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Allen Enterprise Inland Championships 2022 at Ogston Sailing Club

by Craig Harrison & Nigel Bird 6 May 2022 06:47 BST 30 April - 2 May 2022
Allen Enterprise Inlands 2022 at Ogston © OSC

After many attempts, Ogston Sailing Club finally got to host the twice postponed Allen Brothers Enterprise Inland Championships over the May Bank Holiday weekend.

Ogston has always been part of the Enterprise sailing world, and has hosted many other events over the years, so it was great to see the blue sails being hoisted. Also really pleasing to see 9 home boats, some of which hadn't seen much action over the last few years due to the pandemic.

There were some worrying wind forecasts in the week leading up to the event, however, as the 20 boats lined up for the first race of the day everyone was pleased to feel a reasonable force 3/4 across most of the course. Martin Bradley was the race officer for the event, an experienced Enterprise sailor himself, and he was able to set a first course which took in a large area of the reservoir.

Anyone who has sailed at Ogston will know that its valley location and reservoir shape can make for some interesting wind shifts at times. Although the wind was being a little kinder to our visitors than it often is, it was local Martin Honnor with his crew Isobel Hedley-Fenn who were leading at the first mark, a position they would hold for the entire race. Jonathan Woodward and Matt Smith from South Staffs SC followed them across the line, with Nigel and Andy Bird of the RYA coming in third.

Race 2 followed a very similar pattern with the same three taking the top spots in an identical order.

At this point lunch was needed, and an opportunity for the fleet to gather its thoughts and decide what they could do about the top three.

Fed and watered all returned to the water for the third race. It had been noticeable in the first 2 races of how clean the starts had been. Well not in race 3, a little too much sugar in the cakes from the galley had quite a few of the sailors buzzing and they couldn't contain themselves long enough to stay behind the line. It didn't get any better on the restart as two boats ended up disqualified. The other big change was a different boat at the front with the combination of Ges Brown and Julie Moore taking the bullet, pushing Martin and Isobel into second, with Nigel and Andy taking another third.

Still a bit high in race 4, it took another restart and a further disqualification before they got away. Martin and Isobel got over their little slip up of the previous race and took their third bullet of the day, with Ann Jackson and Alan Skeens from Burghfield SC second. The most consistent team of Nigel and Andy took yet another third position. Ges and Julie were again fighting for another first but after the excitement of the previous race Ges started to overheat and decided to test the local water temperature (very chilly), the only capsize of the weekend.

With the boats in and tucked up for the night it was time for the evening BBQ. The evening music provided by Steve Blackburn. Everyone went to bed (some much later than others) with full bellies ready for another day and a chance to move up the standings.

Sunday morning brought lower winds around force 2/3, and more of a challenge for Martin Bradley to set the courses. Race 5 got away with no issues now that the sugar levels had decreased. There was a familiar boat across the line first as Martin and Isobel picked up their fourth bullet of the event, followed by Jonathan and Matt, with Steve Blackburn and Tim Brownell of West Lancs Yacht Club finally ending Nigel and Andy's run of third places.

Race 6 saw a decreasing wind as they got under way. As the race progressed it lulled yet further leaving a mark near the bank in a terrible wind shadow. The fleet bunched up as everyone sailed towards the mark and then stopped, anyone watching would have assumed they were at anchor. The lead boat had to sit in neutral for 5 minutes as it waited for some movement. Slowly the fleet started moving again, and we ended up with a different boat at the front as Steve and Tim took their first bullet of the weekend. Nigel and Andy followed them, with Richard and Amelia Pryke of Ripon SC getting the third spot.

After lunch there was still 2 more races scheduled, but with an easing wind the course was reset to try and keep in the areas with the better wind.

The low wind appeared to be suiting Steve and Tim who took another bullet from Martin and Isobel with Ann and Alan in third.

Race 8 was another good one for Steve and Tim as they took three bullets in a row. Ges and Julie popped back up the fleet to claim second, with Nigel and Andy back in their normal third place.

The evening brought everyone together in the clubhouse for a delicious three course meal, with lots of talk of the day's action and what Monday might bring. A great big thank you to Andrea and her team for the wonderful food.

Unfortunately, Monday brought exactly what we feared it might, barely any wind at all. As a result, the last 2 races were abandoned, and the result was called. Martin and Isobel deservedly took the victory, with a very consistent performance across the weekend. Steve and Tim's performance on day 2 saw them climb up to take second place. Nigel and Andy seeing themselves in third place, after being an almost constant feature of the top 3 throughout the weekend.

There was great sailing throughout the fleet all weekend, and a really good atmosphere amongst the competitors. It's worth noting there were three sub 20000 boats, with two of those being classsics from 1957 and '58, and it's always great to see the old boats on the water. We had our one all youth entry of 14 year olds Matilda and Freya, with their boat which had only returned to the water 3 days before the event after a rushed refurb after 10 years off the water. Matilda had only helmed an Ent once before the event, Freya had never been in one, and they'd never before sailed competitively together. Hopefully we'll be seeing them in more events to come.

To sum up a wonderful weekend at a fantastic club hiding in the Derbyshire hills.

A big thank you to our sponsors Allen Brothers for prizes and Noble Marine Insurance who provided free entry to our youth sailors.

Many thanks Ogston.

Overall Results:

PosBoat NameSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8Pts
1stRiotvan22619Martin HonnorIsobel Hedley‑FennOgston SC11211‑42412
2nd50 shades of blue23310Steve BlackburnTim (Timber) BrownellWLYC45‑85311120
3rdUnlawful Entry22456Nigel BirdAndy BirdRYA3333‑424321
4thWannabe Red23433Jonathan WoodwardMatt SmithSouth staffs224‑7265526
5thHarken23170Ann JacksonAlan SkeensBurghfield Sailing Club6‑872583738
6thWimp23410Ges BrownJulie MooreSCYC761(DNF)978240
7thThunderbird 223249Richard PrykeAmelia PrykeRipon Sailing Club5969639‑1347
8thLimited Edition22418Andy GommJanet GommOgston SC‑10496856947
9thFloozy22439Phil BevanCatriona BevanLyme Regis Sailing Club11101147‑1510861
10thEspadarte22702Jane ScuttNick ScuttMiddle Nene Sailing Club97108‑13971161
11thSimply Red23089Charles MorrishAlison Robertson MorrishSt Mary's Loch S C12‑13510111013667
12thOggy23056Simon LawJess LawOgston SC812‑14131412121283
13thCaptain Sizer19007Mike HeapBryce HowardOgston SC14111511‑1614111086
14thAll Shook Up472Chris BridgeNatalie SmithOgston SC13141612‑1711141595
15thThink Twice22512Philip WilsonRosie WilsonOgston SC1615121410‑171716100
16thWrong Way Up22796George PanterTBCUlley15161716121315‑18104
17thApache1068Mark BlackhamTrish BlackhamChase Sailing Club171813(DSQ)15161614109
18thE Motive22152John MensforthMatt WainwrightOgston SC1817(DSQ)1519191917124
19thEeyore II22329Nick Patrick Ogston SC(RET)20DSQ1718181819132
20thFlying Lady22694Matilda HarrisonFreya WalkerOgston SC191918182020(DNC)DNC136
21stOut of the blue.22901Paul YoungNathan McGroryMidland Sailing Club.(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNCDNC154

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