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UKLA launch The ILCA Sailing Festival at Weymouth - Preview

by Guy Noble 16 Jul 18:20 BST 13-27 August 2021
UKLA ILCA Nationals at the WPNSA © Day 3 of the UKLA ILCA Nationals at the WPNSA

UKLA launch The ILCA Sailing Festival - incorporating The ILCA Open Nationals, The ILCA Club Regatta and The ILCA Transition Week. These three consecutive events offer something for every ILCA/Laser sailor. Great Racing and a packed programme of on-shore entertainment.

Over the last few months it has become apparent that many of our local sailing clubs have seen a resurgence of interest and enthusiasm for dinghy racing. UKLA, the official Class Association for the ILCA (formally the Laser) dinghy, has experienced an unprecedented surge in demand for organised events: 244 entries for the UK Nationals in August at Weymouth is an example.

UKLA are doing their best to fulfil this demand. During the month of August they are putting on three exciting events. With the umbrella title 'The ILCA Sailing Festival' these three events are designed to please most of the community of Laser/ILCA sailors.

The UK was to host the ILCA Under 21 Worlds in August, this was to follow on immediately after the UK Nationals. However due to Covid issues and travel restrictions this event was moved to Poland. As a consequence UKLA had a slot of about ten days booked with WPNSA which we are now free to use for our own national events.

It took about ten minutes for the committee to come up with two fantastic additional events that would fill this slot. Directly after the UK Nationals there will be The ILCA Club Regatta followed by The ILCA Transition Week for sailors entering the class.

Open UK ILCA Nationals 13th - 18th August 2021 at WPNSA

This event has been held for over 50 years - many National champions have gone on to do great things in the international sailing world including the likes of Sir Ben Ainslie, Paul Goodison and Ian Percy and many more. I can't think of any other sport where you can rock up and pit your wits against the top professionals in the sport. Held at one of the U.K.'s premier sailing locations, WPNSA, the Nationals is one design dinghy racing at its absolute best. However it's not just about the racing, impresario Tony Woods has put together a program of on shore entertainment that wouldn't be out of place at a major inland festival - As one of the committee quipped "you could go to the Nationals, not sail and have a brilliant time!".

There is more information on the website:

The ILCA 6&7 Club Regatta NEW. 20th - 22nd August 2021 at WPNSA

Many competent club sailors are not always attracted to the cut and thrust of a big National Championship - too demanding and too scary. This is where the club regatta comes in. The idea is to take your average club sailor and gently guide them through the experience of sailing in one of the world's premier locations. With coaches on hand and impeccable race organisation each competitor will be able to get both on the water and post race guidance. The regatta is for three days, Friday the 20th will have practice races with the Saturday and Sunday the regatta proper. Although there will be individual winners the emphasis will be slightly more towards the performance of the clubs. The club trophy will be for Best performing club over the two fleets.

So maybe your club can get three or four people together and come and do this fantastic new event. For more details and a full detailed program check out the UKLA website. You will need to become a member of the UKLA. Programme and NOR's are available on the website. Entries are open:

The ILCA Transition week. NEW. 23rd - 27th August 2021 at WPNSA

Following on from the club regatta UKLA are putting on Transition Week.

A second group of sailors have been somewhat neglected in the past - those who are sailing the Optimist, Topper and other junior classes who are considering, or have, brought an old Laser or a new ILCA (identical of course) and want to know more about racing it and more about the Class Association.

Since UKLA first advertised this week we have been inundated with enquiries. These have not just been from young sailors but also from parents who would like to know more about racing this iconic class. With this in mind the transition week will be packed with useful information and racing guidance for both competitors and parents.

The full program and NORs are available on the UKLA website. Entries are now open:

Briefing. 1100
Boat handling and Speed clinic. 1200
Practice Race 1 & 2 (in harbour). 1430
Coach Debrief After racing

Briefing. 1000
Boat handling and Speed clinic. 1030
Practice Race 3 & 4 (in harbour). 1400
Coach Debrief After racing
Evening BBQ

Briefing. 1000
Boat handling and Speed clinic. 1030
Practice Race 5 & 6 (in harbour). 1400
ILCA Pathway presentation by Duncan West of RYA (for Parents). 1400
Coach Debrief After racing
ILCA Pathway presentation by Duncan West of RYA (for Sailors). 1700

Briefing. 1000
Pimp your ILCA. 1030
Race 1 & 2 (in harbour). 1300
Coach Debrief After racing
Rule 42 Presentation. 1700
Evening Indian Food

Briefing. 1000
Pimp your ILCA
Race 3 & 4 (in harbour). 1200
Coach Debrief & Pack up.
After racing - Prize giving TBA

The UKLA is the biggest class association in the UK and one of the biggest in the world and we work hard to give our membership the best possible experience while sailing this amazing racing dinghy. We put on extraordinary events as described above, have nationwide training sessions almost every weekend somewhere in the country, produce informative training videos, provide entertaining and informative podcasts, support a great charity - the Andrew Simpson foundation - and much more.

But it only happens because of the volunteers and the membership so please support us - join today and try out one or all of these events.

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