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The Endeavour Trophy takes place at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Burnham-On-Crouch, from 12-14 October. It is the only event of its type in the dinghy sailing calendar. Entry is by invitation only and to be considered sailors must be reigning champion in their class. It is truly a competition to find the best of the best.

This year, there are 30 classes competing and the runners and riders include returning champions Ben Saxton and Toby Lewis. Saxton is a member of the British Sailing squad for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and has won the Endeavour 3 years in a row with crew Toby.

Nick Craig, the reigning D One champion and 2017 runner up will also be returning and is looking forward to another weekend of close racing, Nick commented “We are very much looking forward to the Endeavour as it is still so prestigious and attracts the top talent in the UK.  The event is so well run on and off the water.  With 8 tough races, it feels like a weeklong Championship in a weekend.  I only wish racing was like this every weekend!”

The further 28 classes are being represented by the cream of British dinghy racing. Three of which are members of Team Allen, the company’s squad of racers who aid research and development of its products. They are Rhys Lewis / Drew Wright (420 National Champions), Chris Birrell/ Sam Brearey (Merlin Rocket National Champions) and Burnham-on-Crouch sailor Ben Hutton-Penman (RSFeva & RS Aero 5 World champion).

Allen Brothers manufactures high-performance sailing hardware at its factory in Southminster, Essex. The company’s hardware is used by many of the British Sailing squad which will be competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The company has a policy of innovation and development relying on feedback from its elite sailors, Team Allen.

The full Entry List for the 2018 Endeavour Trophy comprises:

420 Rhys Lewis Drew Wright
470 Jonny McGovern Sarah McGovern
2000 Simon Horsfield Katie Burridge
2017 Champion Ben Saxton Toby Lewis
29er Ewan Wilson Fin Armstrong
Blaze Charlie Chandler Owain Hughes
Byte Tom Lonsdale Emma Peason
Cadet Angus Collingridge Hattie Collingridge
Comet Chris Hatton Charlie Sansom
D One Nick Craig Emma Clarke
D Zero Steve Bolland Alistair Norris
Fireball Matt Burge Tom Pygall
K1 Paul Smalley Mari Shepherd
Lark Chris White Nicola White
Moth Jim McMillan Paul Gliddon
Merlin Rocket Christian Birrell Sam Brearey
National 12 Graham Camm Zoe Ballantyne
National 18 Oliver Houseman Doug Nestor
Optimist Emily Mueller Florence Brellisford
Laser 4.7 Lorcan Knowles Annabel Page
RS Aero 5 Ben Hutton-Penman James Hutton-Penman
RS Aero 9 Steve Cockerill Sarah Cockerill
RS Feva William Pank Seb Getto
RS200 Maria Stanley Alan Roberts
RS400 Stewart Robertson Sarah Robertson
RS600 Richard Smith Lynne Ratcliffe
RS800 Tom Morris Guy Fillmore
Scorpion Alan Krailing Simon Forbes
Supernova Sam Knight Steve Hawley
Thames A Rater Simon Blake James Warren


Further information is available at


Live streams of the event will be available from

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Birrell and McGovern Win 470 Nationals

10 years on from teaming up with Jonny McGovern to sail a 470 together, we got back in a borrowed 470 to sail the JDX UK National Championships at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. We probably aren’t quite as nimble as we once were, but we are older and wiser. Fortunately, Jonny has spent the last 5 years coaching the 470 squads, so he had at least evolved with the changes in the class. The UK fleet is full of enthusiasm, with 14 boats on the start line and great support from the Class Association and JDX. There appears to be a lot of young talent coming through, but for one more year at least, we were just about wise enough to hold back the youthful enthusiasm. The fleet is aiming for 25 boats in 2019 – and I will definitely be one of those again boats

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My Sailing Summer, Nick Evans – Allen Academy

My summer of sailing kicked off with a fun and relaxing time in a Feva during Cadet week at my home club, the Blackwater Sailing Club.

Immediately after Cadet Week, I travelled up to Pwllheli in North Wales to compete in the Optimist British National Championships. It was a tough event with mixed wind speeds and directions. My best results were 6th and 10th in senior gold I finished 37th overall and 15th Brit.

