ROBBIE KING/MARCUS TRESSLER CLAIM BRITISH 420 NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP TITLE
Six races decided the winners of the 2016 420 National Championships hosted at Pwllheli Sailign Club in Wales, 13-19 August 2016.
The British Summer provided the extremes of conditions for the CurraDinghy 420 National Championships but nothing in the middle. Stuart Childerley, the PRO, did an excellent job in achieving 6 races over two days of the scheduled 5 days - and more importantly managed to get the 420 fleet on the water twice at 0800 in the morning!
The fleet of 42 boats included three boats from Ireland and a large number of new additions to the fleet from the Optimist, Feva and Cadet classes. The injection of new talent is very healthy for the class and bodes well for the future.
A very short Practice Race was achieved on Sunday afternoon before the breeze switched off but Monday and Tuesday were both plagued by so little wind that the boats didn't get off the beach. The sailors made the most of the glorious weather and on Tuesday evening the 420 Olympiad was held on the beach - with the 'Spanish Team' emerging the winners.
In order to make the most of the early morning gradient breeze Stuart decided to opt for a 0800 tally and 0900 start on Day 3. Five races were achieved in very difficult conditions, including a 180 degree shift as the light sea breeze kicked in at around midday.
Day 4 was another breathless day on shore and then the weather burst into life for Day 5 with a very brisk 18kts, gusting 25kts, and forecast to build during the day. The fleet had another 0900 start and managed to achieve one race but with conditions worsening it was decided to draw stumps and everyone was ashore by 1030.
Robbie King/Marcus Tressler stamped their authority on the regatta and excelled in all conditions to win with 9 points to spare. While many of the top spots were filled by the Youth Squad sailors, it was also good to see new faces a the front of the fleet with Jack Lewis/Lucas Marshall and Rhys Lewis/Drew Wright finishing in the top five.
Top placed girls team were Willow Bland/Lucie Offord in 7th overall.
Because only 6 races were achieved several favourites suffered from UFDs that they couldn't discard - it just shows that consistency pays.
While it was a very challenging regatta for the race officials and the sailors - it was also great fun and a thank you must go to Robbie King and Dan Atherton for arranging all the socials, to Plas Heli for all their support in keeping everyone entertained and thank to CurraDinghy for sponsoring the event - including the use of a new boat for the AGM raffle. All the best to those sailors moving on to new challenges and most importantly welcome to the new members of the fleet.