The RYA Youth Team Racing Championship, supported by Volvo and Ridgeway West, was sailed at Bowmoor SC on 10-11 November
The RYA Youth Team Racing Championship, supported by Volvo and Ridgeway West, was sailed at Bowmoor SC on 10-11 November. This three-boat team racing event attracted 16 youth teams from clubs, schools and class associations across the country.
In perfect sailing weather on Saturday the first round leagues were won by The Surlies (representing the RYA) and Cadets (Cadet Class) with the two Sevenoaks School teams close behind, followed by the local Bowmoor team and an Optimist Class girls team. The standard of sailing and tactical skills in the Firefly and Vanguard boats provided by the organisers, the UK Team Racing Association, was consistently good and most races were evenly contested throughout.
After a debrief with the umpires on Saturday evening, Stuart Hudson, captain of the medal-winning Team GBR at the 2001 World Team Racing Championship, discussed team tactics with the competitors, several of whom demonstrated the skills to aspire to Team GBR in the future.
On Sunday the top half of each first round league then raced in a Gold Group and the remainder raced in a Silver Group. Solihull School won the Silver Group to claim their semi-final place. In the Gold Group the Cadets and Sennockian (Sevenoaks) were comfortably first and second while The Surlies scraped through to secure the last semi-final place.
Both semi-finals were close with The Surlies leading Sennockian for much of the time before falling to the much practiced tactical skills of the school team. Cadets beat Solihull but had to work for their win and the right to challenge the holders for the title. At this point Cadets had won every match including beating Sennockian in both the first round and the Gold Group. However, Sennockian managed to raise their game in the final and won two very close matches to retain the Championship.
Richard Thompson, the event coordinator commented: “The standard amoungst the top teams was very high, but what also surprised me was the overall competence of the rest of the teams, both tactically and in boat handling. Events of this nature can only help improve the tactical skills of all the sailors, which I believe will help them in all forms of racing.”
1st Sennockian (Helen Mayhew, James Roche, David Newey, Oliver Dale, Robert Ozanne, Susan Short)
2nd Cadets (Julia Cornah, Pippa Wilson, David Putt, Sophie Harrison, Toni Corlett, Bethan Carden)
Sennockian beat The Surlies 2 – 0
1st race: Sennockian 9, The Surlies 12
2nd race: Sennockian 9, The Surlies 12
Cadets beat Solihull 2 – 0
1st race: Cadets 9, Solihull 12
2nd race: Cadets 9, Solihull 12
Sennockian beat Cadets 2 – 0
1st race: Sennockian 9, Cadets 12
2nd race: Sennockian 10, Cadets 11