420 Autumn Championships 2018 – Royal Lymington Yacht Club

GBR 420 Class Class matters

This weekend Lymington welcomed 26 420’s for the Autumn Championships. Earlier
in the week the forecast had a “biblical storm” on the cards which wasn’t
enough to deter teams traveling from all over the country to descend upon The
Royal Lymington Yacht Club. I think if I were to describe the weather
conditions on Saturday as “a little damp” that would be fair, it isn’t often
that it rains from 9am until 9pm!

With multiple weather fronts passing by the wind ranged from 0-17knts
throughout day 1. Our excellent race team lead by Roger Wilson and Adrian
Stoggall attempted to get racing underway with the expected drop and shift to a
more easterly direction by midday. Unfortunately race 1 was abandoned due to
the wind dropping, the fleet were held a float under postponement until the new
breeze arrived.

After a short wait the new breeze came and racing could commence with 10-
17knts. Tide was a big factor to consider during the racing and local Hero’s
Vita Heathcote and Milly Boyle were quick out of the blocks on day 1 scoring
1,1,1,6 to take the overnight lead. A number a new pairings also impressed on
day 1 with lots of fresh faces taking some fantastic race scores from the day.
Due to the strong tide the fleet were tested with different race formats with
one of the biggest changes being a starboard rounding of a trapezoid course.
The sailors adapted well and some excellent rule observance was commented on by
the class Jury David Brunskill. 6-7 hours on the water and 4 races completed
meant for some soggy and hungry sailors (& rib crews!!) but with the ominous
forecast the race team were keen to push the fleet to the limit on day 1.

An AGM followed racing on Saturday with a number of new committee members &
Sailor reps were selected to maintain the excellent work going on in the
background of the 420 class.

Day 2 dawned and the rain was still with us, the conditions in the morning were
16-18knts with the chance of a building breeze. The race team got the fleet
launched ASAP and tried to get the rest of the series complete before the
breeze built to much. New race leaders lead the way on Sunday with Megan
Ferguson and Bee Harris doing a “horizon job” to seal a very impressive bullet
in race 5. With the breeze increasing throughout the morning there were a few
gear failures starting to creep in, one to note was our national champions Rhys
Lewis and Drew Wright, whilst running in the top 5 in race 5 there jib wire
snapped which meant Drew became a human teabag! But the camaraderie within the
fleet meant that the boys found a spare wire and made the repair for race 6 if
not a little late for the go! By midway through the 6th race we had gusts into
the high 20’s and a number of teams choose to have a little dip which lead the
race team to decide that race 6 would be the last. Race 6 had a exciting final
run in the big breeze with Haydn Sewell & William Heathcote battling it out
with the new pairing of Eleanor Keers & Faye Chatterton, it came down to the
last gybe on the final mark. The boys took the race win but big smiles from all
as the sailors crossed the line and heading by to lymington for some tasty
pasta waiting ashore!

The overall victory was secured by Vita Heathcote & Milly Boyle with thanks in
their speech going to their “Sick club of lymington” and all involved in the
organisation of the event.

Great weekend of racing in some challenging conditions! Next up for the 420’s
is the re-run of the lnlands at Rutland sailing club on the 20th & 21st