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Displaying items by tag: 420

Now that the Summer sailing season is over, the Irish 420 Class Association has started a programme of winter training sessions, with local training groups running in North Dublin, Dun Laoghaire and Crosshaven, while the first of a series of national training camps over the Winter months, with coaching support from the ISA, takes place at Howth this weekend.

Sailors from Wexford, Cork, Tralee and Galway will join nine boats from HYC, Malahide, Clontarf, Sutton and Skerries for this training camp, with HYC Class Captain Des Flood expecting 20 boats for the two-day session.

420 sailors are encouraged to participate in club sailing and local regattas whenever and wherever possible and over of them also compete in Regional and National Championships as well as the ISA Youth Nationals. In 2012, a small number of Irish 420 sailors represented the class at ISAF Youth Worlds in Dun Laoghaire, the World Championships in Austria and the Junior European Championships in Italy.

Despite being sometimes branded as an ‘elite boat’, there is plenty of evidence to show that this is not the case. Some of the sailors in the class can be as young as 13 and they compete at a national level in boats that are older than they are. The 420 Class Association website currently has a list of second-hand boats for sail. These range in price from €1500 to €6500 for 2012 boat which has been sailed for 20 days.

The 420 offers youth and smaller adult sailors an opportunity to learn a range of skills, including using spinnakers and trapezes, racing and teamwork with another person in a two-man boat. The Class Association and host clubs work with a team of experienced coaches which includes four Irish Olympic sailors and two professional teachers among their numbers.

For more information on the 420 Class and clubs that host class training, see:- 420 Class Website www.sail420.com

Published in 420
Tagged under

#420 – The Aqua Restaurant-sponsored 420 National Championships sailed at Howth Yacht Club over the August Bank Holiday Weekend were won in impressive style by the young Royal Cork YC pairing of Patrick Crosbie and Grattan Roberts who took the gun in five of the 9 races and never placed lower than 3rd.

Four races on day one were sailed in fresh but steady winds and two firsts, a second and a third put the Cork crew in a commanding position ahead of the eventual runners-up, Robert Dickson and Sean Waddilove of the host club who had two firsts and a second but also had a DSQ.

In lighter, shifting winds on the second day, the Howth crew won the first race of the day but then had a second DSQ while their Cork rivals scored two bullets to stretch their advantage. Two races on the final day saw the honours even between the two front-runners but after discards, Crosbie & Grattan had five points to spare over Dickson & Waddilove.

PRO for the 3-day event was Richard Kissane, assisted by National Race Officers Derek Bothwell and Neil Murphy, with support from Emmet Dalton manning the on-the-water Jury Boat.

The Championship attracted 16 entries from six different clubs and the silver fleet was won by Hugh McGuire and Harry Johnson of the Royal Irish YC. Other prize-winners were:

Tara Flood & Chloe Crosbie (HYC/RCYC) – 1st Ladies Overall

Laragh Lee & Sarah Hyland (RStGYC) – 1st Ladies in Silver Fleet

Philip McDowell & Cian Buckley (MYC) – Youngest Helm & Crew (13+14)

Medb Glackin & Saoirse Kelly (HYC) – Best local boat outside the top 3

Aisling McGowan & Aoife Linnane (CY&BC) - Most sociable boat

Robert Dickson & Sean Waddilove (HYC/SSC), Adam Hyland & Bill Staunton (RStGYC/SSC) and Cian Walsh & Fiachra McHugh (GBSC) are travelling to the Junior Europeans in Lake Garda this week.

Meanwhile, at the 420 world championships with lights winds forcing no racing on Saturday, it looked as though it might be a repeat situation on Sunday's final day at the 2012 420 World Championship. After a tense wait ashore filled with uncertainty as to whether the forecast breeze would fill in, it did and just in time for the 1700 hours cut off by when the Race Committee had to get a race started. Another day of unpredictable wind, which eventually turned good and delivered a solid breeze to complete race 10 for all fleets.

