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Rebirth of the 470 Nationals at Castle Cove Sailing Club

by Jonathan Davies on 12 Sep 9-10 September 2017
470 UK Nationals at Castle Cove © Jonathan Davies

It's been some years since the 470s have had a UK National Championship. 12 years in fact. Yet, in that time, Great Britain have won four Olympic medals in the class.

As chairman of the class, Neil Marsden had a vision to redress this and revive the National Championships for the 470s. So, in December last year, Neil developed and executed a plan to find a great venue, a sponsor and persuade all 470s owners to bring them out of retirement and match their boats with youth sailors coming to the end of their youth sailing careers.

The result was an amazing weekend of sailing with seventeen 470s competing in 20 to 25 knots of breeze at Castle Cove Sailing Club in Weymouth. A total of five races were run over two days with Tokyo Olympic hopefuls competing with old 470 masters and youth sailors from the 420 and 29er class. Followed by two great socials hosted by Castle Cove Sailing Club and sponsored by JDX Consulting.

Although it boasts many household names, the 470 Nationals Cup must be the ugliest cup on the circuit! To balance against the ugliest cup of our UK classes, the competition prizes included signed tee-shirts from the stars of Love Island.

The Women's Champions were Amy Seabright and Anna Carpenter and the Amateur Champions were Arran Holman and Marcus Tressler. The overall winners were Jonny McGovern and Christian Birrell who rolled back the years to show the youngsters how to race.

But the overall winner was the 470 class itself which showed that with a vision and some determination, a class can be revived and open the possibility that the 470 is an exciting challenge and more than just an Olympic pathway boat.

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