Sign in to follow this  
opusone

West Coast c420 fleet

Recommended Posts

Looking for some advice and guidance here - as we are new to the game of High School Sailing and travelling.  One of our goals is to build the West Coast c420 fleet as the NA's are in San Francisco next July.  The local Perry Series in So Cal generated about 25+ boats on the line, but nothing near the 70+ boats you find on the line at any of the east coast events.  We just got back from Buzzards Bay where there were 172 teams registered!!!

So, we bought a used 1992 c420 last fall for my oldest daughter (now 15) as she was not going to get a chance to sail as a Freshman in HS.  We were told that the c420 was the better boat for travelling east.  Having just participated in the tour back east, I have to agree.  Every event, from Midwinters, NE Champs, Nationals, Hyannis, Buzzards Bay, etc all had over 70+ boats, and some events well into the 100's.

So, how do we build the class here on the West Coast?  Our Yacht Club currently owns 8 c420's and they are all being chartered, so there is some ground swell.  And, there are some great coaches here as well, Udi, Adrienne Patterson, Jon Rogers, Steve Hunt, Allie Blecher, etc.

Lastly, the east coast teams are very strong...  and showed up in the results.  West Coast teams had about 4 boats in the top 20's.

Anyway, I am a fan of the boat, and have a younger daughter 2 years behind my oldest, so we'll be in this awhile.

Cheers,

opusone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think you’ll find, in general, the West Coast is a lot less focused on doing what the rest of the country does with sailing.

The entire idea of purposely building a 420 fleet just strikes me as the exact opposite of everything the sport needs.
Why would someone purposely put kids in a heavy, extremely old boat, so they have the privelage of spending $$$$$ on coaches and equipment so they can place mid-fleet against rich east coast families.

Just sounds like a horrible idea.  Keep that crap on the east coast or a dumpster where it belongs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
23 minutes ago, BlatantEcho said:

I think you’ll find, in general, the West Coast is a lot less focused on doing what the rest of the country does with sailing.

The entire idea of purposely building a 420 fleet just strikes me as the exact opposite of everything the sport needs.
Why would someone purposely put kids in a heavy, extremely old boat, so they have the privelage of spending $$$$$ on coaches and equipment so they can place mid-fleet against rich east coast families.

Just sounds like a horrible idea.  Keep that crap on the east coast or a dumpster where it belongs.

You nailed it - that is exactly what happened - they have $$$ and get awesome coaching for the 4 or 5 months they can sail, plus they travel to Florida for the winter months to train.  We just cannot compete financially, but historically, we have had kids here perform well against all the kids back east, as we can sail year round.  The 29er fleet is very thin and only a few regatta's with less than 20 boats.  The i420 is significantly more expensive.

What other boat can also help with college applications?  As the Z420, c420 and CFJ are the boats primarily used in college.  And we have witnessed kids on the fence for entering good schools get acceptance on the sailing team when their scores would not normally have got them in.  Same with Swimming and Tennis.

Also, chartering a c420 for the events back east is about $600 - $900 per event.  A 29er is $1200 to $1800 per event.  Just looking at opportunities for the kids to sail in larger fleets.

So, I am someone who is purposely placing their kids in a slow, old boat.  But coming from a sabot back ground, not too much is older and slower.  I am not sure what the sport needs as you indicated, but if there are over 300 opti's at Orange Bowl, and over 170 c420s at Buzzards Bay.  I like the idea of going where the momentum is.  Yes, the boats are old and slow, but the competition is way stronger.  Even the snipe has traction back east.  Cannot explain it.

Sometimes it is more about the experience than the vessel.  

We are going to keep trying, there are 71 optis sailing this weekend in Ventura....go figure?

Cheers,

opusone

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, BlatantEcho said:

I think you’ll find, in general, the West Coast is a lot less focused on doing what the rest of the country does with sailing.

The entire idea of purposely building a 420 fleet just strikes me as the exact opposite of everything the sport needs.
Why would someone purposely put kids in a heavy, extremely old boat, so they have the privelage of spending $$$$$ on coaches and equipment so they can place mid-fleet against rich east coast families.

Just sounds like a horrible idea.  Keep that crap on the east coast or a dumpster where it belongs.

