The 420 offers great development for sailors in the two-handed disciplines – it has helped create the top 470, 49er and 29er sailors in New Zealand and in the World. You can learn your trade as a helm or crew in the 420 as an alternative to the 29er, especially with the coaching structure available both from Yachting New Zealand and the National Class Association. Some young sailors may never be big enough to sail a Laser Radial or other single-handed international class, or may take a longer time to grow, so getting into the two-handed classes makes sense to develop your skills and keep future options open.
Unlike Optis, most boats you will sail in the future will have downwind sails. The 420 is an ideal platform for learning about tuning a boat and the consequences of tuning, teaching in a relatively simple way the trimming of sail combinations (i.e. main, jib, spinnaker together). This is great for all your future sailing, not just two-handed.
The 420 is a stable boat to sail which planes upwind easily, the trend in modern yachting. It will teach you how to sail in an environment of partnership with your crewmate, adding another significant element to your development as a sailor (and as a person). It is the feeder class to the Olympic 470.