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420 Grand Prix Series 2021-22 Round 1 at Dabchicks Sailing Club

by Ollie Meadowcroft 16 Sep 10:26 BST 11-12 September 2021

A month after the Youth Nationals at Plymouth, during which the Class has held transition training at Poole and in the Solent, the 420 fleet returned to competition at the first Grand Prix event of the 2021/22 season. There were some new faces at the front end of the fleet who gave the experienced crews a good run for their money in the four races in tricky and unforgiving conditions.

The sailors were first met with unfamiliar experiences; launching at low tide out of West Mersea involved weaving through the moorings in between the huge banks of mud. Beyond this however, lay a large course, and a steady 8-12 knot breeze from the West. Perfect conditions for the day.

With heavy tide underneath them, most boats were tentative on the first startline. George and Olivia Creasy used this to make a great start off the pin end, joined by Ollie Meadowcroft and Oscar Cawthorne, who began consolidating their lead over the fleet. By the windward mark however, staying in the deeper channel favoured Heather Quinn and Gwyneth Lanyon, who held a good lead down to the bottom gate. The race remained tight, as Sam Grayton and Haydn Sewell took the lead by choosing the lay line perfectly, followed closely by Ella Lance and Will Martin. Sam and Haydn would go on to take the win just ahead of Ella and Will, with Henry Heathcote and Hector Bennet close behind.

The fleet pushed harder early on in race two, with Joe Warwicker and Hugo Valentine taking an early lead winning the left-hand side of the course. Followed in pursuit by 5 boats, Ella and Will would once again nail the port lay line and take a considerable lead to the finish, followed by new team Harry George and Ralph Cawthorne in second and Henry and Hector taking a solid third.

Race three saw a similar pattern, with a tight bunch of 8 boats all in close contention round the first mark. Mathias Potter and Ellie Thomas would stretch their lead on the second beat but were caught by the chasing pack on the heavily tidal downwind. In a close fight for the finish, Henry and Hector would take the win, with Joe and Hugo in second and Alice Davis & Olly Rayner taking the third.

By the final race of the day, the tide had reached its maximum and the fleet were all eager to dominate the left-hand side. A front pack emerged of Henry & Hector, Ollie & Oscar and Megan Farrer & Ellie Rush, who had been quietly posting a consistent set of scores throughout the day. On the final run, Ollie & Oscar pulled away to take the win, leaving Megan and Ellie to take second, and Henry & Hector in third.

After the racing, the fleet returned ashore for a dinner of fish & chips, followed by the successful return of 420 socials. After a couple games and many hours of dancing, the fleet called it a day.

The following day, despite the best efforts of the race committee, there was too little wind to compete against the strong tide. This left the scores of day-one to decide the fate of the event.

In the overall standings, a strong performance of 1,2,4 gave Ella & Will the win in their debut, beating Henry & Hector on countback who carried 1,3,3. Ollie & Oscar took third with their win in the final race boosting them up the scorecard. First girls were Megan & Ellie who took fourth overall.

Notable results included Joe & Hugo taking fifth overall owed to their strong tactical display, as well as George & Olivia in seventh, owing to their consistently excellent pin end starts. It was excellent to see so many different people taking top 5 results throughout the day and sets a brilliant start to the new season of sailing. Following on from this, the British Nationals at Pwllheli on the 25/26 September will be the next big event, as well as the following event in the GP series at Itchenor SC from the 25-27 October. The 3rd and final GP is at Chew Valley on 6/7 November.

Find out more about the UK 420 class on Facebook, Insta or our class website at

Overall Results:

PosBow NoSail NoHelm NameHelm ClubCrew NameCrew ClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st12 GBR 56954Ella LanceCBYCWill Martin 21‑547
2nd38 GBR 55244Henry HeathcoteRoyal Lymington YCHector BennettRoyal Lymington YC‑33137
3rd19 GBR 57004Ollie MeadowcroftUpper Thames SCOscar CawthorneShustoke SC55‑7111
4th9 GBR 54852Megan FarrerEmsworth SCEllie RushNotts County SC4‑146212
5th17 GBR 55854Joe WarwickerShoreham SCHugo ValentineChipstead SC‑843714
6th42 GBR 56108Alice DavisGreat Moor SCOliver RaynerYorkshire Dales SC672‑815
7th29 GBR 54082George CreasyWest Kirby SCOlivia CreasyWest Kirby SC‑14114621
8th39 GBR 55942Mathias PotterWarsash SCEllie ThomasCardiff Bay YC/Tata Steel SC9‑108522
9th10 GBR 54483Millie IrishDraycote Water SCCharlie GuyettCransley SC79‑15925
10th45 GBR 55242Harry GeorgeLymington Town SCRalph CawthorneDraycote Water SC13212‑1627
11th40 GBR 54853Oli HalePoole YCTom ClaytonPoole YC‑116111128
12th32 GBR 54487Kt. ByneDraycote Water SCLia HorneDraycote Water SC‑121291031
13th43 GBR 56112Sam GraytonNotts County SCHaydn Sewell 11616‑1833
14th21 GBR 54481Holly WrightWKSCOlly NixonWKSC‑1713101336
15th24 GBR 56339Heather QuinnNotts County SCGwyneth LanyonNotts County SC108‑252139
16th56 GBR 53959Ellie CreightonCardiff Bay YCBea GreenfieldOxford SC‑1817141546
17th28 GBR 54480 (GBR 1)Matty EvansBlackwater SCNick EvansBlackwater SC‑1919171248
18th20 GBR 55634Freya Sewell Arlo BraundOxford SC161518‑1949
19th4 GBR 55517Emily SmithPoole YCCharlotte BeardsallWarsash SC‑2120131750
20th8 GBR 1 (GBR 55400)William BaileyYorkshire Dales SCMatthew RaynerYorkshire Dales SC‑2221211456
21st27 GBR 54983Louise DavisWarsash SCOllie Vennis OzanneHill Head SC15‑22192256
22nd49 GBR 54059Amber HalePoole YCToby GriffenPoole YC201820‑2358
23rd68 GBR 56383Lauren HetheringtonCMYCEmily HetheringtonCMYC23‑24222065
24th3GBR 54947India Lance George Lance 242324‑2571
25th66 GBR 53703Tilly BrayshayYorkshire Dales SCChloe MillsPennine SC(RET)25232472

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