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Vaikobi British International 420 Class National Championship at Plas Heli

by Joe Warwicker 7 Sep 2023 14:46 BST 26-28 August 2023

The Vaikobi 420 British nationals took place at Plas Heli (Pwllheli) with 48 boats entered and was held for three days with 10 races scheduled.

The first day of the nationals began and dark ominous clouds loomed over the racecourse as we headed towards it, the winds were much lighter than forecast but swiftly the clouds cleared and the 12-15 knot forecasted breeze filled in from the northwest which provided shifty and gusty conditions as the wind was coming off the land. The first race started and the winning tactic of the race was to go left out the start because the breeze was stronger as it funnels between the mountains on the shore and to then take it back across to the right side late where the wind was stronger and lifted you up to the port lay line and whoever could execute that the best would come out on top.

It was often the pin boats that would get the better of the fleet which George Creasy and David Bromilow executed perfectly with a port hand flyer and went on to win the first race of the nationals, with Alice David and Oliver Rayner in 2nd and Henry Heathcote and Oscar Cawthorne in 3rd. The next race was similar but with slightly more wind 14-15 knots in which Oscar flag was displayed (pumping flag). The left again was dominant up both upwind legs because of the more consistent stronger wind and the lifts on the port lay line which led to Joe Jones and Hennie Burlton taking the win, Arwen Fflur and Mathew Rayner took 2nd and George and David took 3rd.

The final race of the day was slightly different as the far left no longer worked as well and the middle left became dominant as the wind bend going towards the shore line became stronger meaning you are sailing on a bigger header to get out to the left, whereas the boats in the middle left didn't get this wind bend but instead held a much more lifted angle out to the left which led to those boats to come out on top and the boats far left to lose out and the boats which picked up this change would come out on top, this led to the gate mark choice to be the deciding factor of who would win the race as the boats who took the left gate mark looking upwind would be affected by the wind bend and the boats who took the right mark were able to take lifted pressure into the wind bend on the left this led to us (Joseph Warwicker and Hugo Valentine) to climb from 4th to 1st at the top mark with Arwen and Mathew close behind and after a tense fight around the top reach Arwen and Mathew had edged passed on the final down wind however on the final reach to the finish we retook the lead with Arwen and Mathew close behind in second and Henry and Oscar in 3rd.

Day 2 of the national championships promised a 10-16 knot breeze from the north west but was forecasted to drop to 8 knots and shift west as the cold front passed over which turned out to be very accurate.

The 4th race was similar to yesterday's racing with the left side paying due to more wind and the lift which was again by the shore on the port lay line which Alice and Oliver executed leading to them taking the win with George and David taking 2nd and Joseph Warwicker and Hugo Valentine taking 3rd.

The second race of the day however, was different the wind was not as consistent as day 1 and the previous race making choosing a side very risky with a big shift range and very unpredictable patches of breeze coming down the race course however there was pressure coming from the middle right which made the committee boat favourable because you would stay in this pressure for longest and in race 5 of the regatta was won by Ellie Creighton and Bea greenfield and so far there has been 5 different race winners which shows how tough the competition is.

Race 6 the wind had dropped off further to 8 knots and the shifts became more frequent making it even harder to get it right, the downwind became increasingly tricky but getting clean air seemed to be working, this race was won by Neil Marsden and Olivia Creasy yet another race winner but this was the start of domination from the 420 legend of the class Neil Marsden. The last race of the day the sky had become dark on the left side of the course as rain approached so getting towards the cloud as quick as possible is what most of the fleet did which worked to some extent but the leaders came from the right as there was big lifts on starboard coming into the mark, on the downwind the beginning of a change because the dark clouds had gotten closer and wind started to fill in from the left which brought a 40 degree left shift with it making the downwind a drag race to the bottom marks the wind then settled further left for the final upwind so playing the shifts was the most important factor, this led to William Fletcher and Ethan Sparks to win (A seventh race winner), Noa Moskovitch and Gabs Burlton to take second and Neil and Olivia to take 3rd.

The racing followed with a great social with a black tie dinner, karaoke and the famous crews union.

The last day of the Nationals the wind was 10-15 knots from the north west the same as the first day, once again in the first two races the same tactic of pin and left worked and it worked very well for Neil and Olivia who got back to back race wins in race 8 and 9 who was chasing down Alice and Oliver who got 2nd and 13th and due to them having a UFD, this meant they had to carry the 13th with only one discard so going into the last race of the regatta Neil and Olivia match raced each other across the course which made for an interesting watch and Neil and Olivia, the grand master helm and hotshot crew, had done enough to win the national championships with Alice and Oliver in second and Joseph Warwicker and Hugo Valentine came 3rd overall who also won 1st under 19 and 1st male boat. The female national champion was Noa and Gabs and the 1st under 17 boat was Harry George and Ralph Cawthorne, well done to everyone competed in what turned out to be a tough but great event.

