Following on from a successful first season, Allen Brothers is proud to announce the second year of the Allen Endurance Series. A series of long-distance events designed to test sailors and equipment to the limits.
The Allen Endurance Series combines 4 already well-established endurance events. The Whitstable Forts Race, Solent Forts Race, East Coast Piers Race and Isle Of Sheppey Round The Island Race. The winner of each event will claim a £100 Allen voucher whilst the top 3 boats in the overall standings after all 4 events will take home an additional £100, £200 and £500 Allen voucher respectively.
Competitors must register for the series as well as for each event, using the SailRacer web site. Combining registration for the series at the same time as all four events will entitle the entrant to a discount. To be eligible for the Allen Endurance Series prizes, competitors must display a minimum of two Allen hull stickers during each event.
The official launch of the 2019 Endurance Series will take place on the Allen RYA Dinghy Show Stand at 11.30AM Sunday 4th March.
A long-distance race which has evolved over its 24-year history into a well-balanced test of sailing and racing skills, attracting top national helms as well as experienced club racers and international entries. Laid out in hub and spoke format, with each leg returning through a gate near the club, the full course covers 85 kilometers in estuary, coastal and open sea conditions, and provides racing at all points of sailing. The flexibility of this format differentiates the Forts Race from other marathon events.
The Solent Forts Race is a long-distance event for sports catamarans set in the Eastern Solent, with Hayling Island and Portsmouth to the north and the Isle of Wight to the west.
The race comprises several legs radiating out from a gate (like a star), allowing the course configuration and length to be adjusted according to the conditions prevailing on the day. The race gets its name from the Napoleonic Channel Forts that comprise two of the marks of the course.
This race has a unique ‘time out’ feature that allows boats to take an optional 30-minute break during the race. This time may be used for a comfort break or for tactical purposes.
Open to Fast Dinghies and Catamarans, the East Coast Piers Race is a major charity event raising funds to support “The Cirdan Trust” to further support their important work with socially or physically disadvantaged children. The race is based at Marconi Sailing Club on the River Blackwater in Essex and goes all the way up the East Coast to Walton and back again. There are three course options available, the Bradwell Race which is 13 miles long open to Fast Dinghies, the Colne Point Race which is 27 miles long open to Fast Dinghies and Catamarans and then the full ECPR which is 48 miles long open to Catamarans only.
IOS Round the Island Race is a long established, long distance event designed to test sailing skills and endurance over a 40-mile course. Sailed clockwise around the island, starting and finishing at IOS Sailing Club, the race includes tidal sea, river & estuary sailing. The event is the longest dinghy and board race in Europe — it should not be confused with so-called 24 hour races, which allow for a change of helm and crew. The race is open to all classes of dinghy, catamaran and sailboard.
New products and what to see at the 2019 Dinghy Show
On the 2nd of March the doors will open to the public for the 2019 RYA Dinghy Show and Allen Brothers will once again be displaying a range of new hardware and fully fitted boats on stand C82 in the Great Hall.
Allen will be showcasing new ranges, such as; The pivoting mast step, Pad-Tii range, blue carbon tiller extensions, 20 & 30mm double cheek blocks and much, much more. On stand C82 you will also be able to take a closer look at the recently restored International 14. Restored by Phoenix Marine and put together by Allen designer Tom Clayton and Zhik’s UK sales manager Tristan Hutt, the International 14 boasts a top spec fit out which also includes the Allen Keyball trapeze system. On display will also be a brand new Streaker, built by The Boatyard at Beer, belonging to Team Allen sailor Tom Gillard. The Streaker will feature the Slingshot mainsheet jammer (A5266) which is self-aligning.
Also taking place on the Allen stand will be the official launch for the 2019 Allen Endurance Series, Allen Performance Challenge and the Allen Blogging Award. To find out more, visit www.allenenduranceseries.com for launch times and details.
The pivoting mast step is designed for dinghies or small keelboats that have easily adjustable rigging whilst sailing. By allowing the mast heel to pivot it reduces loading points in the deck of the boat and spreads the forces more evenly. Having a pivoting mast step and heel also allows for a consistent mast bend profile resulting in more accurate rig setup.
The mast step is CNC machined from 6082 aluminium and anodised black.
Mast heels are made from Nylon and currently available in 3 diameters; 37.5mm, 41mm & 45mm.
The Allen range of aluminium through deck bushes have been well received by the marine industry so Allen have decided to continue with the development. The logical product progression being, fixing Tii blocks to the deck or bulkhead. There are several companies producing products that provide this, so Allen decided to think a little more laterally and have come up with a range of Pad-Tii that have some additional design features. A number of current products require the integral pad and associated tie on rope to be permanently bonded to a surface, which doesn’t readily allow replacement of worn rope. Allen have incorporated an ingenious removable attachment pin to allow the user to replace the rope as it wears. Simply unscrew the upper insert and push down on the stainless-steel crossbar to remove it. Install your replacement rope by pushing through the hole in the centre of the upper insert, slide the pin into place retaining the rope and screw the upper insert back into the deck. The lower insert is enclosed ensuring the design is watertight and the two parts have flats, so they can be tightened and undone with simple tools.
