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Allen Endurance Series Round 1 Preview: The Whitstable Forts Race

by Ben Harden 25 Apr 09:00 BST 18-19 May 2019
Allen Endurance Series © Tim Olin / www.olinphoto.co.uk

The first round of the 2019 Allen Endurance Series is set to kick off at the newly included event, the Whitstable Forts Race, on the weekend of the 18th and 19th of May. As a new addition to the series for 2019 the Allen Endurance Series now includes 4 of the UK's most challenging long-distance races.

The Whitstable Forts Race is a long-distance race which has evolved over its 24-year history into a well-balanced test of sailing and racing skills, attracting top national helms as well as experienced club racers and international entries. Unlike normal styles of racing, the Whitstable Forts Race is laid out in a hub and spoke format. Competitors must sail to certain marks of the course which are off the coast of Whitstable and then back through a gate outside the yacht club before heading to the next mark. This style of racing allows for the sailors to cover over 85km of estuary and coastal waters as well as racing at all points of sail.

In the past the Dart 18, Formula 18, Hurricane 5.9, Spitfire and Tornado are all classes that have performed well. But its not only fast catamarans that can enter. Any Dinghy with a PY of 1270 or lower may enter the race.

The Allen Endurance Series, which is managed by Sail Racer, combines 4 already well-established endurance events. The Whitstable Forts Race, Solent Forts Race, East Coast Piers Race and Isle Of Sheppey Round The Island Race. The winner of each event will claim a £100 Allen voucher whilst the top 3 boats in the overall standings after all 4 events will take home an additional £100, £200 and £500 Allen voucher respectively.

Competitors must register for the series as well as for each event, using the SailRacer web site. Combining registration for the series at the same time as all four events will entitle the entrant to a discount. To be eligible for the Allen Endurance Series prizes, competitors must display a minimum of two Allen hull stickers during each event.

Also running alongside the Allen Endurance Series (AES) is the Allen blogger award to encourage creative writing about people's experiences on the water, building awareness about the series with the aim of increasing participation in this form of sailing. The prize is superb: £1500 of Allen kit for the winner's boat!

The organisers want to see engaging writing, focusing on the human-interest parts, the build-up, the challenges, paddock talk and shoreside fun to encourage more people to enjoy this great sport and these unique events.

To enter the AES blogger award participants need to send an engaging article about their 2018 season or one of the Allen Endurance Series Events to Jeremy Nicholson at Allen along with any supporting photos to illustrate their story.

The winner will be selected to blog on social media throughout the 2019 season, at the end of which they will receive an Allen fit-out for their boat to the maximum value of £1,500.

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