Stunning race 10 action delivered the titles to Alex Kavas/George Kavas in the 420 World Championship and Singapore's Rachel Lee/Cecilia Low were victorious in the 420 Ladies Championship.

The 2012 420 Junior World Championship titles were awarded to Kimberly Lim/Savannah Siew (SIN) in the 420 Ladies fleet and Alex Kavas/George Kavas in the 420 Open fleet, as the highest placed teams with both the helm and crew aged 18 or under.

Twenty eight nations and 179 teams competed at the 2012 420 World Championships. 'Challenging' was the general consensus of sailing on the shifty and unpredictable Lake Neusiedl, which threw everything from 5-22 knots at teams. Outside of the leading pack of boats in each fleet, it was a real snakes and ladders scoreboard with teams trading positions as they posted vastly differing scores from one race to the next.

In a performance which can only be described as exceptional, brothers Alex and George Kavas from Greece outclassed the fleet to claim Gold, marking their third successive podium finish at 420 Championships.

During the first five races of the qualification series, the leaderboard was close as David and Alex Charles (ESP) and the Greek brothers matched each other's overall points in their respective fleets. But when the two sets of brothers came head to head in the final series, the situation unfolded differently. Speed was the name of the game for the Greeks, and they had the edge whatever the conditions. Described by their coach as sailing 'like computers' after two race wins on the first day of the Championship, the pair continued with the same approach, scoring a total of 7 wins from the ten race series.

"It was our last regatta in the 420 and we are really pleased," said older brother George. The brothers also secured the 420 Junior World Championship title.

Alex and George won the 2011 420 European Championships and claimed bronze at the 2011 420 Junior European Championships, so it is fitting they retire from the 420 Class with the ultimate gold medal honour. Next up for the brothers is the 470 Junior European Championship in Italy, where they will face many other former 420 stars.

On their goals at the 470 Junior Europeans, George continued, "I don't know. There will be strong winds and it will be tough!"

The turning point for the Charles brothers' assault on the World Championship title came after equipment failure forced them out of race 9, and added unwanted points to their scoreline.

"We are really happy with this result, third is a good place," said Alex Charles.

Astonishing that last year the brothers didn't event qualify for the 420 Worlds and this year have won gold at the ISAF Youth Worlds and bronze at the 420 Worlds; podium finishes to cap a great year of racing so far. We can expect to see more from them at the 420 Junior Europeans later this week.

A steady scoreline for France's Guillaume Pirouelle/Valentin Sipan delivered them the silver medal, to match the silver they secured at the 2012 ISAF Youth Worlds, and silver at the 2011 420 Junior European Championship.

Pirouelle was relatively relaxed going into the final day of racing, commenting, "It depended whether there were three races or one, but with just one race, we were confident as we didn't have a bad race, so could have a discard."

Sipan added, "I feel very happy and it is recompense for all our hard work."

The Spanish and French will re-meet at the 2012 420 Junior Europeans in Italy, where racing is likely to be in stronger wind conditions than Austria. Sipan continued, "Yes, we like it when it is windy and we have trained on Lake Garda. We will do our best."

Lighter of the cauldron at the 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, Callum Airlie (GBR), got his focus into racing after the heady heights of the Opening Ceremony and finished 31st in the silver fleet, with crew Joseph Butterworth.

Winners of the silver fleet were Taylor Burn/Oscar Rorvik (NZL) and Hugo Sloper/James Dodd (GBR) won the bronze fleet.

