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Allspars Final Fling 2021 at Royal Western Yacht Club, England

by Keith Davies 11 Nov 10:49 GMT 16-17 October 2021

On the weekend of the 16th/ 17th October the Royal Western Yacht Club hosted the annual Allspars Final Fling. As the weekend arrived and instead of a windy wet weekend in October that many of us have come to expect, especially when looking to travel long distances, the weather proved to be near perfect for the weekend. Even the wind filled in on cue each day at approx 0930 hrs and the sun burnt through the mist building to a southerly 6 - 8 knots and sun all day.

Royal Western Yacht Club, led by event organisers Nicola and Keith Davies and team, sponsored by Allspars and some of their suppliers including Harken, Marlow, Seldon and Spinlock, prizes were aplenty. With a climate of teams not travelling as much as had been the norm prior to Covid, the turnout proved to be a good mix of dinghies, ranging from current rules 18 Foot Skiff helmed by Scott Bonner from Allspars down to Izzy Cramp in her Byte.

The biggest classes in attendance were six Phantoms and five B14s. With some of the front of fleet sailors from several classes in attendance. The racing format was to be the same as in previous years with average lap courses around laid marks and a longer end of race each day touring the harbour, Race Officer Dan Gibbons and his team of helpers were going to have a busy day. For the first time the swelling fleet was split into two starts, starting first were the Fast Handicap with the split being the Phantoms being fastest in the Slow Handicap.

Day 1 and race 1, sausage course, it was time for the asymmetrics to stretch their legs. The fun on the first beat was one how to get an 18 footer off the line on time and then for the rest of the fleet how to avoid the wind shadow it created which was huge. B14 799 Seavolution/North Sails Mark Barnes/Charlotte Horlock hit the ground running and led the B14s from start to finish. Close racing in the slow handicap fleet had the Phantom of Martin Watts come out on top with Nigel Hufton crewed by Jeremy Stephens close behind in the Lark.

Race 2 and a triangle. The 18 foot Skiff played its joker on the first beat rolling and then covering the fleet up the first beat thus keeping the fast handicap fleet close together. In the Slow handicap it was a switch of places with Karl Thorne taking the win.

Race 3 and a tour of the Plymouth Sound finishing off of the club finish line. Message to note when sailing against an 18 foot skiff by all means win the pin, but make sure one can tack off soon as it comes hunting. In the Fast Handicap fleet the win was again taken by the B14 of Mark and Charlotte. With Martin back to the front of the slow handicap fleet.

Spot prizes provided by Allspars and were handed out after racing before people dispersed to their accommodation following the excesses of the sponsored bar.

Day 2 and more of the same with sun and wind of 6 - 8 knots sublime weather for October and some very tactical sailing due to the changing tide.

Race 4, again a sausage course and again tight racing in both fleets with Crispin Taylor taking the fast handicap win. With Nigel Hufton taking the slow handicap fleet.

Race 5 and a trapezoid. The big play here was seeing Barnsie/Char climbing out of the start and offering the Skiff the choice of slowing down or tacking, So after about 300 m. they tacked but failed to cross all the starboard tackers, and having to tack back, surprising an RS400 as they saw a 10 foot wing rolling through the air into their track. Thankfully no contact and no issue as both avoided each other, but interesting to watch. Nigel obviously now had his eye in and lined up another first in the slow handicap.

Race 6 and another big grand tour. Unfortunately the wind gods weren't playing to enable the traditional race around Plymouth Breakwater. Instead a virtual breakwater was designated between two Marks just inside the sound and all competitors raced around this.

The only question that now remained was who would be the Final Fling winner.

With an outstanding performance in the Fast Handicap of counting only first was Mark Barnes and Charlotte Horlock.

Nigel Hufton and Jeremy Stephens in the Lark took the Slow Handicap win.

The overalls after some number crunching the B14 of Mark and Charlotte came out on top.

Some standout points from the weekend was the dude 'Fresh' in the Scorpion sporting a mullet that the Fling Fling hasn't seen since the 80's!! We all know that Martin Watts is used to having a shore crew with the Mod 70, but to get your parents down to pack your Phantom away is a bit much!!

