Bow Numbers and Bow Number Stickers

The British International 420 Class Association operate a bow number system which enables the easy identification of boats on the water.

A 420 must display the correct Bow Number using Bow Number Stickers (*or the experimental alternative method) when competing in 420 Open meetings, Grand Prix events and Championship in the UK.


Obtaining a Bow Number

Bow numbers are assigned by the Class Association to HELMS when they enter the class, and that number typically stays with the helm until they leave the class, even if they change boat.

When first joining the 420 class in the UK you can obtain a Bow Number by contacting the 420 Class Administrator via our Contacts area


Obtaining Bow Number Stickers

Historically these have been suppled by the Class, but for 2023 onwards, it is now the responsibility of the sailor to supply these.

The official supplier of 420 Bow Number Stickers is P&B and they supply them in ready packs of 4x stickers, which is the number of stickers you need for 1 boat.

Bow Number Stickers can be sourced from other suppliers, but they must be Black, of the Digital 8 variety in the same font and be a minimum height of 230mm to ensure fairness across the class.

*Please also see the alternative bow numbering method below.

Making your Bow Number from Bow Number Stickers

Bow Number Stickers come supplied as a Digital 8 which can be cut using scissors or a scalpel to create the number you need. Below is an image which will guide you on how to create your Bow Number:

Please note that if your assigned Bow Number is between 1 and 9 you will need a Bow Number Sticker on your boat consisting of a 0 followed by your number, e.g. 07


Applying your Bow Number Stickers

We realise that applying stickers to curved surfaces is not always straight forward, therefore the below positioning is a guide, but please attempt to be within the below measurement tolerances to guarantee legibility.

To ensure your stickers stay on, we recommend giving your hull a good clean beforehand, using Acetone and a cloth to remove grease is also a good idea. If a Bow Number Sticker becomes lost or damaged so that in the opinion of the Race Committee or Technical Committee it is unclear or unreadable it must be replaced before the first race of the following day.

Bow Number Stickers should be fixed to both the Port and Starboard sides of the hull as illustrated:

Numbers should be positioned:

* A Bow Number Sticker alternative

The class is currently experimenting with stenciled on bow numbers using a Class Bow Number Stencil and a special type of marker pen. If a sailor would like to use this alternative method of applying their Bow Number to their hull, it is their responsibily to ensure that the stencil and pen are going to be at the event they need it for. A 420 must display the correct Bow Number when competing in 420 Open meetings, Grand Prix events and Championship in the UK.


Please note that The British International 420 Class Association cannot be held responsible for any damage caused to 420 hulls through the application or removal of Bow Number Stickers or marker pen stencilled numbers.

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