Team Allen sailor Megan Pascoe has claimed another 2.4 World Championship title! Read about her time at the event below
Nearly 80 boats arrived in Genoa at the Yacht Club Italiano for the 2.4mR World Championships last week. Multiple world champions were within the fleet with only a handful of the top sailors absent. Registration and measurement were easy and we all left for the practice race. We had an offshore breeze and a nice 7 knots. By the time we had got halfway up the beat the wind disappeared. If this was a sign of things to come we were in for a long week.
Turning up on Tuesday we looked out to sea to big waves and big breeze. When even the tug boats were going underwater staying on dry land seemed safer. After a thoroughly entertaining day of putting the world to rights we hoped Wednesday would be better. It was and the fleet left the dock in what we thought was a nice 8 knots, or that’s what the forecast let us believe. What we really had was 16 knots and big waves. 3 races were sailed. Having not been in those conditions for a few years it was nice that I seemed to have a bit of pace. I finished the day with a 1,1,2. With a few of the top sailors already collecting letters and the chance of 2 discards being slim, it was going to be an interesting series. The usual players were at the top with Marko Dahlberg from Finland putting in a 2,2,1 showing that he is still one of the fastest in the breeze. Stellan Berlin from Sweden with a UFD and two other results in the top 4 was showing why he is a multiple world champion. Paralympians Heiko Kroger and Bjornar Erikstad were going well but both with a UFD a DNF, they were going to struggle to get to the top.
By Thursday no one believed the forecast and after a delay we went out in 12 knots with slightly fewer waves. Stellan left us all in his wake with Marko and fellow Fin Rikard Bjorstrom making the top 3. As we crossed the line we found that Stellan had a UFD making it look like it was going to be a two horse race between Marko and I. We tried a start for race 5 under a black flag but with a 90 degree wind shift and a large black cloud the race was abandoned up the first beat and we went home. It was difficult to see if we were ever going to get a series in. After the cloud passed we left the dock again and had the 5th race in a nice breeze. Heiko took the race win, I finished second and Fia Fjelddahl in third cementing her place inside the top 3. Marko made a rare result outside the top 3 setting up an exciting last day.
Friday was 16 – 20 knots with the waves as big as usual. It was going to be a big day to end it all. I was having a good race with Heiko and Antonio from Italy in a building breeze and I managed to beat Heiko up the last beat. With Marko in 4th, I had one hand on the trophy. The wind dropped enough to encourage the race committee to run another race. It was getting windier and windier as we went up the first beat. A rain cloud came in and a few of us headed to the spreader mark instead of the windward mark. Antonio went the right way and walked away with the race. With the wind on the fleet’s limit, we went home and that was the end to a very entertaining series. I was very happy to win my second world title. It was great to do it with my parents watching and so many British and Irish around. The 2.4 fleet is a great fleet to be part of with a varied group of people. The top 4 were from 4 different countries, a mix of female and male competitors, able-bodied and disabled, 3 different sailmakers and 2 different mast makers.
An Aussie asked me what the secret of the week was. Some suggest it might have been the longer keel but with most of the other boats on standard keels I’m unsure of that. With sail set up I set up with more twist to get through the waves. Depowering more to get the boat balanced so you can steer through the waves. Then it is just concentrating on the steering to keep the boat going. Finding the windward mark is always useful as is being able to see the flags! An electric pump that is reliable is a simple win but an important one that can save you from joining the submarine core. The last point is sending it downwind. Learning to steer around the waves and getting the pump in the right place.
But most importantly is having reliable kit! So a thanks must go to Allen for ensuring my boat is fully sorted.
All in all a great way to end 2019.
Photos courtesy of Yacht Club Italiano.
Sailing the Allen Academy Optimist – Patrick Bromilow
I picked up the Allen Academy optimist on my way home from the Magic Marine Easter Regatta in Braassemermeer. I was very excited and super happy to have been picked to sail the optimist this season.
As soon as we got home, I went sailing in it at my local club and it felt great. I went to a few local travellers’ events to get used to the boat before getting ready to sail in the first ranking event of the season, which was the Inland Championships at Grafham Water. I decided that I wanted a new sail for my weight, as I had been sailing with OneSails before I got the Allen boat, so was very happy to receive a OneSail Light from OneSails UK. I was excited to be going to race in a big fleet with the new sail and boat. Unfortunately, when we got there, there was no wind for the entire weekend, so no races were sailed at all! Everyone was very disappointed, especially me!
Next chance for big fleet racing was the Oppi Nationals at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy. I was looking forward to this whole week of racing. I was a bit disappointed with my results overall for the Nationals. I made gold fleet, but I felt that I wasn’t sailing as fast as usual. It was very windy most days, and I struggled to flatten my boat in the gusts, and the boat kept stalling in the choppy conditions. This regatta left me wondering what was wrong with my sailing, and I had lots of chats with other sailors, parents and coaches about what could have been the problem.
Next up was the Irish Optimist Nationals in Howth, which I travelled to as part of the junior GBR team. I decided to take my old boat to this event, just to see if there was a difference in my boat speed. This was another very windy regatta, with a couple of days spent ashore due to the high winds. However, the days that I did sail, I felt a bit better than at the British Nationals, but I still struggled in the heavy gusts to keep my boat flat.
When we came home, after more discussions with lots of oppi parents and sailors, we decided that a new flexible rig in the Allen boat would be a good thing to try. So, I was very lucky to be able to get a BlackGold Flexi rig from Xtremity. It arrived just in time for the Late Summer Championships at Draycote Water Sailing Club, the second ranker of the season.
