Megan Pascoe’s 2018 year in review

As the season closed in Antwerp last weekend it gave me a chance to look back at what an incredible year it has been in the 2.4mR. I've had some amazing tight finishes to events this year with the Nationals in Poole, Frensham open, Dutch Nationals and the German Nationals all coming down to the wire. It was great to attend the UK Nationals, after so many years of missing it for one reason or another, and having it as part of the Poole Keelboat regatta is always a lot of fun. As was competing in Carrickfergus at the Irish Nationals. A great piece of water with the Irish hospitality that we all come to expect and love. Fortunately, I took the win at all 5!

As the season closed in Antwerp last weekend it gave me a chance to look back at what an incredible year it has been in the 2.4mR.

I’ve had some amazing tight finishes to events this year with the Nationals in Poole, Frensham open, Dutch Nationals and the German Nationals all coming down to the wire. It was great to attend the UK Nationals, after so many years of missing it for one reason or another, and having it as part of the Poole Keelboat regatta is always a lot of fun. As was competing in Carrickfergus at the Irish Nationals. A great piece of water with the Irish hospitality that we all come to expect and love. Fortunately, I took the win at all 5!

The one that didn’t go down to the wire was the Worlds in Sweden. I was never sure how this one was going to go as I hadn’t been on open water in a big competition for a long time. Racing in Gavle in the past has been a bit hit or miss over my sailing carer, however, I love going back to big race courses and 75-minute races. The start of the event was great, scoring all top 5 results. the second half of the event, however, didn’t go to plan with my worst results coming in the last 2 races. Overall I was very happy finishing 2nd and a long way from third but there’s more work to go in order to get back to the top spot next year in Genoa.

Probably the biggest test this year was at the German Championships in Berlin. 48 boats entered into what turned out to be a very shifty and mostly light venue. We started with an exhibition knock out race which challenged me because I kept forgetting how to match race but it was a lot of fun. The real racing was even more challenging with a very high scoring regatta. Especially Saturday where the water was packed with every leisure craft and river cruise boats going. Most deciding that coming right through the middle of the course was a good idea. I was leading going into Sunday but a few mistakes made throughout the day meant I had to settle for second. Happy on reflection that in the light and shifty that I had managed to score well and consistent for most of the regatta.

Finally, we end in Antwerp, as always, on the Galgenweel. Antwerp is a great little city, with a lot of history, and is a nice place to hang out for a long weekend with friends celebrating the end of the season. Sailing as always on a small lake was tight and Ulli Libor and Dirk Jan Broertjes were going fast. In a long series of 13 races, it seems a long time to keep concentration over the 4 days. Saturday was fully wacky racing with more fluky conditions however, i performed well and managed to win for the 7th year in a row. Coming away with 7 from 7 makes a great culmination to my year.

It’s now back to work for the busy Christmas rush and a nice bit of casual club racing!

 

Ben Hutton-Penman’s 2018 Summer Review

My year got off to a fantastic start... by winning the RS Feva World Championships in Florida.

My year got off to a fantastic start… by winning the RS Feva World Championships in Florida. You can read about it here https://www.allenbrothers.co.uk/2018/04/18/ben-hutton-penman-wins-world-championships/

My next event was to be the 29er class National Championships at Hayling Island competing against 80 other boats.  The 29er is the boat which I am now moving in to. I had only sailed the boat a couple of times before the start of the regatta and only met my crew the week before.  The 29er is a difficult boat to sail, especially given it was a windy week, and yet I qualified into the Gold fleet and just missed out on a top 20 finish having been inside the top 20 until the final day when the wind dropped.

I then moved to Weymouth for the RS Games where I competed in three events, the first in the single-handed RS Aero class.  I had not sailed an Aero before, nor had I sailed a single hander since my Oppie days,  so the two hours on the water the day before the event with my brother James tuning the boat was very useful.   There were 210 competitors sailing three different sized rigs, I had decided to sail the smaller 5 rig given my age and weight.  In very testing conditions, I won the RS Aero 5 World Championship and I was also first Youth and Junior sailor, I won the family prize for best-combined placings with my brother James and an award for most sportsmanship conduct for helping an exhausted fellow competitor.

After the Aero Worlds it was then straight into RS Feva European championship against 120 boats. This was my final event in the RS Feva with my crew Abi Jayasekara.  Lying in 2nd place by one point after the qualification rounds, I was a little less consistent than I usually am and signed off my RS Feva career in fourth place, joint points with third.  I would loved to have won but it was not to be.

My final event of the RS Games was in the RS 200 where I teamed up with my new 29er crew Nathan Clark from Burnham and took part in the Nationals which is an adult class, made up of excellent sailors including GBR Olympic pathway sailors.  I was the youngest helm and got us up to 21st place in the 120 boat fleet at one point before tiredness got the better of me and I learnt a very important lesson, that you can sail too much! We finished in the top half of the fleet which I was pleased with.