Nick At the Nationals, Pwllheli

Not only was there good fleet racing at the Nationals, but also team racing was featured on the schedule for the first time. It took place on the lay day and around 30 sailors took part to practice their boat handling and team racing manoeuvres. My team managed to win 6 out of the 7 races, so we came first.

I then hurried back to the Blackwater Sailing Club to compete in Club week, a social event for sailors of all ages. I sailed in my optimist and won both main and second series. A tradition at the BSC is for all the series winners to compete together to see who is the ‘Cock of the Club’. I managed to win this beating my sister who was a close second.

Next up was the Europeans Team Racing in Lago di Ledro. This was the highlight of my summer. 30 degrees heat every day with a steady 7 knots, perfect team racing conditions. Our 4-person team took to the water wearing board shorts and rash vests, even in the 2 storms where it was still 25 degrees. We completed 17 races and won just under half, winning all our races on the first day so we had a really good start.

Nick team racing Lago Di Ledro

The penultimate event of my summer was the IOCA Late Summer Championships in Poole Harbour. It was 10 knots all weekend, gusty, shifty and sunny, champagne sailing. My first race was a respectable 13th. My 2nd race saw a big right shift kick in, and unfortunately, I was on the left-hand side of the beat so I was 50th around the windward mark, a good downwind and final beat saw me into 20th. The final race was my best one of the day with a hard-fought 2nd to the winner of the event Santi Sesto Cosby. We were tacking on each other constantly up the final beat. Day 2 started with a bang as I took the first bullet of the day! Race 2 was similar with a 5th and I got a 7th in the final race of the event. Overall I came 7th out of 180 sailors (5th senior) and the worst bit was I didn’t even get a prize!


Nick at Poole

My final event of the summer was an Optimist open at my home club on Saturday. It was a one-day event with 4 tightly contested races. I managed to win 3 out of the 4 races so won the Open. I tried out a North R2 radial demo sail for North which was fun.

Home Water, Nick Sailing at BSC


Thank you Allen Sailing for helping me throughout the summer with the new auto ratchet block, spars and sails, I’ve had an absolutely brilliant summer.

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Birrell and Brearey Win Merlin Rocket Nationals

Team Allen sailors Christian Birrell and Sam Brearey return home from Lyme Regis as the new National Champions of the Merlin Rocket fleet.

Birrell and Brearey have had their eyes set on the Merlin Rocket national title for a few years. To ensure they could reach the goal and take home the trophy the pair worked with Allen to provide a winning hardware fit out.

“We set the goal of winning the Merlin Rocket National Championships back in 2016. In 2017 we bought a new boat and worked closely with Allen to deliver a high specification fit out. Being new to the class, the advice and experience of the Allen team was invaluable in getting us on the water with a package that worked straight away.” Birrell commented.

The lengths Birrell and Brearey have gone to so they can achieve perfection

Christian has spent the last few months fine-tuning the position and set up of the mini profile traveller cars and track in his new jib sheeting system. The set up allows for a wider and finer range of jib settings in all wind strengths.

“Over the last 18 months, we have continued to work in close partnership with Allen to develop new systems to further optimise the boat. Working together, in the lead up to the nationals we were able to develop a new jib car system that allows us to move the jib cars both fore and aft and inboard and outboard. At the nationals, we experienced a range of conditions from 5 – 25 knots and big seas to flat water. The increased jib control offered by the new arrangement provided us with the ability to be fast across all of these conditions.” explained Chrisitian.

The Merlin Rocket fleet includes some of the UK’s best sailors, with many Olympic sailors catching rides for the big events.

Christian went on to say “By our own count, there were 23 previous National or World Champions of various classes on the start line in Lyme Regis. The class seems to be on fire at the moment, with amazing competition and some of the best racing we have ever done. It is no surprise there are already 180 entries for Merlin Rocket Week at Salcombe next year! With some flexibility in the rules, the class continues to evolve and we are really excited about continuing to work closely with Allen to further optimise our performance for 2019”

A huge congratulations to the new Merlin Rocket Nationals Champions!

