By British Keelboat League
Entries are now open for the UK’s premier ‘pay to play’ keelboat racing championship!
2022 will see an exciting addition to the BKL over previous years. Since 2016, the BKL has run a series of qualification events across the UK allowing clubs the opportunity to qualify for a grand final at the end of the year.
While the BKL series will continue this year there will be a new league for those clubs who have shown greater performance and interest over the past years of competition. 12 clubs will be invited to compete over three events throughout the year with points accumulating across all three events. The winners of the Premiership will be invited to compete in the Sailing Champions League.
The BKL has grown in popularity since it’s launch, especially with younger sailors who have tended to have wider networks of friends across the country. This has historically made it hard for them to comply with the requirement to all compete for the same club. With the transition to the British Keelboat League Championship no longer requiring teams to represent clubs we are removing a barrier to entry. We believe it is important for teams to have an identity and will encourage all teams to enter with a team name, anything from current or former university or perhaps a class association or youth group, maybe even the street they grew up on, the options are endless or, of course they can still enter as their club. Teams will need to be entered as a club if they wish to qualify for the Premiership 2023
The ever-popular Youth and Women’s Championships will continue to be a significant part of the BKL Championship but are joined this year by the RYA Sailability Keelboat League Championship. All three events will qualify to the Final at the end of the year. We have worked with RYA Sailability in the past to run league racing and have seen teams from GB Blind Sailing compete at the finals, to include this event within the Championship series is a great step forward.
RYA Sailability Manager Joff McGill has welcomed the move, describing it as “fantastic news” and saying: “We have used the keelboat league format in the last few years to train and select an Invictus Games sailing team and to run stand alone events for disabled people, so we know it works and that people really enjoy the thrill of racing with a group of like-minded people, enjoying the freedom of being on the water and perhaps getting back to an activity people thought was lost to them. Now, as part of the BKL, we are showing it really is a level playing field out on the water.”
The dates for the BKL Premiership will be:
|28th & 29th May||Carsington Sailing Club|
|13th & 14th August||Queen Mary Sailing Club|
|30th September to 2nd October||Royal Southern Yacht Club|
Clubs interested in being part of the BKL Premiership should email firstname.lastname@example.org by the 1st of April but are encouraged to request an invite early as invites will be issued in some cases before the deadline.
The dates for the BKL Championship will be:
|21st & 22nd May||Ullswater Yacht Club||RS21|
|11th & 12th June||Royal Corinthian Yacht Club||707|
|18th & 19th June||Hayling Island Sailing Club||RS21|
|2nd & 3rd July||BKL Youth Championship
Queen Mary SC – see 5.3(d)
|16th & 17th July||BKL Womens Championship
Royal Southern YC – see 5.3(e)
|10th & 11th September||Cardiff Bay Yacht Club||RS21|
|17th & 18th September||BKL Sailability Championship
RYA/Cardiff Bay YC – see 5.3(f)