For generations, families have gone into the woods to dig up time capsules. Relics of the past, to see how things were done way back when. For anyone who dug up an old Club 420, they were able to take it straight to the racecourse and give it the whip.
So many of us wonder why our kids are racing the same boats we buried in the backyard years ago, which is why it’s so encouraging to see some brilliant moves by Class leaders that have allowed the Club 420 to hit a sharp upswing in popularity. Series scoring, smart championship and event venue choices, and creative work in partnership with builders Sturgis, Zim, and LP continue to add value to one of the foundations of youth sailing in America.
Managing a one-design class is a difficult balance between honoring history and keeping up with the times, and improvements can be painful in the short term even while they make the boat better, newer, and more exciting again. We’ve seen it with the E-Scow, Laser, Sunfish, Thistle, J24, and Melges 24, among others, and over this past winter season, the Club 420 has seen a unique and successful effort by the Builders and the Class, working together, to modernize the gear while adding a bit to the safety and ease of use.
The changes may be minor, but for 420 sailors, they give us some new gear to geek out on. There’s a new spinnaker cut to make the reaches more fun, plus a new rig package from Seldén which offers a lighter boom, plus updates the mast to replace the high-maintenance items with smarter and stronger parts. Now the kiddos can even fly around the course with the same boom their Team USA heroes Stu and Dave took to Rio in the 470; if you’ve got young ones- the new gear is available from each of the class Builders. (Sturgis, Zim & LP). Click the photo above or go here for a closer look at the new boom with Club 420 ExecDir John Vandemoer.
It shouldn’t be understated how important the C420 class is for the future of Sailing, and we’re all lucky for the current board of innovators and lifelong class stalwarts, so if you see one of them at the bar or in the boat park, buy ‘em a round and see if there’s an event in your area you can help out with next year! You may leave the weekend with new inspiration from Youth Sailing.
For a discussion about Selden and the growth of youth sailing in the USA, check last month’s Sailing Anarchy Podcast with Tim Fitzgerald, and keep an eye on Selden Mast Facebook page for more innovations over the coming months.