Please select your home edition
Edition
YY.com app (top)

The RYA and RORC go doublehanded

by Will Carson 4 Apr 16:11 BST
Richard Palmer's JPK 10.10 Jangada © RORC / Paul Wyeth

World Sailing's landmark decision to select a Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat event for the 2024 Olympics and the recent announcement to hold an Offshore World Championship for mixed double-handed sailing in October 2020 has encouraged the RYA and Royal Ocean Racing Club (RORC) to combine their efforts to develop double-handed offshore sailing in the UK.

Double-handed entries for RORC's iconic Rolex Fastnet Race have increased from 36 boats in 2017 to over 90 entries in 2019, with 63 of those entries racing under IRC rating system, demonstrating a strong desire by people to sail double-handed offshore.

Initial indications from World Sailing is that for the Olympics they will not be selecting one particular class of boat until late in the Olympic cycle and that the intention is to focus on the discipline rather than the equipment.

The RORC's Season Points Championship provides the perfect playground to develop the skills required to sail double-handed in existing boats of approximately 10m LOA.

All of the RORC races have double-handed divisions and an overall series prize in addition to the IRC Two-Handed National Championship in September which consists of the Cherbourg Race one weekend followed by a weekend of inshore racing. There will also be awards for the top mixed double-handed team to encourage mixed entries.

RYA Director of Racing and former Volvo Ocean Race skipper Ian Walker is excited at the prospect. "We do not yet know the exact format or equipment for Paris 2024 but that doesn't mean we cannot get afloat and start improving our double handed offshore skills," said Walker.

"I hope that this will create an opportunity for some younger sailors to team up with boat owners or to represent their clubs and we will be watching these events and seeing what talent is out there. Britain boasts some exceptional offshore sailors, both men and women, competing at the highest level, but we are kidding ourselves if we think we are even close to the depth of the French offshore shorthanded sailing scene."

RORC CEO Eddie Warden Owen is also very keen to see double-handed sailing grow within their existing events: "The RORC's Season Points Championships has seen consistent growth in double-handed sailing and we have prizes for both open and mixed double-handed teams. This year we have included a double-handed division in our 'coaching whilst racing' RORC Easter Challenge which, with the RYA's support, we will be providing specific double-handed coaching and advice from Nikki Curwen."

The RYA currently support keelboat activity through support of the British Keelboat League in addition to the National Match Racing Series and the British Keelboat Academy. Keelboat Manager Jack Fenwick is looking into how to further support double-handed offshore sailing in the UK.

"The first World Sailing Offshore World Championship is going to be held in 2020," he said. "I am sure there will be tough competition between nations to qualify for this event and just as tough a battle to represent Great Britain. We will be keeping a close eye on those British sailors participating in the RORC Two-Handed series as well as any British teams competing in overseas events. Our first priority is to see how we can support anyone looking to get into double-handed sailing with some coaching clinics."

Related Articles

Heat Mapping updates improve accuracy
RYA's UK Coastal Atlas of Recreational Boating updated The latest edition of the Atlas, updated in September 2019, takes a new approach to mapping recreational boating use, updating its 'heat map' style based on Automatic Identification System (AIS) data, resulting in an increased range and resolution. Posted on 8 Oct
RYA and Navionics team up
Introducing print and digital resources for teaching electronic navigation The Navionics range of electronic navigation charts provides boaters around the world with the tools to facilitate and enjoy their time on the water. Posted on 5 Oct
RYA Joining Points: Double commission offer
Joining Point scheme provides a quick and easy way for registered organisations to earn commission Throughout October, the RYA is once again offering double commission to all clubs, training centres and marine organisations signed up to the RYA Joining Point programme. Posted on 2 Oct
Enjoy double gifts with RYA Refer a Friend
Not one but two special gifts by signing up friends and family to RYA membership For every member that refers a friend or family member who decides to sign up as a new member, we will give the referring member an RYA branded flask and Overboard dry bag to say thank. Posted on 29 Sep
GBR eSailing national champion announced
Donald Gillies fought off tough competition from over a thousand eSailors from around the UK The RYA, along with World Sailing and Virtual Regatta, is pleased to announce Donald Gillies from Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland, as the first ever GBR eSailing National Champion. Posted on 24 Sep
eSailing Showcase at Southampton Boat Show
Battle it out live on stage against top GBR e-sailors Visitors to Southampton International Boat Show, powered by Borrow A Boat, this Saturday (21 September) can take part in a thrilling eSailing Showcase against top players from the GBR eSailing World Championship. Posted on 19 Sep
Sailing and windsurfing added to PE Activity list
Following the Department for Education's (DfE) 2018 public consultation The RYA is delighted to announce that sailing and windsurfing have been reinstated to the PE Activity List, following the Department for Education's (DfE) 2018 public consultation. Posted on 12 Sep
Deadline approaching for CGAC Chair applications
Could you help the RYA navigate uncharted waters of public policy? The closing date is now fast approaching for the non-executive position of 'Chair of the RYA's Cruising and Government Affairs Committee' (CGAC) - a policy-forming committee of the RYA Board, responsible for public policy. Posted on 9 Sep
RYA welcomes constructive discussions
MCA and DfT looking at safety at sea The RYA contributed a significant response to the latest MCA consultation on the yacht and powerboat safety at sea MGNs, which was carried out between 20 June 2019 and 18 July 2019. Posted on 23 Aug
RYA renews its environmental policy
As part of its ongoing commitment to sustainability activities The UN Global Compact is the world's largest corporate sustainability initiative, with businesses around the globe signing up to Ten Principles on human rights, labour, environment and anti-corruption. Posted on 22 Aug