Allen has been working alongside Team Allen sailors to make sure their new range of tiller extension is stiff enough to give you the right amount of feedback yet forgiving enough to take a good beating. Although performance was at the top of the checklist it soon became apparent style should be too. The blue carbon range is available in several different sizes, and lengths over 1.9meters come with a smaller end knob to reduce outboard weight.
Blue carbon tiller extensions come with UJ already fitted.
Another progression from an already existing product, the double cheek block range incorporates Allen dynamic bearing technology into a double sheaved cheek block. This allows for an additional purchase to be incorporated into mainsheet traveller systems and anything else that might require a double mounted cheek block.
Tom Gillard’s Streaker
On display will be a brand new Streaker, built by The Boatyard at Beer, belonging to Team Allen sailor Tom Gillard. The Streaker will feature the Slingshot mainsheet jammer (A5266) which is self-aligning.
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 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.
Also, on display will be a fully restored International 14. The I14 restored by Phoenix Marine and put together by Allen designer Tom Clayton and Zhik’s UK Sales Manager, Tristan Hutt, features a wide range of standard Allen fittings, including the Keyball Trapeze system with new Zhik T3 Keyball Harness. 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.
Credit: ojsphotography./Oliver Southgate
Come and check out all of the above plus much, much more at stand C82 in the Great Hall.
2018 has been an up and down year for James and I. Having geared ourselves up for the year, training intensely out in Vilamoura Portugal, Fynn tore his anterior meniscus 2 days before the Palma Princess Sofia Regatta. With the injury requiring surgery, it wasn’t until 2 weeks before the World Championships in August that we were able to return to the boat as a team. This meant we missed 3 major European regattas – Palma, Hyeres and the Europeans.
Having missed so much crucial training and racing time we naturally felt a bit rusty leading into the Worlds. However, we believed we had as good a chance as anyone at taking the title. After a long week of racing, we came away 5th overall and 1st British boat, securing Great Britain a spot in the Olympics.
The next big event and our outcome regatta of the year was the Tokyo World Cup at the Olympic Venue. The majority of the racing was held in shifty offshore conditions, making for some hard fought battles throughout the event. After leading the regatta and going into the top 10 medal race we then had a fantastic medal race win to move well clear of the rest of the fleet and take the gold medal. Gaining experience at the venue and showing to the rest of the world how strong we perform there gives us a lot of confidence going forward.
This years Miami World Cup was a light one, with all but 2 races carried out in under 7 knots. Having sailed ourselves into a 3rd position with the possibility of moving up to silver before the medal race we then, unfortunately, got an OCS in the medal race, dropping us to 5th overall. On reflection though, a good result at a tough venue and plenty of lessons learned to take into the European season.
Looking forwards we have another training camp in Vilamoura this month before we head to Palma in March in preparation for the Princess Sofia Regatta. Post Palma, we have the Genoa WC (April), Europeans (May) and Tokyo World Cup (August) before the World Championship in Auckland, NZ (Dec).
Completing the ARC at age 16
Team Allen sailor Ben Hutton-Penman recently took part in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers on his Uncles Hanse 531.
Here is his review of their 17 day trip…
Crossing the Atlantic Ocean was a truly incredible experience and one which I will never forget. It is impossible to understand what it is like to be at sea for 17 days without the sight of land. However, don’t be fooled the crossing is one full of many surprises and hiccups…
I landed in the Canary Islands to the perfect temperature of just over 20°C, the few days I had in the Canary Islands was packed with demonstrations for example, helicopter rescues and how to use flares. We had to prep the boat for the crossing with food and a plentiful supply of fuel. We had many parties over these few days and a great time enjoying ourselves before the race started.
Nerves started to rise the morning of the start to the ARC. All around us we we could see people saying their good byes. We started to head out to the start area at 11o’clock and started to prepare ourselves for by hoisting up the cruising Shute. At 1 o’clock my Uncle John, Auntie Sue, Mum, Dad and I embarked on the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers race. It was a spectacle in its self to see the start of the ARC. There were hundreds of boats all starting at the same time between a buoy and a warship.
We started the race with a flying start putting Jack, our boat, right up to front of the fleet alongside racing catamarans and mono-hulls. We were heading south in order to stay with the breeze as Jack is a heavy boat and needs plenty of wind to sail fast.
We had been pushing very hard in the first couple of days however, disaster struck at 2am on the 4th day. We were putting a reef in the mainsail when we had an accidental crash gybe. Unfortunately, the crash gybe left a large bend in the boom. This was very significant because if the boom was to break, we would be left with a very big problem on our hands. We managed to tie a rope from the end of the boom to the stern of the boat, Stopping the boom being able to bend any further.
Sadly this damage meant we had to sail permanently with 1-2 reefs for the rest of the race as we did not want to risk any further damage to the boom. After this incident our average speed decreased hugely. I guess there is one advantage of having a smaller main size. It meant that my school work and mock exams were a little easier to do as the boat wasn’t rocking and rolling as much!
