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Lough Ree YC & Malahide Slug It Out for 420s National Title at Howth

30th August 2021
Loving the sunshine and making the best of the light breeze – Alex Leech and Conor Paul of Lough Ree YC (left, sixth overall) and Matthew Fallon & Jenny Paul (LRYC, 13th overall) in a private battle at Howth
Loving the sunshine and making the best of the light breeze – Alex Leech and Conor Paul of Lough Ree YC (left, sixth overall) and Matthew Fallon & Jenny Paul (LRYC, 13th overall) in a private battle at Howth Credit: Brian James Maguire

The weekend's 420 Nationals at Howth enjoyed blissful sunshine but not quite enough easterly breeze on Saturday, and a reasonable-for-sailing but otherwise utterly grey northerly yesterday (Sunday) to get in the full quota of races for a fleet of 21 boats from six clubs

Either way, as far as the first six places were concerned, it was Lough Ree and Malahide pretty well rampant. So much so that we should hear it loud and clear for Adam McGrady and Allister O'Sullivan of Galway Bay SC – they managed to break the Lough Ree-Malahide hegemony by slipping into the listing at seventh overall, supported by clubmates Isabella Irwin and Mattie Kennedy at eighth.

Things get serious at the windward mark for Isabella Irwin & Mattie Kennedy (left, GBSC, eighth overall) and Matthew Fallon & Jenny Paul (LRYC, 13th overall). Photo: Annraoi BlaneyThings get serious at the windward mark for Isabella Irwin & Mattie Kennedy (left, GBSC, eighth overall) and Matthew Fallon & Jenny Paul (LRYC, 13th overall). Photo: Annraoi Blaney

But up at the sharp end, the first race was a clear declaration of intent with Jack McDowell and Henry Thompson of Malahide taking the bullet from Ben Graf and Anna Goerg of Lough Ree. Thereafter, regardless of wind amounts or sunshine quantities, it was almost entirely these two slugging it out for the win with the Graf und Goerg duo becoming dominant with four wins in the nine races while discarding a couple of thirds, though in fairness their Lough Ree clubmates Eoghan Duffy and Luke Johnston took third overall with a couple of firsts and a second.

Port tack assessment – Adam McGrady & Allister O'Sullivan (GBSC, 7th overall) weighing their chances Photo: Annraoi Blaney Port tack assessment – Adam McGrady & Allister O'Sullivan (GBSC, 7th overall) weighing their chances Photo: Annraoi Blaney 

As for the Malahide stars McDowell and Thompson, their scoreline was 1,2,2, (5), 2, (3), 1, 2 to give them 13 to the winning 10 of Graf and Goerg – full details here

Campaigning a 420 is a much greater logistical challenge for young sailors and their support teams than doing the circuit with the solo-sailed Optimists, Lasers or Toppers, so it's interesting to see how club involvement waxes and wanes. For instance, there were no boats from the host club, where much attention is now focused on U18 and U25 groups. But obviously for now Lough Ree and Malahide are giving it their best shot, and so too are Galway Bay, Waterford Harbour at Dunmore East, and Blessington up in the Wicklow Hills. It will be intriguing to see how this current pattern pans out in the next couple of years.

Saturday bliss - let us hope it wasn't the last real day of Summer 2021. Photo: Brian James MaguireSaturday bliss - let us hope it wasn't the last real day of Summer 2021. Photo: Brian James Maguire

420 Irish winners

1st overall Graf and Goerg 1st overall Graf and Goerg

2nd overall - McDowell Thompson2nd overall - McDowell and Thompson

3rd - overall Duffy Johnston3rd - overall Duffy and Johnston

420 Irish silver fleet winners

1st Silver Fleet - Sweetman and Jephson 1st Silver Fleet - Sweetman and Jephson

2nd Silver Fleet - Passberger and Maree2nd Silver Fleet - Passberger and Maree

3rd Silver Fleet - Dunne and O'Reilly 3rd Silver Fleet - Dunne and O'Reilly

Curraghbinny Cup Sarah Whyte and Sean Cronin with Tokyo 2020 sailor Sean Waddilove Curraghbinny Cupwinners -  Sarah Whyte and Sean Cronin with Tokyo 2020 sailor Sean Waddilove

 

Best Female Crew -  Campion and Soffe. Best Female Crew Campion Soffe

Published in 420, Howth YC
WM Nixon

About The Author

WM Nixon

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William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland for many years in print and online, and his work has appeared internationally in magazines and books. His own experience ranges from club sailing to international offshore events, and he has cruised extensively under sail, often in his own boats which have ranged in size from an 11ft dinghy to a 35ft cruiser-racer. He has also been involved in the administration of several sailing organisations.

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At A Glance – 420 Dinghy Specifications

Crew 2
Type Monohull
Design One-Design
Construction GRP
Rig Bermuda
Keel Centerboard
Trapeze Single
LOA 4.2 metres (13 ft 9 in)
Beam 1.63 metres (5 ft 4 in)
Draft 0.965 metres (3 ft 2.0 in)
Hull weight 80 kilograms (180 lb)
Mast height 6.26 metres (20 ft 6 in)
Main & Jib area 10.25 square metres (110.3 sq ft) [1]
Mainsail area 7.45 square metres (80.2 sq ft)
Jib / Genoa area 2.8 square metres (30 sq ft)
Spinnaker area 8.83 square metres (95.0 sq ft)

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