2017 has been the first year where I have spent more time on dry land than on the water. Coming into the Christmas season it is nice to look back on a successful year as part of Team Allen. The year centred on the 2.4 World Championships in Sneek, Netherlands in which I finished 4th. I was very happy and content with this as it was a very competitive fleet. It was also great to meet up with old friends and new.
2017 also saw some good UK events on some interesting waters including Fowey, Tewkesbury and the Norfolk Broads. Throughout the season I have learnt that a bad day on the water is better than a good day in the office and that good friendships, fun, competitive sailing and cold beer is what sailing is all about.
I’ve spent a reasonable amount of time back club racing at Frensham and being quite like Weir Wood where I grew up it is very much like coming home. 2.4s puddle sail quite well as we can point high and as long as there is wind the keel weight keeps us going. Frensham is the biggest 2.4 club in the country and having so many 2.4s on the start line keeps you on your toes week in week out. I also have been really enjoying getting back into handicap racing especially on a Wednesday night, I can’t think of a better way of spending an evening than messing about on boats.
In the middle of the year I decided to buy a new 2.4. It was a great to be able to choose where I wanted everything on the boat and to look through the Allen catalogue to decide on the best layout. Luckily, as I had run out of holiday time, my dad helped me put my boat together in time for the Antwerp City Cup. A great end of season event in a city that I have grown to love, taking a relatively untested boat into a tough fleet was going to be interesting. There were ups and downs during the event but I managed to come away with the win. The new boat seemed to be going well! The socials added to an already superb week and were as good as always.
Im still getting used to the new boat and I’m learning my new systems and some new Allen parts that I’ve been able to try out. The Allen high load thimbles are my favourite new toy as they seem to have endless uses. They are nice and compact whether tied on with string or inside an eye strap and they fit into tighter spaces than a block.
2018 is mostly in the diary now The big one in the calendar is the 2.4 Worlds in Gavle, Sweden. We haven’t been there for 14 years so going back to the country where the 2.4 was invented is always special. Big open sea’s in a beautiful area, it’s all set to be a good event. The hope is also to go to the German Nationals in Berlin which is arguably growing into the toughest fleet.
I’ve also got a few UK based events lined up especially our Nationals which are part of Poole Regatta. Poole treats us well and we always enjoy sailing in the top triangle. I am also planning to get back in the Merlin, hopefully for the end of the Sail Juice series and the Nationals in Lyme Regis where I started our Merlin sailing so it will be nice to go back having now gained more skill in that class.