is the highest level of inter-club competition, is seen as a real achievement by our sailors.”

Clubs are invited to register their interest for an invitation to participate in the BKL Premiership by emailing [email protected] before the deadline of 1st April 2022.

British Keelboat League Championship

New for 2022, the BKL Championship series is open to any team and while some may want to represent their sailing club, entries are also open to classes, schools, youth organisations and universities. Others may want to represent their home town or get together with friends and family – all you need to enter is a team name!

By widening entry beyond clubs for 2022, the BKL aims to be more inclusive and as in previous years, there will be a warm welcome for both experienced keelboat sailors and those wanting to try this aspect of the sport for the first time, with the support for participants at each event.

The BKL Championship will include the ever-popular Youth and Women’s fixtures plus an RYA Sailability championship, with the top two teams from each event qualifying for the BKL final. The BKL Championship series comprises:

  • 21-22 May: Ullswater Yacht Club, Lake District, RS21s
  • 11-12 June: Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Burnham-on-Crouch, 707s
  • 18-19 June: Hayling Island Sailing Club, Hampshire, RS21s
  • 2-3 July: BKL Youth Championship at Queen Mary SC, London, RS21s
  • 16-17 July: BKL Women’s Championship, Royal Southern YC, Hampshire, RS21s
  • 10-11 September: Cardiff Bay Yacht Club, Wales, RS21s
  • 17-18 September: BKL Sailability Championship, Cardiff Bay YC, RS21s
  • 30 September-2 October: Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hampshire, BKL FINAL

Tom Low, whose team from West Hoe SC in Devon plan to enter this year’s event at Hayling Island SC, says: “The BKL is arguably the most fun style of racing available to sailors in the UK because it encompasses the best of all types of sailing, concentrated into one weekend. You get to sail with your mates, against your mates, in fast, light, responsive and powerful sport keelboats. You get to compete in 16 races over a weekend, with each race lasting 15-18 minutes, so lots of starting practice, boat handing, intense close-quarters boat-on-boat tactics, on a high energy short course, and when the breeze is up, the adrenalin is up! And you don’t even have to own a boat - you just rock up, rig up … and go!”

The West Hoe SC team has competed in the BKL almost every year since its launch in 2016 and last year qualified for the Sailing Champions League, competing at Kiel in Germany, which Tom describes as an “absolutely brilliant” experience, adding: “They were incredibly supportive and helpful and there were 32 teams of so many nationalities, we were racing against every European country you can think of and it was almost like a mini Olympics. It was really fun.”

Take part!

Jack Fenwick, British Keelboat League Series Director, urges clubs and other teams to get their entries in as soon as possible: “For the BKL Premiership, applications need to be in by 1st April and I’d urge clubs to seize the chance to race not only each other for bragging rights but also potentially compete internationally. The Sailing Champions League is a very big deal and by taking part in the BKL Premiership, your club could win a ticket to join the top clubs from all over Europe who will be taking part in the 2023 edition.

“With the Championship series meanwhile BKL entry has now been opened up beyond clubs for the first time, so you can sail with your mates or your family and put together your own team of weekend warriors! The entry deadlines for each event in the Championship series are on the BKL website so take a look and get your team entered – it’s going to be great fun and a real opportunity for more people to get involved.”

Check out the Notice of Race and find out more about this year’s BKL and enter here.

Published in RYA Northern Ireland

About the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Northern Ireland 

  • The RYA is the national body for dinghy, yacht and motor cruising, all forms of sail racing, RIBs and sports boats, windsurfing and personal watercraft and a leading representative for inland waterways cruising.
  • The RYA is recognised by Government, the media and opinion formers as the representative body and voice for the activities that it represents. It continually fights for the rights and freedoms of its 112,000 personal members.
  • The RYA has more than 1,500 affiliated clubs and classes, which represent some 350,000 boaters throughout the UK. It is estimated that 4 million people in the UK take part in boating activity annually.
  • The RYA also sets and maintains recognised standards for training for both leisure and commercial boating through a network of more than 2,400 RYA Recognised Training Centres across 58 countries. More than 250,000 people per year complete RYA training courses.
  • The RYA is responsible for one of the UK’s most successful Olympic medal-winning sports. Our coaching and development schemes actively support 800 of our country’s top sailors, from talented juniors to Olympic and World champions.
  • The RYA is committed to promoting all forms of boating and making them accessible to everyone. For more information please visit
  • The Royal Yachting Association Northern Ireland (RYA NI) acts for the RYA in Northern Ireland (NI) and the Chairman of RYA NI is invited to join the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) Policy Review Committee.
  • You can find the RYA Northern Ireland at Sketrick House, GE8, Jubilee Road, Newtownards, BT23 4YH.
  • RYA NI is a company limited by guarantee – Registration number NI 51945
  • Contact RYA NI: Tel: 02891 827154 email: [email protected]



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