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Champagne conditions for British Keelboat League at Marconi Sailing Club

by British Keelboat League 7 Jun 2023 15:59 BST 3-4 June 2023

The latest round of the British Keelboat League had a sell-out entry with nine teams racing in champagne conditions on the east coast at Marconi Sailing Club.

Grey cloud cover either side of the weekend made way for glamour conditions on the BKL race track in Steeple Bay with north-easterly winds of 13-19 knots, blue skies and sunshine.

The short course, fast turnaround format enabled every team to complete a full schedule of 12 races or more sailing the club's SB20 fleet and saw Team Chichester claiming overall victory.

Counting an impressive scoreline which included nine bullets, the winning team skippered by Richard Anderton proved impossible for second-placed Marconi SC to catch, despite a strong finish from the home team with a series of race wins on day two.

Richard said: "Marconi provided an outstanding event that delivered the best in short course racing. With so many quick-fire races over the weekend, the format drives engagement and allows teams to recover from mistakes. Fantastic catering and hospitality really rounded off the weekend."

The winning team - also including Simon Lomas-Clarke, Damian Boreham, Niamh Davies - now has an invite to the BKL final in September, along with Marconi SC, whose team comprised Dan Nickalls, Jack Wardell, David Nickalls and Hanah Bard.

Full results can be found at events.ksail.co.uk/2023/BKLMarconi/index.html

Youth teams

Among the nine teams competing were three under-18 youth teams: two from Royal Hospital School and also the furthest travelled team, Gelert - Llandegfedd Sailing Club.

The Welsh team came straight out of the blocks with a race win and having put in some pre-training in SB20s prior to the event, performed well to finish fifth overall.

Team coach David Sims commented afterwards: "What a great introduction for our team to British Keelboat League racing in a fantastic location."

The team was pipped to the youth prize by Royal Hospital School's RHS Pink team - Oscar Oldfield, Audrey Foley, Georgie Stammers and James Humphries - in fourth overall.

Third overall was Royal Hospital School's staff team, who spent the entire weekend looking over their shoulders to stay ahead as their youth sailors began to close the gap on the leaderboard.

Youth teams are encouraged to take part in the BKL series, and RHS Pink are now currently in pole position for an invite to the BKL final, which will go to the youth team (aged 24 and under) securing the highest average points score from any event in the series by the end of the season.

Thank you

Event organiser and BKL 2023 coordinator Peter Ward, of Marconi Sailing Club, said: "All the scheduled races were sailed and we had two umpire boats who were kept busy, and right alongside the race area we had a cruiser stationed where teams could spectate when not racing.

"It's the first time Marconi SC have ever organised an event of this nature and the first time the volunteers have helped with an event at this level - there were so many volunteers and every single one of them went above and beyond to make it a success.

"A big thank you also goes to kSail for admin support and on the water guidance, ensuring it all ran smoothly, and to our sponsors and supporters, including SB20 builder SportsboatWorld who provided matched racing sails and Sailing Chandlery for the prizes.

"Overall it was a really good, fun weekend of exciting racing in superb conditions. I think everyone finished the event happy but very tired!"

As Ella Robbins from the Banbury Sailing Club team summed up: "Thanks so much for a great weekend of racing, we really enjoyed it and a big thank you to the Marconi volunteers for running a great event."

Enter now!

Next up, the British Keelboat League returns to Scotland for round three, at the stunning venue of Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club. The top teams from each event are invited to the national BKL final and could then earn selection for the European Sailing Champions League!

  • 25-26 February: Port Edgar, 707s - WON by Strathclyde University
  • 3-4 June: Marconi SC, SB20s - WON by Team Chichester
  • 24-25 June: Royal Northern & Clyde YC, Sonars - enter here
  • 1-2 July: BKL Sailability Championship, WPNSA - enter here
  • 22-23 July: Royal Corinthian YC, 707s - enter here
  • 19-20 August: Rutland SC, RS21s - entry opening soon
  • 9-10 September: Women's BKL, Royal Southern YC, J70s
  • 29 September-1 October: Final, Royal Southern YC, J70s

Find out more at www.britishkeelboatleague.co.uk and keep up with all the latest BKL news @britishkeelboatleague on Facebook and Instagram.

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