The ILCA (laser) is one of the World’s most popular sailing dinghies, with over 215,000 boats sold worldwide, it would be no surprise to find one – new or old – in almost every dinghy park around the globe.
Allen has been involved with the ILCA/ Laser class ever since the early prototypes. One of which was actually fitted out in the Allen factory! You will still find the Allen Vang unit and cam cleat base pictured in the class rules, as all of our ILCA fittings are still class legal.
More recently we have been developing several ILCA specific products, one of which we are now pleased to be able to sell directly to anyone.
Introducing the ILCA Wear Protectors, a product designed to stop the damage which can be caused by the mainsheet traveller blocks, ensuring your boat stays protected.
Anyone who sails an ILCA will know that having your traveller line as tight as possible is a huge performance gain. However, the tighter the traveller the more it forces the mainsheet traveller block to rub and chafe the gelcoat on the transom of your beloved boat.
This damage occurs because the mainsheet traveller blocks are harder wearing than the thin layer of gelcoat on the deck of the boat. Over time the mainsheet block will dig into the deck of the boat, creating serious damage and resulting in the need to have repair work carried out to the boat. But, all of this can be avoided by installing the ILCA wear protectors.
The ILCA wear protector is designed to fit around the existing traveller fairlead – A.282A. An item which is the same on every ILCA dinghy, due to the one-design nature of the class.
I awoke wondering how I was going to feel, as I’d had my covid booster three days before, only because of my desire to compete in the Nations Cup, and head to France in June. Apart from the shoulders feeling like I’d been to the gym for a three-hour session and exhausted, the World was perfect.
So, with the overnight oats and brew consumed, I headed off to South Staffs nice and early, so nothing could go wrong, and help to welcome the travellers as they arrived.
At 8.30, and a nice force 3 breeze wakening the senses, things were looking positive. Kev Hall, last year’s champion, was already there waiting for us to open the gates. And with a quick greeting, I headed off to unpack and assemble the boat, thinking that it was all there. Hmmm …… unfortunately not! No rudder, shrouds or sail, good start eh. They were in the motorhome back in Stoke, so a panicked drive back to Stoke ensued.
On return Ian Ingram helped me put the boat together, (thank you Ian), and a mad dash to the changing room.
Severn local lads (missing our latest top gun Jonny Coats due to some pesky holiday) and twelve visitors headed out to the start line.
Over the weekend of the 7th and 8th May, thirty Contenders descended on Castle Cove SC for the fourth leg of the Allen Travellers Series. The weekend was shared with a good turnout of International Canoes and Hadrons.
With the wind in the Northwest and a sunny day, the sea breeze was likely to set in from the opposite direction. It did, and so the first race was abandoned just before the end of the first lap as the wind went completely flat and then did a 180 degree fill in. Some were pleased, others weren’t.
Just to add a feeling of jeopardy to the show the first race restart had two or three recalls before the black flag restored order. It was to be nailed up for the rest of the weekend!
The wind by now was enough for just trapezing but it was last year’s winner Nick Noble, a strong wind expert, that led the fleet to the finish, followed home by brothers Rob and Adrian Smith and the now puny weight Chris Boshier.
The second race, with gusts and holes, juggled the fleet somewhat but Adrian was able to pull clear into first at the finish with the often-inconsistent Ed Presley, the consistent Graeme Willcox and Stuart Jones following on.
In the last race of the day, sailed in similar conditions, Graeme picked his way through the fleet to take the win. Adrian picked up a nice second to put himself in the driving seat overnight. Nick Noble popped in for a third with Iain Horlock following home.
The forecast for the 14th of May was between SW 1-3kts and SW 5-7kts which, and I must admit that based on the good wind strengths the day before and the good wind strengths predicted for the day after, it was a bit disappointing.
It was the first Solo open meeting Girton SC have hosted so I was apprehensive and intrigued as to how it would go during the journey to Lincolnshire. Temperature-wise a very warm day was forecast so sunscreen and sunnies were the order of the day.
On arriving at Girton SC I was pleasantly surprised at the space afforded for parking and rigging the boat.
After many attempts, Ogston Sailing Club finally got to host the twice-postponed Allen Enterprise Inland Championships over the May Bank Holiday weekend. Ogston has always been part of the Enterprise sailing world and has hosted many other events over the years, so it was great to see the blue sails being hoisted. Also really pleasing to see 9 home boats, some of which hadn’t seen much action over the last few years due to the pandemic.
There were some worrying wind forecasts in the week leading up to the event, however, as the 20 boats lined up for the first race of the day everyone was pleased to feel a reasonable force 3/4 across most of the course. Martin Bradley was the race officer for the event, an experienced Enterprise sailor himself, and he was able to set a first course which took in a large area of the reservoir.
Anyone who has sailed at Ogston will know that its valley location and reservoir shape can make for some interesting wind shifts at times. Although the wind was being a little kinder to our visitors than it often is, it was local Martin Honnor with his crew Isobel Hedley-Fenn who were leading at the first mark, a position they would hold for the entire race. Jonathan Woodward and Matt Smith from South Staffs SC followed them across the line, with Nigel and Andy Bird of the RYA coming in third.
Cam cleats are a vital part of most control systems on both dinghies and yachts. Without them, you would have to hold onto the rope for hours or make the rope off around a horn cleat, not ideal if you want to quickly adjust something!
Cam cleats, like most parts on a boat, need regular maintenance. The most obvious sign as to when the cam cleat needs some TLC is when the cam jaws start to stick in the open position which in turn allows the rope to slowly slip through – defeating the object of having a cleat!
Servicing your Allen cam cleat is quick and easy, you just need a couple of tools, some replacement parts and 5 minutes of your time.
TOP TIP – Always wash the cam cleats on your boat with fresh water after sailing. This helps remove any salt, grit or sand from the internal mechanism. Ensuring your cam cleat will operate smoother for longer!