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Henri-Lloyd - For the Obsessed

RS21 Class supports Inclusion Sailing with the International Inclusive Keelboat Championship 2024

by RS Sailing 23 Apr 08:00 BST 30 September - 3 October 2024
RS21 Inclusion Sailing © Code Zero Digital

Equal access, equal opportunities, and a truly level playing field... the International Inclusive Keelboat Championship 2024 is the first event of its kind; a World Sailing recognised, one-design keelboat class that can categorically be celebrated as pure inclusion sailing.

Sailed on a fleet of RS21 charter boats, the International Championship runs 30th September to the 3rd October and will be hosted by Rutland Sailing Club, on the Southern shore of the largest reservoir in England, Rutland Water.

Inclusion Sailing is defined as increasing opportunities for participation in international-level sailing events; specifically for disabled sailors whose disability does not meet the Para Classification 'Minimal Disability' (MD) criteria. For the International Championship, teams of 45 sailors will be competing in RS21s and a minimum of 2 sailors from each team are able to self-certify that they are a sailor with a disability that impacts their day-to-day lives. The Inclusion Championships will take place at the same time as the 2024 RS Venture Connect Class World Championship, which features a World Sailing sanctioned 'Para' category. This combined Worlds and International event - which features classifications so virtually any sailor can compete - makes this the first of its kind which is a truly inclusive unified event.

Hannah Stodel, Para World Sailing Manager at World Sailing, commented: "As we step forward into a new World Sailing strategy that focusses on inclusivity, it is really positive to see classes like the RS21 embracing this new direction, putting in fantastic efforts to support and grow inclusive sailing through their class activities. RS Sailing is one of the few manufacturers of equipment that is suited to both Para and Inclusive sailing and have been instrumental in keeping the development of our sport at the heart of their activities. Having Rutland Sailing Club host this event alongside the RS Venture Connect class worlds is also fantastic. I am looking forward to seeing some truly inclusive racing taking place."

The RS21 is a modern keelboat with Corinthian racing at its heart. Designed so that everyone can enjoy close one-design racing - each sailor onboard has a key role to play. Success on the racecourse is determined by the strategy and tactics of the crew, rather than equipment. The RS21 International Class is going from strength to strength, with fleets growing on all continents and a national and international racing calendar that is escalating each year. International RS21 Class Manager, Nick Redding, is thrilled to bring Inclusion Sailing events into the class. "It is a real honour for the RS21 Class to be involved in the International Inclusive Keelboat Championships. Rutland SC and the community that surrounds the club have a long history of hosting fantastic, innovative, and inclusive events, and we can't wait to play our small part in this event! For us this is a real highlight in the diary for 2024 and we can't wait to see everyone at Rutland for some hard racing mixed with a great event off the water!"

Registration for the International Inclusive Keelboat Championship can be completed via the dedicated online entry portal at RSSailing.club. The Notice of Race and other useful information is also available via this platform. Due to this being a supplied equipment-only event, the Organising Authority has imposed a limit of 12 teams participating, so early registration is encouraged to secure a place.

Speaking on behalf of Rutland Sailing Club, Olympic medallist sailor David Wilkins stated "It is truly a great honour for Rutland Sailing Club to be hosting the International Inclusive Keelboat Championship 2024 event in RS21s alongside the 2024 RS Venture Connect World Championship. We are really looking forward to offering a warm welcome to all of the competitors and their supporters. We are hugely proud of the facilities our club is able to provide and, in conjunction with Rutland Sailability, we regularly host and support visitors from around the world. So it will be an exciting opportunity to share our community and expertise alongside these two fantastic international championships."

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