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420 class blow the Christmas Cobwebs away

by Jennie Clark 1 Jan 2019 16:54 GMT 27 & 29-30 December 2018
Charlotte Boyle and Georgia Baker in the 420 End of Season Championship at Grafham Water © Richard Sturt

The 420 class got back on the water between Christmas and New Year taking part in two of the Selden Sailjuice events. Not satisfied with that the class also ran a day of Open Coaching at Grafham Water capitalising on the chance to train the day before the Grafham Grand Prix.

Conditions at YDSC's Brass Monkey event were 'interesting' with thick fog/low cloud shrouding the lake and delaying the start of racing. Having lost thechance to sail in the morning the PRO decided to run one longer race in the afternoon and an early lunch was taken before the fleet of nearly 80 boats got afloat. The race was won by a Norfolk Punt, which is making a big impression at a number of the Sailjuice winter events. Ellie Clark/Daisy Desorgher represented the class and enjoyed the chance to get out on the water. Class coaches Jonny McGovern and Neil Marsden were also out on the water.

The weather for the open coaching on 29 December was far better than had been forecast, with the promised high winds not materializing but there being more than enough to keep the fleet moving fast, with some of the action expertly videoed by Richard Sturt. Coach Tim Rush, assisted by ex 420 sailor Jamie Harris, focused the session on mark rounding and hoists and drops and a single long session provided plenty of opportunity for skill development. Due to the club closing at dusk the debrief was held in the local hostelry, The Wheatsheaf, where the hungry sailors took the opportunity to devour hot food!

A total of 8 420 dinghies took part in the 38th Grafham Grand Prix, run on 30 December. The fleet sailed at the east end of the water and RO Nigel Denchfield battled to get a good line for the first start with the wind swinging dramatically for some time. Oliver Dowson McGill and Szymon Matyjaszczuk found their groove and finished 6th overall, with Meg Ferguson and Bettine Harris finishing 11th.

The fleet have another session of open coaching arranged for Saturday 5 January and then again over the weekend of 26/27 January both these sessions will be run at Datchet. The next competitive event for the class is another Selden Sailjuice event - the Tiger Trophy - which takes place on 2 and 3 February at Rutland Water SC.

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