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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 www.epicsailing.com

 

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: greensea.zenfolio.com/p582618418 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: www.supernovadinghy.org
Or for the latest news follow us on Facebook (Supernova Dinghy Class Association)

 

Final Results here – https://www.yachtsandyachting.com/news/207506/Supernova-National-Championships

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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
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Nick Evans Euros Blog

In May at the Optimist Selection Trials, I qualified to compete at the 2018 European Optimist Championships at Scheveningen in the Netherlands, alongside six other British sailors – three girls and three other boys.

The racing started on the 25th June but to get used to the conditions, check rigs, go through measurement and registration, the team went out five days ahead.

Measurement was an entirely new experience. All boats were weighed while there was nothing in them, even the buoyancy bags had to be deflated! Sails weren’t allowed to have sail ties on while they were measured, foils were weighed, checked for size and width/length. My rudder was 12 grams too light, nothing that my coach Robbie Burns couldn’t fix.

Unfortunately, we lost two training days because of too much wind. Instead, we did lots of theory and fitness training, including a 5km run, stretches/yoga and swimming. We did go out on the last day of training and tried to get used to the wavy, choppy and tidal conditions. The waves were especially big that day, following the storms of the previous days. Not only was it hard to get good boat speed but there was lots of tide.

The next day (Sunday) was one of the best, even though we didn’t sail. We saw the finish of the Volvo Ocean Race and Dongfeng winning by a tight margin. We could see the boats from miles away as they were huge. Later in the week, we were lucky enough to sail beside some of the VOR boats while we launched and came back in.

And now to the racing: it was really, really tough! Every boat there had incredible speed and tactics.  On the first day, the lightest day, I got a 30th and 50th, so a solid start. On the next day which was the longest day (we got back in at 7.30pm having launched at 10 am) we did three races and I got 52nd, 19th and 37th, which I was pleased with. On the third day, the final day of qualifying racing I got a 38th and a 14th, a good finish to the series putting me in 66th overall (out of 150 boats) and in Gold, so I was really pleased.

On the fourth day of racing there was 14 knots and sun, perfect sailing conditions. I got a 44th and 69th an okay start to Gold fleet. We only did one race on the final day of racing and I finished 60th which I was disappointed with, as at one stage I was coming 40th but then I missed a shift and lost 20 places so quickly.  At the end of the event, I finished 67th – and 55th European!!

Overall the team did really well. Six of us made it to Gold fleet which everyone says is a great achievement. It was an amazing experience. Tough but exciting racing in which I learnt a lot. I also met loads of sailors from some of the 44 countries represented at the event. I want to thank Allen for the great blocks, especially the new AutoRatchet, my parents for giving me the opportunity and my head teacher for giving me the time off school.

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GPS Tracking at West Lancs YC 24 Hour Race

The West Lancashire Yacht Club 24 Hour Race, the UK’s No.1 dinghy endurance race, will provide live GPS tracking of each competing dinghy this year. WLYC has agreed to a joint exclusive sponsorship deal with GJW Direct, Allen Brothers and Precision Yacht Paint, to provide the SailRacer GPS Tracking System.

 

Throughout the 24 hours, competitors, team management, spectators and supporters will be able to follow the progress of all the dinghies online via the event website. It doesn’t matter where they are they can follow everyone or just a few select teams. They could be watching in the team tent, in the WLYC bar, back at their Sailing Club or even in a restaurant in Hong Kong!

 

Each Dinghy will have a GPS tracker attached, providing a wealth of detailed analytics such as lap times, speeds and VMG. The teams will have a valuable tool allowing a direct comparison across all competitors to help them understand their overall performance, not just their strengths but also where they can improve.  A powerful management tool!

 

For the Race organisers, the GPS tracking system will enable a constant monitor of the positions of all boats, particularly important during the hours of darkness or poor weather.

 

Race weekend 8th/9th September 2018

 

For further information contact:

Jerrold A Carr

Rear Commodore

West Lancashire Yacht Club

07752-829821

jerroldacarr@gmail.com

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The XHL range has grown

The original 30mm XHL block was released by Allen at the end of 2015, the design was received exceedingly well by the sailors in the high-performance market. This year Allen has expanded the range to include a 20mm and 40mm sheave size to help fill gaps in the market.

 

The Allen XHL range has been designed to deal with eXtremely High Loads without compromising on low load dynamic performance. By combing the Allen patented Dynamic Bearing Technology with CNC machined aluminium side cheeks and a precision turned stainless steel sheave, the company has created a block range that can take a static load of up to 1500Kg. Perfect for use in vang cascades or halyard turning points where loads can be extremely high.

A2020XHL

Maximum Working Load: 300KG

Breaking Load: 900 KG

A2030XHL

Maximum Working Load: 350Kg

Breaking Load: 1250Kg

A2040XHL

Maximum Working Load: 400Kg

Breaking Load: 1500Kg

 

The XHL range is available in a variety of colours from allensail.com

The 30mm XHL was originally designed on the feedback of Team Allen sailors who wanted a block strong enough to keep up with the demands of high-performance sailing. Watch the video below to find out how it’s made.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aFQf6AANkPo

Allen Brothers, based in Essex, is known for consistently developing and upgrading sailing hardware. The company has a team of professional sailors that are always testing and relaying product feedback back to the Allen design team to ensure the hardware keeps up with the demands of modern sailing.

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Allen Keyball Harness

The Dangers of trapezing have never been more apparent than in the last few years and as boats get more powerful and hardware becomes stronger shouldn’t there be a natural progression to try something new when it comes to trapezing?

