Strathclyde Uni Host First BKL Event of 2023

Organiser Louis Hocking-Cooke reported the event with some great images from Solomon Wood, Mark Strickland and Gus Beer.

Students sailors on small keelboats racing on the Firth of Forth.

It was a gentle breeze for the first Scottish Student Sailing Keelboat BKL Championship over the weekend, 25-26 February 2023, with a sell-out entry hosted by the Port Edgar Yacht Club in South Queensferry. Raced in Hunter 707s and first of the Qualifiers of the 2023 RYA British Keelboat League Series, it is a chance for Scotland’s universities to battle for supremacy and saw 10 all student teams.

Race Officer Paul Deponio elected to commence racing in the Inverkeithing bay, to stay out of the flow of the spring tides, and to avoid getting becalmed behind the rail bridge Jake Miller and Callum Bell where both battling for top spot with both getting a 2nd place to each other (aside from that, all wins), leaving it to their 3rd race against each other on Sunday to be the decider. With 10 races completed, sailors retired to PEYC for some good soup!

Students sailors on small &)& keelboats racing on the Firth of Forth.

Sunday dawned, bringing once again a gentle breeze and even some sun! Once again racing took place at Inverkeithing. Races where now flowing fast with a shorter course meaning tighter racing and making a great spectators sport for those on the committee boat.

Jake Miller, who next month will be attending the Sailing Champions League in Portugal sailed to victory in all of his races on the 2nd day. Then In race 22, disaster struck for Dundee with the UJ failing and redress flag flying they retired from the race. The last two races where fought hard between Dundee and Strathclyde Red who where both fighting for a podium position, the wind was failing and tide in full flow so a good start was crucial. Strathclyde Red won both races with the 2nd being with less than a boat length in it. The redress however, fell in Dundee’s favour making them 3rd overall team.

Students sailors on small &)& keelboats racing on the Firth of Forth.

Winner of the 2023 SSS Keelboat championship, Jake Miller said: “The last Scottish Student Yachting Championships was run in 2018 so for many of those competing, this weekend was their first taste of student yacht racing. It was fantastic to see a turnout of 10 teams with sailors across 7 different universities. Louis (Hockings-Cooke) put in a ton of work to re-start Scottish Student Yachting and his efforts were rewarded with great weather and racing! Hopefully Louis has set the momentum for future students to continue his work and keep the event running for years to come.”

Scottish Student Sailing gives its thanks to all those who made the event possible including: Port Edgar Yacht Club, British Keelboat League, RYA Scotland, K-sail and Tunnocks. Volunteers put in an excellent shift in fitting in 25 races without whom the event wouldn’t have been possible. Thank you and great fun was had by all!

Overall ranking

• 1st: Jake Miller / Strathclyde University – 39 points
• 2nd: Callum Bell / Scottish Student Sailing – 36 points
• 3rd: Fergus Wilson / Dundee University – 31.1 points
• 4th: Louis Hockings-Cooke / Strathclyde University – 29 points
• 5th: Ewan Wilson / Edinburgh University – 29 points
• 6th equal: Ota Dvorak / Edinburgh University – 26 points
• 7th equal: Dominic Burns / Glasgow University – 17 points
• 8th equal: Soloman wood / Strathclyde University – 17 points
• 9th Robyn Francis / Aberdeen University – 14 points
• 10th Nathan Dickson / University of Glasgow – 12 points
Tie for 4th
Strathclyde Red = 3 x 1st; Edinburgh White = 2 x 1st
Tie for 7th
Glasgow Purple = 2 x 2nd; Strathclyde Pink = 1 x 2nd

*. A full breakdown of the results can be found:

The British Keelboat League Series has several more events over the year including another event at the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club on the 24th-25th June and will conclude with the Final,  at the Royal Southern YC at the end of September. 

Full details:


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