Women - got what it takes to go match racing?

RYA to establish Women's Olypmic Match Race Academy

Friday December 5th 2008, Author: Lindsey Bell, Location: United Kingdom
Do you have what it takes to win gold for Great Britain in sailing’s newest Olympic women’s discipline?

Following the International Sailing Federation’s adoption of the Elliot 6m for the women’s keelboat match racing event for 2012, the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) is now calling for expressions of interest from British women to be considered for its new Women’s Olympic Match Race Academy to be run by the Olympic Steering Group as part of the RYA Olympic programme.

This new programme, which will be finalised once the sailors are identified, will see a combination of National Ranking Qualifiers, training and development that will lead to the selection of a team to represent Team GB at the 2012 Olympic Sailing regatta at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

National Federations are responsible for nominating teams to compete at the ISAF Sailing World Cup events. Where national quota places allow, the RYA intends to support up to two crews for these World Cup events - the first of which will be the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta in January - with further training and development support potentially available for a further two teams to compete at other ISAF Graded events.

The RYA is seeking expressions of interest, including details of background and match racing experience, in order that the RYA’s Olympic Steering Group can select teams to compete for Skandia Team GBR at the Rolex Miami Olympic Classes Regatta to be held at the end of January 2009.

For future ISAF Sailing World Cup events, British women’s match racing teams will nominated by the RYA based on results from the National Ranking Qualifiers.

RYA Racing Manager and Performance Director, John Derbyshire, commented: “This is an exciting opportunity for women’s match racing, at a fantastic time to be involved with sailing in the United Kingdom.

“The new RYA Olympic Women’s Match Race Academy will be the first step towards delivering gold in the class for 2012, to ensure our excellent pedigree in the women’s keelboat event continues.”

Run on behalf of the RYA by Ewan McEwan - an experienced coach and event manager for women’s match racing - the Academy will be a part of Skandia Team GBR and fall under the jurisdiction of RYA Olympic Manager Stephen Park.

“It’s a pleasure to have Ewan on the team,” Park remarked. "He has considerable experience in developing women’s match racing at an international level and the combination of his background in coaching and event management makes him ideal for this role.”

Interested women’s match racing teams should register their interest in the Academy online via the form at http://www.skandiateamgbr.com/crew/Pages/WomensMatchRacing.aspx

The RYA is primarily interested in hearing from three-woman match race teams, but individuals may also apply.

Sailors interested in entering the Rolex Miami OCR are required to complete the entry application process online before 16 December as outlined in the event Notice of Race. If the Rolex Miami OCR organisers cannot accept all the entries then the RYA will rank GBR applications.

The regatta documents can all be found at http://rmocr.ussailing.org/Participant_Info/Regatta_Documents.htm

Interestingly the establishment of the RYA Olympic Women's Match Race Academy coincides with us hearing from David Campbell-James who confirms that this year's Winter Challenge match racing [formerly the JPMorgan Winter Challenge] that had nicely established itself as an annual event held on Queen Mary reservoir has had to be cancelled due to a lack of sponsorship.

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