Australia Reports from the Europeans – Day One ….!!

Report from John Hassen…..!!

We arrived Medemblik yesterday. Kev and Bev flew into Amsterdam on Friday and Leonie and I have put in a couple of big weeks eating and drinking in France in the hope it will be a windy regatta and an old fat bloke is required down at tactical HQ at the back end of the boat.

After rigging the boat yesterday it was a bit late to see if we had got all the bits and pieces in the right spots, so the finally tuned athletes went to the bar to have a few beers courtesy of the Exalted One, Grandpa Grand Pooh Bar ( aka Rookie FFI International President). I am not sure he knows about his shout for everyone but Greg Wells said it was OK to enjoy ourselves which we did.

Over a few Heineken’s Kev and I decided to agree on our regatta training program (in summary it was to get the shopping done with the ladies in the morning and get to the start of the first race before the five minute gun) and to agree on regatta objectives. The regatta objectives were a bit more difficult and so we agreed with 22 top performing boats we should aim for a top 20 finish. Hey if we achieve it we can say we finished in the top 20 boats in a European Championship and not too many other Australian Flying Fifteen sailors could boast such an outcome!.

As the only Australian boat we naturally decided we should aim to be the best performing Australian boat. Another tick! On looking at the entries most have GBR on their sails so we want to beat at least one or two Poms as we are sick and tired of hearing about team GBR. The only other foreigners are people from Spain and Belgium and they look like nice people so we are not sure if they should be targets for team Aussie.

flat stanley and john hassenWe also decided we could do with another crew member and so enlisted the help of “Flat Stanley”. Please see attached photo.

Unfortunately “Flat Stanley” was worth 10 men ashore as he kept trying to help Kev at the gybe mark where we lost 5 places in each of the first two races. We plan on taking the flat man out for some gybe to gibe training before tomorrows races.

We ended up with a 16 and 15 today and had our moments being in the top 5 in race two around the first couple of marks before Flat Stan tried to help Kev with the kite.

East Coasts Not Far Away ….!!

The East Coast Flying Fifteen Championships on 17th & 18th September @ Burnham on Crouch
Details :

Burnham is a great place to sail, and importantly a very different to the normal ff venues, the hospitality is rather good too…the RCYC has an excellent chef, an excellent river frontage bar, we have the RYA award winning Race Officer Edwin Buckley who’s also the Endeavour RO and very used to giving top quality racing , so we have the whole package…just need the boats, so go on, reply and say you’re attending!

Please do get this email around your own fleets, and class blogs/websites, and of course don’t hesitate to contact me if you have any queries

PS for those that book early they will be rewarded with a cheeky little glass of something rather good before the supper on the Saturday night!

Enjoy your summer and see you in September

Justin Waples

Latest from Justin on the New Jib….!!

After a bit of rooting around today I’ve had some really positive
feedback from both Greg (as attached) and Charles.

Greg will have a video from ‘Riggy’ shortly too.

Charles’s reply (below) to my question of ‘what’s the new jib like?’ after
his trials was amazingly straight forward and honest with someone of the
known technical knowledge and ability that comes with 40 years of sailing
ffs at the front of the fleet.

…..New jib is brilliant, you can see where you are going, easier to pull
in and boat goes really well with it. An absolute must and I wish we had
more notification to get people on board because I think most people thought
the issue was going away. It will also last longer .. Not around the mast
so much .

As I keep telling the children…..’it’s good to talk’!

The New Jib….

FF new job 2

There was interesting background chatter at the Datchet Club on Sunday about the Rules Ballot.  Relative to when we first discussed weight reduction about five years ago, there was quiet acceptance that this seems the right thing to do.  There were plenty of questions of the practicalkl issues – what would the regular club owner actually do to take weight out?  Does it need a measurer on site to reweigh everyone?  Is our fleet measurer empowered to do this?  Can I just take my lead out and saw 5Kg off it?  How do you cut lead? “Where is my lead?”, was a recurring favourite on the older boats.

Then we came to the jib.  I would say there was quiet acceptance that it would be good to have another additional option for lighter crews.  However, I would say the general belief was that the proposed design was the one we all tested five years ago….  But Justin was very quick to point out that the new proposal is NOT at all that design we all saw.  Comments I gathered on the jib in our last two race sessions were:

  • that doesn’t look as modern as the one we tested (do they mean it doesn’t look “skiffy”?)
  •  the clew looks too high
  •  “will it change the genoa car and track requirements in my boat?”
  • it makes the boat look less distinctive than it is now
  • our class is famous for its good looks, this takes some of the distinctiveness away and makes it look ordinary.  The genoa on a flying dutchman (btw, our commodore has one in addition to two FFs!), and on a Dragon for that matter, defines what they are.  Is it the same in the Flying Fifteen?
  • why haven’t FFI communicated more?

