WEYMOUTH and Portland is set to host the best young sailors from around the globe as entries open for the 2018 RYA Harken Youth Match Racing Championship to be hosted at the National Sailing Academy on September 1-2.

The championship offers the chance to represent Great Britain at the next Youth Match Racing World Championship and will see 10 young skippers go for match racing glory over two days in the RYA’s fleet of matched Elliott six metre keelboats.

Sailors from around the world of racing have contested the championships and it has been an integral part of their journey to sailing greatness throughout many disciplines.

Past winners include Americas Cup sailor Paul Campbell-James, short-handed Figaro sailors Nick Cherry and Sam Goodchild, dinghy world champions Ben Saxton and Annabel Vose, and six-time World Match Race Tour champion Ian Williams.

Racing at the championship will see each team face-off in a round-robin format before the top teams fight it out in a semi-final. The winning semi-finalists will then move on to the winner takes all finale in the impressive fleet of newly refurbished boats.

Each boat has undergone a recent high spec refit with new title sponsor Harken fittings throughout to ensure there are no race delays and ensuring reliable performance to crown the 2018 champion.

Andy Ash-Vie, Harken UK managing director, said: “As a global market leader Harken have been involved with match racing all over the world so this UK championship felt like a natural fit for us.

“We have seen that the fleet of Elliot six metre keelboats are used frequently to support youth sailing in the UK, something important to us at Harken, so we are proud to add our backing to the development of the future stars of sailing. We can’t wait to see who the 2018 champion will be.”

First-time match racers are encouraged to attend as experienced coaches will be on the water providing feedback between races and a highly qualified umpire team will always be available to help sailors to get to grips with using the rules on the water.

Anyone wanting to take part in the event should get their entry in as quickly as possible as places are filling up fast. Details can be found on the RYA website, rya/go/keelboat or by emailing keelboatracing@rya.org.uk for more information.