The 420 National Championship was hosted by HYC on the 3rd, 4th, and 5th September 2004. With a total entry of 17 boats this championship was small in relative terms but the quality of the sailing attested to the fact that the ISA has chosen this boat as its two-person junior boat and many of the entrants have been training with the ISA Youth Academy as well as participating during the summer in events in Germany, Poland, Croatia, England as well as home and international events in Kinsale and Dun Laoghaire. Experienced observers of dinghy sailing commented on the quality of the boat handling skills of the competitors, particularly in the fresh conditions on the Friday. Remember these names, because you will be reading about them in the future.
Of course the 420 is not just for juniors and the winners, Conor Clancy and Stephen Campion ( RStGYC) are in their twenties. They showed wonderful consistency, winning two of the first seven races and never being out of the top three in the other five. In fact they did not need to sail on the last day but they sportingly came out and raced. Simon Mitton and Cillian Magee, also from the George, really pulled it out of the bag on the last day winning the two final races, to come within four points of the winner and edge out Tuathal and Dualtach Mac Colgain by three points. Best female crew was Lisa Tait and Lorraine Stallard, of RCYC and Kinsale YC, who combined wonderfully well considering that the partnership was put together for this event. Best HYC boat was Fionn Jenkinson and Jamie Rattigan, closely followed by Lynn Reilly and Freya Macken, who were second female crew.
Harry Gallagher and his team both on Free Enterprise and in the marklaying boats did a superb job of setting courses - predominantly trapezoid - in conditions that were often testing, without keeping the competitors waiting on the water for too long. After a 1200 start on the Friday to allow for registration, the PRO had three races finished by 1530. At that stage the wind, which had been between 13 and 18 knots, for most of the afternoon, had begun to freshen, with 24 knots recorded in some of the gusts and with the tide ebbing against this southerly breeze, sea conditions were getting rough. The temptation to go for a fourth race, with light winds forecast for the following two days, was wisely resisted and the competitors sailed for home.
On the Saturday a fourth race was sailed but only after some delay as the morning wind vanished for a while. The day was sunny, the sea conditions benign and there was a good sailing breeze for the first three races, and, once it filled in, for the fourth and last race of the day. A good day was had by all and and around 16,30 the PRO could steam for home in the knowledge, that even if flat calm prevailed on the Sunday, the competition was a success.
In fact he did manage two races on the Sunday, which started overcast and even chilly at times but warmed up to give a brilliant afternoon.
Well done to all !
Conor Clancy & Stephen Campion
Simon Mitton & Cillian Magee
Tuathal & Dualtach Mac Colgain
RStGYC / HYC