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Upcoming sailors from the British Keelboat Academy were able to put their lockdown learning into practise on the water competing in the President’s Cup at Queen Mary SC.


The inter-club one day fleet racing event is run by the Royal Thames YC for teams under the age of 37 and this is the second year that the British Keelboat Academy has taken part.


Having been unable to get afloat over winter, the event in J/80-s on Saturday 17th April 2021 provided an ideal opportunity for some of the BKA’s sailors to kick start their season, with coaching support from professional sailor Mary Rook.


With a shifty medium light breeze on Queen Mary Reservoir, claiming first overall was the Royal Thames YC team of Scott Wallis, Emma Baker, Matthew Wallis and Tarra Gill-Taylor, counting an impressive four bullets and a second from the six-race series.


The top placed BKA team (pictured below, left to right) comprised Paris Thomas (24, Bow), George Potter (19, Main Trim), Ellie Driver (19, Helm), Madelaine Kirk (20, Jib Trim/Mid Bow). Finishing fifth overall, the BKA Red team counted a scoreline of 4,6,2,3,6.




George said: “The President's Cup was the first event of the year for most of BKA Red, and we were really excited to be back on the water and racing again. Despite being a little rusty after three months of lockdown, we were able to remain competitive and held a firm mid-fleet position during the majority of the day's racing.


“The highlight of our day was the third race, where we won the pin end of the line to gain a strong lead up the first beat and finished second. Throughout the day our teamwork improved as we became more familiar with the boats and sailing together, and our downwind speed in particular saw major gains under the fantastic coaching of Mary Rook.


“This enabled us to finish 5th overall, a position we were very pleased with. We would like to say a massive thank you to the British Keelboat Academy for selecting us, and to Royal Thames Yacht Club for hosting such a fun, competitive (and safe!) event.”

Also competing from the British Keelboat Academy were Matt Tozer, Deborah Blair, Immy Ramsdale and Matt Bird.

Summing up the event for the BKA, coach Mary Rook added: “It was a great day on the water with very testing conditions, gusts and shifts coming from every direction. The teams quickly got to grips with the boats and both teams made huge improvements.

“It was great for everyone to be able to compete again and get in some racing practice and I look forward to watching their gains throughout the season.”

The full results can be found here:


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