The RYA has unveiled plans to reinvigorate junior racing in the UK by placing more emphasis on regional and club racing.
The revamped British Youth Sailing programme will see the current system of U16 national and zone squads replaced with Regional Training Groups from autumn 2020.
Each of the six RYA Regions will have its own RTGs, delivering national-level coaching regionally to arm young sailors with the skills they need to transition into youth classes, and prepare the most experienced for international competition.
British Sailing Team members will regularly attend Regional Training Groups to inspire and mentor.
Sailors will be invited from clubs and class associations, with the 2020 British Youth Sailing Regional Junior Championships being the first major opportunity for sailors to show aptitude for inclusion. Training will take place once a month between October and April as a supplement to sailors’ normal club and class racing and training activity.
These changes have been devised to address challenges facing the sport including declining participation at club level, increasing regional disparity, an over-emphasis on results in junior age groups and the increasing costs and environmental impact of training and racing nationally at a young age.