Posted on

Megan Pascoe – National Champ!

I turned up on the bank holiday Friday, after a long journey to Poole Yacht Club, for the UK 2.4 Nationals as part of the International Paints Poole Keelboat Regatta. After a bit of rigging and the odd beer, it was time for bed as we had an early 9 am start on Saturday.

 

The big breeze that we expected wasn’t quite as strong as forecast but we still left the shore in 15 knots. With the best the British and a few German’s could offer in terms of 2.4 sailors it was going to be a tough event and it certainly turned into really good racing. As Saturday continued the breeze was dropping steadily. I started the regatta with some really good races; 3 bullets but not by much. As we started the racing early it then meant it was a nice afternoon on the balcony of Poole Yacht Club.

 

Sunday morning saw a nice 8 knots and a slight delay while we waited for more wind. Once we got out on the water it soon became apparent that the windward mark was under Brownsea Island; it was a tricky day out. I started ok but struggled to find the best way around the course. Jonny Currell was having a much better day and after finishing the last race in just enough water we were equal points going into the last day.

 

Sunday night was at the newly built Parkstone yacht club, where I kept getting lost. Monday morning was very light and after lots of floating in no wind racing was postponed and so we went in for an hour. Coming back out the wind had built to 5 knots and looked to be building. I luckily got off the right end of the fleet and with Jonny struggling to get away cleanly I managed to secure a win, give me the title!

 

It’s nice to get the title back, due to other events taking my time over the years and not giving me the chance to compete for it. It’s never easy to win and it’s great to have really good competition. It makes you hungry for more. We’ve been coming to Poole Keelboat Regatta for many years and it is great that we keep getting invited back amongst some very big boats.

 

Next on the agenda is my home event, Frensham, in a couple of weeks time. 

Posted on

Allen Academy Sailor Nick Evans At The Optimist Selections

I competed at the Optimist Selections Trials on the 4 to 7 May. It’s an invitational event held each year at the Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. The top 80 Optimist sailors in the UK compete to represent Team GB at the Optimist Worlds, Europeans, the Flanders Regatta and, this year, the North American Championships. The catch is that just a limited number of places are available. The weather was glorious but the wind not so. It was very light for all four days, never exceeding the 10-knot mark and sometimes zero, gusting zero!

PRO, Adrian Stoggall, managed to get four races off on the first day. I sailed consistently which left me in the top 10.  Unfortunately, the wind died on the next two days – which meant a lot of sitting around and waiting; something that I am not very good at. On the last day, just as everyone thought the event would be abandoned, the signal was given to launch. One last race was sailed in light and shifty conditions. I managed to end up in ninth spot overall, securing a place in the European Team. This means I go to the European Championship to be held at Scheveningen in Holland next month. I am really pleased as I achieved my goal but disappointed for some of my friends who missed out, some by just a few points.

 

I used the new Allen X2 AutoRatchet – A2360 – on the mainsheet for the first time. It worked a treat – holding fast on the upwind and giving the ability to play the sail on the downwind legs.  I was also chuffed that fellow Team Allen member – and 49er World Champion – Dylan Fletcher was on hand to present the trophies. I chatted with him afterwards. It was very interesting to hear about his plans for the year. One day I hope to sail a 49er and I hope Dylan can give me a few tips once I am big enough!!!

Posted on

Allen Academy Optimist Sailor Nick Evans Easter Blog

Over Easter I went to Holland to compete at two regattas – the Magic Marine Easter Regatta held each year on Lake Braassemermeer near Amsterdam and then the Optisprings held at Port Zelande in southern Holland.

We had two days of training before the event which was important as I needed to get use to the very choppy, shifty and gusty lake. The first day of training brought light winds and rain – a horrid combination – so we struggled to do many exercises. The next day however was much better even if it was only 2 degrees because there was a solid 10 knots of wind.

We did three races on the first day where I got a 22nd a 12th and a 24th. I was disappointed in my last race as I was coming 12th before I got caught out by a big right wind-shift.

The next day was much like the first training day with 5 knots and big wind-shifts, so only one race, instead of the scheduled four, was completed. On that day I got a 21st which was a good result as I was last around the top mark due to a poor start in the middle of the line.

