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Allen Brothers

Blaze East Coast Championships sponsored by Allen at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club

by Ben Harden 27 Aug 2020 08:36 PDT 23 August 2020

22 sailors took part in the first official Blaze event of the year, The East Coast Championships, on Sunday 23rd August at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club on the River Crouch.

Storm Ellen was blowing her socks off in the days leading to the event and so it was with much excitement that the 22 Blaze sailors launched from the RCYC pontoon when PRO Phil Aspinall announced racing would go ahead during the 10am socially distanced briefing in the dinghy park.

All sailors made their way down the River Crouch on a slack tide to the sailing area just past the mouth of the River Roach. The westerly wind was gusting just over 20knts at points and the tide was scheduled to start flooding just before the first race, the locals recognised this meant some large choppy waves would be the highlight of the day.

Although it was the first event of the year, the competitors did not hold back with the first start being general recalled. The race committee promptly started the next race under a black flag with five sailors then being OCS and the tone for the day being set with the rest of the starts under the U flag.

Race 1 was the longest of the day and quickly blew the cobwebs off as the chop began to build, making for some testing downwind conditions with many suffering a capsize during a gybe or sending it straight down the mine. Ben Harden finished first with over a minute lead on second placed Malcolm Hutchings, followed very closely by James Hutton-Penman.

Race 2 saw visiting sailor Andy McIvor get a cracking start, along with Nick Tolhurst and Chip Cole. The top 6 spots in this race where closely fought with many position changes. Ben Harden took another big lead but lost it on the penultimate lap after a pitchpole. This let Andy McIvor sail through into pole position, with James Hutton-Penman chasing close behind. Nick Tolhurst continued to sail consistently and finished in 3rd.

Race 3 and many were starting to look pretty worn out, but unfortunately for the fleet the wind was still blowing steadily over 15 knots and the sea state wasn't letting up. Ben, James and Malcolm had another closely battled race and finished in those places respectively.

For the 4th and final race of the day, the wind decided to ease up slightly, but the sea state remained. This time it was youth sailor James Hutton-Penman who would claim his first win of the day after surfing past Malcolm on the last downwind leg of the race. Ben followed in 3rd, making for a tie on points overal, broken by number of first places in favour of Ben Harden.

After all sailors had returned to the dinghy park and discussed many capsizes, breakages or generally how much they ached already, PRO Phil Aspinall called for the socially distanced prize-giving in the dinghy park.

A huge thank you must be said to all involved in running the event at the RCYC. The club did a fantastic job of ensuring a COVID-19 safe environment. Also thank you to Allen for their support of prizes.

Overall Results:

1st Lady - Alex Porteous
1st Polyester Boat (Mk1 & Mk2) - Nick Tolhurst
1st Youth - James Hutton-Penman

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st846AllenBen HardenBSC1‑4135
2nd825 James Hutton‑PenmanRCYC‑32215
3rd836Nice Bit Of PoshMalcolm HutchingsRCYC2‑7327
4th661 Nic TolhurstRCYC(OCS 25)34411
5th732 Paul BuckleyRCYC45‑7514
6th723Too Much Too YoungAlex WilliamsBlackwater SC6‑126820
7th607BlazeJake BraybrookBSC7‑108722
8th778 Nick BaconRCYC(RET 25)95923
9th799Gone OutRichard BottingDraycote SC9‑139624
10th705 Trevor B?wdenRCYC5‑14131028
11th777 Ray ApthorpRCYC(OCS 25)11121134
12th509Too HotNathan ClarkRCYC10‑16151338
13th666 Charlie MatthewsBSC88(DNS 25)DNC 2541
14th716 Tye WichardRBYC(DNF 25)18111241
15th719 Nick MiltonRCYC1115‑161541
16th852LockdownChip ColeRCYC126(RET 25)DNC 2543
17th804 Keith GilmourRCYC(OCS 25)19101443
18th676 Alex PorteousRCYC(DNF 25)17141647
19th826Pepe Le PewAndy McIvorBlackwater SC(OCS 25)1RET 25DNC 2551
20th529 Liam Hanna (DNF 25)2117RET 2563
21st818 Ian BrandRCYC(RET 25)2018RET 2563
22nd547FandangoCarl AndersonRCYC(RET 25)RET 25DNC 25DNC 2575
22nd834EkajatiBen FullaloveBlackwater SC(RET 25)DNC 25DNC 25DNC 2575
22nd844IBMRobert CoyleRCYC(OCS 25)DNC 25DNC 25DNC 2575

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