Mark Barnes commenting after the prize-giving, "Thanks to the club and team for some good courses and lines, club for their welcoming nature, especially the trolley team and finally Allspars and their suppliers for support, Next year's Final Fling will be on the 15 - 16th October. If you fancy some great handicap racing on a large semi sheltered area of water with great hosts, it is not one to miss."

Big thanks to all who supplied photos and to the competitors and volunteers for coming and making the Final Fling the great event it is.

Special thanks to Steve Andrew and his crew of Sunfire who manned and supplied the committee boat for the weekend.

Fast Handicap Results:

PosSail NoClassHcapOwnerR1R2R3R4R5R6Net
1799B14860Charlotte Horlock111‑2115
2789B14860Crispin Taylor2‑10313312
34588Laser 4000917John Reynolds‑95455221
4340CANOE INTE884Chris Hampe325‑1148.522.5
5GBR770B14860Simon Hadley4624‑7723
6914RS 400942James Torr7(DSQ)1332429
7GBR 1218tf Skiff675Scott Bonner‑117678533
8506RS 400942Alex Zamaria104‑11968.537.5
9764B14860Tony Blackmore687‑1612639
103772Merlin Roc980Dan Heaton5312(DNC)111041
114522Laser4000917Oliver diBartolo898.51010(DNC)45.5
124218Laser 4000917Kevin Reed12‑1714691152
132713CONTENDER969Ben Hawkes‑17.5118.515131461.5
14694B14860Rory Moppett1313‑158151362
15445RS 400942Jono Griffiths1412‑1812161266
16960RS 600920Alex Carr‑16161614141575
17712RS 400942Adam Littlejohn1515‑1913171676
181035RS 700845William Homewood17.51410(DNC)DNCDNC87.5
191544Internatio760Declan Clamp201817(DNC)DNCDNC101
205254Laser5000846Ben Green19(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC111

Slow Handicap Results:

PosSail NoClassHcapOwnerR1R2R3R4R5R6Net
12538LARK1073Nigel Hufton2‑521117
21481PHANTOM1004Martin Watts131‑7229
31391PHANTOM1004Nigel King525‑206321
42039SCORPION1041Karl Thorne31411‑14524
55778SOLO1142Shaun Welsh7812.52‑15635.5
62FINN1049Olly Murray978.5‑134937.5
7386RS VAREO1093Ricrad Woods14113‑1711443
85642SOLO1142Stephen Roberts129(DNC)97744
9281RS 2001046Dani Middleton111312.5‑165849.5
101342PHANTOM1004Mark Spruce441115(OCS)2054
1132LASER1100David Thompson131575‑191454
1213733GP141130Jason Culmer1512‑178121158
131986SCORPION1041Fresh Abendstern8OCS6413(DNC)60
142470LARK1073Garry Packer16‑211810101569
1515Bosun1198Roger Irvine‑22161612161070
161384PHANTOM1004Neil Boughton1810‑201881973
173127BYTE CI1215Izzy Cramp1023(DNC)39DNC75
181173Sprog1173Stuart Barett668.5(DNC)DNCDNC80.5
19132361LASER1100Sean Biggs‑20181914181382
20189355LASER RADI1147Sam Blocksidge‑25141022231685
21183223LASER1100Philip Bailey261715(DNC)211897
2220215ENTERPRISE1122Daniel Ford19‑262421221298
232032SCORPION1041Steve Mitchell(DNC)DNCDNC63DNC99
241220PHANTOM1004Matt Blakeston23‑2521191721101
251205PHANTOM1004Jon Rickard172014(DNC)DNCDNC111
26Ven 452EUROPE1141Emma Tavinor‑272423242517113
27416SOLUTION1092Stuart Jones2122(DNC)2320DNC116
286446LASER II1085Harry Cook & Elodie Grenel‑282725252422123
294Bosun1198Steve Oliver241922(DNC)DNCDNC125

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