The third day is normally the start of the final series but as all the flytes had not completed at least five races, there was another day of qualifying. My results were 29th, 33rd (which was my discard) and an 11th which was a good finish to an otherwise disappointing day.

I was very happy as I made it into Gold Fleet which was one of my goals coming into this event. Gold fleet was definitely a step-up and I realise how much more improvement is needed.

My next stop was the Optisprings. I did two days of training before the event which was great as it was gusting and 15 degrees, almost Spring like. The wind, however, didn’t hold out for the Regatta, with just 10 knots on the first day and 6 knots on the second.

On the first day there were four races and four bad starts for me which was disappointing.  However I managed to stay consistent with a 30th (discard), a 15th, an 11th and a 13th. The second day was lighter, so light that a race was abandoned half way down the penultimate leg. This was annoying as I was coming 5th which would have been my best race. On the race that we did complete, I won the committee end and tacked out left into pressure. I was eighth around the windward mark but due to a long run I lost 10 boats on the downwind as a huge gust came down on the other side of the course.

I think my time abroad was a very good experience as it has shown me how much improvement I need to make to be at the top of the fleet.

I want to thank Allen again for the boat and their great blocks and support and my parents for taking me.

Posted on

Ben Hutton-Penman Wins World Championships

Teams Allen sailor Ben Hutton-Penman and crew Abi Jayasekara recently attended the first major RS Feva event to be held out of Europe, the Allen supported World Championships in Clearwater, Florida.

“The RS Feva world championships were very tough and competitive with a very large range of light and heavy winds throughout the week. The event did not start as we had hoped, we scored an 11th, 5th & 2nd. It was a very light wind day, not our favourable conditions, however, my coach told me you never win or lose an event on the first day.

Having not had the best first day we concentrated on the task ahead. After a few more disappointing races we then found our stride going into Race 6 and 7, at which point we had broken the ice and found our flow with 2 bullets.  Day 3 came around, again it was very light winds which we were not looking forward too. However, thanks to the Allen 60mm X2 AutoRatchet, which I have been testing, it made for perfect control of the mainsheet. It turned on and off just at the right moments depending on the pressure in the mainsail. This really helped us to get ahead of the competition and we managed to claim 2, 2, 1, which was so nearly two 1sts, going to a photo finish on the 9th race between us and Tom Story & Rupert Jameson.

Day 4 came around, bringing gusts of over 25 knots. Perfect for Abi and I. We managed to get 2 bullets in the first race’s of the day (race 11 and 12).  However, in race 13 we were lying second in the race but sadly we had spinnaker problems, we pushed through and still managed to get a 4th. Sadly not what we wanted that day.

Overnight we were 6 points ahead. We headed out on to the water for the last day of racing with very little wind. The race committee persevered to get the first start of the day away, we had an amazing start, top 3 off the line and gaining momentum. Tom and Rupert, who where lying second overall, did not have a good start at all tacking into a large group of boats. Annoyingly the race committee abandoned the race due to the lack of wind. A couple of hours later the day was abandoned and Abi and I were World Champions.”

 

Posted on

Megan Pascoe – Write up from Ruhr City Cup

You get a suggestion from time to time about an event to attend. Essen was one of them. Few turn out to be as good as people suggest but Essen didn’t disappoint.  The warmth from the hosts WSB 1919 on the Baldeneysee made up for packing the boats up in freezing temperatures in Frensham and turning up on Thursday to a wet murky Germany. 4 British boats, 2 Dutch and 1 Belgium joined a tough German fleet. A relaxed start time on Thursday allowed me to change my mainsheet block to the new Allen 45mm AutoRatchet and after tuning run with one of the Dutch, I re-rigged it to make the ratchet work the right way.

