The 420 is a great boat to sail: it’s challenging, with a traditional symmetric spinnaker and a much more tunable rig than many other boats… and it goes really well in a breeze. It also has great support from the Class Association and the RYA.
Hannah Bard and I, and Jack Collis with Jack Wardell, seized the chance to join 4 days of 420 Class Training up at Rutland Water (the week following the Laser Inlands). It was a residential course, staying in the clubhouse bunk-rooms with all the other sailors. The group was very friendly and got on well; most of us were in Yr 11, with some as young as 13 and up to 18.
After a hot breakfast (three hot meals a day!) Hannah was delighted that each day started at 8:15 with a warm-up / fitness work for an hour, then we had a briefing on the day’s topics. Boat handling was covered, including trim/balance etc., roll tacks, roll gybes, spinnaker work and double tacks; other sessions included rig setup, race tactics, starting skills, team racing and many others.
The 13 boats were coached (often in separate groups) by three top-end coaches (Steve Irish (470 Olympic coach), Tom Mapplebeck and Sam Brearey) so we had great inspiration as well as feedback on all our faults! We had two on-the-water sessions each day, with the final debrief usually finishing after supper around 7:30.
Overall it was a great 4 days: Rutland was perfect, it was great socially and we had a lot of fun learning a lot about high performance sailing. Thanks to everyone!