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2021 UK Europe National Championship at the WPNSA - Preview

by Ben Harris 14 Jun 2021 08:16 PDT 18-20 June 2021
2019 Europe dinghy UK Nationals at the WPNSA © Bernard Clark

With growing interest and activity within the class, the Europe class will hold their 2021 UK Europe National Championships at WPNSA from the 18th-20th June. Following on from the successful 2019 National Championships which saw 30 Europes take to the water, the entries for this year's hit 51 boats, a growth of over 500% since 2016!

The event will kick off with an informal practice day on Thursday with a couple of hours of short practice races running from 14:00. The informal nature of the day will ensure that lots can be learnt by all, allowing sailors to make use of the day however works best for them. The racing will start at midday on Friday, with three days of racing and a total of nine races planned.

With ten times national champion Chris Gill unable to make it to the event to defend his title, there will be plenty of competition for the UK National Champion title:

  • Steve Cockerill - Seven times Europe National Champion between 1986 and 1993, Steve made a strong return to the class last year winning the Inland Championships, and will be looking to claim his first '21st Century' national title in the Europe, to add to his success in the Laser Radial, RS Aero, RS400 and since he last raced at a Europe nationals.
  • Laura Baldwin - Athens 2004 representative in the Europe, Laura made her Europe return in 2019, racing her Olympic boat to a race win and to the Ladies National Champion title. Back again this year, she will be a strong contender for the top spot.
  • Richard Eagleton - Europe class veteran, Richard, has attended almost every nationals in the class since 2003, always with a smile on his face, and always fast.
  • Tim Laws - Finishing in sixth place in 2019, and second at last year's inlands, Tim will be pushing the front of the fleet, especially if his epic Strava training sessions are anything to go by.
  • Lucy Boreham - Three times Ladies National Champion, Lucy has been training hard alongside Steve, and is definitely one to watch.
  • Alex Scoles - An experienced OK sailor and boat builder, Alex has recently built his first 'Idol Composites' Europe, which will make its debut at WPNSA. We can't wait to see how the first British-built Europe in several decades will perform.
  • Emma Pearson - A light wind specialist, but also much faster than she lets on when it gets windy! Emma is a former Byte CII National Champion, and has plenty of experience winning races in Europe fleets.
  • Ben Harris - A 2019 Junior National Champion and a Nacra 15 helm in the RYA Youth Squad, Ben has been training hard recently, putting time in on the water as well as into boat preparation, so will be racing hard on the water.
  • Arran Holman - With so much interest in the class, the Europe has sparked the interest of British Sailing Team 470 sailor Arran, who will join the class for the nationals for a fun few days of sailing, and some great big fleet practice.

Alongside the UK National Championships title, there will also be several other trophies up for grabs, including those catering to the wide age range of the fleet (ranging from 16 to 70+). The UK Junior National Champion title will be hotly contested between RS200 helm Adam Catlow, experienced 420 and ex-Topper sailor Rose Edmonds, and newcomer to the fleet Enya Gibbs, all aiming to get their names on the trophy alongside 1996 Junior Champion and 2016 gold medallist, Saskia Clark!

The class welcomes Europes of all ages, and awards the 'Classic Rig' trophy to the first boat with a metal mast. With many newcomers to the fleet refurbishing and restoring older boats, there will be plenty of competition for the beautifully polished mast trophy. Similarly, plenty of sailors will be racing with wooden or wood/composite boats, proving that older boats are still very competitive.

For the first time this year, we will be awarding a family prize, awarded to the highest placed family team. Steve & Sarah Cockerill and Harry Kennedy, brothers Jon & Gareth Tweedle, husband and wife Adrian & Jo Cudmore and father/son duo Olly & Ben Harris will all be competing for the honour of top family team.

We will also be running a buddy system for the event, creating teams of three sailors with a wide range of ages, locations and experience in each team. We hope that the buddy system encourages sailors to form new friendships, and to share their experience with one another.

The event will be accompanied by a social schedule, following COVID guidelines, which includes a Chilli night, an evening of dinner and drinks at Frontline Café and Bar, and a BBQ at WPNSA! In coordination with the team at WPNSA, and our event sponsor at Rooster, the UK Europe Class Association are committed to organising a great event, which is safe and enjoyable for all.

If you are interested in our exciting and growing class, make sure to join the UK Europe Sailors Facebook group, and take a look at our website here to find out more.

Event details, including entry information and NoR, are available here.

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