BRITISH Youth Sailing’s debut Regional Junior Championships has been hailed an overwhelming success after more than 1,000 youngsters took to the water last weekend, including at the Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy.

Children aged between six and 16 travelled from far and wide to eight venues across the UK for two days of fun afloat in British Youth Sailing’s recognised dinghy and windsurfer classes.

For the first time, competitors were split into three fleets – a new ‘Fun OnBoard’ fleet for newcomers, a coached regatta fleet for those developing their racing skills and a championship fleet for experienced racers.

Members of the British Sailing Team including Rio 2016 Olympians Saskia Tidey and Ali Young were also on hand at a number of venues.

Regattas were held in each of the RYA’s regions and home countries, including Grafham Water in Cambridgeshire, Queen Mary SC in Surrey, Ullswater SC in Cumbria, Northampton SC in the East Midlands, Helensburgh SC in Scotland, Pembrokeshire YC in Wales and Royal North of Ireland YC in Northern Ireland.

Mark Nicholls, the RYA’s Youth Racing Manager, said: “What a fantastic weekend everyone had at the Regional Junior Championships,

“We enjoyed the biggest total turnout we’ve ever seen, and there was some real talent on show.”