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Allen Brothers

Allen Brothers Blaze National Championship at Brixham Yacht Club

by Ben Harden 11 Jun 2019 21:42 BST 7-9 June 2019

It was an outstanding weekend of racing for the Blaze Nationals which where held at Brixham Yacht Club.

51 entrants descended upon the Torbay based club despite the very dodgy looking weather forecast. Most of the fleet arrived on the Thursday to a sunny afternoon which made for a great chance to catch up with other fellow blazers, compare rig and boat setups and mull over the wind which was forecast for the weekend.

Friday morning was scheduled for a relaxed start time of 1250, allowing early morning arrivals plenty of time to rig. Unfortunately, for those arriving on Friday morning the weather wasn't quite as nice as the evening before. With a strong overnight wind and rain falling the conditions out in Torbay looked bleak. Thankfully, as the event briefing kicked off in the warm and dryness of the club bar all the competitors could see the wind and rain easing, however, this didn't reduce the big rolling swell which had been created overnight. Shortly after the briefing the 47 Blaze sailors and 4 Fire sailors set off into the big rolling swell of Torbay in about 10-12 knts of wind.

After a short postponement due to wind shifts a very tricky first race got under way. Surprisingly, with big rolling swell that seemed to have short sharp chop to go with it, the lake sailors from Chase came out firing with 3 sailors in the top 10, including race winner Eden Hyland.

As the wind continued to slowly flick north and drop, race 2 got under way with a big rolling swell still present. Chris Saunders from Wilsonian Sailing Club used his wave sailing skill to surf into a huge lead whilst the rest of the fleet battled it out on the triangle-sausage course.

Race 3 eventually got under way after a short postponement from Race Officer Sean Semmens as he battled the shifty breeze. Unfortunately, not long after the start a big dark rain cloud came bulldozing its way through the racecourse and with it turned off the wind. The race was promptly abandoned, and the fleet towed ashore. After a quick de-rig, the sailors soon headed into the bar for the buffet dinner and evening act of The Shanty Men.

Day 2 and the wind had flicked round to the west overnight and built steadily. By the morning it was blowing a very gusty 20-25knts. As launching commenced, it wasn't long before the first of the long list of casualties started to emerge. Hugh Kingdon damaged his tiller and Nick Ripley suffered a kicker breakage. After a quick return to shore for some spares, both where back out and battling the wind before the first start got under way.

Day 2 was going to be all about the boat handling as many of fleet experienced a capsize at some point or another, generally during a gybe! Race 4 was a trapezoid course and as it turned out great conditions for the Fire sail. Simon Beddows, one of the four sailor who decided to choose the smaller Fire sail at the start of the regatta lead the race for quite some time until Peter Barlow and Martin Hattersley managed to power their way through with the bigger Blaze sail. Peter took the final line honours with Martin 2nd and Simon finishing in 3rd.

Race 5 and the wind dropped slightly for the first beat giving some of the smaller guys a chance to get back to the front of the fleet. Eden Hyland, Hugh Kingdon, Josh Hyland and Ben Harden had a good crack at the front with each sailor having a short stint in the lead. Eden finished strong and took another bullet.

Race 6, by this point the wind had taken most of its victims with only 19 of the 47-boat fleet finishing the final race of the day. Race 6 was won by Eden Hyland with Nick Ripley and Mike Bell close behind.

Race Officer Sean Semmens soon decided, enough was enough, and sent the fleet in for a well-deserved beer.

After racing the AGM was held in the club bar. Attendance was good as Hugh Kingdon, Blaze class treasurer, agreed a free beer to all members who turned up. During the swift and successful AGM, it was agreed that new Blaze members would gain their first year of membership free of charge and under 21's would also be waived of any membership fees. Eden Hyland was then selected to join the class committee as the Blaze technical adviser and Ben Harden was selected as marketing officer.

The final morning of racing was brought forward an hour from the scheduled start time in the hope that the race abandoned on Friday could be re-sailed, allowing for the full series to be complete and the sailors to gain the additional discard. Unfortunately, the wind did not accumulate until mid-morning. When the sea breeze finally kicked in. The fleet then set off in perfect conditions with sun shining and wind steadily at 10-12knts.

The first win of the day went to Malcom Hutchings of the Royal Corinthian, after an absolute cracker of a start he held the lead for the entirety of the race whilst Hugh Kingdon managed to come back strong and finish 2nd despite his 720 penalty at the first windward mark. Josh Hyland was a close 3rd.

