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GBR 420 teams in the Carnival Race 2024 at Yacht Club Sanremo, Italy - Day 1 & 2

by GBR 420 Association 16 Feb 18:11 GMT
GBR 420 teams in the San Remo Carnival Race © Andrea Lelli / Carnival Race Sanremo

Eleven British boats endured the long drive to Northern Italy for the famous 420 Carnival Race sailed out of Marina Deli Aregai, San Remo during the half term break. The best of the best from around Europe meet to create one of the largest regattas of the year, with 120 boats in the Open Fleet and 60 boats in the Women's Fleet.

After a couple of days of useful training beforehand, the boats were launched on time on a warm and sunny first day, with two races scheduled. Just as the first flight were about to go into sequence, the wind decided to become increasingly light and unstable - with the AP flag ominously hanging from it's mast.

The British boats kept themselves busy and "in the zone" with some further training and light wind tuning, hoping for the wind gods to play ball. Alas, this was not to be the case, and AP over A was sounded at about 3pm, with the 180 boats then on a tow race to avoid the overcrowded slipways!

Day 2 therefore had four races scheduled, to make up lost time - so a long day on the water beckoned. The fleet launched into a building breeze, and with it came the Mediterranean swell that many of us were hoping for. Wind ranged from 12-20 knots with some epic champagne sailing on the menu for the day.

Yellow Open flight was first off, with the pin and the left side of the course generally being favoured throughout the day. The Brits were revelling in the conditions, consistently posting top 10 results across the board. A very tight top reach was set, providing a challenge for the sailors, especially those that went light on breakfast...

Imogen Wade and Hugo Valentine posted a 4 and 3 and Harry George and Ralph Cawthorne a 3 and 5, being the best of the Brits in the flight.

Red Open flight showed equally impressive results from the British, again always being evident at the front of the fleet. The French boat dominated this flight posting four bullets, but Arwen Fflur and Matthew Rayner managed a second place in the last race off the day and Will Fletcher and Ethan Sparkes featured on the podium in race 3 with a fantastic third place.

The Women's fleet had some some spectacular sailing from the British girls, who were intent on showing their European counterparts how it's done in the wind and waves. Sabine Potter and Merle Nieuwland nailed the first start and showed the fleet a clean pair of heels, as they raced to victory in race 1! In race 3 we had another British winner, as Emma Breese and Charlotte Beardsall made up for their UFD in race 1, won the pin and showed great speed up the beat and controlled the fleet from there to the winners gun.

Another performance of note was the new girls team of India Eastwood and Isla Fletcher, who at their first European event in a 420 are lying 20th in such a competitive fleet of 60.

As the Open fleet splits into gold and silver, all British boats have qualified for gold - that must be a record! Imogen and Hugo lie sixth overnight, Arwen and Matthew in eighth, and Harry and Ralph in eleventh... so all to play for going into the weekend.

Sabine and Merle are lying second in the Women's fleet after their three races, and Noa Moskovitch and Gabs Burlton making it into the top ten in ninth place - and looking ready to pounce once their 24th in race 1 is discarded. The forecast for the weekend is looking lighter, so a great opportunity to practice before the Summer events.


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