I-420 World Championships

Earlier this month saw the arrival of over 300 sailors to Newport for the International 420 Class World Championships hosted by Sail Newport.  Athletes from over a dozen countries across the globe descended on Rhode Island for a couple weeks in August, culminating in a week of racing for the Open, Women's, and Under 17 Championships.  

After a gorgeous sunny day with a standard sou'westerly seabreeze for the official day of practice racing, a low pressure system moved in bringing uncertainty for the weather forecast.  A couple days of light air, including no racing at all for Day 2, with threats of thunderstorms and a day of rain, finally passed by the end of racing.  The last two days in particular saw sun, wind and waves with 12kts and 2-3 ft sea swell, giving these sailors all the summer splendor Newport has to offer.

Most of the final standings weren't clinched until the very last races, with only a few points separating the top competitors in just about all classes.  The United States, Spain, and Italy brought the most sailors to the competition, but it was Spain and Greece that dominated the rankings all week for Under 17.  Spain, France, and the United States battled it out for the Women's Championship, with Spain ultimately sweeping the podium, even though the favored Spanish boat was ultimately upset by an unexpected teammate in the very last race.  

The Open class remained competitive all week, with three more Spanish boats finishing in the top 4, with the biggest story of them all coming from young sailors Seb Menzies and Blake McGlashan from team New Zealand.  These two young men had never competed in an I-420 event before, coming from competitive Opti and Laser sailing, and walked away with the gold handily after a week of dominating the fleet. Their throwout race was a 12, resulting in a 48 point separation between their final score of 31 and the second place boat with a net total of 79 points after 12 races.

It was terrific to watch these young sailors compete all week!  Some traveled all the way from Japan and Chile.  With such depth of talent, there are certainly future Olympians, Volvo and America's Cup sailors in this class of sailors. 

See more shots in the Regatta Gallery

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