420 World Championship - Top 10 Overall

1. KAVAS Alex/KAVAS George (GRE) - 18 pts

2. PIROUELLE Guillaume/SIPAN Valentin (FRA) - 29 pts

3. CHARLES David/CHARLES Alex (ESP) - 36 pts

4. MAS Santi/MAS David (ESP) - 50 pts

5. FRANKLIN Josh /GOUGH Alexander (AUS) - 67 pts

6. DERBYSHIRE Harry/LOVESEY Tom (GBR) - 69 pts

7. MPAKATSIAS Fratzekos/TIMOGIANNAKIS Evangelos (GRE) - 72 pts

8. DIBB Craig/COX Charlie (GBR) - 73 pts

9. ZENETZIDAKIS Michail/VASILIS Kontakis (GRE) – 82 pts

10. PINHO Goncalo/HIPOLITO Miguel (POR) – 83 pts

420 Ladies

An overwhelming delivery from Singapore's 420 Ladies team, with three of the four teams competing at the Worlds finishing in the top four and Rachel Lee/Cecilia Low stepping up to collect the ultimate prize of World Championship gold.

"We had to finish in front of Chile by two positions. It was nerve racking waiting ashore. We really hoped there would be wind and a race, but just didn't know," explained Lee. Lee/Low finished 17th at the 2011 420 World Championship.

Out on the water the team supported each other, as Low explained, "We tried to calm ourselves down by talking to each other. The wind was light at the start, and we were a bit worried as we are on the heavy side, but it turned out OK. It feels really, really great."

Modest about the achievements of the Singapore 420 Ladies team, they seemed surprised to have collectively delivered such an impressive outcome. "We didn't dream this would happen. It was really unexpected. The level here is very, very high and the fleet is very competitive. It has been difficult to stay on top," said Lee.

By the time racing got underway, it was certain there would only be one race contested, so Lim/Low knew they had to finish ahead of the Chilean pair and with two boats between them, to secure the gold medal. A great start saw Lee/Low lead to the first mark first, with the Chileans in third. After the reaching leg, the Chileans started catching up on Lee/Low, and then gybed off away from the fleet. Strategically the Singaporeans chose to cover the Chileans, so followed them and went on to secure victory.

It was a tough final day for Chile's Nadja Horwitz/Sofia Middleton, who had been leading the World Championship from the outset, but after the nailbiting final race had to settle for the silver medal. Understandably emotional about the outcome, Horwitz was equally graceful to the Singapore team's skills on the race track, saying, "They raced really, really well. They didn't give us a chance and sailed better than us, so they deserved the gold. It was so hard waiting for so many hours, and we didn't know if we were going to race or not. You had to prepare yourself mentally and we didn't know what was going to happen."

Sixteen year old Horwitz finished fourth at the recent ISAF Youth Worlds with another crew and feels the two World Championships are quite different. "There are so many teams here, and teams that you don't see at the ISAF Youths and everyone is so well prepared. With so many teams competing, when you have a bad race you rack up the points and it is hard to get back up high again."

Looking ahead to developing their performance, Horwitz concluded, "We have to prepare more in our heads for the big decisions on the last day of racing. The pressure adds a lot, like having the yellow dot on your sail."

With the exception of wins by a Chilean team at past Lightning World Championships, the silver medal by Nadja Horwitz/Sofia Middleton is the best ever result for Chilean sailors at a World Championship in any class, and will certainly act as a motivator. Worth taking note that only last year, the team of Benjamin Grez/Diego Gonzalez finished third at the 420 World Championships in Argentina, and this year qualified to the Olympics in the 470 men event.

Horwitz has several more years ahead of her at the ISAF Youth Worlds and in the 420 fleet. For her next Championship however, Horwitz is making a step up to the 470. Unable to compete in the 420 Junior European fleet as Middleton is older than the age limit, the pair will be trying their luck in the 470 fleet at the 2012 470 Junior European Championships where racing gets underway on Lake Garda on 11 August.

A win in race 10 provided the bronze medal to Griselda Khng/Shu Xian Lee (SIN), "I am really happy with the results. We did better than expected as we are a new partnership," said Khng. "We understand each other and have both sailed with lots of different partners so have experience of what works well and have similar ideas and thoughts," added Lee.

Tsuf Zamet/Stav Brokman of Israel won the 420 Ladies silver fleet.

