This season has been like no other. Under more normal circumstances the coldest winter months are spent grabbing short sails in Chichester Harbour, trying to eek out some productive time on the water before hands and toes lose cooperation. Instead, 2021 started from the comfort of my home office, still fixated on boats, but the America’s Cup foiling AC75 kind. In the tedium of a winter lockdown Rob Gullan, Tom Partington and myself set about sharing our opinions and theories on the differences in systems and sailing styles of the AC teams. It turned out other people were interested too! It was a great experience, but also afforded me the opportunity to become associated with Allen, not just for the YouTube cup content, but in support of my own sailing too.
Come April it had been about five months since we had sailed; all talk no action! Probably no-one cares, but after months of dissecting other sailors’ performances, I felt some obligation to put in some decent performances of my own. I must admit to some doubt setting in and I was eager to get the 2021 season off to a good start with some solid results.
Phantom National Championships – Phifty Phantastic Years.
Celebrating their fiftieth birthday at Stone Sailing Club on the Blackwater Estuary in Essex on 17th to 19th September was always likely to attract a good entry and the Class Association was delighted with the final entry of 76 boats.
Competitors had started to congregate at the club on Thursday and many must have wondered whether the Indian Summer forecast was going to prove a mixed blessing as they looked across a mirror flat Blackwater Estuary.
The forecast did look like light winds would predominate with a distinct swing in the direction being predicted over the three days. The usual conversations also took place over fancied runners and riders with past multiple Champion Andy Couch known to have a significant diary clash due to his brothers wedding on the Sunday. Not wanting to miss the event Andy did attend but could only race on Friday and Saturday. The planned programme of races with two on Friday, possibly four of Saturday and two on Sunday meant that with two discards competitors could attend over the two days and complete a series.
Saturday dawned with light winds, fog, and a dying forecast. 46 boats arrived as the fog cleared and headed out into Portland harbour for an expected 4 races.
Fast out of the blocks off the pin end were Annabelle Vines and Raulf Berry (3079) who lead at every mark to complete the win. Close behind were Ollie Peters and Ben Bradley (3080) in 2nd and Freddy Westwell and Freddy Lonsdale (2903). Race 2 was quickly underway with even trickier conditions and wind dying on the right hand side of the beat. Up the first beat left paid with more pressure at the top of the course. Annabelle and Raulf (3079) led round again getting their second bullet of the day. Races 3 and 4 were sailed in dying breeze (5-7 knots) with race winners James Crossley in race 3 and Noah Fitzgerald (2206) and Leo Wilkinson and Sam Jones (2966) crossing the shortened course finish line at the windward mark in race 4.
Once ashore the first day of GP1 was completed with the first 29er GP social in 18months, with a great Lasagne supper and a brilliant speaker Q&A by Saskia Tidey, Olympic 49er legend.
Sunday had a more promising forecast which delivered with winds up to 15knots by the end of the day. Racing was set off quickly and efficiently by PRO Ian Bullock. The winner of race 5 with a good lead was Finn Morris and Oscar Morgan-Harris (2849). Pressure building at the top of the course meant it paid to use the edges of the course and the top 5 boats where always early onto the lay lines. Race 6 was similar conditions, Ella Lightbody and Felicity Brellisford (2493) leading around the first windward mark but eventually on the last downwind leg overtaken by race and regatta winners Ben Mueller and Sam Webb (12). The last 2 races, the pressure increased, both physically and mentally. The wind filled in and at last there was some more consistent trapezing for the crews. Santi Sesto-Cosby and George May (2816) took the win in race 7, and Kate Robertson and Robin Stein (376) closed out the regatta with a bullet.
Overall, it was a great regatta with 7 different race winners and plenty of sunshine!
1st Ben Mueller and Sam Webb
2nd Freddy Westwell and Freddy Lonsdale
3rd Annabelle Vines and Raulf Berry
1st Girls Ella Lightbody and Felicity Brellisford
1st Mixed Annabelle Vines and Raulf Berry
Thank you Saskia Tidey for presenting the prizes and Allen Sailing for sponsoring the event and Digital Sailing for the on the water Photos.
Tired of scruffy looking knots and frayed rope ends? Well, we are pleased to announce our new race ready Tera packs.
Utilising British made Marlow rope and our range of performance blocks to deliver an easy to install and use race kit. The race packs have been developed using our Team Allen sailors experience in the boat and finessed by our engineering know how.
Vang Race Pack
Fully spliced to the perfect lengths to allow maximum travel for the blocks with a 6:1 purchase. Our race vang also includes a high load thimble set into the system to allow for a better lead for the outhaul control line.
Primary Line – 3mm Marlow dyneema.
Secondary line – 4mm Marlow excel control.
2 x A2020Ti3 – 20mm dynamic ti3-on blocks spliced into the system to allow for maximum travel.
1 x A2044-677HK – 40mm dynamic block with becket, hook and adjustable cleat.
1 x Soft shackle with dog bone and high load thimble.
2 x Handles to make pulling the control line easier.
Postponed from 2020, the National 12 National Championship, known as Burton Week was much anticipated. With no Burton Cup sailed in 2019 (no wind) or 2020 (no event) and new helm/crew combinations for 2021, there was a lot to look forward too.
Competitors began arriving on the afternoon of Thursday 26th and were greeted by Sophie Mackley, well known in the N12 fleet but for this event, chief organiser, and commodore of Shoreham Sailing Club. With each N12 allotted a slot in the dinghy park, boat measurement / weighing taking place in the club’s store and tents popping up where there was space, one thing was clear – the N12s were definitely taking over the club for the long weekend! As more sailors arrived, the club’s bar opened up and the competitors all enjoyed catching up.
Simple and cost effective. The V Cleat is one of the original methods for cleating rope and to this day is still the favoured option for many applications.
Injection moulded from Nylon 6 to give a strong and UV stable product to ensure it can endure a long life outside in harsh weather.
V Cleats are the perfect choice for low to medium loaded applications where a quick and easy adjustment or release of rope is required. V cleats are commonly used to cleat tensioning systems for awnings, flag poles and simple boat control systems.
Available in 3 sizes and suitable for rope diameters from 2mm to 12mm.