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Eighteen Teams to compete for the Schools British Keelboat League Championship at Royal Thames YC

by Jack Fenwick 8 Mar 05:53 GMT
Schools British Keelboat League Championship © Simon Winkley / Royal Thames YC

The first event of the British Keelboat League 2024 kicks off this weekend at Queen Mary Sailing Club with eighteen teams from eleven schools set to fight it out over two days of racing in the Royal Thames YC's matched fleet of Sonars.

Working with the British Schools Dinghy Racing Association, this will be, for many, the first chance they get to race in keelboats. Teams of four sailors will race multiple 10-15 minute races over the weekend with every race counting towards their overall score.

In a slight change to the usual British Keelboat League format, racing on day one will be single lap races. While all races count to the overall score, the aim is to allow the your racers to learn and improve through the event. Day two will then add in the usual second lap to experience the usual controlled chaos of British Keelboat League Racing.

Excited to compete at the Championship, Ed Sibson from Royal Hospital School, who have entered three teams this year commented, "I created the inaugural version in 2018. It's a fantastic weekend of racing in larger boats than we're used to. Our pupils have absolutely loved the keelboat racing we've done in the past.

We have been having a good season so far having qualified for last year's BKL final and winning the Eric Twiname Youth Team Racing Championship. While we're aiming for the top three and a place in this year's BKL final, I'm sure the sailors will enjoy themselves, learn lots about racing keelboats and handling symmetric spinnakers, and most importantly, leave the event wanting to do more keelboat racing."

One of RHS's sailors, Oscar Oldfield said "I enjoy the complicated team dynamic on keelboats. We're all hoping to win of course but with such a strong field it's hard to know what to expect, anything in the top half of the fleet would be a good result."

Brian Mumford, who is bringing a team from the Kings School, Canterbury is excited to be attending the Schools BKL Championship "This is our first Keelboat event and given it is not too far to travel it made sense for us to compete. Our goals for the weekend are for the sailors to learn new skills and gain experience racing keelboats and that hopefully every sailors enjoys the event."

Tom Partridge, Rear Commodore Sailing for the Royal Thames Yacht Club is looking forward to the racing "We're very lucky to have such a central location and our fleet of Sonars are the perfect boat for these young sailors to make their first venture in to keelboat racing. As a club, we see these sailors as the future of our sport and look forward to seeing them in action!"

Follow the results live at events.ksail.co.uk/2024/BKLSchools

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