420 Ladies World Championship - Top 10 Overall

1. LEE Rachel/LOW Cecilia (SIN) - 28 pts

2. HORWITZ Nadja/MIDDLETON Sofia (CHI) - 29 pts

3. KHNG Griselda/SHU Xian Lee (SIN) – 54 pts

4. LIM Kimberly/SIEW Savannah (SIN) - 55 pts

5. PETERNOSTER Ilaria/DI SALLE Bernedetta (GBR) – 57 pts

6. LAVERY Jessica/MOTHERSELE Georgina (GBR - 63 pts

7. OMARI Carlotta/CIRILLO Francesca Russo (ITA) - 69 pts

8. MIQUEL Aura/CANO Marina (ESP) – 70 pts

9. PORET Jennifer/CHEVET Louise (FRA) - 74 pts

10. ROSSI Camille/VILETTE Aurelie (FRA) - 83 pts

The 420 Junior World Championship titles were awarded to the top placed teams where both helm and crew are aged 18 or under. Kimberly Lim/Savannah Siew (SIN) won the 420 Ladies Junior World Championship title and Alex Kavas/George Kavas (GRE) won the 420 Open Junior World Championship title.

The Huck Scott Memorial Trophy was awarded to Eduard Fiala/Jan Fiala (CZE) as the youngest team competing in the Championship.

The William Sanchez Trophies were awarded to Wade Waddell/Henry Fernberger (USA) in the 420 Open and Kimberly Lim/Savannah Siew (SIN) in the 420 Ladies as the highest placed team, with both crew members aged 16 or under.

Spain won the Francis Mouvet Trophy as top nation, narrowly clinching it ahead of Singapore.

The 2012 420 World and Ladies World Championships were hosted by the Austrian Sailing Federation in conjunction with the Austrian 420 Class Association and the International 420 Class Association.

The 2012 420 Junior European Championships is taking place from 9-17 August in Riva, Italy. More at: www.420sailing.org/junioreuropeans

 

Published in Howth YC
Tagged under

#420dinghy – Ireland's ISAF Youth Worlds competitors from July Patrick Crosbie and Grattan Roberts are the top of the 420 National championships fleet as the regatta enters the final stages off Howth today. The Royal Cork Yacht Club (RCYC) pairing are five points clear from Royal St. George pair Adam Hyland and Bill Staunton. Third is Galway Bay Sailing Club's Cian Walsh and Fiachra McHugh are next on neet points but some 12 points adrift.

Racing continues at Howth Yacht Club this afternoon in the 16-boat fleet.

Published in Howth YC
Tagged under

Two Malahide Yacht Club girls – Lizzy McDowell and Orlagh Thompson – will be Ireland's representatives at the 420 World Championships starting in Austria next week (first race Monday 30th July).

The 12-race championship, which will have qualifying and final series in both the Ladies and Open fleets, will be sailed at Neusiedl am See, just south of Vienna and the Malahide crew will be competing against 180 boats from 27 other countries. The Championship finishes on August 5th.

The qualifying events were the 420 Connachts and the ISA Youth Nationals and Lizzy and Orlagh were the leading female crew in all Irish events this year. Lizzy recently won the Topaz Nationals at her home club, crewed by her cousin Gemma.

Ireland will be represented at two other international 420 events in August, the Junior Europeans at Lake Garda and the British Nationals at Torbay.

The event website is http://www.420sailing.org/content_main.asp?id=5441

Published in Malahide YC
Tagged under

#ISAF YOUTH WORLDS – Irish debutantes are off to an explosive start at the ISAF Youth World Championship on home waters this afternoon, with two Irish crews in the top five overall after the first two races of the week-long Dublin Bay series.

Royal Cork's Patrick Crosbie and Grattan Roberts are third overall after two races in the Boys' 420 class, counting a 15th and second placing in their 30–boat fleet.

“It was pretty good - better than we expected,” said 15-year-old sailor Crosbie.

In today’s second race they had managed to get into second on the first upwind leg. “It is hard to tell,” Crosbie admitted of where he expected them to be at this early stage of the regatta. “We didn’t know a lot of the boats or what the level was. We are very happy today.”

