I think we can all agree that 2021 has been a challenging year! When I look back at the events calendar, I am reminded that everything was cancelled until at least mid-April and we struggled to find clubs that would host us. Ever resourceful, the class committee searched all over the country for any venue available and we turned to some commercial centres never used before.
Happily, things improved and we could go sailing again. The Spring Series events took competitors to WPNSA, Warsash and Brixham, ensuring plenty of time on the sea and dealing with some pretty fresh conditions, before heading off to international events and then the Youth Nationals.
We saw over 40 boats at both the RYA Youth Nationals in Plymouth and the GBR Nationals in Pwhelli, demonstrating how the 420 class has grown in popularity again and has benefited from transition activity. It certainly feels that we are in a good place for the future.
With that in mind, the 420 class association committee is developing a 3 year plan to set out our goals and objectives in the short to medium term. We will be sharing the approach with all of you in the New Year.
More recently, we concluded the Autumn GP Series at West Mersea, Itchenor and Chew Valley, plus the End of Seasons back at Grafham. The intention is to expand the Grand Prix series across both the spring and summer seasons next year and also continue with a rolling ranking leader board that has been established over the last five events
Details of how the rolling ranking is calculated can be found on the Class website under events.
Next year we have a great line-up of events already planned, visiting WPNSA, Rutland and Haying Island in the Spring. The Junior Euros are in Vilamoura in July and the World Championships in Balaton, Hungary, in August. Our GBR Nationals have to fit into a fairly tight window around school term dates and the international events, but we are close to selecting the best venue for 420 sailors around the country and will provide an update very soon.
I am delighted to see our coaching provision going from strength to strength with Annabel Cottermole joining the 420 gang as class coach and Jess Lavery moving on to Youth Performance Squad coach. There are further developments in terms of a 420 class training performance group, for which we will share details in the coming weeks.
If that’s not enough, we have been discussing how we can differentiate the 420 class from some of the other options that youth sailors have. A fleet of class boats to engage in team racing and match racing is under consideration, in addition to the calendar of national events and open coaching.
On behalf of the class association committee, we wish you all a very Happy Christmas and New Year. Here’s to a prosperous 2022!
420 Class Chair