Allen Sponsored 29er GP4

29er GP4/Inlands Championship – Rutland Sailing Club – 4th & 5th December 2021

The final Allen GP of the year had arrived; it promised to have all the hallmarks of a high drama situation – strong winds, freezing weather and the annual Christmas jumper competition! Ian Bullock’s loyal fan club was excited to see how much racing he could get in before the winds built to an un-sailable level.

43 boats lined up for the start and racing was away! There were gusts of over 25 knots which were shooting down the course bringing random shifts that caught out even the most experienced sailors. Boat handling and quick reactions were key to taking advantage of these gusts and the fleet quickly spread out. Finian Morris and Oscar Morgan-Harris (GBR 2849) took the first race by nailing the shifts into the windward mark, followed by Freddie Lonsdale and Freddie Westwell (GBR 2903) who were benefiting from an overwhelming surplus of leverage and Olly Peters and Ben Bradley (GBR 3081) in third.  


Wrecker Race Report

The series is sponsored by Allen Sailing with support from Admiral Trailers, and TracAce Limited

The Sailing Southwest annual winter pursuit race series kicked off this weekend with the opening event at North Devon Yacht Club at Instow.

Events planned to follow include:

Penzance Pirate at Penzance SC on 14th November

Christmas Cracker at Paignton SC on 5th December

Sutton Bingham Icicle at Sutton Bingham SC on 30th January

Roadford Rocket at Roadford SC on 20th January

Channel chop at Portishead SC on 12th March          

Starcross Steamer at Starcross YC on 27th March

Exmore Beastie at Wimbleball SC on 3rd April


Endeavour Trophy Reports – Day 1 & 2

Endeavour Trophy Day 1 Start Line

Royal Corinthian YC, Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex (9 October, 2021): Light winds and extremely strong Spring tides threatened to disrupt the opening day of the 60th anniversary Endeavour Trophy but instead four races took place in challenging, shifty conditions, writes Sue Pelling.

It was a day of mixed results with a different winner in virtually every race, but it was the Thames A Rater national champions – Ben Palmer and Amy Seabright – who won the day with a consistent set of results, which included 2,2,2,11 scoreline. They managed to beat five-time Endeavour champ Nick Craig, and Katie Burridge by just one point in the overnight standings.

A delighted Palmer said the benefit of river sailing a Thames A-Rater on the narrows at Kingston-upon-Thames really paid dividends today: “We regularly race Raters on the river, which is quite similar to what we saw today and short tacking up a bank is what we do. Actually the river at Kingston is narrower than here, so I think that really helped us today. Weighing in a just 125kg between us was also a big advantage today. Overall we really enjoyed it and doing so well today is a real bonus.”

Craig who is a known heavy weather expert was genuinely amazed at his consistency today (three fourths and a sixth place). “I am quite shocked how fast we sailed today given the fact I am not really that keen on light airs. We did much better than expected so we are really happy with that. We managed to get the starts right and from there on everything just seemed to go the right way.”

And plans for tomorrow? “I am not denying the fact we’d love 20kts but that is not going to happen so we will be continuing where we left off today.”

Getting the start right today, in the strong tides was one of the biggest challenges, which caught out many including a gaggle of Olympic medallists. Tokyo gold medallist Stuart Bithell/Jessica Hammett suffered one OCS and was black-flagged. Olympian Luke Patience/Mary Henderson who led the opening race also suffered an OCS, leaving Tom and Isabelle Stewart (National 12) to secure a well-deserved first place. 

Arron Holman and Toby Lewis (RS200) maintained a string of top 10 results, which left them in overnight third place just ahead of Patience/Henderson in fourth. Commenting on the secret of success in the tricky, light conditions, Patience said:

“In conditions like we had today the key is to first get a good start and not be over the line! The aim then was to try to make a clear path strategically not necessarily tactically. For us today it was a case of just trying to make sure we were in the right part of the ‘ocean’ all the time, while keeping in clear air.”

Although results will change significantly tomorrow when discards come into play, it is good to see so many junior teams in the running. Among those who really sailed impressively today were Patrick Bromilow and Tabitha Davies (Optimist) who weigh just 90kg. This lightweight team made some first class starts and opened the day’s racing with two third places.

Bromilow (13) commenting on his results said: “Today was all about tidal advantages and keeping up the momentum. We also had some good starts, which of course helps in these tricky conditions. It was fun and we are looking forward to tomorrow where we plan to do more of the same in the light winds expected.”

One of the highlights of the day that will doubtless be remembered for many years to come is the final race win by Millie Irish (17) and Joe Warwicker (16). This pair (RS Feva) stormed off from the startline, made the most of the strong ebbing tide, sailed their own race and won by one minute 15 seconds.

