We've been quite busy over the last few weeks discussing next years champs and how to give ourselves the best possible chance of getting the best possible nationals next season.
We have looked at moving the venue. On the surface this was an attractive proposition as one of our concerns this year was the differing approached being taken by the devolved Parliaments. This potential problem will not go away in 2021, but for the foreseeable future local restrictions are also going to be a threat wherever we go so the busy seaside towns are not ideal. We - well I - could only identify one club and one facility that might, possibly, stand a better chance of getting the event in than ELYC. Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy have no availability in August. Hayling Island SC were very helpful, but the best dates for tides were just three weeks after Merlin Week, which we assume and hope will go ahead as planned.
So after careful consideration, also bearing in mind some have booked accommodation, we will be holding the 2021 Aspire National Championships at East Lothian YC. This isn't a last resort. The team at ELYC are first class, are as anxious as we are that we have the best chance to run this champs, and were fully supportive in the decision process. I'd like to thank Mike and the rest of their team for being so accommodating and also Graham and Judith at HISC and also Sally at WPNSA for their help in this matter.
We have looked briefly at other things too. Alterations to the format, event length etc. We are not yet in a position to make those decisions in these very uncertain times. We are however committed as things stand to using the published dates of Sunday 15th - Thursday 19th August 2021 with measurement checks on Saturday 14th. Yes, this is a five day championships. There are no plans to change the week.
What happens next?
There is a committee meeting on 22nd September. I don't want to pre-empt too much but I don't see too much point in opening the entry any earlier than is usual as we could do with seeing how things develop for a month or three and what, if any, guidelines we might have to adhere to before we publish a NOR. Will we know more by March than we know now? Who knows!
We will keep you fully informed and I will publish an entry process as soon as possible after the committee meeting.
In the meantime good sailing :)