 

I have now started the Winter training programme in the 29er with Nathan. I think 2019 will be a more difficult year for us as we transition into this powerful boat that will test our skill, strength and fitness.  Nathan is relatively new to sailing having sailed for less than two years in total and the crew is very important in the 29er, so we both have a lot to learn about each other, the boat and sailing skills in general.  Our aim for next year is to consistently be in the top half of the fleet.

I was invited to sail at the Endeavour Cup in Burnham in October as I was invited for winning the RS Aero 5 Worlds.  Obviously, I needed a crew and thought it would be nice to sail with my brother James as he sails the Aero also.  This is a very prestigious event where all the UK National Champions of all the different dinghy classes are invited to sail against each other in one class of boat. Many of the sailors are almost professional and the invitees included current and past Olympians.  The practice day on Friday gave James and I some time to sail together in very strong winds.  We finished 12th overall in the 30 strong fleet, top youth boat and got two top 10 finishes which I was pleased with.

I have recently been nominated in the 2018 British Yachting Awards as Youth Sailor of the Year.   My nomination has come from my two World Championship wins this year, one in the RS Feva in Florida and one in the RS Aero 5 in Weymouth.

I am putting my winter training on hold until the New Year now as I have an opportunity to crew in The ARC, sailing 3,000 nautical miles across the Atlantic from Gran Canaria to St Lucia.  It will be a great experience for me and will give me a good insight into the world of offshore sailing.

2018 Endeavour Highlights

Check out all the highlights from the 2018 Endeavour Trophy.

 

New Products for METS

The new A2360 AutoRatchet, complementing the A2345 launched last year, has been submitted for 2018 DAME Awards and features Allen’s unique “X2” pawl system for maximum holding power combined with enhanced response in light airs. The block has been comprehensively tested by Team Allen, the elite sailors who contribute to the Allen Research and Development programme. The design already has a number of wins to its credit.

Allen’s 2018 additions to its already substantial product range, launching at METS this November, builds on the British manufacturer’s adoption of soft attachment systems and innovative block technology.

The new A2360 AutoRatchet, complementing the A2345 launched last year, has been submitted for 2018 DAME Awards and features Allen’s unique “X2” pawl system for maximum holding power combined with enhanced response in light airs. The block has been comprehensively tested by Team Allen, the elite sailors who contribute to the Allen Research and Development programme. The design already has a number of wins to its credit. The 60mm AutoRatchet signifies Allen’s move up from focussing on dinghies to take into the sports boats and small keelboats market, “we are now seeing our products fitted on racing yachts as large as Class 40s and TP52s,” explained Liz Adams, MD of Allen Brothers. “We have worked with the leading rope manufacturers to accommodate the characteristics of the latest high tech materials, so our lightweight yet robust high-performance blocks have come to the attention of a wider audience of racers.”

The business has a strong heritage of working with boat builders from the early design stages. This is evident in its new through deck block / soft shackle mountings, the “Pad Tii” system, (product codes A8639-6, A8639-8, A8639-10, A8739-6, A8739-8 and A8739-10). These come as a response to growing demand from boat builders for soft mounting systems, as the use of Dyneema rope shackles trickles down from larger classes.

Making up the 2018 launch package is a new cheek block range, starting with the A2126M and A2136M Double Composite Cheek Blocks. These are available in 20mm and 30mm sheave diameters, making the core Allen product suitable for a wider range of applications.

STAKES ARE HIGH FOR 2018 ENDEAVOUR GLORY

The Endeavour Trophy takes place at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Burnham-On-Crouch, from 12-14 October. It is the only event of its type in the dinghy sailing calendar. Entry is by invitation only and to be considered sailors must be reigning champion in their class. It is truly a competition to find the best of the best. This year, there are 30 classes competing and the runners and riders include returning champions Ben Saxton and Toby Lewis. Saxton is a member of the British Sailing squad for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and has won the Endeavour 3 years in a row with crew Toby.

The Endeavour Trophy takes place at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club, Burnham-On-Crouch, from 12-14 October. It is the only event of its type in the dinghy sailing calendar. Entry is by invitation only and to be considered sailors must be reigning champion in their class. It is truly a competition to find the best of the best.

This year, there are 30 classes competing and the runners and riders include returning champions Ben Saxton and Toby Lewis. Saxton is a member of the British Sailing squad for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and has won the Endeavour 3 years in a row with crew Toby.

Nick Craig, the reigning D One champion and 2017 runner up will also be returning and is looking forward to another weekend of close racing, Nick commented “We are very much looking forward to the Endeavour as it is still so prestigious and attracts the top talent in the UK.  The event is so well run on and off the water.  With 8 tough races, it feels like a weeklong Championship in a weekend.  I only wish racing was like this every weekend!”

