The new A2020XHL and its big brother the A2040XHL Available Now!
Author: Allen Date Posted:9 February 2018
Allen set a new standard for extreme performance when we introduced the A2030XHL block in 2015.
Not everyone is a racer, but everyone benefits from the improvements in technology which arise out of competition. When we decided to take a fresh look at our Autoratchet blocks, we didn’t know what sailors would call an improvement, but we had some ideas about where to start. The previous design dated back to the nineties when we patented the first design of AutoRatchet. This needed updating in both style and the functionality; it needed to fit in more with the range and to be a more durable and reliable design. We continued our tradition for innovation by designing the world’s first twin opposing pawl ratchet block.
The decision to use twin pawls in the new Allen A2345 certainly increased its holding strength, but what we found out once our Team Allen sailors started testing the prototypes was that it gave fantastic feel and control in light airs too. Fireball World Champion Tom Gillard, and 49er front runners Fynn Sterrit and James Peters were immediate converts: “The new 45mm AutoRachet blocks are very good, they performed well when we went out for the French Nationals in 15-16 knots. They are the perfect size for the jib sheets and in light winds when, the blocks are under low loads, they spin freely so the jib can change sides without a snag.” Thomas Gillard
Once you have made the ultimate block, how do you improve on it? We set a new standard for extreme performance when we introduced the A2030XHL block in 2015, so introducing different sizes to make it relevant to a wider range of applications seemed the obvious route. The new A2020XHL and its big brother the A2040XHL are already setting new performance benchmarks in extreme sailing.
Sometimes, one simple change is all that is needed to completely change the performance and usability of a piece of equipment. Most people who have sailed a dinghy with a centre mounted mainsheet system will have come across the age old issue of the mainsheet jammer not rotating to the correct orientation after a tack or gybe, causing the mainsheet to twist or wrap itself around the block. This slows the manoeuvre and can lead to a lost race or, in rough conditions, even a capsize. Standard mainsheet jammer systems usually have the block centrally mounted above the swivel meaning that the block is in front of the pivot and thus falls to leeward away from the helm.
By moving the block outward from the swivel and angling it towards the cleat, the new A5266 mainsheet system moves the centre of effort behind the pivot which means that the cleat will always be forced to point away from the boom and towards the helm. This prevents the sheet from falling down to leeward and gives extra control for fast, smooth tacks and gybes.