I was excited to have been asked to be a Course Race Officer for the first ever British Youth Sailing Regional Junior Championships. I was working at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy for the South & South West event of what was previously known as the RYA Zone Championships. This weekend sees thousands of young sailors compete all over the country at multiple simultaneous events. Our particular event saw the largest turnout with almost 350 youngsters in a range of RYA classes – I was running the Blue course for RS Teras and Optimists.
Despite the forecast from earlier in the week, Saturday brought light winds from the East. During the second race of the day, this breeze died completely forcing us to shorten course at mark 2, and subsequently signal no more racing.
Sunday brought more wind from the NW which, inside Portland harbour, means shifty and difficult racing conditions. After setting the RS Teras off under the U prep flag, the Optimists were unfortunately too keen to get racing forcing a general recall. Several more recalls followed and around 20 boats ended up scored as BFD. Eventually, after the Teras had finished their race, the Optimist class got away. By the end of the day, the Teras had sailed four races to complete their series whilst the Optimists managed three.
It is always very impressive to watch these young sailors compete at such a high level and especially pleasing when they come and thank the Committee boat at the end of the day. As always a big thanks to the RYA, WPNSA and all of the volunteers who helped make this event happen.
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