The further 28 classes are being represented by the cream of British dinghy racing. Three of which are members of Team Allen, the company’s squad of racers who aid research and development of its products. They are Rhys Lewis / Drew Wright (420 National Champions), Chris Birrell/ Sam Brearey (Merlin Rocket National Champions) and Burnham-on-Crouch sailor Ben Hutton-Penman (RSFeva & RS Aero 5 World champion).

Allen Brothers manufactures high-performance sailing hardware at its factory in Southminster, Essex. The company’s hardware is used by many of the British Sailing squad which will be competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. The company has a policy of innovation and development relying on feedback from its elite sailors, Team Allen.

The full Entry List for the 2018 Endeavour Trophy comprises:

CLASS Helm CREW
420 Rhys Lewis Drew Wright
470 Jonny McGovern Sarah McGovern
2000 Simon Horsfield Katie Burridge
2017 Champion Ben Saxton Toby Lewis
29er Ewan Wilson Fin Armstrong
Blaze Charlie Chandler Owain Hughes
Byte Tom Lonsdale Emma Peason
Cadet Angus Collingridge Hattie Collingridge
Comet Chris Hatton Charlie Sansom
D One Nick Craig Emma Clarke
D Zero Steve Bolland Alistair Norris
Fireball Matt Burge Tom Pygall
K1 Paul Smalley Mari Shepherd
Lark Chris White Nicola White
Moth Jim McMillan Paul Gliddon
Merlin Rocket Christian Birrell Sam Brearey
National 12 Graham Camm Zoe Ballantyne
National 18 Oliver Houseman Doug Nestor
Optimist Emily Mueller Florence Brellisford
Laser 4.7 Lorcan Knowles Annabel Page
RS Aero 5 Ben Hutton-Penman James Hutton-Penman
RS Aero 9 Steve Cockerill Sarah Cockerill
RS Feva William Pank Seb Getto
RS200 Maria Stanley Alan Roberts
RS400 Stewart Robertson Sarah Robertson
RS600 Richard Smith Lynne Ratcliffe
RS800 Tom Morris Guy Fillmore
Scorpion Alan Krailing Simon Forbes
Supernova Sam Knight Steve Hawley
Thames A Rater Simon Blake James Warren

 

Further information is available at https://royalcorinthian.co.uk/endeavour/

 

Live streams of the event will be available from https://www.facebook.com/AllenBrothersSailing/

Birrell and McGovern Win 470 Nationals

10 years on from teaming up with Jonny McGovern to sail a 470 together, we got back in a borrowed 470 to sail the JDX UK National Championships at Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy.

We probably aren’t quite as nimble as we once were, but we are older and wiser. Fortunately, Jonny has spent the last 5 years coaching the 470 squads, so he had at least evolved with the changes in the class. The UK fleet is full of enthusiasm, with 14 boats on the start line and great support from the Class Association and JDX. There appears to be a lot of young talent coming through, but for one more year at least, we were just about wise enough to hold back the youthful enthusiasm. The fleet is aiming for 25 boats in 2019 – and I will definitely be one of those.

My Sailing Summer, Nick Evans – Allen Academy

My summer of sailing kicked off with a fun and relaxing time in a Feva during Cadet week at my home club, the Blackwater Sailing Club. Immediately after Cadet Week, I travelled up to Pwllheli in North Wales to compete in the Optimist British National Championships. It was a tough event with mixed wind speeds and directions. My best results were 6th and 10th in senior gold I finished 37th overall and 15th Brit.

My summer of sailing kicked off with a fun and relaxing time in a Feva during Cadet week at my home club, the Blackwater Sailing Club.

Immediately after Cadet Week, I travelled up to Pwllheli in North Wales to compete in the Optimist British National Championships. It was a tough event with mixed wind speeds and directions. My best results were 6th and 10th in senior gold I finished 37th overall and 15th Brit.

Nick At the Nationals, Pwllheli

Not only was there good fleet racing at the Nationals, but also team racing was featured on the schedule for the first time. It took place on the lay day and around 30 sailors took part to practice their boat handling and team racing manoeuvres. My team managed to win 6 out of the 7 races, so we came first.

I then hurried back to the Blackwater Sailing Club to compete in Club week, a social event for sailors of all ages. I sailed in my optimist and won both main and second series. A tradition at the BSC is for all the series winners to compete together to see who is the ‘Cock of the Club’. I managed to win this beating my sister who was a close second.

Next up was the Europeans Team Racing in Lago di Ledro. This was the highlight of my summer. 30 degrees heat every day with a steady 7 knots, perfect team racing conditions. Our 4-person team took to the water wearing board shorts and rash vests, even in the 2 storms where it was still 25 degrees. We completed 17 races and won just under half, winning all our races on the first day so we had a really good start.