The good news for the Irish youth sailing team continues with Dun Laoghaire's Finn Lynch posting fourth overall from 45 starters in the Laser Radial class, a second top class result for the host nation.

Conditions were ideal for the start of the championships off Dun Laoghaire with moderate north-westerly winds, if a little chilly.

The international event kicked off last night with an opening ceremony that has drawn 61 nations to Ireland for the 42nd staging of the world class event.

The balance of the three boat Irish team also took top ten results, except for the Dun Laoghaire based 29er boys Sean and Tadgh Donnelly who lie 11th from 24.

The buoyant Irish results bode well for the young Irish squad. Both Lynch and the Cork 420 pairing are making their international debut this week.

Previous ISAF Youth Worlds competitor Sophie Murphy, who hails from Strangford Lough, also got off to a strong start and lies tenth overall in a fleet of 42 in the Laser Radial Girls division.

Murphy said she was “happy enough with today. With the Youth Worlds the points are so high - last year if you averaged a tenth you would have won overall.”

But this early into the competition, she won’t speculate on the ultimate outcome.

“I'm literally going to take each race as it comes - there's no point not looking at the end result; I really don't want to jinx anything.”

Meanwile, Dublin Bay's Alexander Rumball and Rory McStay are 10th from 15 in the SL16 catamaran class.

“We did better in the first race," said Rumball of their performance. "The second race was really gusty and shifty, as all these gusts kept coming down. We got on the right side of one on the last beat of that race and it brought us up a load.”

The competition continues tomorrow, when more wind is forecast with 15-16 knots from the west. Full results from today are posted HERE.

#SAILING – Schull Youth Team from West Cork won the Under 21 Trophy at the Wilson Trophy in West Kirby in the UK yesterday and it represented a sweet revenge for the teenage three boat team.

Dublin's Ger Owens and Scott Flanigan final chance for Olympic selection at the 470 World Championships in Barcelona got off to a flying start yesterday with the double Olympian Owens finishing fifth in the opening race. It is an early boost for one of 7 remaining places left in the Summer Olympics.  Ross Hamilton is also trying to qualify in the Finn class, he lies

It may have been 'gutting' not to come away with a medal at the Star world championships where Peter O'Leary and and David Burrows finished fourth overall but it was nevertheless a fantastic performance for the London qualified pairing who were third overall for most of last week.

Ben Duncan continues his domination of the SB3 class with a win in the 2012 Eastern Championships yesterday at the National Yacht Club who celebrated its yacht club of the year award last Wednesday.

There was success for Class III champion Supernova plus results from all 19 DBSC classes on Saturday in Dublin Bay.

Cork Harbour's Patrick Crosbie and Grattan Roberts were 420 dinghy winners at Galway Bay Sailing Club.

Offshore American Kenny Read and Team Puma is in back in the USA, a Volvo Ocean Race Win on the home waters of Miami all the more satisfying. The race will finish in Galway at the end of next month.

Billed as one of Europe's major yacht racing events, the 2012 Round Ireland Race starts on June 24th and an international fleet has been announced with UK entries at an all time high for Ireland's top offshore fixture.

Offshore sailing is on a high thanks largely to the pioneeing work of Peter Ryan with the Irish Sea fleet and why shouldn't we be our exploiting our offshore assets, sure don't we own 220 million acres? The third ISORA Race this weekend will feature virtual marks on the way to the Howth finish.

The title holder's absence may be Hong Kong's opportunity at the 2012 Commodore's Cup. Where is Team Ireland as Hong Kong builds up for the cup in just two month's time?

And in two week's time Howth Yacht Club report they have reached the magic number of 100 for the ICRA Cruiser Nationals at the North Dublin venue.

Published in Racing

#420Royal Cork Yacht Club sailors Patrick Crosbie and Grattan Roberts who will sail for Ireland in the Four Star Pizza ISAF Youth Worlds in July won the 420 dinghy Connacht Championships hosted on May 7th by Galway Bay Sailing Club.

