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420 UK National Championship at the Plas Heli Welsh National Sailing Academy

by Bettine Harris 28 Sep 2021 09:11 BST 25-26 September 2021

The much anticipated 420 nationals took place over the weekend of 25/26 September up in Pwllheli where a full range of conditions created 2 days of exciting and challenging racing.

Saturday morning started off slowly, as expected from the days forecast, with a south easterly breeze of 6 to 7kts. We prepared ourselves for a light wind day on the water before launching at 10:30 to reach out to our race area.

Race 1 got under way with an increasing breeze with most crews just out on the wire, it was a day for light wind tactics and tricky racing. George Creasey and David Bromilow secured the race win to start the event, with Ella Lance and Will Martin in second and Matthias Potter and Ellie Thomas in third.

Several general recalls took place before race 2 eventually got under way. Unfortunately for Ollie Meadowcroft and Oscar Cawthorne, as well as Megan Farrer and Ellie Rush, a BFD was added to their scoresheets early on in the regatta. For such a short regatta this was something that could potentially make or break their events. A big congratulations should be given to Emily Smith for the race 2 win, sailing with Hayden Sewell for this event. Close behind were Julia Staite and Bettine Harris, one of the class' ISAF representatives for the youth worlds later on this year. Following this, Harry George and Ralph Cawthorne took third, sailing in one of the newest 420s to exist currently, having literally unwrapped it that morning.

A temporary postponement kept race 3 from taking place straight away as a slight left shift had come in. Once the fleet were under way, however, it was noticeable that the race officer may have been a little bit too keen with his mark moving and the first beat happened on a very left favoured course, this was a key factor in the fleet positioning as the leading group rounded way ahead of the following boats. Matthias and Ellie sailed a smooth race to finish first with Henry Heathcote and Hector Bennet in second and Ella and Will taking third in a dying breeze.

The wind by this point had seriously dropped off and after a short wait the fleet were happy to see AP over A for the day and began the long, slow sail in. Luckily the lack of racing gave people plenty of time to prepare themselves for the prestigious black tie dinner and paper plates awards later on that evening.

The evening started with a day one prize-giving which had ended with Ella and Will far in the lead with an impressive total of 9 points. Matthias and Ellie lay only one point ahead of Henry and Hector in third and behind them only 6 points separated 4th to 9th. It was all to play for going into day 2 and with a heavy wind forecast ahead there was a lot of room for changes to the scoreboard.

Pwllheli provided the perfect venue for the black tie social and everyone spent the evening on the dance floor, except for perhaps Marsbar who decided the tabletop provided a better spot for his moves. Oli Rayner deserves a special mention as well for the good effort he put in at the crews union and I just wanted to thank everyone all round for making the evening run smoothly and be so fun.

Many of the sailors and parents stayed down at the sailing club for the night and Sunday started with Ollie Meadowcroftand Will Martin arising from their tent looking like the proper gents still in last nights attire. The 17kts of breeze was not being welcomed by everyone, with many sailors having hit their heads on the caravan door that morning, nonetheless the fleet launched into an increasing breeze at 10:00 and made the short journey out to the race area.

The wind didn't provide the only challenge of the day as in true Pwllheli style, a proper sea state was built and the conditions turned into pure survival. Race 1 ended with Ollie and Oscar horizon jobbing everyone with Neil Marsden and Matty Evans taking second and Julia and Bettine taking third with Henry and Hector scoring week again just behind them.

Race 2 took two starts before eventually getting away, Ollie and Oscar put in another great shift and secured their second race win for the day. Henry and Hector took second and Marsbar and Matty took third, with both being absolute beasts downwind to overtake Julia and Bettine on the last run.

Race 3 was slower to start, with poor visibility setting in, however it luckily avoided our race course and the remaining survivors of a depleted fleet got into the start sequence. Race 3 saw another bullet from Ollie and Oscar. Henry and Hector unfortunately capsized on the final run, ruining their chances of getting a podium result as Julia and Bee took second with Marsbar and Matty finishing with another third. Ella and Will finished in 4th giving them three top 5 results for the day.

Day 2 was then unfortunately, yet again, cut short due to the weather conditions being so extreme but a huge well done to Ollie and Oscar for such an incredible performance on the water.

The event ended with Ella and Will taking the title of 420 national champions, they sailed a beautifully consistent series and proved themselves to be top in the extremes of two conditions. Ollie and Oscars incredible day 2 performance saw them gain 16 places form the previous nights standings and they took second. On joint points, finishing third overall and 420 ladies national champions were Julia and Bettine. Neil and Matty finished 4th and Henry and Hector in 5th with only 5 points separating 1st from 5th.

