Marconi Sailing Club is looking forward to welcoming teams from across the country for the next fixture in the British Keelboat League.
The #rockupandrace series will be visiting the club on the east coast over the weekend of 3-4 June 2023 and entries are now open here.
Run by clubs, for clubs, BKL events provide fun, fast turnaround racing with a rigged and ready-to-go fleet of one-design keelboats at each venue.
As British Keelboat Development Manager Richard Moxey sums up: “It’s exciting and inclusive and it’s really easy to take part!”
Clubs can enter teams into one or more event and the winner and runner-up from each go through to a national final. The top four then have an opportunity to compete in the European Sailing Champions League in 2024.
The BKL series motto is: “THINK Football Champions League – SAIL British Keelboat League.”
Competing in Europe this year following their 2022 BKL performance are Strathclyde University (Vilamoura, Portugal – pictured below at 2022 BKL final); Marconi SC and West Hoe SC (Sopot, Poland) and Royal Northern & Clyde YC (Berlin, Germany).
The first BKL qualifier of 2023 took place in February and saw Strathclyde University winning on home waters in Hunter 707s. A variety of venues nationwide enables teams to choose an event close to home or with the boats most suited to their skill set.
Entry is managed by each venue and upcoming BKL dates are as follows:
- 3-4 June: Marconi SC, SB20s
- 24-25 June: Royal Northern & Clyde YC, Sonars
- 22-23 July: Royal Corinthian YC, 707s
- 19-20 August: Rutland SC, RS21s
- 9-10 September: Women’s BKL, Royal Southern YC, J70s
- 29 September-1 October: Final, Royal Southern YC, J70s
There will also be a BKL Sailability event 1-2 July 2023 at Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy.
Marconi SC is hosting its first-ever event for the series having been a regular competitor over many years. Organiser Peter Ward, who is also Coordinator for the British Keelboat League 2023, said: “We love the format. Firstly, the BKL for anybody, irrespective of their usual class, and secondly it provides really competitive racing that has progression through to becoming British champions and then representing your club in the Sailing Champions League in Europe.
“Although it’s called a keelboat league, it’s suitable for any competitive sailor as the boats are really like big dinghies – you will be able to sail the keelboats we use and sail them well, and you can choose your team from across your club. The real beauty of the BKL is that it’s so easy to join in. You don’t have to own or trail a boat, you just turn up, have a little practice sail and then you’re straight into racing.
“Each race is only 15 to 20-minutes so if you get it wrong, you’re soon finished and then you get another go. You might start the day at the back of the fleet but you’ll soon get quicker and you get very close racing. There are more teams than boats and when it’s your time off the boat, there is a sharing of information between the competitors and clubs and it’s very sociable. It’s a really fun weekend. Get a group of mates together and come along, you will love it!”