A superb weekend's racing was had by the small but competitive 11-boat fleet. Conditions varied from light and variable on Sunday morning increasing to a moderate southerly later. Strong rain squalls made for exhilarating conditions on the Monday where crews and boats were well tested.

Second overall were Royal St George pairing Adam Hyland and Bill Staunton while the Malahide duo of Lizzy McDowell and Orlagh Thompson took third.

The 420 Munster Championship originally scheduled for RCYC in June has been rescheduled to a weekend in September – the new date will be confirmed shortly.

Published in Racing
Tagged under

Sixteen crews have so far confirmed their participation at the 420 Class's Mid-term Training Camp at Fastnet Marine and Outdoor Education Centre in Schull, County Cork.

 Coaching will be provided by Irish Olympic Sailor Ross Killian, Tom Mapplebeck, Christian Birrell and double 470 World Champion Nic Asher.

 Further information on the Training Camp, which runs from Monday 13th to Friday 17th February, can be found on http://www.sail420.com/

Published in Racing

There has been a call for the Irish Sailing Association (ISA) to take a lead in the big decisions that face youth sailors on what classes to sail to after they leave the ranks of the Optimist, Topper and Feva classes. The call comes from a leading junior organiser who does not wish to be named.

Although youth sailing is buoyant in Ireland it is known there is a 'high attrition rate' among teenagers. The lack of transfer in to senior dinghy classes has been a cause of concern for many clubs around the country.

The comments follow a recently published  article on Afloat.ie promoting the RS 200 dinghy as a progression boat for juniors.

"We need a class that will keep youths engaged. The 420 and 29er are great boats but require higher levels of boathandling, are much more competitive and tend to attract the top sailors"

"While the ISA's Olympic ambitions are great to see, it will fail the sport as a whole if it does not tackle this gaping need, the organiser says.

Read the RS 200 article by Ciara Byrne and the junior organiser's comments here

Published in Youth Sailing

Questions over the next step for juniors after the RS Feva point to the bigger RS200 writes Feva sailor Ciara Byrne

The RSFeva has become the world's best selling two-person dinghy in recent years with fleets also growing in clubs all over Ireland. It is fast becoming the most popular and widespread choice for teenagers and youth sailors who enjoy competitive, active and exciting sailing.

However many questions were being asked recently at the RSFeva Nationals, held in Crosshaven, Co. Cork, regarding the next step for young, talented sailors who wish to continue racing in large fleets without the difficult transition of transferring from the Feva into a larger, unfamiliar dinghy. This uncertainty has led to many sailors dropping out of sailing altogether, while the remainder have split the fleet into Lasers, the 420/470 or moved on to cruisers.

However these dinghies require a lot of time and effort of getting used to, leaving some sailors frustrated and also, less motivated. To avoid this altogether, there is one simple solution: the RS200.

The RS200 is a spacious, one-design, double-handed, hiking, high-performance dinghy which has developed a huge following at club, circuit and championship level in the UK with a growing fleet in Ireland. A pivoting centreboard and rudder allow easy launch and recovery with a thwart giving the crew a comfortable position for light winds. With the asymmetric spinnaker, similar rigging and a similar design, it can be considered as a larger and faster Feva which makes for an easy changeover and the most logical and simple step up.

The ideal weight for an RS200 is 115-145kg (18-23 stone) which allows people of all ages to sail and race effectively in this dinghy. Ideal for teenagers emerging from the Feva, parents, youths, couples, friends and relatives can also come together which enhances the family and social scene.

Even though the 420 has a larger total sail area, the RS200's asymmetric spinnaker of over eight square metres, with a smoother single line hoist and drop system, similar to the Feva's. makes for a faster boat and requires greater tactical and more exciting downwind sailing. This encourages competitive racing and enhanced racing skills.

