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420 class at the RYA Youth National Championships at Weymouth & Portland Sailing Academy - Update

by British 420 Class 4 Apr 20:22 BST 1-5 April 2024
420 class at the RYA Youth National Championships at Weymouth © British 420 Class

Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy are hosts again this year to the UK's biggest 'festival' of youth sailing. The event draws to a close on Friday 5th April, and the prize for many if a place at the Youth World Sailing Championships this year held on Lake Garda.

The event has so far delivered three out of four days racing for the British 420 fleet, with 11 races completed in a variety of conditions but none so big as day four which saw gusts of up to 30 knts across the course. The race team put the fleet through their paces with not all classes going afloat, and four races were delivered after day three saw all fleets on shore.

Arwen Fflur and Matthew Rayner have led the mixed / male category all week taking four race wins from 11 races, and only one result outside of the top ten. They look solid but with a medal race on day five nothing is yet guaranteed.

Joe Jones and Hennie Burlton have sailed exceptionally and are still an U17 pair, with their lowest place an impressive seventh, a race win has so far eluded them but they could still take the title and that coveted place in Italy. William Fletcher and Ethan Sparkes are only one point behind showing great consistency across all conditions.

Imogen Wade and Hugo Valentine have taken the most race wins at four but falling out of the boat whilst leading and a massive capsize (again whilst leading) have cost them dear and the title is now out of reach.

The all-female place looked like a done-deal going into day four, Sabine Potter and Merle Nieuwland wearing the yellow bibs but a tough breezy day meant a slip to seventh and Emma Breese and Charlotte Beardsall are now just one place behind. Last year's Youth Worlds team, Noa Moskovitch and Gabs Burlton have had a challenging week with two UFDs back-to-back in races three and four they were on the back-foot from day one.

So everything now rests on day five, which is forecasted to be breeze on (again). Will the medal race go ahead? Will the positions change? One thing we do know is the pressure is on for our top sailors so let's hope they sleep well tonight!

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