To find out more about Allen traveller cars or to get some inspiration for your next boat upgrade, go to


National Champions 2018



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Graduate Northern Championship Winners

Brothers Ben and Gabe Hill won the Graduate Northern Championships at Bassenthwaite Sailing Club

“We had a great weekend at Bassenthwaite SC. Lighter winds on Saturday and with slightly stronger winds on Sunday we were able to win the last two races. Winning the Graduate northerns overall. Thanks to Allen for the support and Bassenthwaite SC for running a great event.”

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Laser 150 Challenge

It started with a 4 am Alarm and a 2.5-hour drive to Falmouth, like my day wasn’t going to be long enough already!

A reasonable forecast of predominantly NW F4+ winds, occasional F3, the bottom end of the acceptable wind range.

My Brother and wingman, Brian helping to set things up to get me underway.

I was equipped with solar-powered compass, digital battery powered speedo from Rooster and a GPS to do my own navigation, along with enough nutrients and fluids for 48 hours

The all-new ‘Allen’ blocks, tackle and lines were checked for smooth running. There really was no need to check!

09:10 and I was underway into the rainy Falmouth River. It wasn’t until clear of the estuary that the winds developed.

A relatively calm sail to the Eddystome Lighthouse took all day where the Navy were mid-exercise with their new aircraft carrier.

Past the Eddystone Lighthouse, I was graced with so many dolphins, all vowing for a place under the bow of my small dinghy!

I pushed my hand into the water with my GoPro firmly gripped, unsure of what I would capture……….

Into the evening and getting further offshore, the sea state increased as did the winds, giving speed surfing down a confused 6ft sea.

Given that I had been sailing deep downwind, the risk of capsizing in the dark was such that I opted not to maintain my South Easterly course and headed due South, keeping the winds safely just aft of the beam.

Although I was not cold in the crisp night air, I put this down to my Rooster base layer, hat and gloves. My safety team onboard the support vessel were never more than 100 metres away keeping a close eye.

As day broke, so the wind faded away. It was just unfortunate that I was upon the approaches to the Eastbound shipping lanes that had 5 large container ships inbound. Creeping along at just 2-3 knots, I broke out the paddle to increase boat speed and out of the path the never-ending stream of ships pouring into the channel.

It was good to be clear and with the sight of a squally rain cloud approaching. When it finally reached us, it brought just 20 knots but was truly exhilarating surfing a now 8ft rolling swell at up to 10 knots!

Alas, the winds faded again as the rain cloud moved away and never built above 8 knots which meant progress was slow with boat speeds only reaching 1-4knots and the use of the paddle once more as the speed dropped low.

My second day at sea was slow and long with winds lighter than forecast.

It seemed to take forever to reach the Hanois lighthouse at the South Western point of Guernsey as dusk drew in.

As night engulfed us for another time, the wind faded to nothing.

With just a couple of hours of favourable tide left, there was no possibility of reaching St Peter Port under sail for some time and the ebbing tide due to sweep us back West and further away from my destination. After 143.2 miles, I took the last resort of taking a tow to the finish, just 10 miles away.

The tow was interesting in that sleep deprivation had a strong grasp of me and it was a struggle to remain awake. Hallucinations were bizarre. Seeing cows and goats rolling in the wake of the towing vessel and then a cascade of glistening gold coins flowing from the towboat cockpit doorway where my Brother stood keeping a close eye on me, aware of my state.

Inside the harbour and close to shore, I cast the tow line and paddled to the creening hard, a place to beach. At 1 am there was a small gathering of friends and well-wishers.

I jumped off the boat and into the shallow water but could not stand, only stagger. I was assisted with beaching the challenge dinghy then promptly showered with bubbly to mark the achievement. It was done.


This discomfort of squatting in on the back quarter of the laser combined with sleep deprivation was considerable to the point that I vowed never to put myself through that again!!!!

However, a day later………..


I rigged the dinghy once more for press photos and thought to check and see how the ‘Allen’ gear had done. It was with no surprise, as new!


Currently, I have raised over 7k of charitable donations for Les Bourgs Hospice, to find out more please go to


Best Regards

Dave Birch

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RS Feva Rigging Guide With World Champion

Team Allen Sailor and RS Feva World Champion, Ben Hutton-Penman, was at Allen HQ giving his boat some TLC. We took the opportunity to make a basic rigging guide. Highlighting key points to check out when first setting up the boat. If you’re new to the RS Feva or Asymmetric sailing, this quick video will show you some of Ben’s top tips for rigging up.

