The 420 Nationals was held on the 27th, 28th & 29th of August at Howth Yacht Club. A record fleet of 21 Irish boats had entered for the event & began to gather merrily (but safely) from far & wide, on Friday morning for this much anticipated event. Irish 420 Association President, Garrett Leech commented “The Association is delighted to see such record numbers, the Fleet size has been growing over the last number of years thanks to it’s Members hard work but also demonstrating the suitability of the 420 to fill a well needed void in Ireland’s Youth Sailing scene”
HYC had everything laid on for the Youth Sailors upon arrival but with the possible exception of wind! Shortly after rigging & without the requirement of an AP, the Sea Breeze kicked in solidly! National Race Officer, Scorie Walls did not hang about and she deftly rattled off 4 races on Friday as the conditions were forecast to be lighter on Saturday. The racing was tight with Gold & Silver Fleet battles quickly emerging overnight, the finishes were often tight reflected by some photo finishes.
Photo credit: A. Blaney
Saturday proved to be another beautifully light but suitable day, Scorie again succeeded in getting in another 3 races between Ireland’s Eye & Portmarnock. The scores were very tight in both Gold & Silver Fleet overnight showing the competitiveness of the Fleet, in particular the Gold Fleet, with 1st place having only 1 point between the leaders, Graf/Goerg and contenders, McDowell/Thompson. With only 2 races remaining to complete the full series on Sunday, all podium places for Gold & Silver Fleet were quite uncertain, no doubt leading to a restful night’s sleep for some!
Drone footage taken by Brian Maguire on Saturday.
Sunday morning was noticeable cooler, visibility poorer and wind scarcer. Scorie minimised downtime with a short AP but the wind soon came up & the two needed races were completed with much anticipation. There was much refreshing of browsers taking place ashore by Parents to see had the latest results been uploaded!
The overall winner of the National Championship (and Gold Fleet) went to Graf/Goerg with a 3 point lead over McDowell/Thompson and 3rd position going to Duffy/Johnston. Winner of the Silver Fleet was Sweetman/Jephson, 2nd place went to Passberger/Maree and 3rd to Dunne/O’Reilly.
The highest scoring Ladies prize went to Campion/Soffe and the Curraghbinny Cup which caters for the crew showing most promise within the Fleet, went to Cronin/Whyte.
Full results can be seen here on HYC’s webpage.
A special surprise visit at prizegiving from Olympian Séan Waddilove went down a treat with the Sailors. Sean presented an Olympic Friendship pin to each of the Competitors! This lovely gesture reminded the Sailors that their participation is what made the event. It was noted by many of the Sailors that his & Rob’s name were not on the overall Trophy but this had not held the duo back in any way!
Next up on the 420 calendar is the RYA NI Youth Championship, this is been held at Carrickfergus Sailing Club on the 11th & 12th of September. The will also be Sailors travelling to the British 420 National Championship which is to be held at Plas Heli on the 25th & 26th of September.
2021 National Champions – Graf & Georg
2nd Place Gold Fleet – McDowell & Thompson
3rd Place Gold Fleet – Duffy & Johnston
Ist Place Silver Fleet – Sweetman & Jephson
2nd Place Silver Fleet – Passberger & Maree
3rd Place Silver Fleet – Dunne & O’Reilly
1st Place Ladies – Dunne & O’Reilly
Curraghbinny Cup winners – Cronin & Whyte (Prize presented by Sean Waddilove)