07 September 2022

Views from Vice Chair

From the Chair

Hi there 420 Sailors,

This is my first post since being elected to the role of Vice Chair, working alongside James (Chair) and the new committee and I wanted first and foremost to thank the outgoing committee for all its hard work and efforts. We have a thriving class and membership but one of the areas I felt we didn’t do well in was the communication with our members, keeping everyone up to date of what’s happening in the class and the committee plus other topics, so I’ve decided to start with a blog – “Views from the Vice”.

For those who don’t know me, I sailed in Gloucestershire on a small lake, sailing Optimists, Mirrors and Toppers as a junior then moved into Lasers (when only one rig existed). I was selected for the youth squad and represented GBR at Senior and Youth Worlds and Europeans, coming a credible 2nd at the Europeans in 1990, before campaigning for the 1996 Olympics, where Sir Ben Ainslie qualified his first Olympics. I currently sail at Oxford SC and for a while was active on the Laser masters circuit, being the Apprentice Masters National and Inland champion. However, being a 420 dad now takes up much of my spare time.

When we talk about a thriving class, the UK Nationals was one of the top events in dinghy sailing in the UK this summer.  With fifty 420’s sailing, with some great conditions and really close racing, we were also able to enjoy the festival nature of the nationals and the fantastic hospitality offered by George Heathcote (thanks to him and his family for having us all). Congratulations not only to the winners of the many trophies and prizes which were fantastic, hopefully more trophies like this to be seen across the year, but also to the many of you who voted for your committee. Using your vote is a massive part of you being in control of your class and ensuring the committee all represent you, as the class is for YOU the sailors.  To retain this right and keep sailing, you must be class members so please all get signed up quickly.    

Since the Nationals, we have run training at Stokes Bay SC. It was a fantastic weekend, sailing in the same waters as the OK’s, Europe and Rs300 open meeting. With great conditions in the Solent, just a short distance from the race course for the Warsash GP, it was great practice and an amazing opportunity to learn from Annabel and our newly appointed class coach Amy.   

So, what’s the plan now? We are uniquely placed as the premier double handed dinghy in the UK, with from what I’m seeing, a fantastic pipeline of new sailors coming into the class to complement the sailors we have today. With a great training program planned, this will help us to develop and start challenging at major International events, more to come on that soon.  We now have two GP’s coming up (Warsash and Torbay) which are also the RYA youth squad selector events - so best of luck to all our competitors.

I hope to post regularly with personal views and information about 420 sailing but please continue to check our website, social media channels and emails to get all the information and news of what’s happening. If there are topics you would like to hear about or people you would like to hear from, or even anything you want to share, then please let me know.

Gareth.

 

 


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