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Youth sailors invited to enter Under-19 Match Racing Championship

by British Keelboat Sailing 2 Jun 15:04 BST 9-10 July 2022
The RYA U19 Match Racing Championship will see teams competing in RS21s at Queen Mary © Freddie Cardew-Smith

Youth sailors are invited to sign up for the RYA Under-19 Match Racing Championship taking place over the weekend of 9-10 July at London's Queen Mary Sailing Club.

The second edition of the event follows the success of last year's inaugural championship and will again include coaching and onboard mentoring, making it a great opportunity for both novice and more experienced match racers to develop their skills.

British Keelboat Sailing is inviting entries from mixed teams of four or five sailors, weighing no more than 350kgs in total, to take part in an exciting weekend of short course match racing aboard a fleet of rigged and ready RS21 keelboats.

Open to sailors aged between 14-years-old and under 19 on the first day of the event, the aim is to inspire the next generation of match racers and bridge the gap into keelboat and match racing for youth sailors who may be more familiar with dinghy racing.

Richard Moxey, RYA Keelboat Development Manager, added: "It is anticipated that for most of those taking part it will be their first experience of match racing and with event coaching and onboard mentors available, the U19 championship is ideal for aspiring young match racers."

The event will feature windward-leeward racing with a round robin, semi-finals and finals, conditions allowing. Early bird entry is £410 per team before 23.59 on 10 June 2022, £440 per team thereafter, and entry is now open.

Coaching support and mentoring

Experienced match racer Hebe Hemming will be among those on hand to help teams at the event. She said: "I'm looking forward to mentoring at the Under-19 championship as it is a great way to support young people into the discipline. Match racing is fantastic because it is so tactically challenging, despite only being you and one other boat... and the short, sharp races are great, they allow for you to make mistakes, learn from them and implement new ideas into the next match."

To find out more about match racing in RS21s, check out the vlog (above) featuring Olivia Simpson and her teammates Tom Neilson, Sam Smith and Harriot Pulman, all from Ullswater YC, who competed in the RYA Winter Match Racing Series event at the club in March 2022.

Among those already entered for the RYA Under-19 Match Racing Championship is a team from Rutland SC including Jamie Tylecote with his brother Ben and Freya Pembery.

Freya, an ILCA 4 and 29er sailor who is also an experienced team racer, said: "I really enjoy match racing, mainly because you're part of a team - you sail in a boat with your friends, rather than competing against them, with less pressure on individuals and more emphasis on working together to achieve a common goal. The races are 1v1 so the course isn't congested and you only have to focus on beating the other team. Combining this with umpires that watch closely for infringements and give penalties results in very tactical, intense racing, which is great fun to take part in."

The Notice of Race and entry for the championship, which is part of the RYA National Match Racing Series, can be found at

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