2,000 to compete in Home Counties Championship
Regattas in Wales and Scotland have already taken place, and the Northern Ireland Championships are due to take place later in the year.
"The Volvo RYA Zone/Home Country Championships have steadily grown in stature and popularity amongst youth sailors since the inaugural events in 1999," said Steve Joel, Youth Manager at the RYA. "In 1999, approximately 900 competitors took part, but in 2002 we are expecting up to two thousand entries across all nine events. They are key regattas for any junior or youth sailor who wishes to get into and progress up the Volvo RYA Youth Sailing programme of training squads. It is a showcase for young talent."
"Volvo is delighted to support these regattas for the fourth year," said John Lefley, Director of Public Relations at Volvo Car UK. "It's great to see so many young sailors being able to get to a large prestige regatta, close to their home. Volvo is always keen to support the grass roots element of sailing as well as the elite end such as the Volvo RYA Youth Squad and the Volvo Ocean Race."
New for 2002 is the support of Sunsail Holidays who are giving a holiday to the best performing Volvo RYA Champion Club at each event. "We are excited to be involved in this huge event programme involving so many young sailors," said Andrew Howard, Director of Sales and Marketing at Sunsail. "Sunsail will present a holiday to the Volvo RYA Champion Club whose sailors perform the best at each of the nine regattas, for the club to use for fundraising. We hope this will be popular and give the sailors even more of an incentive to do well."
The Volvo RYA Zone/Home Country Championships are suitable for all sailors - from those in the national training squads to those competing in their first event away from their home club. In the dinghies, racing will be in the Optimist, Topper, Cadet, Mirror, Laser Radial, Laser Standard, 420, 29er, Hobie 16 and Hobie Dragoon. Windsurfing racing will be in the 3.5m, 4.5m, 5,5m and National Junior Class. There will also be a fast and slow handicap event and it is hoped that clubs will bring their team of sailors to this event to give them a real taste for competition and high quality racing.
The events are as follows:
Volvo RYA North Zone Championship, Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club
Volvo RYA West Zone Championship, Draycote Water Sailing Club
Volvo RYA East Zone Championship, Grafham Water Sailing Club
Volvo RYA South Zone Championship, Lee-on-Solent Sailing Club
Volvo RYA South East Zone Championship, Bewl Valley Sailing Club
Volvo RYA South West Zone Championship, Mountbatten Sailing Centre
To enter the Volvo RYA Zone/Home Country Championships, log on to www.rya.org.uk or call Natalie Rogers at the RYA on 02380 627438.