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Royal Navy Sailing Association Holt Cup

by Matt Irwin 15 Apr 06:46 BST 23-24 March 2019

Thirty-six Royal Navy (RN) sailors spent a weekend in late March racing in 2000s for the coveted Holt Cup. Teams from 9 units/regions battled it out in Portsmouth Harbour to be crowned RN Team Racing Champions.

Many competitors were also hoping to qualify for the RN team which will defend the Inter-Service title against the Army and RAF in late April. Sixteen races took place each day, which was no mean feat considering the fickle winds and spring tides. On Saturday, the competitors were split into 2 fleets, with the top 2 teams from each qualifying for the Gold Fleet on Sunday.

As is typical for team racing, there was frequent place changing and numerous intense battles. The Silver Fleet came down to the race between Fleet Air Arm and Western Region 2, with the latter emerging victorious. In the Gold Fleet, the young but experienced team racers from Britannia Royal Naval College (the home of Officer Training in the Royal Navy) took a clean sweep across both days and with it the Holt Cup.

The RNSA AGM & Annual Dinner was also scheduled to coincide with the Holt Cup. This was hosted in the Wardroom, HMS Nelson where many of the competitors spent a thoroughly enjoyable evening. The sailing was a steep learning curve for some, particularly those who had not team raced before, but also demonstrated the significant talent in the RN squad from which the Inter-Service team will be selected.

Overall Results:

Gold Fleet
1st Britannia Royal Naval College
2nd Western Region 1
3rd Eastern Region 2
4th Bristol University Royal Naval Unit 1

Silver Fleet
1st Western Region 2
2nd Fleet Air Arm
3rd Northern Region
4th Eastern Region 1
5th Bristol University Royal Naval Unit 2

For more information on the event or on Royal Navy sailing in general, visit

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