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Finn and Europe Inland Championships at Oxford Sailing Club - Preview

by Jon Tweedle 30 Aug 2018 15:26 BST 8-9 September 2018
Cameron Tweedle © Robert Deaves / Finn Class

On 8/9 Sept Oxford Sailing Club will be hosting the Inland Nationals for the Finn and Europe Classes, which will also include the Classic Finn National Champs.

The reinvigorated Europes will be out in force, with Graham Hutchings looking to add to his Nationals title, but he'll be pushed hard by class stalwart Richard Eagleton, and newly-crowned Byte CII National Champ Emma Pearson, who has hit a rich vein of form this season.

The Finns, as ever, will have a tremendous mix in their fleet, with the Open and Masters fleet joined by the returning U23 Squad members fresh from both the Aarhus World Sailing Champs and the U23 Worlds in Koper, Slovenia.

Current Inland Champ and British Sailing Team member Hector Simpson has been in great form on the International circuit this year, but nothing can be taken for granted as TT Champion Cameron Tweedle, Callum Dixon, James Skulczuk and Markus Bettum, all products of the BFA/GAC-Pindar U23 Squad programme, will be looking to assert themselves at the front of the fleet. One of the great things about the Finn is that there is always the potential for youth and athleticism to be bested by age, experience and guile, with any number of more senior racers able to upset the applecart!

In the Master's category (40-49), Cy Grisley, Jon Tweedle, Kristian Sjoberg and Fred Van Arkle will continue their perennial battle and in the Grand Masters (50-59) and Great Grand Masters (60-69) the likes of former Laser World Champion Lawrence Crispin, Allen Burrell and Class Chairman John Heyes are all capable of causing an upset.

Ladies will be well represented at the event, with a near 50/50 gender split in the Europe Class, but the Finns will have former Laser Radial sailor Iona Dixon carrying on from where she impressed at the Class Nationals this summer. In the Classic Finn fleet Vanessa Weedon-Jones will be racing hard to unseat current title-holder Peter Vinton.

In conjunction with the weekend's nominated charity, the RAF Benevolent Fund, there'll be evening entertainment and a devilishly testing quiz for the racers and hosting club members alike.

All in all, this is shaping up to be a fascinating regatta, right through the fleets, and with generous prize sponsorship from Doyle Sails UK, Suntouched Sailboats, North Sails, APSailBattens, INEOS Team UK, Maylarch Environmental and the RAF Benevolent Fund.

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