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Allen Sponsored Supernova Nationals

The weekend of 6, 7 and 8 July 2018 saw 100+ Supernovas descend on the Plas Heli centre at Pwllheli for their National Championships. It was the third year in a row that the class has managed a 100+ entry maintaining the momentum in this exciting class.

Each arrival was greeted with a custom t-shirt for their buddy group where each group of four were provided with some excellent support from their Gold Fleet representative. Some of the discussions were informal, where as others included full checking and adjustment of rig setup.

The weather gods were kind with wall to wall sunshine at high 20s temperatures from arrival to departure. The wind even played ball (just) to allow us to get in the ten planned races. The format of the championship has been the same for a number of years and continues to be well regarded with a relaxed feel balanced with racing.

It was great to see a significant increase in the number of female sailors, up from three last year to seven, potentially due to the improvements in the official small sail (although no small sails were needed!). Great news for the Class and we hope for an even higher female turnout in 2019.

There was some uncertainty in the dinghy park as the fleet included four new members in borrowed boats. The Supernova Class has an excellent track record of these members going out to buy their own boat (for example defending champion Alex Horlock) after sampling the Supernova.

Day 1

Four races were held in a good F2/3 on the Friday afternoon and there were four different winners! Race 1 was won by Inland Champion and joint all time leader of the national championship table, Cliff Milliner. In the building wind, race 2 was won by the giant figure of Mark Hartley, also joint all time leader of the national championship table.

However, in race 3 there was a new name at the front, Sam Knight – he hadn’t been outside of the top three all day. Then a further new name at the front with Alistair Goodwin taking the fourth race.

Overnight leaders were Sam Knight, Ed Higson and Alastair Goodwin.

There was some excellent racing by all through the fleet and all of the competitors were smiling all the way to the bar in the evening. There was then a great social on the Friday night, with Class Chairman, Chris Hawley, hosting a fun game for the different buddy groups. Everyone was very included, even the “plus 1s” who were supporting.

Day 2

The plan for day 2 was four races, but that was not to be and just three were fitted in slightly lighter breeze.

It was Cliff Milliner again who was first out of the blocks winning race 5. Sam Knight struck back hard though win wins in races 6 and 7.

Alistair Goodwin had a great day with a 2, 3, 3 moving him to second overall behind Sam Knight. Ed Gibson slipping to overnight third place.

A further social was held on the Saturday night – a slightly smarter affair with great food, banter and sailing war stories.

Day 3

Those with sore heads were comforted that the 9am launch looked set to be deferred until lunchtime. However, the PRO got to the course on time and there was wind! Panic stations with everyone rushing to launch – one guy was seen launching whilst eating a bacon sandwich!

The wind held up for races 8 and 9 being won by Alistair Goodwin and Mark Platt. Race 10 saw a monster (65 degree) windshift mid way through, which some massive gains and losses – Sam Knight took the win.

Overall Sam had done enough to defend his overnight lead and finished on 20 points. Alistair Goodwin fought hard and finished with 27 points. Cliff Milliner made up the podium with 34 points.

In his victory speech Sam acknowledged the friendly nature of the Supernova Class and said he was made to feel very welcome from arrival and thanked all of the members for their support. We will see Sam again in the future, probably at Paignton on 28, 29 and 30 June 2019!

Some event photographs to purchase are available: More photos will be available through our Facebook page in the coming days and weeks.

Team Prize – Bartley Sailing Club
Family Prize – The Critchley Brothers
Ladies Champion – Ellen Clancy (Cotswold) – followed by: Amie King, Serena Stewardason
Youth Champion – Ed Higson (Bartley)
Masters Champion – Mark Platt (Bolton) – followed by: Mike Critchley, Richard Pakes, Mike Gibson
Veterans Champion – Steve Mitchell (Hooe Point) – followed by: Bob Horlock, Tom Chadfield, Geoff Turner
Mark 1 Champion – Geoff Turner (Fishguard) – followed by: Clive Brown, Will Willett
Bronze fleet Champion – Warren Mitchell (Snettisham Beach) – followed by: Paul Bates, Rachel Vaughan Jones, Richard Hawson, Nigel Davies
Silver fleet Champion – Steve Mitchell (Hooe Point) – followed by: Ray Workman, Garry Butterfield, Ian Moodie, James Gerwat

