Please select your home edition
Edition
Feb-Nov23 Leaderboard Lasdrop2

British Keelboat League kicks off 2024 season in style

by British Keelboat League 21 Mar 09:17 GMT
Sailing Champions League qualifier 1 in Vilamoura © Joao Costa Ferreira

The British Keelboat League has kicked off its 2024 season in style. A record number of teams raced in the first two BKL qualifiers of the year and two British clubs have been competing with the SAILING Champions League in Europe.

The BKL aims to break down barriers to keelboat racing with a #rockupandrace series offering inter-club fleet racing at venues around the country.

With a rigged and ready-to-go fleet of keelboats at each weekend qualifier, teams compete in a series of short sprint races against other clubs.

The top teams are then invited to a national final to battle it out for the overall BKL title and a chance to compete in the SAILING Champions League 2025.

This year's final will be hosted by the Royal Southern Yacht Club in September 2024.

Schools championship

The first two teams to qualify for the BKL 2024 final are Ryde School with Upper Chine and Sherborne School after the season got under way with the BKL Schools Championship in London (9-10 March 2024).

Eighteen teams from 11schools took the opportunity to race the Royal Thames Yacht Club's fleet of Sonar keelboats at Queen Mary Sailing Club, in an event promoted by the British Schools Dinghy Racing Association.

More than 40 races in total saw Ryde School with Upper Chine posting an impressive series of results to finish first overall with 12 wins, five 2nds and three 3rds, with Sherbourne Gold second overall and Oxford third.

As Brian Mumford, Head of Sailing at Kings School Canterbury, summed up: "What a great event!"

Scottish students march forth

Elevens team competed in the second qualifier of the year with the BKL Forth/Scottish Student Sailing Keelboat Championship (16-17 March 2024).

Organised by Scottish Student Sailing and Port Edgar Yacht Club, Inverkeithing Bay on the Forth provided the backdrop for the racing in Hunter 707s.

The Saturday saw a building breeze and sunshine for an action-packed 14 races but a lack of wind on the Sunday meant it wasn't to be on the second day.

Strathclyde University, with two teams in first and second overall, qualified for one place in the BKL final, and Dundee University in third overall claimed the other spot.

Scottish Student Sailing thanked all who supported the event, including race officer Eilidh Millar, Port Edgar YC, K-Sail, RYA Scotland, Tunnocks and the volunteers.

SAILING Champions League

Teams have also been in action with the SAILING Champions League in Europe after qualifying with last year's BKL.

Marconi Sailing Club and West Hoe Sailing club competed in Vilamoura, Portugal (15-17 March), finishing 12th and 15th respectively.

Although neither qualified for the final, as Marconi SC helm Dan Nickalls explained afterwards: "It was a fantastic few days of high-quality racing. We were genuinely competitive throughout, our boat handling underwent some minor transformations learning from other teams and our tactical skills developed as we learned from our mistakes. Exhausted but happy!"

West Hoe SC's Tom Low said his club's newly assembled team was on an "almost vertical learning curve" but had relished the challenge and enjoyed "the honour of sailing in such a highly competitive international event".

British teams at Sailing Champions League Qualifier 1

Next up for British clubs in the SAILING Champions League will be teams from Royal Thames Yacht Club and Solent University competing in Berlin, 12-14 April.

Take part!

Could your club make it to the 2024 BKL finals and win through to compete in Europe?

Entries are now open for the third qualifier on the calendar, the Women's BKL Championship, sailing asymmetric RS21keelboats.

Part of the Women's Open Keelboat Championship, 11-12 May at the Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hamble, early bird entries close 31 March 2024.

The BKL is open to teams from any British sailing club. Look out for entries opening in for the rest of the 2024 qualifiers and save the dates!

  • 18-19 May, Royal Corinthian YC, Burnham on Crouch, Hunter 707
  • 15-16 June, Marconi SC/Stone SC, East Coast, Essex, SB20
  • 20-21 July, Rutland SC, Midlands, RS21
  • Date to be confirmed, BKL Sailability, WPNSA, Dorset, Elliott 7M
  • 27-29 September, BKL Final at Royal Southern Yacht Club, J70

Keep up to date with all the news by following @britishkeelboatleague on Facebook and Instagram and at britishkeelboatleague.co.uk

Related Articles

Enter now for British Keelboat League at Marconi
Qualifier 4 gives you another chance to #rockupandrace this June Teams keen to take part in the British Keelboat League (BKL) are urged to get their entries for the next #rockupandrace event in the series. There are just two places left for Qualifier 4,. Posted on 23 May
British Keelboat League at Burnham Preview
The fleet of 707s have been further enhanced with new liveries With a little over two weeks to go before the British Keelboat League event at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, the fleet of 707s have been further enhanced with new liveries highlighting the invaluable support from Allen and Robline. Posted on 3 May
Schools British Keelboat League
Ryde School claims the title With three teams competing in the Championship, Ryde School were always going to be a presence, however, the "Ryde Black" team of Fred Salter, Killian Boag, Noah Evans and Zeb Fellows were a dominant force at the top of the results all the way through. Posted on 12 Mar
Schools British Keelboat League preview
The first event takes place this weekend at Queen Mary 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. Posted on 8 Mar
British Keelboat League final
The third time Royal Thames YC has won the #rockupandrace inter-club championship A Royal Thames Yacht Club Academy team emerged victorious at the 2023 British Keelboat League final after three full-on days of close-fought competition. Posted on 4 Oct 2023
Conclusion of #rockupandrace series
Teams get set for British Keelboat League final at Royal Southern YC A stellar line-up of a dozen teams is getting set to compete in the British Keelboat League final for the chance to represent their club in Europe. Posted on 28 Sep 2023
Entries open for #rockupandrace at Rutland
British Keelboat League have a fleet of RS21s ready for you The British Keelboat League is heading inland to the Midlands for its next event with teams invited to #rockupandrace at Rutland Sailing Club. Posted on 27 Jul 2023
British Keelboat League Sailability Championship
Nine teams battled it out in classic BKL style Champagne conditions combined with close competition for a memorable British Keelboat League Sailability Championship at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. Posted on 7 Jul 2023
Countdown to British Keelboat League at Burnham
Enter now for next #rockupandrace extravaganza The British Keelboat League is heading to Burnham for its next #rockupandrace extravaganza. The countdown to the qualifier at Royal Corinthian YC has begun and teams wanting to secure their place are encouraged to get their entries in as soon as possible. Posted on 4 Jul 2023
British teams take on SAILING Champions League
Two British teams have experienced the challenge of taking on Europe's top clubs Two British teams have experienced the challenge of taking on Europe's top clubs after qualifying to compete in Poland with the SAILING Champions League. Posted on 22 Jun 2023