I can't thank Pwllheli sailing club and everyone in the 420 class and committee enough for helping run this event. It was great to finish the year on such a high and I cant wait to see what the competition brings next year

Overall Results:
If you finished in the top ten at the 420 nationals then enter your Gear Guide information here

PosBow NoFleetSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st12Open56954Ella LanceWill MartinCBYC243‑55418
2nd19Open57004Ollie MeadowcroftOscar CawthorneUpper Thames SC / Shustoke SC13(BFD)411120
3rd25Female56007Julia StaiteBettine HarrisHayling Island SC / BCYC92‑1634220
4th69Open54379marsbar marsdenM Evans ‑186823322
5th38Open54482Henry HeathcoteHector BennettRLymYC69242‑1423
6th39Open55942Mathias PotterEllie ThomasWarsash SC / Cardiff Bay YC & Tata Steel3121‑1371033
7th42Open56108Alice DavisOliver RaynerGreat Moor SC / Yorkshire Dales SC4‑146148840
8th6Female55517Lizzie BeardsallEmmy WalkerWarsash SC127‑1476941
9th62Junior ‑ Open54058George CreasyDavid BromilowWest Kirby SC122106(RET)645
10th17Junior ‑ Open55854Joe WarwickerHugo ValentineShoreham SC /Chipstead SC71091210‑1748
11th4Open52565Emily SmithHaydn SewellPoole YC10112‑18151553
12th10Open54483Millie IrishCharlie GuyettCransley SC/Draycote Water SC‑201618109760
13th45Junior ‑ Open55242Harry GeorgeRalph CawthorneLymington Town SC / Shustoke SC17313‑22132167
14th9Female54852Megan FarrerEllie RushEmsworth SC / Notts County SC16(BFD)23920573
15th32Female54487Kt. ByneLia HorneDraycote Water SC‑25192011171380
16th11Open56467Kuba StaiteJamie WilkinsonHISC‑23182116191185
17th40Open54853Oli HaleTom ClaytonPoole YC261315824(BFD)86
18th65Female54482Jess LaveryCharlotte BeardsallWarsash SC115524(DNC)DNC88
19th2Open56432Callum Davidson‑GuildAlicia CondieTrearddur Bay SC /Goring Thames SC581125(RET)DNC92
20th20Junior ‑ Open55634Freya SewellArlo BraundOxford SC21‑312721111292
21st8Open0Santiago Sesto‑cosbySYZMON MatyjaszczukLymington/Welsh Harp SC2817241512(DNC)96
22nd21Junior ‑ Female54481Holly WrightOlivia NixonWest Kirby SC142717‑282123102
23rd56Junior ‑ Female53959Ellie CreightonBea GreenfieldCardiff Bay YC / Oxford SC15(BFD)25301819107
24th27Open54983Louise DavisOllie Vennis OzanneWarsash SC / Hill Head SC‑302330231420110
25th24Female56339Heather QuinnGwyneth LanyonNotts County SC24152226(DNF)24111
26th29Junior ‑ Open54082Patrick BromilowOlivia CreasyWest Kirby SC8217(DNF)DNCDNC122
27th41Junior ‑ Open53117Emily SchonrockToby SchonrockParkstone YC292428‑312322126
28th44Open56091Imogen WadeTeddy DunnDraycote Water SC / Isle of Man YC22251920(DNC)DNC129
29th35Junior ‑ Female4125Anna MillerTess CrooksPrestwick SC353431(DNC)1618134
30th420Open53645Scarlet CawthorneJoey TaylorShustoke SC/ Blackwater SC193026(DNC)BFD16134
31st74Open54847Jack McDowellHarry ThompsonMalahide YC / Wexford harbour boat and t(OCS)113517RETDNC149
32nd23Junior ‑ Female54418Rosie SheahanSusie SheahanCVLSC27202936(DNC)DNC155
33rd64Junior ‑ Open51369William BaileyMatthew RaynerYorkshire Dales SC332634(DNC)22DNC158
34th63Junior ‑ Female54785Sabine PotterMerle NieuwlandWarsash SC / Cardiff Bay YC31283234(DNC)DNC168
35th70Open54674James GeorgeGeorge LanceLymington Town SC/ HISC40324119(DNF)DNC175
36th52Junior ‑ Open53159Macy LawRuaraidh DochertyLoch Venachar SC34363332(DNC)DNC178
37th53Junior ‑ Female55398India LanceSophie HankinsHayling Island SC / Cardiff Bay YC36293635(DNC)DNC179
38th49Open54059Amber HaleToby GriffenPoole YC39334027(DNC)DNC182
39th72Junior ‑ Open52675James GossonBéa SparksTata Steel SC323538(DNC)DNCDNC191
40th66Female53703Tilda BrayshayChloe MillsPennine SC/Yorkshire Dales SC38(BFD)3929DNFDNC192
41st7Female54279Eva MillerRose EdmondsSnettisham Beach SC37(OCS)3733RETDNC193
42nd33Junior ‑ Open55375Jibriel BostanCian EpsteinCYBC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC215

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