What do you think?

The Ballot !!!!!! Photos of New Jib. Get VOTING !!!!

As you maybe know, we have a FF Ballot happening on New Class Rules?? Have you caught up with it yet?

Apparently there have been a tiny number of responses so far.  SO GET VOTING!!  You can return the voting form electronically – modify the word document and email a copy of it to

If you haven’t looked at it yet, there are a whole number of rule changes but the central two are

  • 5kg weight reduction
  •  new jib/genoa design.

Now last time I even mentioned weight reduction in our Club bar I was almost lynched – so you cannot be without opinion!!

On the new jib design, I attach a few photos of it below.  I used it in trials a few years ago and quite liked it…. and have voted for it….  but now I’ve seen the photos of it I’m slightly less sure I confess.  Arrrggghhhh!!    Some bar conversations would help, but the closing date of the ballot is not far away.  So HURRY!!

Here is what our Hon Sec has to say about the ballot:-

“Votes are starting to come in on the ballot items as proposed by FFI but the response has been slow so far. This is what membership of the association is all about, there is no point in protesting by not voting and this is definitely not the time to think that this doesn’t affect you because it does. The two key proposals are regarding head sails and weight in the boat so please take time to vote; the only way to affect change or indeed prevent it if it is your wish to do so is to vote. A letter from your president will follow; Please go here for pictures information on the changes and ballot forms



ff new jib 1

FF new jib 3

ff new jib 4

FF new jib 5

FF new job 2

Parkstone Summer Series…..!!

13 August Parkstone Summer series
Quite simply, perfect conditions, period.

Race Officer Steve Randle set a triangular course in the “Top Triangle” of the Harbour.

The fleet got away first time and the front runners soon established themselves.
The teams of Bob Alexander/Huw Willetts, Chris Gorringe/Nadia Hosie, Crispin Read Wilson/Steve Brown, Martin Lewis/Mike Riley and Patrick Keats/Chris Jermyn were cross tacking all the way to the windward mark. Alexander/Willetts just rounded in the lead. On the first reaching leg, Gorringe/Hosie hoisted the spinnaker early, a move that was to cost them dearly.

Alexander/Willetts opened up a healthy lead from Read Wilson/Brown, however Read Wilson/Brown fought hard and closed the lead but not enough to trouble Alexander/Willetts who took first place.

1st Bob Alexander & Huw Willetts
2nd Crispin Read Wilson & Steve Brown
3rd Martin Lewis & Mike Riley

Southern Traveller Series at South Cerney….. !!

The third event of four in the Southern Traveller Series will be sailed on the 3rd & 4th September at South Cerney SC in the easily accessible surrounding of the Cotswold Water Park . The two series sailed so far have seen a total of 25 boats (9 Open, 8 Silver & 8 Classic) enjoy close competition and great hospitality. The STS is a four race series with the best two results in each fleet to determine the overall fleet winners – so there is still the opportunity for new entries to get an overall result!

Click here to download a poster for your noticeboard.

South Cerney SC - F15 Open Poster 2016 v2


Parkstone Summer Series….!!

Saturday 6th August Race 1

12 crews launched for the race in perfect conditions, clear blue skies and a warm 15-18 knot south westerly wind.

Race Office David Pipe set a Harbour tour course for race 1 of this 2 race day and the fleet got away first time, with an individual recall sounded. Many suspected the recall was for the team of Dave Tabb/Chewey Sherrell, who may have misjudged their unorthodox “dip start”, (more on that later).

The order at mark 1 was Tabb/Sherrell then Bob Alexander/Huw Willetts and then Graham Latham/Sara Briscoe. On leg 2, the leading 2 boats managed to put some distance on the rest of the fleet. At the front, Tabb/Sherrell and Alexander/Willetts locked horns and engaged in their own battle, which continued uninterrupted until the second upwind leg when the third place team of Chris Gorringe/Nadia Hosie, who had always been keeping the pressure on, made a great job of reading the tide and were cross tacking with the leaders. Tabb/Sherrell led at the end of the last upwind leg, followed by Gorringe/Hosie and Alexander/Willetts.

The downwind run from Amy Group to Bell Race Mark, followed by the reach across to Northshore Homes proved to be processional, although with the speed at which the fourth placed team of Crispin Read Wilson/Steve Brown caught the leaders, they obviously had different ideas.

After boats finished it was confirmed that Tabb/Sherrell had indeed started early meaning the results were:-
1st Chris Corringe/Nadia Hosie
2nd Bob Alexander/Huw Willetts
3rd Crispin Read Wilson/Steve Brown