Another windy regatta! I felt really confident and good about going sailing on the first day, even though it was very windy with big gusts coming through. The first day I sailed really well and managed to keep my boat flat in the gusts, I could see my rig flexing as I kept on sailing. I managed to get a 3rd and a 6th on the first day, but I also got a black flag which meant my discard was gone. The second day didn’t go as well, I started with a 13th and then the race after that I capsized, then in the final race I was still thinking about my capsize so wasn’t concentrating and ended up with a 33rd. I knew that I could sail fast and do well with the new set up on the boat, so I focussed on those positives.
The final ranking event of the season was End of Seasons at Weymouth. I had left myself with a lot of hard work to do. I needed to do really well at this event so that I made one of the Winter squads. I had been in IOCA squad last winter, so I wanted to go into a higher squad for this winter.
I thought it would be a good idea to do the IOCA pre-event training the week before at Weymouth to give me a good chance of doing well for the End of Seasons. It was a super windy weekend again, but I had a great weekend of training and really got used to the new set up on the boat. I was feeling ok about the following week – apart from the 6-hour drive both ways to get there!
The first day of End of Seasons was raining like crazy, so we all rigged up in the hanger and put our rigs in the rig stands to wait for launch. I was feeling really good about my BlackGold lite spars and my OneSail light, and spent quite a bit of time setting up my rig. We launched in quite light wind, with the race area in about 3 and 12 knots of breeze. The first race I finished 11th, which was ok, but not good enough – I needed to do better! So, I made some adjustments and set up my rig again before the next races. I got a 3rd and then a 5th, so it ended up as a great day on the water.
The forecast for the second day was for too much wind, so we were postponed for a bit to start with, but then we were told to get ready to launch, so we went sailing whilst the wind was about 25 knots. It must have got up to about 35 knots when we were sailing out to the race area – it was so windy! Just before the start, it dropped to about 15-26 knots. I was still feeling great about my BlackGold lite spars and OneSail light, and I could see my rig flexing in the gusts. I had also depowered by de-spriting my rig which helped a lot. We only managed 1 race before the wind really picked up and we were sent to shore. I got a 9th in that race, which I was really happy with. I finished 8th overall and 2nd junior.
I was really hoping from my great EoS results, and my not so good LSC result, that I would get a squad invitation. So, I was really happy when I got the invite to join National Squad for the Winter!
I’m looking forward to a great Winter of training with my new squad, with some of my friends. The pressure is off now for a while. The next event is the Winter Championships at Datchet, which is always great fun and I’m excited to race, now that I’ve got the boat really sailing fast for me and the set up is really great!
Endeavour Trophy 2019
Saxton and Lewis made it an incredible 5 in a row this weekend at the 2019 Endeavour Trophy. Highlight videos and full report below.
The Endeavour Trophy Championship is one of the most prestigious sailing events in the UK calendar and dates back to 1961. This invitation-only event was created to pick out the “Champion of Champion’s” by gathering the winner’s of various National classes and pitting them against each other in predetermined boats over a weekend of racing in October.
Stakes are high at this year’s Endeavour as last year’s winner Ben Saxton is hoping to improve on his tally of wins and make it five in a row, and six in total. Nick Craig, who currently holds the most wins, will also be competing and looking to take home the trophy for the seventh time.
Liz Adams, Managing director of Allen Brothers, Said “The Endeavour Trophy is such a special event, not only for the sailors good enough to be invited but also for the sailing community of the River Crouch. Having such a historical race taking part on local waters is great for aspiring future generations. Allen has been supporting the event for many years with Tony Allen repairing the trophy and Kim Allen being highly involved as PRO. We are proud to continue our support of this prestigious competition.”
This year the Endeavour Trophy will have live tracking. All available online for anyone to watch HERE. Spread the news and cheers on your class teammate!
The history of this event starts at the challenge for the America’s Cup in 1934 by Tommy Sopwith’s J Class “Endeavour”. After a dispute found him crewless and needing to find a replacement crew at short notice Sopwith contacted ‘Tiny’ Mitchell, the Commodore of the RCYC at the time, he rounded up a bunch of eager members – all of them amateurs – and sent them off to battle the prestigious “Rainbow”.
The series of races between the American defenders sailing “Rainbow” and the Amateur British challengers on “Endeavour” went on to be full of controversy. Endeavour won the first two races but lost the series, the closest the British have ever got to winning the coveted America’s Cup. Some years after the Americas Cup Challenge Robin Judah, RCYC member and GB representative in the International Dragon Class at the Acapulco Olympics had a conversation with Beecher Moore who was part of the Endeavour crew.
Together they worked to establish a series of races for dinghy sailors so that a “Champion of Champions” could be crowned. They agreed that a suitable trophy would be required and after a visit to London Silver Vaults Beecher purchased a replica of the J class Endeavour in silver and donated it to the RCYC. After several years of a victor claiming the trophy and a lack of appreciation from the value of the Silver J Class Replica it fell into a sorry state – sometimes going home rolling around the boot of a car under respective sailing equipment – Tony Allen, Co-founder of Allen Brothers, was tasked with the job of restoring the desirable trophy, and so he built the necessary tools to undertake the refit. The Endeavour trophy now stays in its display cabinet at the entrance of the RCYC clubhouse and the winner takes home a half model instead.