Steve Goacher and Tim Harper clean up!
Travellers tip #2 Kicker setting: “On my boat the kicker is one of the most constantly adjusted settings. In simple terms, other than the main and jib sheets it is the control which mostly affects the speed and balance of a fifteen. Therefore, it should be in a very accessible place. I have mine on the mainsheet jammer which I like because you never run out of adjustment which can happen with the twin control system if they are not continuous. There are well documented numbers about kicker tension in different wind strengths but my view is you should learn to develop “feel” from the rudder without looking at the sails all the time.
Light winds upwind and downwind i.e. when the crew is in the bottom of the boat; it should always be very slack. You don’t get much rudder feedback from a fifteen in these conditions. Medium winds upwind. This is when you can “feel” the difference. Start to apply kicker just as the boat starts to become overpowered (ie: the rudder loads up and you find yourself having to ease the main to stop the boat heeling and luffing into the wind). You will find as you pull on the kicker the boat will heel less, the rudder will “feel” more balanced and you can keep the boom centralised which will help with pointing. However, you must be quick to ease the kicker again if the wind lightens as the leech of the main will quickly become too tight and will stall. You should “feel” the boat rapidly slowing down and the rudder going very light. I can’t stress enough how important it is not to be ‘over-kickered’ when this happens.
Medium winds downwind; it should always be slackish.
Heavy winds upwind; keep pulling on the kicker until the mainsail shape distorts (excessive creases from spreaders to outhaul) and then let it back a bit. If boat is set right the rudder should “feel” almost neutral (ie: a little weather helm but you are not fighting it all the time).
Heavy winds downwind; firstly, make sure you ease the kicker lots before bearing away around the windward mark. This will make the manoeuvre much easier as you will not have to fight a rudder which is trying to make the boat head into the wind. It will also be kinder on your gooseneck fitting! When reaching with the kite it should be well eased. This will let the spinnaker do the work and keep the boat flat, the rudder neutral and the boat will “feel” under easy control. When running it should also be well eased but if the boat starts to lose control and keeps trying to bear away into a gybe pull the kicker back on a bit until the rudder loads reduce and the boat is back under control”. Helm, Greg Wells, ƒƒ4030.
The Datchet Open Meeting attracted fourteen entrants with a good proportion of visitors.
Simon Kneller and Dave Lucas stamped their authority on the fleet on Saturday, with Charles Apthorp and Alan Green tight in behind them. Conditions were light, and Sunday racing cancelled due to the conditions. Three races were completed with one discard. John Hanson and Helen Selden won the trophy for there best home team.
In a widely diverse range of weather conditions, the husband and wife combination of Nick and Janet Jerwood added another title to their CV when they won the Western Australian Flying Fifteen championship on the Swan River over the Easter weekend. Jerwood, who last month won the World Viper 640 championship at the same venue, acted quickly to scotch rumours of a jump to the Viper class, declaring his allegiance to the Flying 15, the people who sail them and the closeness of competition.
The Western Australian Flying Fifteen has defied its critics by remaining numerically one of the strongest fleets in the world, with boats competing in Esperance, Albany, Perth and Geraldton.
(Championship runners-up, John Wilson and Matt Summers)
John Wilson teamed up with Matt Summers to finish second on a count back with David Yu and Chris Nelson, finishing the final day with a curious mixture of results – a first in the penultimate race and a 17th in the last, which became his drop. David Yu and Chris Nelson had a strong showing up to the last day, with a run of seconds and thirds, but would have been disappointed in their last two races, recording 20th and 12th placings.
Still, in this company, any podium position is hard earned. Jerwood is a past world champion, as is Grant Alderson, who finished fourth.
(Carl and Christine Pettersson, one of many husband and wife combinations in the 34-boat fleet.)
One of the ways in which the class keeps itself vibrant is the introduction of new ideas. There are several husband and wife combinations within the group, and in an effort to encourage and recognise the importance of women to the future of the class, awards for the best female skipper and best female crew were introduced.
(Consistency winners, Albany’s Simon and Aileen Lucas.)
In conjunction with the championship was a handicap-based consistency competition, which was won by Simon and Aileen Lucas, with the minor placings going to veterans Ron Packer and Steve Ward, who in turn just pipped third placegetters Tim Walker and Alan Sharpe.
(Third place went to David Yu and Chris Nelson)
A special presentation was made to the regatta’s principal organiser, John Hassen, to recognise his contribution.
Nick Jerwood was effusive in his praise for the South of Perth Yacht Club, which hosted the championship and the efforts of race officer Les Swinton, who coped remarkably well with conditions ranging from south westerlies gusting well over 25 knots to shifty easterlies on the final morning to ensure that the full program of races was delivered while keeping competitors safe.
