Callum MacDonald and Haakon Karlsen won the 420 end of season regatta at Draycote Water SC this weekend

The 420 Class End of Season regatta was efficiently run by Draycote Water SC on the weekend of 7-8 December. Callum MacDonald and Haakon Karlsen travelling from north of Glasgow continued their run of form by winning the weekend by a comfortable margin, including firsts in five of the eight races. New pairing Nick Cherry and Joe Henry started to find their form to finish second and 2002 Flanders Youth Regatta winners, Oliver Dix and Phillip Lasko, managed to hold off Ladies Youth European Champions, Charlotte Savage and Maia Walsh, for third place.

The weather was cold and grey all weekend, but the biting Force 4 easterly wind made for great racing. John Rodhe and his team kept the programme moving so that no-one got too cold between races. Race one was to be the pattern of the weekend with MacDonald cutting back Cherry’s early lead to get ahead by the finish. But it wasn’t to be too easy.

Race two showed different shifts; a group of boats emerged from the right of the first beat with Simon Lambert and Chris Evans managing to hold off Stuart Bithell and James McCovern, newcomers to the 420 from the Mirror class, to the finish. Although both races three and four were won by MacDonald and Karlsen from Savage and Walsh, they had to work hard with 420 worlds team sailors Sam Carter and Paul Davies adding a third to two other top ten results and Dix and Lasko pushing into third in race four.

Sunday’s weather looked the same as Saturday’s but was even colder. A shorter course with more laps kept the sailors warm. In race five MacDonald and Karlsen carried on with another first, but not without having a major struggle to pass current Cadet class champion Ollie Gray sailing with James Hughes. Luke Patience and Adam Wagner, who have moved into the class from a 29er campaign, fought through the pack to get third place.

In race six, 14 year old Christian Birrell sailing with Mark Stockbridge streaked off to a huge lead from Dix and Lasko, and MacDonald and Karlsen. But his luck ran out when a large gust brought Dix up close behind on the last reach and he was unable to hold off the more experienced pair to the finish. In race seven Cherry and Henry set a very fast pace but were unable to keep MacDonald behind. Patience and Wagner were again able to add a third to their score. By the final race all the sailors were getting very tired. MacDonald and Karlsen capsized returning at the start. Savage and Walsh led for the first round but a knotted spinnaker halyard held them up, letting through ladies national champions Alison Martin and Bethan Carden. They were not able to hold off the group led by Bithell and McCovern, who then sailed to the wrong mark letting through Neil Crossouard and Sam Pascoe to win from Gray and Hughes.

Overall Results

1. Callum MacDonald and Haakon Karlsen 16 pts

2. Nick Cherry and Joe Henry 39 pts

3. Oliver Dix and Philip Lasko 46 pts

4. Charlotte Savage and Maia Walsh 47 pts

5. Sam Carter and Paul Davies 48 pts

6 Luke Patience Adam Wagner 50 pts