By the British Keelboat League Association
The British Keelboat League is raring to go for the 2020 season and it promises to be bigger and better than ever. It’s time to #rockupandrace!
The league was established back in 2016 and it was introduced with the aim of increasing participation in keelboat racing across the United Kingdom. Sailors compete representing their club in a series of short sprint races against teams from other clubs in their region in a qualifying round of weekend racing. The finest teams from each region then battle it out in a national final to be crowned the British Keelboat League champions.
This approach to racing provides a level playing field for all competitors and breaks down some of the historic barriers to participation in keelboat racing, as boats for the competition (RS21 and Hunter 707) are provided by the British Keelboat League. Throughout the events, sailors will alternate between the fleet of one-design small keelboats (with crews of 4 or 5 depending on class).
These events are an excellent opportunity for sailors to get together and race. You will be representing your club at an event, without the hassle of transporting your boat around the UK. The cost of entry for this qualifier is just £75 per person (£300 per team). All you need to do it enter your team and arrive at the club ready for racing on Saturday morning! For those teams wishing to get in some pre-event training, we will also be offering the chance to take the boats out for a shakedown sail on Friday the 6th of September. More details will be available closer to the event weekend.
The 2019 British Keelboat League travelled the length of the United Kingdom. The intense format of twelve to fifteen-minute windward-leeward races, tested the strategy and boat handling of the crews representing their club. With sailors ranging from their 70s to their early teens, from experienced keelboat racers to intrepid dinghy sailors, the competitor’s diversity was a testament to the leagues aims and it always guaranteed great racing. Conditions varied from light fickle breeze on a glass-like Clyde to a howling south-westerly and a lumpy Solent off of Royal Lymington.
RYA Keelboat Manger Jack Fenwick, expressed how fundamental clubs are to the running of the newly formed British Keelboat Association, “this is about clubs, not individuals.” Sailors interested in the association and the league, are encouraged to become members of the British Keelboat Association to shape to future of keelboat racing in the UK. Jack said, “we’re going to stop telling people what to do and start asking how people want to make it happen.”
The rock up and race approach is all set to start again with eight qualifier events and one final. Royal Southern Yacht Club will host the legendary final and they will invite qualified teams from the finest racing clubs in the United Kingdom to the Hamble from the 25th – 27th September 2019. Here are the qualification dates below;
• 2/3 May – Queen Mary SC
• 16/17 May – Cardiff Bay SC
• 30/31 May – Royal Corinthian YC
• 13/14 June – Royal Thames YC, Cowes (Youth)
• 20/21 June – Carsington SC
• 18/19 July – Ullswater YC
• 1/2 August – Royal Lymington YC
• 5/6 September – Royal Western YC
• 25-27 September – Royal Southern YC (Finals)
Stayed tuned to the British Keelboat League website and facebook page to find out when entry opens in the new year! If you would like any more information about the British Keelboat League, please contact us through the British Keelboat League website contact form.
If you’re into epic close racing with friends, great boats and awesome socials – it sounds like you need to get involved and #rockupandrace.