The countdown is on for the first British Keelboat League event of 2022!
With a stunning backdrop of the Lake District, Ullswater Yacht Club is all set to welcome teams from across the region and beyond when the BKL kicks off over the weekend of 21-22 May.
Up to a dozen teams of four or five sailors will be competing in RS21 keelboats across two days of exciting short course, fast turnaround fleet racing, with teams typically completing around 16 races.
The #rockupandrace RS21s which will be used over the weekend have been at the club since March when the final event of the RYA Winter Match Racing series took place (pictured, credit Phil Burrage) and were back in action again in April for the BUCS Match Racing Championships for universities.
Ullswater Yacht Club Commodore Kathryn Hall added: “We are now looking forward to welcoming visiting sailing teams to the first event of the 2022 BKL season – the club is proud to be part of this prestigious series and I’m sure everyone will have a great weekend of racing on Ullswater!”
With just under a week to go for would-be competitors to register for the Ullswater event, teams wanting to take part are urged to sign up as soon as possible on the British Keelboat League website to meet the entry deadline of Sunday 8th May 2022.
While in previous years the BKL has been aimed specifically at clubs, entries in 2022 are open to all-comers. Although some teams may still choose to represent their club – as highlighted by Budworth SC becoming the first team to enter for Ullswater – entries are also open to any team of sailors, including those representing classes, universities and sailing organisations.
The new-style BKL Championship also opens the door for competitors who may simply want to get together with a group of friends or family to create their own unique team of weekend warriors!
By widening entry beyond clubs for 2022, the BKL aims to be more inclusive and as in previous years there will be a warm welcome for both experienced keelboat sailors and those wanting to try this aspect of the sport for the first time, with support for participants at each event. Teams must also have no more than three male sailors on board at any one time.
The pay-and-play series with its #rockupandrace format is scheduled to visit a variety of exceptional venues across the country over summer. Following the opening round at Ullswater YC, the BKL Championship will comprise the following events, with the top two teams from each qualifying for a grand final:
- 11-12 June: Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Burnham-on-Crouch, 707s
- 18-19 June: Hayling Island Sailing Club, Hampshire, RS21s
- 2-3 July: BKL Youth Championship at Queen Mary SC, London, RS21s
- 16-17 July: BKL Women’s Championship, Royal Southern YC, Hampshire, RS21s
- 10-11 September: Cardiff Bay Yacht Club, Wales, RS21s
- 17-18 September: BKL Sailability Championship, Cardiff Bay YC, RS21s
- 30 September-2 October: Royal Southern Yacht Club, Hampshire, BKL FINAL
Previous participants have enjoyed both the sprint-style racing and the chance to compete as a team.
Jon Chapman from the Budworth SC team entered for the Ullswater event explains: “We entered the British Keelboat League heat sailed in RS21s at Draycote Water in 2019 and progressed to the final at Queen Mary SC. We enjoyed sailing the boat as a four-person team. It is responsive and fast and great to sail against teams from other clubs. Highly recommend!”
Find out more about this year’s BKL and enter here.