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Europe UK Nationals - Runners & Riders

by Lucy Boreham 29 May 14:47 BST 3-5 June 2022
HISC Europe Open © Peter Hickson

The Europe fleet are returning to WPNSA for the 2022 National Championship over the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend. As a fleet, it's all about inclusion and enjoyment sailing these fab little boats, but there are also some rather lovely trophies up for grabs.

A few names to keep an eye out for over the long weekend of sailing:

Steve Cockerill, looking to make it back-to-back championship wins, and can he make it to 9 in total?

Chris Gill, having missed out last year is back, he's already got 10 titles under his belt, could this be the 11th? We're all sure a good battle between these two will be great to watch.

Ben Harris, fresh from his win at Hayling, with youth on his side and a training camp with Dad Ollie Harris in Rock this week he will be ready to fight it out at the front of the fleet.

Gareth Tweedle is certainly enjoying his new boat, now having tasted winning races at HISC he will be hoping to continue to build on his recent success.

If the wind is light, then newcomer Jonny Sargent will be flying and could mix it up at the front, his Dad, Matt Sargent, was so impressed with the boat, he's bought a 2nd one and will be on the starting line. It might to a bit too soon for these 2 to dominate at the front the whole time, but they have lots of experience in other boats and it won't take long for them to get up to speed.

Both Rob Wilder & John McKelvie, forming part of the growing fleet at Hayling, have shown some impressive speed and will be in the mix.

With Laura Baldwin unable to make it this year, one thing is certain that a new Ladies champion will be crowned.

Lucy Boreham, Emma Pearson & Mandy Horton are all going to the Worlds later this year, so the nationals is a great opportunity to get in some race practice in a big fleet.

Whilst Sarah Cockerill is more usually seen at the front end of an RS400, the windier it gets the faster she goes.

There are 6 family pairs racing, Fathers & Sons, Brothers, Husband and Wives, creating some inter-family rivalry thought out the fleet.

It's great to be welcoming some overseas visitors, with 4 boats making the trip over, it will be great to welcome them to the UK fleet.

Its not all about brand new boats, with a prize up for grabs for the more classic rigs, the eldest boat so far entered is No60, sailed by Timothy Simmons.

Trophies are also presented at both ends of the age ranges, class veteran Richard Eagleton, boat restorer extraordinaire Steve Whitby and Richard Major will be in the mix to claim top master. At the other end of the age scale, Adam Catlow, taking a break from A levels revision and Jonny Sargent will be leading the charge for the youth trophy.

Its still not too late to enter, it doesn't matter if you are at the front of the fleet or just starting out sailing the boat, whilst the class cant guarantee what wind we'll get, what is guaranteed is a friendly welcome, a lot of support and help to set boats up, some great racing, the now famous bring your own BBQ at the Tweedle's, a social every evening, snacks after racing, the chance of a brand new sail in the raffle courtesy of UK Sails Denmark and a prize for everyone thanks to Rooster Sailing and Kingfisher Ropes, with all three companies supporting the event. The Europe fleet are returning to WPNSA for the National Championship over the Jubilee Bank Holiday weekend.

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