Southern Championship – Event Report….!!


Written by Michael Kilbee


The Flying Fifteen Southern Championship was hosted by Parkstone Yacht Club and sponsored by Mar-Key over the bank holiday weekend of 24 and 25 August. The event attracted 40 entries from all parts of the country, including 15 boats from the host club. From furthest away were Patrick Harris and Vincent Harris of Club Nautica Cala Gamba who competed in a chartered boat.

After a week of light winds and sunny days, the forecast for the Saturday was for overcast conditions, some rain but wind of about 15 knots. The day did turn out to be overcast but the rain stopped somewhere on the road into Poole and the wind quickly freshened. By midway through the first race, it was up around 20 knots and by early afternoon it was approaching 25 knots. This made for some screaming spinnaker reaches and planing on the runs. As the wind was an offshore northerly, though, the waves did not have a chance to build up enough for any serious surfing to take place.

Race Officer Jim Macgregor got the fleet away first time on an Olympic triangle course. It paid to go left and the boats which went up the right hand side of the course saw the all the boats coming in on port round the mark ahead of them. Local Parkstone sailor David Tabb, crewed by Chewey Sherrell got into the lead and narrowly held off Steve Goacher and Phil Evans every lap. David and Chewey started down the final run to the finish a couple of boat lengths ahead but Steve and Phil reeled them in and just crossed the line first. Greg Wells and Andrew Jameson, from Hayling Island SC, were in third place for much of the time but ,by the time they started the final lap, they were overtaken by Richard Lovering and Matt Alvarado, also from Hayling Island. Fifth were Chris Gorringe and Nadia Hosie, from Parkstone YC, who had sailed a steady race, and for much of the time in fourth spot.

The marks needed little adjustment for the second race and the RO quickly got the start sequence under way in the ever freshening breeze. A black flag on the second attempt helped the fleet then get away cleanly. Lovering and Alvarado led initially but Goacher and Evans overtook them on the second lap to hold the lead to the finish. Alan Bax, crewed by Mark Darling, moved into second place on the third lap and led Lovering and Alvarado to the finish, followed by Chris and Tom Waples.

The third and last race on the Saturday was, in the fresh breeze, a test of stamina after two hard races. Goacher and Evans rounded the windward mark in the lead and maintained it for the whole race. The following places were contested by Wells and Jameson, Chris and Tom Waples and Tabb and Sherrell but after various changes on the way round, they finished in that order.

Sunday had been forecast to have lighter winds but as the boats sailed out to the race area in Poole Bay, the northerly wind steadily built, such that just before the scheduled start time it was blowing harder than on the Saturday, and with heavy rain. Quite a swell built up but it proved to be a squall and the wind had moderated to a little over 15 knots when the gun fired for the first start. Bax and Darling, form Hayling Island SC, got a good start and arrived at the weather mark just ahead of Graham and Ben Scroggie, from Parkstone YC. The Scroggies were followed round by Wells and Jameson but were unable to hold them off and slipped to third place. Positions remained unchanged with Bax and Jameson crossing the line first followed by Wells and Jameson. The Scroggies held third place, followed by Robert Hogben and Glyn Morgan who had been in fourth place throughout.

The start fifth and final race of the Championship attracted a black flag after the first attempt. The wind by this time had moderated slightly more and there were more localized shifts in it than in the previous races. Hogben and Morgan started well and led at the end of the first lap. They slipped back to fourth place in the second lap and Bax and Darling took the lead but then lost it to Lovering and Alvarado. Tabb and Chewey moved up to third place and then again to second place.

The Championship winners were Goacher and Evans but the racing had been close throughout, with only two points separating the next three places overall. The sailing conditions had been superb throughout and just what the Flying Fifteen excels in.

Results overall

1st – 4021            S. Goacher & P. Evans, Royal Windermere YC

2nd – 3998            A. Bax & M. Darling, Hayling Island SC

3rd – 3955            R. Lovering & M. Alvarado, Hayling Island SC

4th – 3920            G. Wells & A. Jameson, Hayling Island SC

5th – 4019            D. Tabb & C. Sherrell, Parkstone YC

6th – 3994            C. Waples & T. Waples, Hayling Island SC

Full Results at :-

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