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Allen Brothers

Allen Merlin Rocket SE Series Finale at Stone Sailing Club

by Paul Rayson 18 Oct 2023 13:18 BST 14 October 2023
Merlin Rocket Allen SE Series Finale at Stone - First Youth in the Allen SE Series Darcy Smyth © Helen Kimber

What a day we had at the finale of the Allen Merlin Rocket South East Series. 18 teams arrived at Stone Sailing Club to be greeted by a solid force 4, blue skies, sunshine and the legendary Stone Sailing Club hospitality.

With everyone rigged and fuelled with the obligatory bacon sandwich the fleet prepared to launch for Race 1. The wind was now blowing a steady F5 and with wind over tide it was a fairly hairy run down to the start. With everyone assembled the Race officer set a two lap sausage then triangle course. With everyone away cleanly there was tight racing throughout the fleet. Chris Gould & Sophie Mackley quickly found their form and took the win from James Goodfellow & Pete Nicholson with James Wells & Anna Aylward in third. Further down the fleet one or two enjoyed a swim, including your intrepid reporter.

With Race 1 over in a flash, the Race Officer decided to lengthen the course for Races 2 and 3. After staring at the horizon for some time we eventually spotted something orange on the horizon...this was going to be a long beat. On the plus side, the tide had started to slacken making for a flatter race track. Race 2 got away quickly and again was hotly contested with Chris & Sophie taking the win from Tom Stewart & Rob Allen who had missed the first race. James and Pete where in third pushed hard by William Warren and Megan Pascoe.

By the start of Race 3, the tide was on the ebb and it looked like the smart move was to head left on a long starboard tack to the St Lawrence shore to escape the worst of the spring tide. It turned out not to be the case as Colin Brockbank & Susie Brough charged up the right hand side of the beat to take a healthy lead at the windward mark. At the start of the second lap, the leaders once again headed left. At this point your intrepid reporter (Paul Rayson) & Chris Hill were placing about 5th or 6th and, recalling what happened in the first lap, headed right with the leaders sticking to the left. It worked, we rounded the windward mark with a good lead to take the win followed by Tom & Rob with William and Megan in third. With racing complete, a very satisfied fleeted headed in.

Now there is a reason the finale of the Allen SE Series was at Stone. As well has great racing they lay on a great party. To celebrate the end of the series, we were treated to an excellent dinner, one of the best prize-giving's ever (great fun and loads of prizes - thank you Allen) followed by live music and dancing.

What a day.

Finally, a big thank from everyone that competed in the Allen SE Series to Paul Dean, who conceived and ran in the inaugural series, and our generous sponsors Allen, HD Sails, GK Engineering and Langley Construction Consultants. It has been a huge success, attracting new teams onto the open circuit and rivalries that become the stuff of legend in the bar. Well done Paul, we are all looking for to the 2024 edition.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3Pts
1st3803Chris GouldSophie MackleyLymington11(8)2
2nd3812Tom StewartRob AllenSalcombe(DNF)224
3rd3793James GoodfellowPete NicholsonBrightlingsea23(5)5
4th3799Paul RaysonChris HillFishers Green(8)516
5th3796William WarrenMegan PascoeShoreham(4)437
6th3746James WellsAnna AylwardRYA3(9)47
7th3696Alex WarrenJonty FreemanShoreham66(12)12
8th3745Paul DeanHannah BurtWembley7(8)714
9th3817Geoff KimberHelen KimberStone5(10)1015
10th3790Colin BrockbankSusie BroughWembley10(14)616
11th3702Duncan SalmonRuth HanstaterWembley97(16)16
12th3774Richard CoulterLouis LappageFishers Green12(15)921
13th3770Jon StewardRussell HallFishers Green1111(DNF)22
14th3663Nick YannakoyorousMatteo ManciniFishers Green(13)121325
15th3668Mark SmythDarcy SmythWembley15(16)1126
16th3692Steve ConroyAnna RaysonFishers Green(16)131528
17th3648Antonia WrightElizabeth GillShoreham14(17)1428
18th3561Joe ShawSophia CecchiWembley(DNC)DNCDNC38

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