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30 September 2005, 09:20 am
Zone Championships Expected To Get Off To A Record Start
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RYA News
Weymouth, Great Britain

On 1-2 October over 1000 junior sailors under the age of 16 will and take part in the 2005 RYA Zone Championships. With racing set to take place in six zones across England, the Zone Championships signal the climax of the Junior Racing season and for most classes the start of a hard winter's training.
The Zone Championships have always been the biggest RYA Junior Racing event of the season, but this year organisers expect to see a record turnout with over 260 boats due to compete at Weymouth in the South Zone Championship alone.

'We have had record entries in almost every class.' Duncan TRUSWELL, RYA Junior Racing Manager explained. 'I don't know if the rise in number is due to London 2012 or because more children are giving sailing a go, but it's great to see new faces on the water and to have so many entries in such an exciting event.'

The Zone Championships marks the end of Junior Racing for the season and for most junior sailors the RYA Zone Championships are the pinnacle event of their year and the focal point of their sailing activity. Sailors prepare for the Championships throughout the year by participating in their local club races and training sessions. For many of the young athletes the Zone Championships is an opportunity for them to step out of club competition and into racing on a Zone level against the areas best young talent.

Competitors will compete in several different dinghies including, Optimist, Topper, Cadet, Mirror, Feva, Laser 4.7, and the Hobie Dragoon. Windsurfers will also get a chance to battle it out for top positions on the 3.5m, 4.5m, 5.5m, Bic Techno 293OD and on the MJOD.

Also attending the Championships will be the RYA National Junior Squad sailors and other competitors hoping to be invited for additional RYA Zone Squad training. The RYA Zone Squads provide coaching, workshops and training to a select group of junior sailors and therefore are a must for any young sailor with aspirations of becoming a top level competitive sailor.

Not only will sailors spend time on the water but the RYA have also organised a debrief on the Saturday night. Sailors across all the zones will benefit from a video debrief where they can watch the highs and lows of the days racing. They will also be able to get some top tips from some of the countries best coaches including Ian CLINGAN, Laser Radial Olympic Coach, Rob ANDREWS, 2004 Athens Olympic Games Tornado Coach and Peter AITKEN, RYA Mirror National Junior Coach.

An excited James PATIENCE, 13, from Grafham Water Sailing Club in the East Zone and a Topper Zone Squad sailor explained, 'I have been waiting all year for this event and I'm really excited to sail in the Zone Championships. I get to see all my friends, go sailing and have great fun. I really want to be in the Zone Squad again because I learnt loads and loads last winter from our brilliant coaches.'

RYA Racing Manager, John DERBYSHIRE commented; 'The Zone Championships are a fantastic opportunity for young sailors to pit their skills against the best in their zone in a safe and friendly environment. For many sailors it represents the culmination of their summer training programmes within their Volvo RYA Champion Clubs and is a key selection event for those wishing to partake in RYA training programmes over the winter. Competing in the Zone Championships should help young sailors gain valuable racing experience over the course of the weekend, but above all I want them to have fun and enjoy it!'

The Zone Championships will be held at the following venues: South, Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy; South West, Restronguet Sailing Club; West, Ullswater Sailing Club; North, Carsington Sailing Club; East, Royal Corinthian Yacht Club; South East, Island Barn Sailing Club.

Myrrh Walker
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