Why not learn from the fact that the 420 is a major class in nations where sailing is far more popular and stronger than it is in the USA?  Obviously it appeals to a lot of kids - so why not cater to them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because the C420 is crap compared to the i420 (or any reasonably fast dinghy)!  As a high school student, I’m lucky that the yacht club nearby has a 29er, and I can race it.  The thing with the C420 is that it’s slow, and it doesn’t really do a great job of entertaining teenagers. I’d rather go surfing 

 

Also, it doesn’t really get blowing that hard here, so those screaming reaches don’t scream as hard as the ones back east

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I understand about the C420's light wind issues and that it doesn't suit everyone, but why not cater for the people who like it? Sure, you'd rather be surfing, but surfing is a minority sport too, so what you like and what most kids like seem to be quite different.

The 29er is one of the world's great designs, but it seems as if it's not getting bums into boats in SoCal. If a class that gets 25 boats in an area with a population of 40 million is the only way to go, then we may as well close the whole sport down now.

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A couple of clubs here in the NW have now invested in new C420 fleets. Second hand I have heard they want to be able to support training for High School, which here is mostly run in CFJ and be able to train the kids for the next level of sailing with traps and spinnakers. In a few of our team race regattas they brought the 420s and some races were done in those as opposed to the FJ. One even sold their V15s for the C420s due to the spin and trap availability.

I have sailed both an i420 and C420 both as a youth and an adult. Boats are no 505 or even 470 but the tactics are muscle memory are same while the overpoweredness is more controlled. We just finished a regatta where there were 7 c420s competing with sailors learning traps and kites, but most were too light for anything more powerful. 

The 3 29ers all flipped multiple tiles this weekend, all the 420s were able to keep under control sail their race and here was lots of close racing. So I don't understand what peoples issue is with the C420 if you weight less than 150 (250 combined) its really a good trainer boat.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

the 420 serves a purpose. I think in this country it tends to over serve that purpose, but it serves one nonetheless. I'm glad the 29er exists, eventually I probably would have stopped sailing altogether, the c420 definitely got to be too boring for me. That said, i do still sometimes sit back and daydream about the time we put up a flying scott spinnaker on a c420 in 15kts.... that was actually pretty fun. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
44 minutes ago, mustang__1 said:

the 420 serves a purpose. I think in this country it tends to over serve that purpose, but it serves one nonetheless. I'm glad the 29er exists, eventually I probably would have stopped sailing altogether, the c420 definitely got to be too boring for me. That said, i do still sometimes sit back and daydream about the time we put up a flying scott spinnaker on a c420 in 15kts.... that was actually pretty fun. 

Most reasonable post I have seen on here with all the "what dinghy should I buy threads." I am not running out to buy one due to my size and ability. But as its original purpose as a trainer for the 470 it serves very well. I would rather sail a C420 JAM vs an FJ. Add a spin and its even better. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 minutes ago, Locus said:

Most reasonable post I have seen on here with all the "what dinghy should I buy threads." I am not running out to buy one due to my size and ability. But as its original purpose as a trainer for the 470 it serves very well. I would rather sail a C420 JAM vs an FJ. Add a spin and its even better. 

to be fair... the i420 is a trainer for the 470. The c420 is an abortion created to take a relatively performance ish boat and make it withstand the punishment of collegiate sailing. 

The FJ also serves a purpose... Up until about 12kts they're actually kind of fun. Over 12kts and you work harder to go slower than walking speed... Most of the east coast colleges were sailing FJ's when i was in college, getting back in a 420 was like getting in a luxurious tank... the thing is massive lol. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
24 minutes ago, mustang__1 said:

to be fair... the i420 is a trainer for the 470. The c420 is an abortion created to take a relatively performance ish boat and make it withstand the punishment of collegiate sailing. 

The FJ also serves a purpose... Up until about 12kts they're actually kind of fun. Over 12kts and you work harder to go slower than walking speed... Most of the east coast colleges were sailing FJ's when i was in college, getting back in a 420 was like getting in a luxurious tank... the thing is massive lol. 

Point taken. Still the skills on c420 translate to bot the 470 and 505 among others. And after seeing what the kids do to these boats I suspect a STD 420 would be at the bottom in 2 days. Just went to move a FJ on the dolly and could just barely lift it. Had 5+gallons of water in the hull. No idea where the hole is but the boat has been beat to death. College boat BTW not high school. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

High school boats would be worse. We had one with maybe a hundred and seventy pounds of water in there. No bueno

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this