Friday, November 27, 2015

UK Sailing League Debuts in London

J/80s sailing UK Sailing League at Queen Mary Sailing Club (Heathrow, United Kingdom)- On the 31st October and 1st November RTYC and the RYA launched the first ever club keelboat fleet racing league in the UK at Queen Mary Sailing Club. Seven teams participated in the trial event.

The UK Sailing League is a new keelboat model that has been successfully run in Germany over a number of years. RTYC bought into the concept and collaborated with the RYA to help launch the new enterprise. Sailing clubs from all around the UK competed at the trial event; the format will now be rolled out across the UK.  Participating teams included Port Edgar YC, Royal Corinthian YC, Queen Mary SC, Royal Southern YC, Royal Western YC, Poole YC, Royal Thames YC.

The event uses a round-robin schedule with teams racing each other a number of times before the team with the lowest number of points is crowned the winner. Six boats competed in each 15-minute race with teams rotating boats throughout the event.

On Saturday evening a presentation about the Sailing Champions League, which is now operating all over Europe, was given to all visiting sailing clubs who are now being encouraged and supported by the RYA and RTYC to run their own event within their region.
The RYA will the assist in the running of these events with the end goal being a greater participation in club keelboat racing around the country.

J/80 UK Sailing League videoWhilst the boats, race officials, umpires and sailors were ready for a weekend packed full of back to back racing, the weather had a different plan altogether. On Saturday, with wind speeds averaging 1-2kts, PRO Linda Pennington, bravely squeezed three races out of the dying wind before calling a halt to the sailing. Sunday’s weather proved even more challenging with dense fog settling all across London, and no more than 10m visibility on the reservoir. Unfortunately, a result could not be determined as a whole round robin is required to be sailed.

Everyone involved, graciously recognized that this was a trial event, and took it as a great opportunity to discuss the format for the upcoming UK League. Thank you to everyone who helped to make the weekend a success, we look forward to seeing more of these events taking place throughout the UK.  Port Edgar YC sailors made a short film about their experience of the Sailing League, view it here  For more UK Sailing League information