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420 Irish Champion Brothers in Action at 420 Euros, Pwllheli

16th August 2013
420 Irish Champion Brothers in Action at 420 Euros, Pwllheli

#420– Recently crowned Irish champions Harry and David Whitaker are among an Irish team racing at the 420 and 470 Junior European Championships today in Pwllheli, Great Britain. The 420 and 470 Junior European Championships are run together to support the natural transition between the 420 and 470, although will race on two separate course areas.

The host club, Clwb Hwylio Pwllheli Sailing Club, is located in the North Wales holiday resort of Pwllheli, and one of four national sailing academy venues recognized by the Royal Yachting Association. Racing against the backdrop of Snowdon and the Welsh mountains, the racing conditions on the waters of Cardigan Bay are some of the best in the UK, with the area renowned for its weak tidal streams and stable winds.

A total of 272 sailors are competing, with ninety-six teams contesting the 420 Junior Europeans and forty teams lining up for the 470 Junior Europeans, representing a total of 20 nations. In the 420 fleet, teams must be 18 years or younger in the year of the Championship, with crews in the 470 required to be 21 years or younger, with some of the classes' most talented youth teams set to flex their muscles on Cardigan Bay.

420 Junior European Championship
For the 420 fleet, there are numerous familiar faces who raced at the SailFirst ISAF Youth Sailing World Championships and then jumped straight over to the 420 Worlds in Valencia, Spain, and are back on the race track at the 420 Junior Europeans. To ensure quality of racing, entries are limited with a strict quota of seven teams per nation, apart from the host nation who can enter 14 teams.

Amongst the pre-race favourites are Portugal's Diogo Pereira/Pedro Cruz who claimed the bronze medal at the ISAF Youths and followed up with a 6th at the 420 Worlds. But, familiarity with the conditions here is all important, and New Zealand's Taylor Burn/Henry Gibbs have a card up their sleeve after their win at the British 420 National Championships which wrapped up here two days' ago.

Also set to give the fleet a challenge on the race track are the 420 Ladies World Champions, Annabel Cattermole/Bryony Bennett-Lloyd, who took a convincing gold medal in Valencia, fresh from a 12th place at the ISAF Youth Worlds. Bennett-Lloyd then stepped in as a reserve crew at the 470 Worlds last week in La Rochelle.

Another highly experienced pair are Italy's Ilaria Paternoster/Benedetta di Salle who secured the bronze medal at this year's ISAF Youth Worlds, following on from their gold medal in 2012. Also set to be amongst the frontrunners are Spain's reigning 420 National Champions Silvia Mas/Nuria Mira.

The ninety-six boat 420 fleet sail as an open division, with mens, ladies and mixed teams competing against each other. The teams have been split into two fleets of 48 boats each for the six race qualification series which is scheduled to take place from 16-18 August, after which they will advance to gold and silver fleets for the 6 race final series from 20-22 August, with a reserve day in between. Racing is scheduled to get underway at 1400 hours on Friday 16 August 2013.

The predominant weather across the period of the Championship is forecast to be fairly breezy, but with lighter conditions of around 8-11 knots for Friday's opening day of racing. Saturday looks set to be a blower, with winds of 21-23 knots and gusts up to 34 knots forecast.

The 420 and 470 Junior European Championships were formally opened on Thursday evening with the Opening Ceremony celebrations to the resounding accompaniment of a traditional Welsh Brass Band. Speeches were made by Bob Lowe on behalf of the host venue Pwllheli Sailing Club and Nino Shmueli on behalf of the International 420 and 470 Class Associations. The 2013 420 Ladies World Champions, Annabel Cattermole/Bryony Bennett-Lloyd from Great Britain, made the Sailors' Oath on behalf of all competing teams.

Published in 420
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At A Glance – 420 Dinghy Specifications

Crew 2
Type Monohull
Design One-Design
Construction GRP
Rig Bermuda
Keel Centerboard
Trapeze Single
LOA 4.2 metres (13 ft 9 in)
Beam 1.63 metres (5 ft 4 in)
Draft 0.965 metres (3 ft 2.0 in)
Hull weight 80 kilograms (180 lb)
Mast height 6.26 metres (20 ft 6 in)
Main & Jib area 10.25 square metres (110.3 sq ft) [1]
Mainsail area 7.45 square metres (80.2 sq ft)
Jib / Genoa area 2.8 square metres (30 sq ft)
Spinnaker area 8.83 square metres (95.0 sq ft)

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