Let the Battle Begin…

This weekend (29-30 September) will see over a 1,200 young sailors lock horns as the RYA ‘Battle of the Zones’ begin across nine different venues throughout the United Kingdom.

Bic Techno Racing: Rowena Conway
Bic Techno Racing: Rowena Conway

The RYA Volvo Zone and Home Country Championships traditionally mark the end of the Junior racing season and the start of a hard winter’s training. They are a key event for any young sailor wishing to be selected for the RYA Volvo Zone and Home Country squads, which are the first step on the pathway to Olympic Classes sailing.

With all nine Zone and Home Country Championship events sponsored by Volvo Car UK for the fourth successive year running, each event provides the country’s most promising young sailors the perfect opportunity to pit their skills against the best of the best in their respective Zone or Home Country and the chance to demonstrate to the RYA High Performance Managers and coaches that they’ve got what it takes to be selected for the RYA Zone and Home Country squads.

In addition to the RYA High Performance Managers, sailors will have the chance to showcase their talents in front of London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic sailors who will be visiting eight venues across the course of the two-day regatta, to inspire the next generation of British sailors.

Racing will take place across the nine RYA recognised Junior dinghy and windsurfing classes including the Mirror, Optimist, Topper, RS Feva, Cadets and the windsurfers on the Bic Techno using the open 4.5, and 5.8 rigs, and the Techno 6.8s and Techno 7.8s – classes vary according to each venue.

In an effort to join up the RYA’s participation development activities and the junior racing programmes for the first time for most of the Zones, the RYA Volvo Zone and Home Country events will offer ‘novice’ regatta fleets for Toppers and Optimists. This is an event for sailors to set themselves an end-of-year goal after training and racing at their local club or RYA training centre during the summer months. It will give young sailors a good learning experience to help start them along the pathway to success.

Duncan Truswell, RYA Youth Racing Manager, commented: “The RYA Volvo Zone and Home Country Championships is always an insightful weekend to benchmark the quantity and quality of sailors coming through from clubs and vying to start their journey within the RYA and class associations regional and national racing and race training systems.

“I am delighted to see that the numbers are up once again and I am sure the coaches and High Performance Managers this weekend will take note of the ever improving level of preparation and competency demonstrated by the sailors, which continues to rise thanks to the great work done by predominantly volunteer coaches and instructors within our network of clubs which often goes largely un-noticed.

“I would like to once again record the thanks of the RYA to the club coaches and instructors, as well as the parents for supporting the young sailors progression in this fantastic sport. I would also like to recognise the support of Volvo Car UK which gives the event greater profile, enables us to deliver bigger and better event experiences for the sailors and provides real inspiration and legacy through the provision of Team Volvo sailors fresh from their successes of 2012. I only wish I could attend all nine and get first hand a real flavour of the enthusiasm and inspiration the sailors will enjoy!”

Nikki Rooke, Head of Public Affairs, Events and Sponsorship for Volvo Car UK, added: “It has been an incredibly exciting summer for British sailing and it’s great to see the morale is still going strong. It looks set to be a fantastic weekend at the RYA Volvo Zone and Home Country Championships and I have no doubt the Team Volvo sailors’ presence at eight of the venues will help to inspire the next generation of sailing talent.”

The 2012 RYA Volvo Zone and Home Countries Championships will be staged at the following venues:

·         The RYA Volvo South Zone Championships – Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, Dorset

·         The RYA Volvo South West Zone Championships – Chew Valley Sailing Club, Bristol

·         The RYA Volvo South East Zone Championships – Weir Wood Sailing Club, East Sussex

·         The RYA Volvo East Zone Championships– Alton Water Sailing Club, Suffolk

·         The RYA Volvo West Zone Championships– Leigh and Lowton Sailing Club, Greater Manchester

·         The RYA Volvo North Zone Championships – Rutland Sailing Club, Rutland

·         Volvo Welsh Youth & Junior Championships – New Quay Sailing Club, Ceredigion

·         RYA Scotland Volvo Youth and Junior Championships – Largs Sailing Club, Largs

·         RYANI Volvo Youth Championships and NI Schools Cup In association with McCready Sailboats – Ballyholme Yacht Club, Co Down

For further information and for the full set of results from the 2012 RYA Volvo Zone and Home Country Championships visit the event website.

  1. Jimbo

    5 out of 8 zones hosted at Inland Clubs… pray tell how ‘kiteboard racing’ plans to so easily slot into the infrastructure?

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Chris Bond

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