420 TR Worlds

Queens College Dining Hall
Cambridge University sailors, in conjunction with Grafham Water SC and with the support of the Oxford & Cambridge Sailing Society, had hoped to run the next 420 Class Team Racing Youth World Championships at Grafham Water, near Cambridge UK, in the second half of August 2020. Unfortunately it has not proved possible to resource the 420s required (two flights of 6 boats and 2 spares), or the sponsorship needed to make this possible. The Cambridge University Cruising Club has therefore, regretfully, withdrawn its bid to host the 2020 Championships.


Grafham Water is the best piece of inland sailing water in the UK (Google Earth it – over 6 Km2 of sailing water and no mountains!). As well as that, Cambridge is an ancient university and a town, both of international renown.

The Mathematical Bridge over the River Cam at Queens College
There were to be sightseeing opportunities and the event dinner was to be in Queens College, founded in 1448 and home to the famous Mathematical Bridge over the River Cam.

Cambridge is the top team racing university in the UK, with three wins and two runners-up places over the past five years at the annual British Universities Team Racing Championships (BUSA). More than 80 teams enter these championships, with regional qualifiers producing 28 teams for the 3-day finals.

Grafham Water SC is familiar with big national events, regularly running major class championships such as the 420 End of Seasons, and Inland Championships for Optimists, Lasers, and RS200s.

RS400s make a start at Grafham for their Inland Championships
The Oxford & Cambridge Sailing Society has played a pivotal role in the development of team racing since the 1930s. Its members continue to be involved in organising and umpiring national and international team racing events – as well as competing in them.
Event Format

With that background, the aim was to provide feast of very competitive and intense team racing in August 2020 – the UK summer with average daily temperatures of 22°C. Teams would have been sailing in at least 12 races of less than 15 minutes duration per day over a starboard-hand box or digital ‘2’ course.

Team racers fight for position at the gybe mark on Grafham Water – with an umpire in close attendance
If you are familiar with Optimist championship sailing and team racing, the CJ Buckley Team Racing Regatta, or a similar environment, you will be well used to the sort of event that was planned. If not, you may find the Wikipedia Team Racing article a helpful introductory resource.