An elated Irish said: “I am so happy. My dad [Steve Irish – Endeavour coach] will definitely not believe it.” Commenting on how they won, Millie added: “We went right up the first beat in the tide and just focused on ourselves and had the advantage of clear air. Also it was imperative to hug the north shore out of the tide on the long run. Can’t wait for tomorrow.”

Back on shore this evening competitors and guests enjoyed the grand 60th anniversary Endeavour dinner with special guest speakers Keith Musto, Olympic silver medallist (1964 Tokyo Olympics) and first ever Endeavour winner in 1961, joining forces on ‘stage’ with Stuart Bithell, gold medallist (2021 Tokyo Olympics).

Overnight leader – Thames A Rater – Ben Palmer and Amy Seabright (17pts)

Day 2

Royal Corinthian YC, Burnham-on-Crouch, Essex (10 October, 2021): After a couple of mixed results on the opening day yesterday, including an OCS, silver medallist Luke Patience and Mary Henderson won the Endeavour Champion of Champions title with two final race wins, writes Sue Pelling.

After a three-hour postponement waiting for the breeze to fill in, the 31-strong fleet enjoyed the two final races of the Investec-sponsored Endeavour Trophy. An 8-9kt northerly breeze was just enough to allow for a decent windward/leeward course but the strong Spring tide was, once again, the dominating factor, that kept competitors on their toes right to very end.

Winning the start was everything today, which was clearly demonstrated by Patience and Henderson, particularly in the first race. It was imperative to take an immediate hitch over to the right-hand side of the course out of the tide. For Patience/Henderson once they were in control after a couple of perfect tacks, they were able to take advantage of the clear air and score their first win of the day, with Tom Morris and Guy Fillmore (RS800) in second place. Their nearest rivals – Ben Palmer and Amy Seabright (Thames A Rater) – finished a close third.

With three points between the top two boats (Patience/Henderson and Palmer/Seabright) going into the second and final race of the day, the pressure was on. A bit of a battle took place off the start line but once again Patience/Henderson were able to repeat their performance and secure another win, which was enough for an overall win. Palmer/Seabright were always in contention but they had to settle for a close second, which after their impressive results from the opening day, were able to take second place overall.

For Patience and Henderson winning the 2021 Endeavour Trophy was a case of completing some unfinished business from the last Endeavour in 2019. Patience recalls it well: “Indeed, it almost feels like a bit of redemption from when we almost won two years ago but mucked up on a gybe on the last run. 

“In a way it makes it even more special to have finally won the Endeavour. It was really great racing.” 

Commenting on today’s game plan, Patience added: “In both races we managed to get free of the fray early and that was very important today. We spent a lot of time before the racing chatting about our options and did a ton of transits on the line before the start so we could be accurate enough to get on port early.”

A delighted Henderson added: “Winning the Endeavour is a real life achievement and to become the champion of champions, helm or crew, is very special. Also, my dad [Will Henderson] will be delighted because this is his 21-year-old boat!”

Second placed Palmer said: “It feels great to have finished second in the Endeavour Trophy. Amy and I haven’t sailed together for several years, so I was a bit nervous about how we would perform but it all came together and we surprised ourselves. It was also great to sail against such a competitive fleet and have a good race at the top with the likes of Luke Patience because he doesn’t make mistakes.”

Although Nick Craig – five time previous Endeavour winner – is not known for particularly enjoying light airs, he admits that this weekend, where the wind hardly reached 10kts, he surprised himself. He and Katie Burridge sailed well and with four fourth places to count, they found themselves in a respectable third place overall. Craig said: “Regardless of the conditions, the Endeavour never fails to produce top class racing. I was pleasantly surprised how well we did in the extremely light airs yesterday and I definitely feel it was as well as we could have hoped for.”

Arran Holman and Toby Lewis (RS200) weren’t as on form as they had hoped for this weekend but nevertheless notched up a string of consistent results, which left them in fourth place overall, just four points behind Craig/Burridge.

Holman said although he had crewed the Endeavour a few times before this was his first time helming at the Endeavour. “It was a great experience. Also, having Toby [Lewis] as crew – a legend of the event – I couldn’t have had a better guy at the front dragging me round the course at times, telling me where to go. Overall though, the Endeavour has a fantastic atmosphere and it is so great to have so many awesome sailors and legends of the sport all together pushing really hard.”

A final mention must be made of the highest place junior sailors (RS Feva) – Millie Irish (17) and Joe Warwicker (16). As well as winning yesterday’s final race, they sailed impressively once again and finished the day with a fifth place, which left them in a respectable seventh place overall.

