The British Keelboat League Finals saw teams battling it out on the water to be crowned the overall Champions of Champions. After a year of qualifying events across the country, the final always promised an intense battle.
Hosted by Poole Yacht Club, competitors enjoyed a Pimm’s reception, Saturday night BBQ and super hospitality. On the water, sailors experienced the various conditions Poole Harbour could throw at them, from the thick fog with no wind to not a cloud in the sky with a perfect 12 knots.
Despite the tricky conditions, Keith Sammons the event and overall British Keelboat League Principal Race Officer smashed out an impressive 40 races in total.
Competitor Niall Myant-Best who’s West Kirby YC team came 2nd overall reported –
“The format of the British Keelboat League means you come away having done a lot in only a few days. The final was no different. We had light winds to start with some big breeze for the final few races. The competition was just as mixed as well. With so many tight short races, everyone gets a chance to start well, overtake or lead at a mark. We had to fight hard in every race, and plenty of times what felt like a good result vanished just before the finish line – it meant you couldn’t find an easy ride against anyone. What impressed me was how well the RS21s felt across the wind range. In the light winds, they found their momentum and there was a nice big asymmetric for the wind at the end. Overall winners Royal Thames were consistently fast and set the pace for everyone. In the end, we felt very pleased with 2nd as there was a lot of pressure from the other teams just behind us.”
RYA Keelboat Development Manager Jack Fenwick added –
“It was great to get the best teams from this years British Keelboat League together at Poole Yacht Club to find out which club would come out on top. We had just about every condition possible over the three days and the racing was the tightest I have ever seen. Even though the places at the top didn’t change much throughout Sunday, it really could have gone to just about any of the teams. Slip-ups were costly and evening finishing third in a race would push teams down the ranking. Even though Royal Thames won by a convincing 8 points in the end, it was not until the end of their last race the win was actually safe. Each year the competition gets better and better as the teams establish the best way to approach this short, fast-paced racing and I am already looking forward to the season kicking off next year.”
The British Keelboat League should not be underestimated. With an average of 20 races sailed per team, countless mark movements, team changeovers and so much more across the two and a half days; the fast turnaround of racing, constantly updating scoreboard is a sight to see and a format of racing to experience. Teamwork is not simply for the sailors competing either, it takes a good number of volunteers and helpers to make the event happen. We know from first-hand experience that running the show is equally enjoyable for all involved as actually racing. Our thanks must go to every person who helped make the entire series happen and our incredible sponsors; RS Electric Boats, HYDE SAILS, MDL Marinas, A-Plan Insurance, PKF-Francis Clark and Kingfisher Yacht Ropes.
They say a picture speaks a thousand words and in this case, the many videos and photographs of all the action encompass what the weekend was all about, be sure to check them out on the British Keelboat League Facebook Page. Something new for this year, the British Keelboat League racing streamed live via Live Stream Sailing. This opened up the action for all to see and will forever be in the archives to look back on. Let’s hope seeing all the action encourages more participation next year! After all, it really is as simple as #RockUpandRace!
Check out the results in full here – Results
|1||Royal Thames YC (T)|
|2||West Kirby SC (W)|
|3||Queen Mary SC (Q)|
|4||Hunts SC (H)|
|5||Marconi SC (M)|
|6||Cardiff Bay YC SS (S)|
|7||Royal Corinthian YC (C)|
|8||Royal Northern and Clyde YC (N)|
|9||Cardiff Bay YC (B)|
|11||Poole YC (P)|
|12||Hooe Point SC (J)|