Nick team racing Lago Di Ledro

The penultimate event of my summer was the IOCA Late Summer Championships in Poole Harbour. It was 10 knots all weekend, gusty, shifty and sunny, champagne sailing. My first race was a respectable 13th. My 2nd race saw a big right shift kick in, and unfortunately, I was on the left-hand side of the beat so I was 50th around the windward mark, a good downwind and final beat saw me into 20th. The final race was my best one of the day with a hard-fought 2nd to the winner of the event Santi Sesto Cosby. We were tacking on each other constantly up the final beat. Day 2 started with a bang as I took the first bullet of the day! Race 2 was similar with a 5th and I got a 7th in the final race of the event. Overall I came 7th out of 180 sailors (5th senior) and the worst bit was I didn’t even get a prize!

 

Nick at Poole

My final event of the summer was an Optimist open at my home club on Saturday. It was a one-day event with 4 tightly contested races. I managed to win 3 out of the 4 races so won the Open. I tried out a North R2 radial demo sail for North which was fun.

Home Water, Nick Sailing at BSC

 

Thank you Allen Sailing for helping me throughout the summer with the new auto ratchet block, spars and sails, I’ve had an absolutely brilliant summer.

Allen Endurance Series Culminates at Sheppey

The 2018 Allen Endurance Series heads to Kent this weekend for the Round Sheppey Race, hosted by Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club. https://www.yachtsandyachting.com/news/209702/Round-Sheppey-Race-Preview

The 2018 Allen Endurance Series heads to Kent this weekend for the Round Sheppey Race, hosted by Isle of Sheppey Sailing Club.

https://www.yachtsandyachting.com/news/209702/Round-Sheppey-Race-Preview

Birrell and Brearey Win Merlin Rocket Nationals

Team Allen sailors Christian Birrell and Sam Brearey return home from Lyme Regis as the new National Champions of the Merlin Rocket fleet. Birrell and Brearey have had their eyes set on the Merlin Rocket national title for a few years. To ensure they could reach the goal and take home the trophy the pair worked with […]

Team Allen sailors Christian Birrell and Sam Brearey return home from Lyme Regis as the new National Champions of the Merlin Rocket fleet.

Birrell and Brearey have had their eyes set on the Merlin Rocket national title for a few years. To ensure they could reach the goal and take home the trophy the pair worked with Allen to provide a winning hardware fit out.

“We set the goal of winning the Merlin Rocket National Championships back in 2016. In 2017 we bought a new boat and worked closely with Allen to deliver a high specification fit out. Being new to the class, the advice and experience of the Allen team was invaluable in getting us on the water with a package that worked straight away.” Birrell commented.

The lengths Birrell and Brearey have gone to so they can achieve perfection

Christian has spent the last few months fine-tuning the position and set up of the mini profile traveller cars and track in his new jib sheeting system. The set up allows for a wider and finer range of jib settings in all wind strengths.

“Over the last 18 months, we have continued to work in close partnership with Allen to develop new systems to further optimise the boat. Working together, in the lead up to the nationals we were able to develop a new jib car system that allows us to move the jib cars both fore and aft and inboard and outboard. At the nationals, we experienced a range of conditions from 5 – 25 knots and big seas to flat water. The increased jib control offered by the new arrangement provided us with the ability to be fast across all of these conditions.” explained Chrisitian.

The Merlin Rocket fleet includes some of the UK’s best sailors, with many Olympic sailors catching rides for the big events.

Christian went on to say “By our own count, there were 23 previous National or World Champions of various classes on the start line in Lyme Regis. The class seems to be on fire at the moment, with amazing competition and some of the best racing we have ever done. It is no surprise there are already 180 entries for Merlin Rocket Week at Salcombe next year! With some flexibility in the rules, the class continues to evolve and we are really excited about continuing to work closely with Allen to further optimise our performance for 2019”

A huge congratulations to the new Merlin Rocket Nationals Champions!

To find out more about Allen traveller cars or to get some inspiration for your next boat upgrade, go to allenbrothers.co.uk

 

National Champions 2018

 

 

Graduate Northern Championship Winners

Brothers Ben and Gabe Hill won the Graduate Northern Championships at Bassenthwaite Sailing Club  "We had a great weekend at Bassenthwaite SC. Lighter winds on Saturday and with slightly stronger winds on Sunday we were able to win the last two races. Winning the Graduate northerns overall. Thanks to Allen for the support and Bassenthwaite SC for running a great event."

Brothers Ben and Gabe Hill won the Graduate Northern Championships at Bassenthwaite Sailing Club

“We had a great weekend at Bassenthwaite SC. Lighter winds on Saturday and with slightly stronger winds on Sunday we were able to win the last two races. Winning the Graduate northerns overall. Thanks to Allen for the support and Bassenthwaite SC for running a great event.”