What is a Ranking event?
The original idea behind ranking races was made by Fleetwood in 1986 when just one race, the Nationals was used to determine selection for GBR skippers for the Marblehead Worlds held later that same year at Fleetwood.
Graham Bantock then refined it to pretty much its current format and it is still used to determine the GBR skippers who will represent the country in both World and Continental Championships.
How do they work?
Today, in the UK we hold 7 ranking races each year, these are split into 3 weekend events, with each day being a separate event and then the 3 day Nationals counting as the 7th event.
If you win the event you are awarded 100 points and then each position is awarded points pro-rata depending on the skippers finishing position at the event. A skippers best 4 events over a rolling 12 months gives your overall position on the ranking list.
Any member of the MYA can enter into any number of events, you have no obligation to sail all 7 events in the year, you may just enter one if you fancy seeing how it all works and what all the fuss is about, beware though, they are addictive.
Why you should enter?
If you have never experienced a ranking event, seize the moment and find out what makes them so addictive for so many skippers. They are held around the country so you should be able to experience one within a reasonable travelling distance.
We sail in fleets and you will be sailing in the fleet of skippers with equal ability. Between 30 and 45 boats normally enter the competition side of any ranking event.
There should be no fear from the inexperienced skipper thinking 'I don't want to be a nuisance on the water to the top guys’ as everyone can only learn by experience (i.e. getting it wrong !!).
There are many advantages of attending an event including:-
making new friends and meeting up with old friends.
finding everyone is friendly and helpful to new skippers.
learning a lot and enjoy the excitement of sailing in a new location.
coming away wanting more.
What you can expect
About 6-8 weeks before the event, the Notice of Race is published and is well worth a read. It gives you all the information you need for a successful event. To join the fun, just enter electronically..... all you need is your MYA number, sail number and boat number.
On the weekend of the race you will ‘check in’.... a simple process of showing your certificates. You may be asked to weigh your boat in a certain rig.
On the morning of the event and after ‘check in’, you should plan to spend time sailing around the course before all boats are asked to leave the water for the briefing.
it is very important to listen carefully to the important information given in the briefing. There will be a fleet board available to check which fleet you will be sailing in. Keep your eye on this fleet board throughout the day as you may be allocated to a different fleet.
After sailing, it is not unusual to go for a pint and a de-brief with friends, chat about the, ‘if only’, ‘did you see’ and ‘what if’s’ of the days sailing.
Overall, any skipper of any ability will make massive improvements in every department of their sailing by entering these races. It's really good fun so come and join us at one of the IOM events this year.
Ranking events 2021
Ranking #1 and #2 – 3rd and 4th April
Scotland, Castle Semple.
A large expanse of water (Lochwinnoch) about 30 minutes’ drive West of Glasgow, is the one ranking race that everyone looks forward to. The Scots put a great race on for us every two years. The sailing venue has everything, car park, grass bank and cafe all within touching distance. There is normally a very good social on the Saturday evening at the nearby Bowfield Hotel.
Ranking #3 and #4 – 26th and 27th June – Coalhouse Fort.
Located not far from Tilbury Docks on the Thames Estuary.
A great ‘banana’ shaped lake with plenty of parking and grass banks.
Ranking #5 and #6 – 23rd and 24th October
Two Islands Located in Milton Keynes.
A large expanse of water with sailing available from two banks depending on wind conditions. A Premier Inn is located lakeside with a pub attached, plenty of parking and grass bank