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Eric Twiname Team Racing Championships cancelled, but other 2020 events still on

by British Sailing Team 2 Jul 12:31 BST
Eric Twiname Team Racing Championships © Paul Wyeth / RYA

The RYA and Eric Twiname Trust have taken the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Eric Twiname Youth and Junior Team Racing Championships.

The regatta was due to take place on 10-11 October at Farmoor Reservoir in Oxfordshire, but it was agreed that the event could not be delivered safely in light of current coronavirus restrictions.

Unlike conventional fleet racing regattas, the Eric Twiname Youth & Junior Team Racing Championships sees groups of young sailors sharing RS Tera and Firefly dinghies, carrying out on-water changeovers using support RIBs and often being in close proximity to one another ashore.

It also requires a high number of support staff and volunteers, as well as attracting a large amount of spectators to the site.

The factors led the RYA and the Eric Twiname Trust to cancel the 2020 event and instead focus on making the 2021 regatta the best in its 20-year history.

However, the RYA has reaffirmed its intention to run the Regional Junior Championships on 26-27 September and the revised Youth National Championships from 24-27 October.

Chris Atherton, RYA National Performance Manager, said: "Although we obviously make this decision to cancel the Eric Twiname Team Racing Championships with a heavy heart we believe it is the correct decision to protect everyone's safety. The number of people involved and the logistics to achieve racing just wouldn't allow it.

"Our great thanks go to Oxford Sailing Club who have been wonderful supporters of this event, helping to make it the success it is today. They have been very understanding in the current circumstances and we look forward to the event returning to Farmoor in the future."

Bruce Aitken, Secretary at The Eric Twiname Trust said: "The general consensus among trustees is that, unlike 'conventional' racing, Team Racing poses far more challenges in the context of safeguarding competitors and organisers from the risks associated with COVID-19.

"We all want to encourage youth and junior sailing and racing safely is a big part of that, but we feel in these extraordinary times it would be better to cancel this event and return next year in a true reflection of what this event is and should be."

Niall McLeod, RYA Racing Services Manager and Event Director, said: "We have taken an early decision to cancel this event because the event is unique in our calendar. There's simply no getting away from the fact it's a large number of people in close proximity - on water and on shore. It is important to recognise the unique circumstances of this event which would have made it extremely challenging to run with any kind of restrictions still in place.

"The good news is that we have been continuing to plan for the Youth Nationals and the Regional Junior Championships as these allow us more flexibility and structure to put appropriate COVID-secure measures in place."

Further information regarding the Regional Junior Championships set to be held in September and the rescheduled 2020 Youth National Championships in October will be released in due course.

Find latest guidance for 'Return to Boating' from the RYA here

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