New Allen 49er team (Chris Taylor/Tim Gratton)  New Allen 49er team (Chris Taylor/Tim Gratton)

After a last summer of Youth Sailing in the 420, myself and Tim Gratton decided that moving into the 49er was the way forwards. We bought a boat at the start of the summer and started along the very large and long learning curve involved with learning to sail the new boat.

We started off by spending 2 weeks down at HISC falling in a lot but towards the end we were managing to get the boat around a course relatively in one piece. After a quick break for our last 420 Nationals we then got back in the boat for some more training before our first event, an RYA National Ranker, nothing like jumping in at the deep end.

We turned up at the event with little expectations especially as we found out that we would be sailing in the waves out in the bay. Despite this we managed to pull together some good results and with only one capsize on the finish line, we did manage to cross it upside down, we ended up 9th in the fleet of 18 including some ODS and performance squad sailors.

Our second event was the 2012 National Championships and with 31 boats entered we knew it would be a good chance to work on boat handling in tight situations. After the first day we were lying fourth and ended up seventh at the end of the weekend. This was a great result for us as we had not expected to be this high up at just our second event.

We still have a lot to learn and with another National Ranker coming up this weekend there is no break for us in the near future. A big thanks to Allen Brothers who have provided us with equipment to refit our boat where needed and have helped me through my entire youth sailing career as well.

Chris Taylor


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