Wind Shifts, pressure patches and current were sailed to a tune of a music concert. The Brits were off to a good start with Steve Bullmore winning the first race, I was in second and Brian Harding 13th. Keith Gordon had to repair his boat in the morning but was racing by the 2nd race of the day. This race was no less shifty than the first and with a downwind against the current made these legs especially tricky. Steve managed to find a couple of holes which left him 6th. It was a close battle with the top 6 and somehow I found a good shift on the second beat to allow myself a little bit of breathing space downwind to finish 1st. It was becoming apparent that on these waters you could change your fortunes in a second, both in a good and bad way and it definitely wasn’t over until the end. The third race saw the music getting worse as did my starting ability. Up the 1st beat, all the Brits were hovering around mid fleet together. Jan Ten Hoeve was leading down the run but then the Dragon sailors of Ulli Libor and Ben van Cauwenbergh came through on both sides of the run. Ulli kept his lead till the end of the race with Jan holding off Ben to get 2nd. The Brits meanwhile weren’t having our best races but we all brought our places back to something respectable in the end. The fleet retired to the bar for beer, food and talking about the season ahead.

We woke the next morning to wind above the water but no visible wind on the water. It was also in the opposite direction to Friday. The fleet prepared not knowing who would get which shift in the day. The fire brigade were on the far shore with a water display, thankfully much quieter than the music. Eberhard Bieberitz made the early running in a massive left shift with the next 8 boats fighting close together. Biebe was becalmed at the bottom of the run which allowed the fleet to catch up. Jan took over the lead heading left as did three more of us. Three others including Steve and Ulli went right. About halfway up the sides came back together and the 90 degrees right shift changed everyone onto a reach. Steve, although the furthest right boat couldn’t capitalise on it due to a lack of pressure, slipped to 11th overall. Down the final run, I managed to hold off Ulli and Holger Humborg to finish second to Jan. After a long wait for wind and Hanns Hermann being rescued after falling out of his boat, we tried for one more race. The first beat was ok but as we beat down the second half of the run it was abandoned and we went in to enjoy the sunshine and waffles. Later the wind filled in further up the lake so off we went again. After a postponed start and a general recalled start the fleet was off although only those at the port end because the starboard end had no wind. After the 1st beat four of us had got away and I managed to pass Ben to win in what became a very light wind race.

After racing the German’s were running their Triple Match series that they run at every open. 4 heats of very short racing culminating in a final from the winners, with the first 2 going through to the grand finals later in the year in Berlin. Steve and I took part. I managed to win my heat, as did Ulli. Steve, unfortunately, lost to Biebe and the final heat was won by the Dutchman Dirk Jan Broertjes. It was too light winds for the finals so it was decided to run it in the morning. Much discussion took place that night over whether your phone would update the time automatically. There was no rush on that front anyway as Sunday brought no wind so after a short AP the fleet packed up for the prize giving. It was a nice start to the season and we are looking forward to our Queen Mary Open in April. I finished 1st, Steve 4th, Brian 14th, Keith 21st.

Full Results available at http://manage2sail.com/de/event/ERCC2018#!/

 

Megan Pascoe, 2.4mR

Posted on

New Allen Products at The RYA Dinghy Show

There are new product launches, personal appearances by Team Allen sailors and on-stand promotions for visitors to the Allen stand, C82 at this year’s RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show on March 3-4 at Alexandria Palace, London.

At 10:30am on the Class Association Stage in the Great Hall, the results of the 2017 Allen Performance Challenge will be announced as part of the presentation of the GJW Direct Winter Series and a new championship, the Allen Endurance Series will be announced.

At 3:00pm on Saturday 3rd, on the Allen Stand C82 in the Main Hall, Team Allen sailors who tested the pre-production prototype of the new A2345 and A2360 Autoratchet blocks will be describing how they perform. There will be three other products launched, the new A2020XHL and A2040XHL additions to the highly successful Allen eXtreme High Load (XHL) family and the new A5266 angled mainsheet jammer.

The new A5266 Mainsheet Jammer from Allen Brothers is an ingeniously simple solution to a common sailing problem. Most people who have sailed a dinghy with a centre mounted mainsheet system will have come across the age old issue of the mainsheet jammer not rotating to the correct orientation after a tack or gybe therefore causing the mainsheet to get wrapped or twisted. This hardware malfunction slows the manoeuvre and can lead to a lost race or, in rough conditions, a capsize.

