New Allen sponsored sailor New Allen sponsored sailor
We are pleased to announce that Allen will be sponsoring Grant Piggott in the F18 class to help us in the development of our products for the Cat market.  The first event of the year for Grant took place last weekend at Datchet where he and Andrew cleaned up.  Report by Andrew Sinclair follows:

The opening event of the F18 Year -
Dusting away the cobwebs at Datchet

Thirteen teams turned up for the first F18 open of the year at Datchet Water S.C. The event was also a qualifier for the 2010 F18 World Championships being held in Erquy, France in July. A drizzly Saturday with a shifty 15 knots of breeze from the South West greeted the competitors.

Race 1: The start was won by Grant Piggott and Andrew Sinclair on their Nacra Infusion who found strong pressure and a favourable shift on the left to lead at the top mark, followed by Simon Northrop and crew Tom Walker then Will Sunnucks with crew (transatlantic solo sailor) Phil Sharp both racing Loday White Shockwaves. Piggott and Sinclair continued to extend their lead until the finish with Northrop taking second and Sunnucks close behind in third.

Race 2: The conditions continued to please for race 2 with Piggott and Sinclair continuing where they left off, taking the second bullet of the day from Toby Orpin and his crew Lewis Crawford on their brand new Hobie Wildcat in second. Third place was taken by David White and crew Matt Young on their Nacra Infusion.

Race 3: Toby Orpin started 15 seconds early and managed to bring the whole fleet with him to cause a general recall. The second start was clean and the fleet got away well. After a strong right hand shift, which skewed positions, Piggott and Sinclair found themselves in second. Making the best of the band of pressure to the left Piggott and Sinclair moved through to take their third bullet of the day. The were followed by Orpin and Crawford in second and then Stuart Gummer and Elliott Parsons on their Shockwave in third.

Race 4: The first two laps were led by Sunnucks, who then lost his lead to Orpin on the lap three. Piggott and Sinclair managed to climb back from eigth position at the first windward mark, by playing left hand shifts to take the bullet by less than a metre! Dave Bartlett and Mark Robinson on their Capricorn had a magnificent last downwind leg making the most of the pressure to finish second. Piggott and Sinclair were latter disqualified for a windward mark incident. So the eventual race 4 result was Bartlett and Robinson in first, Orpin and Crawford in second and White and Young in third.

Sunday brought sunshine and an extremely light Northerly which was forecast to swing to the West. This caused a 2 hour onshore postponement waiting for a steady breeze to fill in.

Race 5: The race was finally started in a very light and extremely shifty westerly. After a difficult first beat Simon Northrop held the lead followed by Ghislain Melaine and crew Nils Ohlsen on their recently purchased Capricorn battling with White and Young for second. By lap 3 the race had turned into a procession due to a right wind shift. On the last downwind there was heated action between Melaine, White and Piggott at the leeward gate and on to the finish. The remainder of the fleet was becalmed at the windward mark until a new band of pressure filled in to send the fleet on to the finish. So the bullet went to Northrop and Walker, second to Gummer and Parsons and third to White and Young.

Race 6 This race saw the strongest breeze of the day finally allowing for some upwind ‘wiring’. After a difficult start on a very port biased line the breeze proved to still be very unsettled with the left being the strong side up the first beat and then right being favoured for parts of the other beats. After several lead changes in the shifting wind Gummer and Parsons took the Bullet followed by Orpin and Crawford in second and Piggott and Sinclair in third.

Overall Results

1st. Grant Piggott and Andrew Sinclair (Nacra Infusion)

2nd. Toby Orpin and Lewis Crawford (Hobie Wildcat)

3rd. Stuart Gummer and Elliott Parsons (LodayWhite Shockwave)

4th. David White and Matthew Young (Nacra Infusion)

For full results please got to:

For Grant and Andrew (Nacra Infusion) this repesents their best start to an F18 season. Following on from their second at the 2009 F18 Nationals and second at the 2009 F18 "Inland Championship" they are looking forward to a strong season culminating in July with the F18 Worlds in France.They would like to thank Allen Sailboat Performance Hardware, WH Insurance, Nacra Watersports and GP Sails for their continued support.

A big thank you to Datchet Water S.C. on behalf of all the competing F18 teams for putting on an excellent event despite Sunday’s very difficult conditions.

The next cat event on the calendar is the Weston Easter Grand Slam where we should see a strong fleet of F18s. The next F18 Open and Worlds qualifier is at Minnis Bay. See you there!

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