Race 8 saw another great start from Malcom Hutchings who lead to the windward mark. Unfortunately, having not spotted the 3rd mark of the reverse P course before it was too late, the pack behind him sailed a shorter course and managed to get through. Josh Hyland then led a very close battle between himself, Richard botting and Nick Ripley. Josh Just managed to take the win.

Race Officer Sean Semmens then decided there was no more time for another race and so the event was finished.

After a complete mixture of conditions Eden Hyland of Chase Sailing Club was crowned the 2019 Blaze National Champion for a second time. Eden also took home the youth title which he has now won a handful of times.

Nick Ripley of Paignton Sailing Club took second place whilst Josh Hyland finished third.

Thanks go to Allen Brothers for their sponsorship of the event.

The Blaze Class are hoping to head to the East coast for the 2020 Nationals and would love to see more new sailors join the steadily growing, competitive and friendly fleet. Head over to the Blaze Facebook group or Class website to get involved with the banter and to keep up to date with all the events and latest news.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmClubR1R2R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1st846Eden HylandChase SC12411‑5413
2nd807Nick Ripley Paignton SC 23‑8727324
3rd751Josh HylandChase SC71063(RET)3130
5th827hugh kingdonndyc55‑152132633
6th661Ben Harden Burnham Sailing Club66‑168761043
7th833Martin HattersleyChase3825(DNC)21746
8th772Tim FreemanWarsash Sailing Club‑149146514856
9th843chris dyerndyc4‑1710910171262
10th836Malcolm hutchingsRcyc and Burnham sc871125(DNS)11163
11th811Pete barlowBurghfield sc11191116‑271664
12th829Bob CowanWarsash SC13111310158(DNC)70
13th754Mark AstburyWarsash sailing club 16149(DNC)913970
14th789John WorthingtonPaignton SC18151215815(DNC)83
15th828Paul TatemNDYC1513‑241711102288
16th799Richard BottingDraycote Water Sailing Club20‑2919121226291
17th840Mike BellBurghfield SC19163193(DNC)DNC108
18th837Gareth HylandChase SC22231821(RET)1113108
19th764Matthew LutwycheChase SC17202913(RET)2019118
20th810Andrew ChorltonPaignton SC23212116(RET)1918118
21st797Mike HolmesPaignton SC‑28271718142824128
22nd774Mark BlackhamChase Sailing Club211220(DNC)DNC1217130
23rd796Bob YatesBurghfield‑27222626162515130
24th761Tim MorganPaignton Sailing Club2425‑3114192327132
25th805Alan GouleBrixham Y C25182320(DNC)2228136
26th614Bob LadellKGSC‑34332524173226157
27th759David ShaftoBurghfield SC2928(DNC)DNC181821162
28th839Alex WaltonChase Sailing Club1245(RET)DNCDNCDNC165
29th513Mark Smith Brixham Yacht Club32312222(RET)3329169
30th763Peter McFarlaneBurghfield35262823(DNC)3423169
32nd710Graham SlaterPaignton SC31242727(DNC)24DNC181
33rd815John CooperBurghfield SC30(DNC)DNCDNCDNC1620210
34th647John GoudieWilsonian SC3330(DNC)DNCDNC3133223
35th680Collin Spence Chase sc36353028(RET)DNCDNC225
36th538Tim RobinsonHollowell3734(DNC)DNCDNC2931227
37th676Scott JaycockStone Sailing Club2632(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC250
38th609Stewart RobertsonWilsonian Sailing Club(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC3525252
39th755Bernie StaniforthTudor SC(RET)DNCDNCDNCDNC3030252
40th658Sebastian CaunterPaignton(DNF)DNCRETRETDNC3632260
41st581Charlie ChandlerBowmoor Sailing Club(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC288
41st791Neil SmythePaignton SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC288
41st826andy McIvorblackwater s.c(RET)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC288
41st819Jeremy LoweBrixham Yacht Club(RET)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC288
41st818Mike LyonsBurghfield SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC288
Blaze Fire
1st800Simon BeddowsReading Sailing Club11111‑216
2nd781David Entwistle Burghfield 22‑3221211
3rd808David WatkinsChase SC33233(DNC)DNC19
4th809Andy MawBurghfield Sailing Club(RET)DNC4DNCDNC3325

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