Irish said they were delighted to get another chance to race today: “At the start of the day, with no wind, we didn’t think we’d get another chance, so we were so pleased the wind finally filled in. We have learned so much this weekend. The biggest lesson was realising just how much even the tiniest mistake can cost you because everyone is so good.”

Back on shore after racing this afternoon, competitors and guests attended the 60th Endeavour prizegiving where the winners were presented with the spectacular solid silver model, and the half model of the America’s Cup J-Class yacht Endeavour.

Plans are already underway for next year’s Investec-sponsored Endeavour Trophy, which is taking place on 8-9 October 2022.

Overall Results (6 races, 5 to count)

1st Olympian 470 – Luke Patience and Mary Henderson (7pts)

2nd Thames A Rater – Ben Palmer and Amy Seabright (11pts)

3rd RS400 – Nick Craig and Katie Burridge (22pts)

4th RS200 – Arran Holman and Toby Lewis (26pts)

5th Solo – Andy Davis and Pippa Kilsby (38pts)

6th Merlin Rocket – Christian Birrell ad Matt Mee (44pts)

For full results go to: 2021 Results

Report by Sue Pelling

Photography by Roger Mant

Allen 29er GP2 At Tees & Hartlepool Yacht Club

29er in windy conditions

It has been a busy weekend at THYC this weekend, with the club hosting The Allen Sailing Grand Prix 2 event for the 29er UK Class Association. Competitors started arriving at the club on Friday evening with the first boat arriving at around 19:30 followed by a steady stream of boats arriving up until 23:30, with tents being pitched on the lawn and camper vans parking up in the club car park. Further boats arrived early Saturday morning to make the fleet of approximately 35 boats. Competitors had travelled from as far away as the South Coast, South Wales, Norwich and Scotland. Following rigging, registration and various briefings, the Race Management team and Safety team supported by the beach and launching volunteers tried to get the 29ers out racing on Saturday, but with too much wind it just wasn’t to be. The boats that managed to launch had an adrenaline fuelled blast around in strengthening winds and deteriorating sea conditions and all came back with big smiles on their faces. The order of the day was then dictated by the following signals AP over H and then unfortunately N over A later in the afternoon.


Phantom National Championships – Phifty Phantastic Years.

Phantom Nationals Start Line

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.


Allen 29er GP1

29er GP2

Venue: Weymouth.

Date: 18th and 19th September. 

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.

By Annabelle Vines.

Photographer Credit – Digital Sailing 


Allen Sponsored National 12 Burton Week

National 12 Burton Week Competitors

27th – 30th August 2021 at Shoreham Sailing Club

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.

National 12 Launching

Allen Contender Open at Hythe and Saltwood

Contender Sailing

Despite a dodgy forecast, including thunderstorms & not much breeze, 12 visitors joined the 4 local Contenders on the Kent coast, back at Hythe & Saltwood SC for the first time in a few years.

After a bit of conditions familiarisation time, the fun of judging start stuff v tide began (well was springs to be fair), and Rob Smith managed to nail the timing to allow early port tack along the shore, and then the best guess hitch out to sea. Lap1 good judgement, but even a bit of safety over standing thereafter allowed Stuart Jones to make some gains from port approach into the tide. In the end Rob held the lead throughout but little finishing margin from Stuart, with Ed Presley & Gary Langdown following up.

2020-2021 Allen 29er Grand Prix Series – Leo Wilkinson Write Up

The Allen Grand Prix Series 2020-21 kicked off at Weymouth in September- the first 29er event since January due to Covid-19. With the biggest turnout of the series, the 74 boats were split into two fleets for some windy and choppy conditions. Elodie Edwards and Ewan Wilson, and Tom Storey and Ben Willet dominated the first day and took first and second places, with Ben Mueller and Freddie Lonsdale in a close third.

GP2 was at WPNSA again with similar conditions. Day one ended with very tight results, the top 10 only split by 11 points. With shiftier conditions on the second day, consistency was key. Leo Wilkinson and Sam Jones took the win on countback from Elodie Edwards and Ewan Wilson. Emily Mueller and Louis Johnson rounded out the podium.


Allen Contender Open at Weston Sailing Club 13th June 2021

Contender at Weston SC

Weston Sailing club with its rich, creamy Contender history is always solid venue to bank some good racing. the local fleet are hard to beat in the fickle waters and trying to do so is enormous fun. The prospect of wall-to-wall sunshine would entice a few outsiders, but some usual suspects were scared off by the forecast of very light winds

Racing was due to start after midday and all were hoping for that most glorious of trump cards, a sea breeze, but to no avail. “Too far up the creek” was the summary from those who know, so off we went into a North West gradient of 1-8 knots with 20-30 degrees shifts.


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