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Olympic Sailing: RYA unveils selection criteria for Offshore World Championship

Olympic Sailing

Britain’s Royal Yachting Association has released its selection policy for the 2020 Offshore World Championship – the latest step in its exciting Mixed Doublehanded Keelboat programme.

The RYA has been working on the programme since the Mixed Two Person Offshore Keelboat was added to the list of Olympic events for Paris 2024.

The goals of the programme are to encourage participation in mixed doublehanded keelboat racing, to select and develop a team with the potential to win the 2020 Offshore World Championship and to develop a strategy to win Olympic gold at Paris 2024.

The Offshore World Championship will run alongside the Rolex Middle Sea Race from October 17 to 20 in Valetta, Malta, and will be contested in L30 yachts.

Musto

The RYA was among the first to secure an entry for the race, and is now looking to select a mixed, two-person crew to fly the flag for Great Britain.

Selection will be based on an extended version of the RORC Channel Race, beginning from Cowes, Isle of Wight, on August 1.

The RYA selection policy for the 2020 Offshore World Championship can be downloaded here.

The Mixed Doublehanded Keelboat programme will be led by Olympian and former British Sailing Team Nacra 17 coach Hugh Styles.

Styles brings more than 25 years of experience as an elite-level competitor and coach across a broad range of sailing disciplines.

He will be leading a training weekend on the weekend of March 7 and 8 at Royal Southern Yacht Club in Hamble, bringing together interested sailors and boat owners.

To attend the training weekend please register your interest by filling in the form here.

Olympic Sailing
Image © Rick Tomlinson

Further details about the RYA’s plans for the Mixed Doublehanded Keelboat programme will be given during the weekend.

“Doublehanded offshore racing has seen steady growth in recent years with competition improving at a steady rate,” said Styles.”We hope that the inclusion of this discipline in the Olympics will see more sailors wanting to get involved and up their game.

“We have had a lot of interest already but we would really like to hear from as many keen sailors and owners as possible, just because you have never thought about it in the past, does not mean you can’t be the first doublehanded offshore world champion.

“We will be working hard to develop a programme that encourages rapid learning and improvements in performance across the board so that we can establish Britain as the pre-eminent doublehanded sailing nation as we aim for medals at the OWC and ultimately Paris 2024.”

RORC racing is IRC rated and not one design so in order to best reflect the criteria of the new Olympic equipment, the RYA selection for the Offshore World Championship will only be open to fixed keel monohulls within an IRC rating band between 0.990 and 1.055.

For more information on the RYA’s Mixed Doublehanded Keelboat programme, contact Hugh Styles via keelboatracing@rya.org.uk.

Main image © Paul Wyeth/RORC

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