Although I have only been sailing a Flying 15 for a couple of years now I can see exactly why some members have been in the class for what might seem an eternity. It’s a competitive class with some very close, tactical racing, exactly what you look for in one design racing. Many of pretences that it is ‘an old man’s’ boat are quite frankly false, it is often really hard work, especially in a blow, frequently when I come off the water I know I’ve had a good work out. The blog does raise a number of important and frequently controversial points, including those regarding recent fleet sizes, so I thought I would give my thoughts as maybe the youngest member of the fleet.
Another point that always seems to rear its head, be it at an AGM or in general discussion is the issue of attracting people to the fleet, especially young people. It is very apparent that the number of young people in the class is extremely low, and there is only one real reason for this…finances. A number of my friends one or two years out of University who are currently working and living in London, simply cannot afford to buy a Flying 15, while I am fortunate that Dad has one, others are not, which it what makes the RS 200 such an attractive proposition for us. When I go to events and you see the number of Flying 15, quite simply abandoned and obviously haven’t been touched for years is a real shame. There needs to be a considerable effort to let people use them, for example I would love to do the Nationals this year (Dad has work), but don’t have a boat to use. On the basis that many of these boats will still be very competitive it wouldn’t take much to bring them up to race scratch.