Great Fleet Progress at Aldeburgh …..!!

As the Aldeburgh Flying 15 fleet has now completed its first year of revival, I thought I would send round for information a brief report to highlight what has happened and plans for the coming year.
  • 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.
May I thank everyone for their support and good wishes over the last year.
Kind regards
Nick Barker
AYC F15 Fleet Convenor

Phoenix Arrives at Aldeburgh !!!! ….. Eleven FF’s this year from a Standing Start …!!

By way of background, I sailed a Fifteen (3273)  back in the 90s at Aldeburgh , when the fleet numbered up to 30 boats. Family life brought that era to an end, and I sailed a laser, crewed intermittently in RS400s, dragons etc and spent countless hours driving safety boats and coaching kids.  Last autumn I finally got to the point of buying a boat and decided the only option I really fancied was a Fifteen, but the fleet had dwindled to 3 intermittently sailed boats.  So I started (politely) hassling other sailors, and evidently there was latent demand, as 5 boats have been purchased, 3 boats have come out of long term storage, and there is also a boat restoration project underway.
The boats are mainly silver fleet, with the odd classic and some just above the silver cutoff.  3487 is the newest (1994).  Hopefully before long we will be able to get some class racing going.  It is all very low key – I don’t think the Aldeburgh fleet are going to be travelling seriously anytime soon, but would be delighted to welcome anyone who fancied making the trip to Aldeburgh.
There is currently no Fifteen Open meeting planned,  but there are two events in the calendar which could interest other Fifteen sailors,
  • a Classics Regatta weekend on 10-11th June – see http://www.aldeburghyc.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/Classic-Boat-Poster.pdf.  ( Ignore the advertised cutoff of 1985 – the organisers have stretched the entry criteria for 15s to ‘any boat not in its first flush of youth’ to include the mid 90s boat at Aldeburgh).  At last years event Bobby Salmond brought FF202 Silver Fox – a boat with a great Aldeburgh history – and won the keelboat class.
  • Aldeburgh Regatta Week (20–25th August) where we should have a class start in the morning and handicap racing in the afternoon.
Racing at Aldeburgh is on a tidal river, camping is available plus plenty of accommodation locally and attractions for non sailors in the town.  Aldeburgh Yacht Club website is http://www.aldeburghyc.org.uk.
I’d be grateful for any publicity you could give these events as we’d be delighted to welcome visitors.
All the best
Nick Barker
07917 573600