Flying Fifteens at Chew Valley, 10-11 May.
This year’s Flying Fifteen Open at Chew was another windy event, much like last year’s Inlands which saw strong winds and gear breakage. Forecasts of 25-45 mph wind meant reduced numbers, but two visitors joined eight home boats for some exciting racing.
Race Officer Simon Chapman set a triangle-sausage course in the largest (and windiest!) part of the lake, and his very efficient team got three races in during Saturday afternoon in a steadily increasing breeze.
Race 1 set the pattern for the whole event, in conditions that were already challenging. Ian Cadwallader & Nick Stone took first, followed by Simon Patterson & Simon Thompson, Bill Chard & Ken Comrie, then Danny Pilgrim & Josh Preater. The first four were the same in race 2, with Ian and Nick staging a comeback after having to take a penalty on the first beat and temporarily dropping some places.
By race 3 the conditions were starting to take their toll. A reduced fleet started the race and then a squall flattened three boats on the run. Only four boats completed the race, with Ian & Nick once again taking first from Simon & Simon.
On Sunday morning the conditions looked manageable from the relative calm of the sheltered Club shore and the fleet launched for a 1030 start. Once we reached the start area though it was clear that the wind was at least as strong as during race 3 on Saturday. After a short postponement the Race Officer abandoned for the day – which turned out to be the right decision as the wind only continued to build for the rest of the morning.
With no discard available the top positions went to the three boats who completed all races on the Saturday. Final positions were:-
- 1st Ian Cadwallader and Nick Stone
- 2nd Simon Patterson and Simon Thompson
- 3rd Danny Pilgrim and Josh Preater
- 4th Bill Chard and Ken Comrie