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

PosSail NoBow NoHelmCrewFleetR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9R10Pts
15437969marsbar marsdenOlivia CreasyOpen ‑ Mixed‑1095731311636
25725942Alice DavisOliver RaynerOpen ‑ Mixed2(UFD)71525213542
35722517Joe WarwickerHugo ValentineOpen64138‑211274954
45695441Arwen FflurMatthew RaynerOpen ‑ Mixed422(BFD)41071221255
55727545Harry GeorgeRalph CawthorneU17 Open7686‑125883455
65741132William FletcherEthan SparksU17 ‑ Open‑17510810311116367
75735038Henry Heathcoteoscar cawthorneOpen3(UFD)3911627310173
85524282Joe JonesHennie BurltonU17 Mixed91131013‑176551476
95484962George CreasyDavid BromilowOpen1362RDG91113(BFD)1782.4
105722457Noa MoskovitchGabs BurltonFemale11820594218‑221390
115694344Imogen WadeTeddy DunnOpen ‑ Mixed57416157‑181661692
125634263Sabine PotterMerle NieuwlandU17 ‑ Female22171442‑2394920101
135485266Tilda BrayshayCharlie HowardU17 ‑ Mixed1213221123‑274687106
145728656Ellie CreightonBea GreenfieldFemale816‑331711215221824133
155646799Arthur GreavesAngus McEwenU17 ‑ Open16121812‑33281014212133
165734920Freya SewellArthur BaileyOpen13189‑2622161991119136
175551750Emma BreeseCharlotte BeardsallFemale141517132018241026‑30157
185448121Holly WrightOlivia NixonFemale201112‑32272513301210160
195679191Max SweetmanMax PassbergerOpen21261518258‑33241511163
205594239Mathias PotterWilliam BaileyOpen2321211571922‑281722167
215528195Cora McNaughtonSean CroninU17 ‑ Mixed151419(BFD)191128172823174
225727237Sebby BaileyPeter CopeOpen262411‑27261316192418177
235721486Dylan CreightonJames GeorgeOpen19(UFD)161421313015729182
245700416Zac ShepherdArthur SouthallU17 ‑ Open181024211630202123‑31183
255395954Tabitha DaviesMadeleine GreavesFemale3029291914222125‑328197
265446329Patrick BromilowThomas KelsallU17 ‑ Open2925(RET)22361517231425206
275633965India EastwoodIsla FletcherU17 ‑ Female‑31203020312614202926216
285537533Laragh EpsteinElia SellersU17 ‑ Mixed321926252814233127‑41225
295727323Rosie SheahanSusie SheahanFemale24352323182936‑373021239
30 89Will ShepherdRyan Harris 252234(BFD)322425393527263
315229180Ben SherryAdam AzizOpen353231301735‑40273339279
325408967Chris HampshireOllie LumbU17 Open413025283038342638‑42290
335498311Fin WaterhouseMatthew BairdOpen2828283534373135‑4036292
345603294Isabelle PassbergerSarah ClooneyFemale40393834‑443226333915296
355518972Jasper BramwellOlly HateleyU17 Open3637323335‑4537292535299
365256648Hugo FletcherLuke ElliottU17 ‑ Open27314136294229(RET)3437306
375609153India LanceCian EpsteinOpen ‑ Mixed34(RET)RET24243639363632310
385448371Jo WalkerEd Upton‑BrownU17 ‑ Open3833(RET)41373344322040318
395176693Alex BreeseRichard BreeseOpen372736‑42403438413134318
405458287Robin WrightToby WaggettU17 ‑ Open3338(RET)39412032444428319
415291528Freya HalsallJames BallOpen ‑ Mixed‑45232731424442404333325
4244807Rosanna JoyceSian BairdFemale423637383839434337‑44353
435516930Matthew MasonMark JenkinsU17 ‑ Open(DNS)DNCDNCRETDNC4035341938362
445494770George LanceJames GossonOpen39413929(RET)4646384143362
455405997Ava McCarthyJames MaloneOpen ‑ Mixed4334353739414542(DNC)DNC365
46544838Harry MillsThomas WillsU17 Open44404040434341‑464545381
475587898Sarah WhyteKeelan DarbyOpen ‑ Mixed4642(RET)444548DNC454246407
4855555561Seb NixonHannah HartleyU17 ‑ Open‑47434243464747474647408

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