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Allen Enterprise Inland Championship at Blithfield Sailing Club

by Tim Sadler 16 Apr 2018 18:10 BST 14-15 April 2018

The 2018 Allen Enterprise Inland Championship was held at Blithfield Sailing Club over the weekend of 14/15 April. In addition to being the Inland Championship, this event also kicked off the 2018 National Circuit series, sponsored by SailingChandlery.com.

During the week leading up to the event, Windguru (*other forecasts are available) had been forecasting winds of 5-7 knots on Saturday, with a much fresher Sunday including F6 gusts.

Sadly neither day got as windy as the forecast, but there was still some cracking action in this closely matched one design fleet.

Being unusually early in the season, this was the first time out during 2018 for many of the entrants, resulting in not everybody being immediately on their "A game"...

...which was evident when most of the fleet missed out a mark on the first lap of the first race, with many of the leading boats not even noticing the rest of the fleet return to sail the correct course, and banking their discard very early in the event...doh!

After this shuffling of the pack, the first win of the championship went to Alan Skeens, helmed by Ann Jackson from Burghfield Sailing Club, followed by Megan Ward & Paul Young from Midland Sailing Club, and Marc Heger and Charles Morrish from St Marys Loch.

As the day unfolded, what little wind there was disappeared, and the Committee and Race Officer made a great early decision to can the rest of Saturday's racing, and to reschedule one of the lost Saturday races to Sunday, to give 3 back to back races to conclude the championship.

What seemed like another great decision at the time, to open the bar early, didn't look anywhere near as great on Sunday morning, with more than a few sore heads not looking too excited about the prospect of 3 back to back races.

Maybe one day we'll learn?

Sunday's racing was a bit of a masterclass from current National Champions Becca & Jer Stephens from Penzance SC, with what appeared to be comfortable wins, leading from start to finish in all three races.

In Sunday's first race, Laura & Phil Bevan from Grafham Water SC won the battle to be first behind Becca & Jer, followed by Craig Wheatley & Paul Hobson from Looe SC.

After a great start to Sunday's second race, Abigail & Martin Honnor from Ogston SC pushed Becca & Jer closest on the day, finishing a close second on the water, but it soon became clear that their start had been just a little bit too good (/bad), and unfortunately they bagged an OCS to go with their DSQ from the first race, effectively ending their challenge for the 2018 event. This meant that Laura & Phil picked up their second second, followed by Natalie & Darren Roach from Looe SC.

Going into Sunday's third, and the final race of the event, Laura & Phil were only a couple of points behind Becca & Jer, and with both already carrying their discard from the first race mix ups, it was a bit tense... until Becca & Jer nailed the start & once again sailed off into the distance. Laura & Phil had a comfortable points cushion ahead of a half a dozen boats who had a decent chance of securing third overall, and it was Hannah & Tim Sadler from Yorkshire Dales SC who finished the last race in second, to secure third overall. Third in this race went to Julie Moore & Ges Brown from South Caernarvonshire YC.

So, the podium was filled with 3 daughter / father teams, with Becca & Jer Stephens from Penzance SC taking the title pretty convincingly, followed by Laura & Phil Bevan from Grafham Water SC and Hannah & Tim Sadler from Yorkshire Dales SC.

The fleet had a great time at Blithfield & would like to thank all of the club members who made it so. In particular, thanks to Blithfield's Rear Commodore, Phil Mason and our own Enterprise Association Commodore, Richard Pryke for making all the arrangements for a great weekend event.

Special thanks also to the sponsor, Allen, who provided plenty of prizes, with a few special category prizes, including:

  • Ann Jackson crewed by Alan Skeens, from Burghfield SC, winning prizes for being ancient (aka Veteran @ over 60 years), and another for being female
  • Laura & Phil winning a prize for being really old (aka Grand Master @ over 50 years old)
  • Becca & Jer winning a prize for being quite old (aka Master @ over 40 years old)
  • Taylor Berry crewing Alex Watson from Chase SC, for highest placed crew under 16 years old
  • Molly Nixon & James Hobson from West Lancs Yacht Club, for highest placed helm under 21 years old
  • Alan & Rhea Burton-Roberts from RYA, for highest placed classic boat (number under 22000)
The next National event is the Allen Masters Championship (helms over 40) on 9th / 10th June at West Lancashire YC, followed by the Allen National Championship week at Exe SC starting on 28th July.

The next SailingChandlery National Circuit event is coming up very soon at Ogston SC on 21st / 22nd April. The National Circuit comprises nine events spread around the country with five events to count and double points to be counted at the final event on 3rd / 4th November at the Winter Championship at Northampton SC.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st22652THAT'S ENTERTAINMENTJeremy StephensBecca StephensPenzance SC(DSQ)1113
2nd22439FLOOZYPhil BevanLaura BevanGrafham Water SC-122259
3rd23384 Tim SadlerHannah SadlerYorkshire Dales SC(DSQ)56213
4th23421MARGRETPaul HobsonCraig WheatleyLooe SC-1434815
5th22814BANG ONDarren RoachNatalie RoachLooe SC(DSQ)73717
6th23349TO INFIRMITY & BEYONDAnn JacksonAlan SkeensBurghfield SC1-148918
7th22418LIMITED EDITIONAndy GommVictoria GommOgston SC(DSQ)97420
8th23015WEDG-ENick JacksonChris BlundellBurghfield SC(DSQ)651324
9th23089SIMPLY REDCharles MorrishMarc HegerSt Mary's Loch SC3-15111125
10th23410WIMPGes BrownJulie MooreSouth Caernarvonshire YC1310-16326
11th23411THUNDERBIRDRichard PrykeAmelia PrykeRipon SC-10891027
12th22901OUT OF THE BLUEPaul YoungMegan WardMidland SC2-17151229
13th22075KAYOCHALLENGEChris OwenPaul OwenRoyal Highland YC41312-1529
14th20673TIARA & TANTRUMSAlan Burton-RobertsRhea Burton-RobertsRYA51213(DNC)30
15th22619RIOT VANMartin HonnorAbigail HonnorOgston SC(DSQ)4OCS632
16th22501BLUE JOBAlice AllenChris KeatleyBristol Corinthian YC111110-1432
17th22322KIRK-UP'S CAST OFF'SKeith TylerJackie TylerHunts SC7-18141637
18th21315YOUNG BLOODMolly NixonJames HobsonWest Lancashire YC81617-1841
19th12483 Daniel JohnsonLydia BarberErrwood SC9-19191947
20th23231 Alex WaltonTaylor BerryChase SC6(RET)DNCDNC50
21st19007 Mike HeapSarah RumballOgston SC(DSQ)20181755

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