A small but highly competitive fleet of 8 Finns gathered at Bough Beech on a bright and breezy Saturday 13 April, for the final event in the British Finn Spring Series.

Whilst our early Spring has brought floods and storms throughout the UK, cancelling many coastal racing days, the 2024 Spring Series has delivered exactly what it was designed to do – three early season events to blow away the winter cobwebs and get Finnsters out racing on flat water, in protected locations with a one-day format with multiple races with a quick turnaround. Burghfield, Emsworth Slipper and Bough Beech clubs are all well-drilled in delivering exactly this formula, often alongside other classes to make it worthwhile to the host.

At Bough Beech the 15 – 20 knot SW breeze was obligingly orientated to the long axis of the lake, giving a good if shifty windward leg, to the trapezoid course. The efficient Race Team started bang on 11.00, with a slight port end biased line that most quickly picked up on. The puffy and shifty breeze made for some quick decisions on when to tack as Laurence Crispin and Nick Craig battled it out over 4 laps of the track, with Craig taking the gun ahead of Laurence and Simon Percival in third. In race two, Crispin got the better of the recently crowned OK World Champion to take the win, ahead of Nick and the consistent Simon Percival in third.

After a well-deserved rest for lunch ashore, the fleet returned to do battle in race three, with the wind peaking at 20 knots in the gusts, but with the flat water and warm sun the conditions were near perfect. Nick Craig, suitably refuelled after his pasty and beans took the final two races although the whole fleet was very close with often just the roll of the dice of which shift you got approaching the windward mark decreeing your rounding position. Laurence was unluck to suffer a slipped haliyard on the first beat of the third race, dropping him out of contention.

With free pumping the order of the day, the more athletic that lost out at the windward mark were able to reclaim their position at the bottom mark by some rigorous pumping and gybing early to get the inside gusts downwind. Kristian Sjoberg found his stride to take second in both races, ahead of Richard Sharp in one and Allen Burrell re-found his mojo after a long layoff with shoulder issues to take a hard-earned third in the final race.

It was noticeable that the sailors who made the effort to travel to Bough Beech and the other Spring Series events are generally found at the front of the UK fleet – no surprise then that the practice pays off! If you want to improve your Finn sailing results come along and join the fun racing at open events and get some top tips from the friendly Finn fleet.



The overall winner of the Spring Series 2024 and the new holder of the Richard Creagh Osbourne trophy is Richard Sharp, followed by Laurence Crispin and Simon Percival third, well done all!

Latest Race Reports…

The Finn fleets have a very active racing programme at all levels from Olympic level though to the equally keenly fought Classic fleet. To read the latest regatta reports click the images below.

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