1720s are GO!

We review the form for the 1720 English National Championships

Friday May 3rd 2002, Author: Andy Nicholson, Location: United Kingdom
This weekend will see some highly competitve action in the 1720 sportsboat class, who will be contesting their English National Championship on the Solent over Saturday and Sunday. Hosted by the Royal Air Force Yacht Club in Hamble, 19 boats are set to do battle in what looks likely to be light and shifty conditions.

The fleet this weekend will comprise many established 1720 sailors in addition to some newcomers to the class. Defending his English National Championship title, Graeme Scott in King Quick with Key Yachting is making the journey from Tarbert to compete again on the Solent. Mark Mansfield, the two time 1720 European Champion and Irish representative for the Star Olympic Class, will also be hoping to make his presence felt in John Rickards' Babbalaas Bach.

These 'visitors' will face some tough local opposition in the form of skipper Russell Peters, fresh from winning the 15 boat 1720 class in the Warsash Spring Series. This is the first major regatta this year for Russell and he's keen to go one better from last year's second at the Nationals and a third in the 2000 event. Ian Atkins, newcomer to the class in February and winner of the Warsash Spring Championship in Boats.com, shows good form in heavier weather but will need to get into change gear in the forecast light conditions to challenge the top seeds.

Other 1720 Class newcomers include Colin Bishop in O’Fiver, Leo Knifton in Hoodless Brennan, and ex J/105 stars David Greenhalgh and John Taylor in G & T. For Andy Smith, co-owner of the aptly named Twister, this will be his first weekend sailing his 1720, having snapped his Achilles tendon on the day the boat was delivered earlier this year.

Nine windward-leeward races are scheduled over the two days and importantly a class dinner is planned for the Saturday night. A highly rewarding weekend is in store for all competitors with the knowledge that they can still get lawn cut on the Bank Holiday Monday.

Sponsors of the event include, North Sails, Wet & Wild Graphics, Hyde Sails and Selden Masts Ltd. madforsailing will bring you a round up of the event and some hot photo action!

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