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420 class at the RYA Youth Nationals in Largs

by Mike Cattermole 10 Apr 2018 08:25 BST 2-6 April 2018
420s at the 2018 RYA Youth National Championships © Mike Cattermole

Twenty-eight teams made their way to Largs this year for the Youth National Championships, last run here in 2013. After a couple of days of profiling for all the sailors it was then onto boat measurement and relaxing with fellow competitors.

Sunday brought some light winds and sun for some gentle practice which most sailors took advantage of. Calm before the storm I think! Whilst still cold it at least got most boats on the water getting familiar with the surrounds.

So onto the Championships. The first couple of days had looked challenging from the forecast reports, and yes, they were. Very windy, cold, and -7 wind chill. Indeed a bit wild! So no sailing for the first two days, which for some of the sailors at least gave the opportunity for revision for forthcoming GCSE's, A level's and Highers, although I'm not sure how many took advantage of this extra break!

Wednesday brought a slightly better forecast, still windy and cold (15 knots gusting to 25 knots) so the organisers got all the fleets out for a couple of races. For 420's they completed two races and it was neck and neck at the top of the leader board between the experienced Niamh Harper and Ross Thompson, and the youngsters Jack Lewis and Charlie Bacon both scoring a first and a second. Top ladies after two races were Charlotte Boyle and Georgia Baker with two solid 6th place finishes, although a couple of the top sailors were UFD's in these races including the eventual ladies champions Vita Heathcote and Milly Boyle.

So all to play for on day two of racing (day four of the Championship). Lighter winds and some easier sailing conditions delivered a long day on the water for all the sailors. Four races completed and a chance for consistency to start paying dividends, which Niamh and Ross appear to be very good at. Certainly the hallmark of champions. Moving up the leader board however were Rhys Lewis and Drew Wright along with Vita and Milly. Still cold and still challenging with some long waits between races as the Nacras used the course. Great to watch but it did mean waiting.

The final day of racing brought the wind back and two races scheduled. Testing conditions once more, not just for the sailors, but also for the mark layers and safety crews. The action started just a few minutes before the start with a collision and resultant capsize. This forced Ellie Clark and Lizzie Cattermole to retire just one minute before the first start with a sizeable 'hole' in the boat. Very disappointing for them although they got redress after a protest. Anyway, racing kicked off again, with Niamh and Ross really stamping their authority on the chasing pack with two firsts. Again some really impressive sailing. Across the rest of the fleet we had a couple of capsizes, which included some top boats and some increasingly cold sailors. Chasing the leaders we had Rhys and Drew with a 2nd and 5th, Vita and Milly with a 4th and 2nd, and Adele Young and Daniel Burns with a 6th and a mid fleet result.

So overall a very challenging week with the wind and cold conditions but some very impressive sailing not just by the top boats but by a few of the newcomers as well; including Katie Byne and Ellie Rush who got the top U17 girls prize. Jack and Charlie continued their impressive progression being selected for yet more international events this summer and must be hot prospects over the next few years if they can keep up their form and the learning.

Last but not least, congratulations to all the sailors for taking part at a great venue. Certainly one to be remembered! But the biggest congratulations must go to the two winners, so Niamh and Ross, and Vita and Milly – may the wind go with you at this summer's events!

Overall Results:

PosDivisionClassNatSail NoHelmCrewR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1U19XED 56106Niamh HarperRoss Thompson12-53311112
2U19BOYWAL56342Rhys LewisDrew Wright-11398132531
3U19IRLENG55244Vita HeathcoteMilly Boyle4(UFD [29])314654238
4 XEDENG53966Adele YoungDaniel Burns58241226-1539
5U17 & U19BOYENG56091Jack LewisCharlie Bacon2115110135(RET [29])47
6U19BOYSCO54481Calum BellJosh Hale31176-1488649
7 XEDENG56339Eleanor KeersAaron Chadwick8(UFD [29])6107413351
8U17 & U19BOYENG54852Bertie FisherFraser Hemmings(DNC [29])124129710862
9U19XEDENG55102Julia MellersM Hughes791213510-18763
10U17 & U19BOYENG54483Haydn SewellWilliam Heathcote1371-21411191166
11U19XEDENG55871Alex ColquittRebecca Coles10(UFD [29])8152991467
12U19BOYENG54682Calum CookJohnny Thompson15414511616-1871
13 BOYENG54536Tom CollyerJamie Harris145-227191417480
14U19IRLENG55242Megan FergusonBettine Harris161510-1916123981
15U19IRLENG54379Charlotte BoyleGeorgia Baker661716151614-2090
16U19IRLENG56108Cossie LewisHattie Collingridge1813-2021318151291
17 BOYENG55189Archie PennRobert Giardelli17161111817(DNC [29])1696
18U17 & U19BOYENG56115Dylan McPhersonAndrew Sturt9142117-22151217105
19U19BOYENG55485Mateo FarinaHarry Chatterton1218182021-24713109
20U19IRLENG56467Ellie DriverRachael Cross2010139181921-22110
21U17 & U19BOYWAL55400Jamie CookIoan Davies191719-2517201110113
22U19IRLENG56116Ellie ClarkElizabeth Cattermole21192323-2421RDGa [21.8]RDGa [21.8]150.6
23U17 & U19IRLENG52566Katie ByneEllie Rush(DNC [29])DNC [29]162220222023152
24U19XEDSCO55943Emily BiggarRuben Stokroos(DNC [29])DNC [29]241823232221160
25U19IRLENG53703Maisie HarkessAnnabel Hitchmough2220-262625252319160
26U19IRLENG54998Chloe FeltonBecky Cropley23212524-26262424167
27U19IRLENG52230Rachel WyssGemma McDonnell24222828282825(DNC [29])183
28U17 & U19IRLWAL52565Freya TerryTiegan Pearce(DNF [29])DNC [29]27272727DSQ [29]RET [29]195

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