RS200greystones

An RS200 at full speed off Greystones. Photo: Fiachra Etchingham

A maintenance free hull, made of lightweight polyester GRP ensures a long competitive life and second hand boats can be in very good condition so that older hulls are without the disadvantage experienced in fleets such as the 420. Furthermore, every hull comes from the same manufacturer giving no subtle advantage to any one boat; therefore racing just comes down to the sailors' tactics, boat handling and general knowledge of sailing and racing.

While the RS200 is not an Olympic class, there are large UK and Irish fleets which are active and competitive. Johnathan Lewis, a UK Feva coach and RS200 sailor, strongly encourages Feva graduates to move into the RS200 as it is an easy transition and makes for fun and exciting sailing. RS200 fleets are strong in Irish clubs such as those in Northern Ireland including Ballyholme, Newcastle and Cushendall as well as Greystones Sailing Club in Co. Wicklow.

Greystones Sailing Club boasts probably the largest asymmetric dinghy fleet in Ireland with fifty five asymmetric dinghies, twenty one of those being RSFevas and the majority of the remainder being RS200s. Recognising the RS200 as the natural progression from the Feva, ages range from fifteen to fifty five across the RS200 and RS400 fleets in the Club, with most of these boats competing in national events in Ireland, and some in the UK and further afield.

RS200heeling

Rounding a mark in the RS200. Photo: Fiachra Etchingham

As fleets build in Dún Laoghaire and Howth yacht clubs, the RS200 is gradually becoming a popular progression from the Feva, and with the RS400 as a follow on boat for larger crews, young sailors can remain involved and spirited in asymmetric racing. The RS200 satisfies a thirst for speed and pace which generates more exciting, competitive and enjoyable sailing for those emerging from Feva fleet.

A Dublin Sailor (who has asked not to be named) has sent us comments on this story:

As one involved in junior and youth sailing at club level, one of the big decisions that faces youths is where to go after junior classes such as Optimists, Toppers, Fevas. Like any other sport, there is a high attrition rate after the age of 14 / 15, especially among girls which is an even greater shame as they can compete on a par with the guys.

We need a class that will keep youths engaged. The 420 & 29er are great boats but require higher levels of boathandling, are much more competitive and tend to attract the top sailors. They also suffer from an inability to match up crews who will stick together - teenagers chop and change all the time and its difficult to race a boat like a 420 / Fireball / 29er wihout a constant crew partnership.

We need a boat/class that:
  1. Enables swapping around of crews without a major impact on the boathandling / teamwork. A sailor's plans for the weekend / event / season are not scuppered because of crewing issues.
  2. Does not need a highly competent crew (e.g. ability to trapeze and fly / gybe a kite etc.) so that sailors can sail with their mates who may not necessarily be top-notch sailors but who can acquit themselves well in a slightly less complex boat.
  3. Has a good mixed social scene which is the most important element of any class, youth or otherwise.
  4. Does not cost the earth in terms of purchase price, is easy on wear & tear on kit (hence replacement & upgrade costs) or does not go soft and become uncompetitive needing a new hull after three to five years etc
  5. Has international competition that is closeby (UK, FR, Bel, Ned etc) for those aspiring to a bit more
  6. Has a motiviated class structure to help grow the class.

The fear is that we are starting out another class that will dilute the current youth class efforts. However I believe that the 420 and 29er will hold their own and continue to attract top sailors with ISAF ambitions.

On the other hand, if we continue to support these we will continue to lose the middle ground (and majority) of young sailors from our sport. Youths are fickle enough and if its too much hassle to deal with all the challenges of getting afloat they just won't bother - sad but true.


The ISA needs to take a lead in this and while its Olympic ambitions are great to see, it will fail the sport as a whole if it does not tackle this gaping need in its portfolio of support.


I believe that the RS200 and R2400 provide the best solution to these challenges. They appear well-built and the manufacturer certainly appears well organised and gets involved.


Looking from outside and without any vested interests (other than the health of junior and youth sailing) the RS's get my vote as a class that can make a radical difference.

Published in RS Sailing
Page 10 of 11

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