I am delighted to say that I managed to complete at least 5 hours of school work each day whilst we cruised along. I also managed to complete nearly all of my mock exam papers. Having now got my results back I’m happy to see the large Atlantic waves didn’t affect my studying too badly!
The waves were incredible, when the breeze picked up, some where as big as a house! The waves were one of the coolest things to experience in our crossing. As Jack would reach the crest of a wave, we would then take off and surf down the face of these massive waves into the back of the next one.
About half way across the Atlantic we had a wave a bit larger than normal which broke over the hull. Due to the very hot weather, we had been leaving the hatches open. My Uncle was asleep in his cabin and I was studying. The water poured into his cabin soaking him, his bed, his clothes and everything else in his cabin. All of a sudden, he came marching out of his cabin, very disgruntled about the fact he was covered in water. We were all in dying of laughter. I was very lucky because the hatch above me was closed so all my chemistry work was saved.
When crossing the Atlantic we had the most amazing experiences. Several times we had pods of dolphins swimming alongside us, it was absolutely incredible watching them dive out of the water in a group. During the crossing Uncle John and I had a fishing competition. He had a proper sea fishing rod and I had what looked like a big crabbing line. Ironically, I managed to win by a country mile, catching 7 fish. However, I only managed to land 4. One of those included a giant 12kg tuna which I hand pulled in while cruising along at 8 knots. Whereas Uncle John only manged to catch 2 fish. The Tuna and the Mahi Mahi tasted delicious. On the subject of fish, there was several occasions when we would get attacked by flying fish. These tiny fish jump and fly out of the water to get away from predators and seem to end up on deck as they have no sense of flying direction.
The sunsets and sunrises were out of this world and the most beautiful thing you could ever see. The sky lit up into this bright foray of colour. I will never forget staring at the sunset when listening to music. There was something so peaceful about watching the sunset even when you are 1,500 miles away from the nearest land. When the sun went down, there was no light pollution you get from the lights in a town or city, so it was pitch black. However, this left the sky and the stars. It was nothing like I have ever seen before. It was like the photos you see in very rural places like in the mountains. The whole of the universe lit up the sky and it was the most mesmerising thing. Just sitting there at the helm watching the stars allows you to think, reflect, realise and be grateful. Some people may think of it as worrying or lonely, but I felt fulfilled and at home rolling over the waves of the Atlantic thousands of miles from home.
Towards the end of the race another breakage occurred as we managed to bend the end of the spinnaker pole. We had to flip the pole around and use a rope to keep the sail attached to the pole which was very effective. However, this wasn’t the bad break. I was doing one of my mock exam papers when I heard a loud bang. It was the spinnaker pole eyelet snapping off and leaving the pole smashing against the deck and the jib frantically flapping. I paused the exam time and dashed up onto deck to help the situation. Unfortunately, the damage to the pole was not repairable with the resources we had. This then meant we had to sail dead downwind to finish with only one sail making the last few days particularly painful due to our very slow speed.
There was nothing we could do as a boat called Theodora who we had been right next to the whole trip could then just fly ahead of us, at least it meant that I can enjoy the emptiness of the Atlantic a little longer.
During our very slow sail to the finish we all had very high spirits even though we were exhausted. At the same time, we were also sad that the race had gone so quickly because when sailing across the Atlantic you lose track of all-time frames and all the days seem to merge together. We caught sight of land just before sunset and we managed to watch our final sunset fall behind the island of St Lucia which was incredible.
We finished the ARC in 17 days and 10 hours having travelled 2,900 nautical miles. We were greeted by horns, cheers from other competitors and a party which we were very much looking forward to. As soon as we docked, we were greeted with rum punch which tasted delicious. We then went straight onto land which felt very weird as I felt very off balance and wobbly, we soon headed to a restaurant to get a well-earned pizza!
We had a fun 5 days in St Lucia full of, partying, swimming, snorkelling, free diving, tours, zip lining and having fun with the locals. Overall the ARC was such an incredible experience which I loved so much, it was an experience that I will never forget, and I look forward to when I race again in 2021 when my Dad plans to take our boat, the year I finish at New Hall. It was a life changing experience.
Allen Academy Optimist
For the past 3 years, Allen Brothers has been supporting grassroots sailing by supplying an Ovington built Optimist to a budding young sailor, and this year is no different.
Since receiving the support of Allen, Nick Evans, last year’s winner, has scored some amazing results. Nick’s results included a 3rd Junior at the UK Nationals, 9th overall whilst representing GBR at the Irish Nationals and he also qualified to represent GBR at the Optimist Europeans in Holland.
However, it is now time for the next deserving young sailor to receive the Allen Academy Optimist. The sailor who is lucky enough to gain the support of Allen this year will be supplied with the Ovington Optimist that comes with brand new Allen hardware, 2 sets of North Sails, foils and spa’s.
Allen manufactures and distributes high-performance sailing hardware from its base in Essex. The company continues to evolve its products with the support from its Olympic Level Team Allen sailors as well as, young up and coming youth level athletes.