Standard mainsheet jammer systems usually have the block centrally located above the swivel meaning there is no turning force to swivel the block and jammer to the correct angle. By moving the block outward from the swivel and angling it away from the cleat, the new A5266 mainsheet system creates turning force on the block and jammer meaning the cleat will always be forced to point away from the boom and towards the helm. This prevents the sheet from wrapping round the block and gives extra control for fast, smooth tacks and gybes.

“It is one of those ideas which is so simple you wonder why no-one else thought of it”, explains Liz Adams, Managing Director of Allen Brothers. “Our design team has been busy this year with a range of new products coming off the drawing board and into production.”

The Essex, UK based manufacturer will also be launching its eagerly awaited new auto ratchet blocks, the A2345 and A2360. Allen has redesigned the auto ratchet and the new range will be the first to use the “X2” twin locking pawls, the British company claims “it will combine outstanding holding power in strong wind conditions with exceptional light airs performance.”

The performance sailing hardware manufacturer’s design team has been working on the project for over a year and the prototypes have been tested by Team Allen sailors. In fact the prototype 45mm auto ratchet already has several world class wins to its credit.

Visitors to the Allen stand, C82 can enter a quiz to win a pair of Allen branded sunglasses. By simply completing the quiz, based on information in the Allen Performance Sailing Magazine inserted in the free show guide, each completed entry gets a cool pair of shades.

To find out more, you can follow Allen Brothers on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/allen sailing/ or you can go to the website www.allenbrothers.co.uk/dinghyshow

Posted on

Aaron Evans Joins Team Allen

I am a competitive Topper sailor and now a part of Team Allen. I have been racing on the national circuit for two years and have been selected to join RYA Topper National Junior Squad.

My home club is Silver Wing Sailing Club based near Heathrow and I also train at Queen Mary Sailing Club. My recent achievements include: coming 5th at Poole National Series 1; winning the South East Topper Zone Champs and winning both the Queen Mary Sailing Club and Bosham Sailing Club Topper Open events.

Allen Brothers generously support me with high quality racing equipment for my Topper so I can rig my boat effectively with the knowledge that the products have been rigorously tested by some of the best sailors in the world.

Last weekend I trained with national squad at Rutland Sailing Club. There was a good breeze and we sailed both days with the aim of improving tactics and strategy.

My ambitions for the coming year include achieving a top ten place in the upcoming Topper National events. I hope that I can win some of the regional Topper Traveller events but there are some very good sailors in the region. I will be attending the Topper Worlds, to be held in China, which will be a fantastic sailing opportunity and even better if I get a good placing.  Here’s hoping that I will get some good results in 2018.

Posted on

James Peters and Fynn Sterrit 2017 Review

2017 has been a breakthrough year for Fynn and I. The Princess Sofia Regatta in April of this year was our first major regatta win.  The style of sailing was typical of that in Palma; the thermal winds there demand consistent starts, clever positioning for clear air and the capitalisation of any small gains on the fleet. It was a tight finish but we nonetheless came away with the trophy.

June brought with it the World Cup Final in Santander. Once again we used our strength on the startline combined with an ability to manage the risk associated with changeable conditions to come out on top by the end of the week.

Come July and the European Championships in Kiel were upon us. We sailed a solid week and came away with an Open bronze and European silver medal. With no sailing on the final day, we unfortunately didn’t get the opportunity to fight for the gold, but nonetheless, we were very happy with this result.

September brought the climax of the year, the World Championships in Porto. Fog and light winds made for a very relaxed (yet somewhat restless!) start to the championship with no racing for two whole days. When we finally got going, we once again kept our nerves at bay, sailing convincingly and coming away with a silver medal.

2018 will be a year closer to the Tokyo Games, the competition will be tougher, but obviously we intend to rise to this and challenge for the top once again. We are lucky to have an incredible support network around us. Allen Brothers is very much part of that team and we are very grateful to everyone at Allen Brothers to have their support going forwards. Our 49er quite simply has to be kitted out with the best hardware on the market. Working with Allen certainly ensures that box is ticked.