For full results, go to: http://www.topyacht.net.au/results/sopyc/2018/f15states/f15states/series.htm
Travellers tip #1 Boat/equipment stress: “Many people seem to be constantly worried their boat or equipment is not right or their boat is not properly setup. This takes up a good deal of nervous energy and affects enjoyment of sailing. Don’t worry too much about your equipment and boat set up. I recommend you check your boat over at the beginning of the season, replace worn or damaged fittings or rope and then check the boat set up. This is a fairly easy process, there are tuning guides available from the class sail makers and there are always people willing to help if you are not sure you can manage it yourself.
My message is that on smaller water, similar to many of the Waples Wine Series events the legs are fairly short, so differences in equipment and set up have a relatively small impact. The biggest gains can be made by concentrating on sail setting, trim and getting the strategy right rather than radical changes to the equipment. Set the boat up, make sure everything does what it needs to do and then put this out of your mind and concentrate on the things that make the biggest difference”. Helm, David Mckee, ƒƒ4005
Through injury I had to miss the Dinghy Show this year for the first time in…. well, I don’t know how long. It was very snowy in the week and I’m told it might have been a little bit quieter than usual both in terms of visitors and of course, in boats exhibited. Given how horrid the weather had been, a huge ‘well done’ to anyone who got there!
The Flying Fifteen Class had the World Champion boat on display.
I would guess that with much of the fleet now switching over to the new headsail design, there will have been a lot of interest in the new positioning of the jib tracks.
The taller aspect ratio sail gives a chance to try sheeting the jib closer to the centre line. The first trial site was on the onboard face of the vertical side of the seat tank, at the top edge. The traveller cars were not designed for this angle of pressure though and do not run smoothly in this configuration. Thinking has moved on, and Steve has moved his tracks now to the bottom edge of the 45 degree slope as you can see in this picture. Relative to the old track site a couple of inches up the slope the sheet position is a few inches forward.
Tip : I have just had my tracks moved to the same position! Future proofing, hopefully !!
Ever wondered about tank testing of the Flying Fifteen and computer simulation of the same??
Well, click here and take a look!
Your comments will be forwarded to the author, Mike Clapp, at Datchet Water SC, Please click on the “speech bubble” to leave them.
“For those of you who insure your craft through the UKGlobal scheme, your renewal is due on 15 March 2018. Renewal notices have been sent out by UKGlobal, so do check your spam folders! The team at UKGlobal have worked hard to keep premium increases as low as possible against a background of continually rising claims costs and another rise in Insurance Premium Tax (IPT) from 10% to 12%. Premiums are competitive in the marketplace and the scheme continues to offer key benefits to members, as well as an income to UKFFA. For more information, please contact Jerry, Charleigh or Fiona at UKGlobal on 01883 333500.”
Always useful for resolving those “Bar Conversations” !!
Nice photos in this Yachts and Yachting Report
Could be better for some!!
See the UKFFA Announcement by clicking here
- Llangorse 16/17 June (This is also the “Classic and Silver Nationals”!)
- Broxbourne 15/15 July
- South Cerney 8/9 September
- Middle Nene 6/7 October
- A spree of end of season boat-buying has taken the fleet numbers from 3 at the end of 2016 to 13 at the end of 2017. And more interest is being expressed by other so we are hoping for further fleet growth during 2018
- The majority of boats being bought are early gold fleet boats – with sail numbers between 3400 – 3700: built by Ovington, Coryn or Dingwall, relatively cheap but with solid hulls and decks and plenty of life left in them
- We also lost a boat – sunk and written off – number 2552 Ffaux Pas. A 30 year old buoyancy bag burst following a major broach and swamping. No one was hurt but a salutary lesson for all.
- During the season we have been joined by a number of visitors – ex Aldeburgh classic 202 Silver Fox down from Scotland and boats 3181 and 1543 whose helms sail on the River Deben – the next river down the coast in Suffolk, where facilities don’t really work for dry sailing fifteens. We are hoping to coax these two boats into our fleet on a more permanent basis
- We had 8 fifteens compete at the Aldeburgh Classic regatta and the same number (but not all the same boats) at Aldeburgh Regatta week. The 15s had their own class start for the first time in many years at regatta week.
- The 15s have also become the mainstay of the fast handicap fleet at Aldeburgh for weekend racing
- The Aldeburgh Yacht Club has agreed to invest c£8,000 in a new winch to aid dry sailing of the 15s and other fleets, and also implement a potential solution to fix the dropoff at the bottom end of the slipway which makes fifteen recovery at low tide a real pain
- In 2018 we are not intending to host an open meeting but visitors are very welcome to attend the Aldeburgh Classic regatta (June 16-17) and Aldeburgh regatta week (19-25th August). We plan to hold our first open meeting at the earliest in 2019.
- I doubt many Aldeburgh boats will be tempted to travel much elsewhere in the near term, but over time a few may be seen on the circuit.