For many years the Allen development team was keen to design a trapeze system that improves the safety of the sport and reduces the risk of entrapment by the traditional hook-on trapeze harness. Designer Julian Bethwaite had also been thinking along the same lines and had produced a prototype of the Keyball trapeze system.  In conjunction with Bethwaite Design, Allen has developed the concept into a sleek and innovative product, eliminating the hook altogether and creating a safe intuitive solution that really works. The Keyball design was originally entered into the prestigious METS trade show DAME awards in 2014, receiving a special mention in the “Life Saving and Safety Equipment” category.

The Allen Keyball system removes the traditional hook from the trapeze harness and replaces it with a moulded plastic socket. The Keyball socket has no sharp edges or protruding parts making it much less likely to damage equipment or get snagged on something.

The handle part of the Keyball design is manufactured in 3 parts to enable the ball to be flexible, which helps with articulation. It features a solid aluminium guide with an integral rope-friendly thimble for attachment to the trapeze lines via a height adjustable rope system and a solid aluminium ball for smooth and secure location.

Recently Allen has started working alongside Banks Sails to produce a straight off the shelf trapeze harness that is available in two different styles.

The Skiff Pro harness is a totally new design. It has been developed alongside top sailors to offer the ultimate racing performance. There is no waist adjustment and therefore it is clean of rope and webbing straps. This harness is ideal for the modern high-performance dinghy crew and is exceptionally light and comfortable.

Using sail making techniques, Banks developed the Radial Harness, one of the most comfortable harnesses on the market. The load from the Keyball is spread by radial patches completely eliminating creasing around the back.

Team Allen sailor and Cadet World Champion Jamie Harris has recently transitioned into the 420. Jamie has been trying his hand at crewing in the 420 so it made sense for him to trial the Keyball system. When asked about his experience with the Allen Keyball System Jamie said “The hand shaped design was really comfortable and gave me a strong grip and acted almost like a second handle to hang and pump from which was really useful.”

He then went on to say “I was also really impressed with the ease of use; I soon forgot I had a different system on as it was so easy to adjust too.”

When asking Jamie about the Keyball socket design he said “I found myself not getting stuck in objects in the boat with my harness on. The harness was less damaging to lean over the boat with when adjusting controls”

Allen are now selling the complete Banks Harness with Allen Keyball system direct from their ecommerce website allensail.com if you require a different style of harness you can also go straight to Banks Sails and choose one of their existing designs to be used with the Keyball.

Keyball handles are also available direct from Allen at allensail.com

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Allen Endurance Series 1 – Solent Forts

The 2018 Allen Endurance Series kicked off over the first weekend in June at Hayling Ferry Sailing Club for the Solent Forts Race.

The entry list reads like a who’s who from the cat world, including Will Sunnucks, chairman of the UK Cat Racing Association competing in his high-speed foiling Vampire, crewed by Mark Self.  The strong F18 fleet included Grant Piggott and Simon Farren and National Champion Simon Northrop crewed by Caleb Cooper, who was looking to defend his Solent Forts title.  For the first time, fast dinghies were eligible to race, with top International Canoe sailors Gareth Caldwell and Phil Robin looking to give the cats a run for their money.

 

Saturday brought the best weather with glorious sunshine and 10 kts + of breeze.  Will Sunnucks and Mark Self in the Vampire took line honors and the highest recorded speed on the SailRacer GPS trackers, hitting over 18 kts on a sustained basis.

Sunday dawned sunny but windless, giving PRO Richard Golden no option but to postpone; after a great Saturday night Band on the Beach party,  most competitors were glad of a couple of extra hours to prepare.

With the tide flooding in at the start and only a light breeze, it was quite a struggle to get out of Langstone Harbour.  Gareth Caldwell (International Canoe) made good progress by creeping up the Hayling Shore and for some time was second on the water.  Grant Piggott and Simon Farren (F18) led the fleet around Spit Sand Fort at the mouth of Portsmouth Harbour and then back to the turning mark off the club at the entrance to Langstone Harbour.

First back were the International Canoes sailing the shorter blue course with Phil Robin taking line honours, after overhauling fellow classmate Gareth Cladwell.

With the wind building over the 7.1 mile downwind leg from Bembridge Ledge, the Vampires started to get into their stride and foiling, regularly seeing peak speeds in the upper teens on the SailRacer GPS trackers.  Kyle Stoneham and Ross Harvey (Vampire 11) managed to overhaul Grant Piggott and Simon Farren (F18) to take the lead.

The fast cats were given another leg out to Winner South Cardinal, but with the breeze now falling, Grant Piggott and Simon Farren (F18) managed to snatch the lead back again coming up to the finish to take line honours and a win on corrected time. Will Sunnucks and Mark Self managed to overhaul the other Vampire to take second place over the line from Kyle Stoneham and Ross Harvey.

 

 

Combining the results across both fleets using the SailRacer scoring system, based on GPS data and dynamic handicaps on a time on distance basis, the top three were:

 

Pos Class SailNos Helm Crew Club
1 F18 521 Grant Piggott Simon Farren Weston
2 Int Canoe 328 Phil Robin BCU
3 F18 1577 Tim Neal Bob Fry Parkstone YC

The 2018 Allen Endurance Series covers three of the UK’s long-distance races: Solent Forts, East Coast Piers and Round Sheppey. With racing covering over 120 miles, the Allen Endurance Series will challenge sailors over some varied courses to find the UK’s top long-distance racers this summer. All races will be tracked by SailRacer, allowing organisers and supporters to monitor boat positions, which will also provide a wealth of analytical data such as top speeds and distance sailed. Allen will be providing over £1,000 of prizes across the Series and individual events.

Series Website: http://allen.SailRacer.org