• Photos


Dec 2018

The British 420 Class had fun on a windy weekend at the Datchet Flyer and class coaching in Oxford.

The British 420 class fleet had an exhilarating weekend, 8-9 December, with sailors revelling in the windy conditions. Anyone praying for some breeze to stretch their legs perhaps got more than they bargained for at the reservoir beneath Heathrow Airport's flight path.

The Datchet Flyer hosted at Datchet Water Sailing Club had an overall entry of 832 and at the end of day one, 420 teams were holding 1st, 2nd and 3rd places, having shown their mastery of windy conditions with some expert kite handling, and 10-year-old 420 Class helm Harry George crewed by his father James who were leading the way after three back-to-back handicap races.

With a non-discardable double points pursuit race forming Sunday's racing it was all to play for. Meg Ferguson/Ellie Driver finished 2nd overall, with Oliver Dowson-McGill/Szymon Matyjaszczuk in fourth place and Harry George/James George in 8th overall.

Harry and James George had been vying for the lead until a whomping gust knocked their 420 flat and saw their chances of overall victory sink, but James was elated with their performance all the same. "Harry sailed incredibly and to finish 8th overall, I'm over the moon." At 10 years old, Harry was the youngest competitor with the oldest ranging up to 78 years, racing in 40 classes ranging in speed from the Topper to the International Moth.

Meanwhile at Oxford Sailing Club, 420 Class coach Tim Rush was putting another group of sailors through their paces, assisted by Jess Lavery and with parents helping on the RIBS and on shore. The conditions on Saturday were pretty brutal but the fleet launched and had a fantastic session on the water focusing on technique and set up for the conditions, with some great boat handling by the more experienced helms and crews and a lot of learning about the 420 in heavy weather for those who are new to the class. There were some very tired sailors at the end of an exhilarating day.

Sunday saw slightly less breeze and with sunshine to brighten the day the coaching team had another cracking day on the water working on starting, upwind sailing and windward mark decision making.

The following events constitute the Seldén SailJuice Winter Series 2018/19:

  • Fernhurst Books Draycote Dash, Draycote Water Sailing Club
    17-18 November 2018
  • Datchet Flyer, Datchet Water Sailing Club
    8-9 December 2018
  • Brass Monkey, Yorkshire Dales Sailing Club
    27 December 2018
  • Grafham Grand Prix, Grafham Water Sailing Club
    30 December 2018
  • Bloody Mary, Queen Mary Sailing Club
    12 January 2019
  • John Merricks Tiger Trophy, Rutland Sailing Club
    2-3 February 2019
  • Oxford Blue, Oxford Sailing Club
    16 February 2019

You can find out more about the Series at

Follow the British 420 Class Association at and

Source: Jennie Clark and Andy Rice