As well as all 114 of our pre-event entries, thanks must also be provided to:

  • The event sponsors; Hartley Boats and Allen Brothers
  • The Plas Heli staff
  • The Pwllheli sailing club team
  • The Supernova Committee

To find out more about this exciting singlehander please visit our website:
Or for the latest news follow us on Facebook (Supernova Dinghy Class Association)


Final Results here –

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Megan Pascoe at the Irish Nationals

After a good few years building up their fleet Carrickfergus Sailing Club decided it was time to host an Irish 2.4mR National Championship. Seventeen boats made the trip from far and wide across the Irish Sea, from North and South, and even Germany. Special mention to George and Ann Taylor for organising and making everything happen.

It was so nice to get back on open water and Belfast Loch didn’t disappoint with the weather. After a rather complicated briefing which included disappearing marks the fleet left the dock in bright sunshine and a nice 9 to 13 knots. Everyone settled into the tidal conditions of the first race with most heading up the shore. Local John Patrick mixing it up from the first mark with the old hands of Ulli Libor, Steve Bullmore and Megan Pascoe. Megan and Ulli escaped from the fleet with Kate Hedley reeling in Steve. These two spent the next few races stuck together at the finish even with a tie in the last race.

The fleet was tight for the following two races with Nev Millard joining the party with 2 second places. Adam Billany back in the boat after his A levels ended the day with a 3rd.

The fleet retired to the club for the evening with a great meal and spectacular view. Sunday despite a light forecast the fleet woke to a 12 knot Northerly. It was great to see quite a few sailors under the age of 20 and a mix of able bodied and disabled.

The Irish fleet has some new sailors in the fleet. Especially great to see Kevin Conway in his pretty blue boat which was getting faster and faster as the weekend went on.

Sunday decided the prizes. Ulli and Nev were battling it out with few points to split them in the shifty conditions. There was little gap from the front of the fleet to the back with everyone having really good racing.

The weekend ended with a barbecue on the club lawn and prizes. Megan won the event, Ulli held onto 2nd and Nev picked up his first major podium in 3rd. John Patrick won the Irish National trophy in 7th. Georgina Griffin was first Irish disabled in a hotly contested battle. Gina is also off to compete for Ireland at the Disabled World Championships later in the year.

The fleet had a great time at Carrickfergus SC, true Irish hospitality and a perfect piece of sailing water. Thanks to everyone who volunteered for the event, definitely one of the best venues I’ve been to in a long time. Now with the inauguration of an Irish class association 2019 Nationals look like being held in Kinsale.

Overall Results:

Pos Sail No Helm R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Pts
1st GBR 163 Megan Pascoe ‑1 1 1 1 1 1 5
2nd GER 6 Ulli Libor 2 3 ‑4 2 3 2 12
3rd GBR 144 Nev Millard ‑7 2 2 4 2 3 13
4th GBR 143 Kate Hedley 3 ‑5 5 3 5 4.5 20.5
5th GBR 159 Steve Bullmore 4 4 ‑6 5 4 4.5 21.5
6th GBR 155 Adam Bilany 5 ‑7 3 6 7 6 27
7th GBR 121 John Patrick 6 ‑8 7 7 8 8 36
8th GBR 161 Jonny Barker 10 6 10 ‑13 6 7 39
9th SWE 315 Kevin Conway 8 10 9 8 9 ‑13 44
10th IRL 906 Georgina Griffin ‑14 13 8 10 12 11 54
11th IRL 906 Judy Moynihan 9 ‑15 14 9 13 9 54
12th GBR 30 Garry Crothers ‑13 12 12 11 10 10 55
13th GBR 137 Kerry Mussen 15 9 13 12 14 (DNS) 63
14th IRL 601 Patrick Hassett 12 14 ‑15 14 11 12 63
15th GBR 54 Jonny Harvey 11 11 11 (DNC) DNC DNC 69
16th GBR 695 Sean McCullagh ‑17 16 16 15 15 14 76
17th IRL 1 Shane Barker 16 ‑17 17 16 16 15 80