Action from the 2018 Youth Nationals in Largs (Credit: Marc Turner/RYA)

The 2019 RYA Youth National Championships will officially be the biggest ever staged with 389 sailors set to compete in 284 boats.

The event is the highlight of the youth racing calendar, and will see the country’s most promising young racers go head to head in a week of fun, exciting action.

The regatta will take place from April 12 to 19 at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy, continuing the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic sailing competition.

Entries have now closed, with more sailors than ever signing up to be part of the regatta – a sure sign of Britain’s thriving youth racing scene.

The previous attendance record was set in 2012 when 381 sailors competed in 264 boats at Plas Heli in Pwllheli, Wales.

Historically the Youth Nationals is contested in British Youth Sailing’s Recognised Classes – Laser Standard and Radial, 420, 29er, Nacra 15 and BIC Techno 293 – and this remains unchanged in 2019.

The high performance 29er skiff class is set to be the biggest this year, with 32 boy crews, 18 girls and 11 mixed.

The Topper and Laser 4.7 classes will join the line-up for the first time, attracting the country’s strongest junior sailors and helping them transition into youth classes.

And in another first for the regatta, this year sees the addition of foiling kites in recognition of their recent addition to the Paris 2024 sailing competition, while the RS Venture Connect, Hansa 303 and 2.4mR para classes will take part in a training event.

Racing will begin on Monday April 15 for all classes. The junior fleets will race until Thursday April 18, while the youth classes will finish their series on Friday April 19.

On April 19 the Andrew Simpson Watersports Centre will be making their fleet of youth boats available to junior sailors wanting to get a taste of youth racing.

“With just three weeks to go until the 2019 RYA Youth National Championships begins we’re getting really excited,” said Mark Nicholls, the RYA’s Youth Racing Manager.

“This year’s event will be the largest we’ve ever staged, and we’re delighted to see kite and some junior classes joining us on the world-class waters of WPNSA.

“While we had hoped to run racing for para classes, their youth fleet is not quite ready for that yet – however we will run training instead, and we remain committed to providing opportunities to grow para sailing in Britain.

“All in all the Youth Nationals is shaping up to be a brilliant event, and we can’t wait to see all the sailors at WPNSA in a few weeks.”

Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy last hosted the Youth National Championships in 2015.

The regatta will be used as a selection regatta for the Youth World Championships, taking place in Gydnia, Poland, in July.

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