Nationals Day Three – Full Report….!!

UKGlobal Flying Fifteen National Championship – Day 3

All photos ©David Harding,

SailingScenes F15 Nats Day 3-20140707615For those who have been following the British Flying Fifteen nationals from afar, the news from Monday is…more of the same: more superb sailing conditions in Poole Bay, more top-rate race management, more happy sailors returning ashore for a lively and sociable evening at Parkstone Yacht Club, and two more bullets for the unstoppable Graham Vials and Chris Turner, who made it a clean sweep and secured the championship with a day to spare.

SailingScenes F15 Nats Day 3-20140707499It wasn’t exactly as though somebody had hit the repeat button from Sunday, however. The 11-15 knots of wind had a little more south in it to start with and, for the day’s first race, the tide was still running to the west, carrying the fleet towards the line. That might have contributed to the two general recalls. After the first, PRO Bryan Drake broke out the U flag. After the second it was a case of no more grace: black-flag time. The fleet responded and the third start was clean with no boats suffering the ignominy of a BFD.
Having been one of the most consistent teams in the first four races, it was turn of Ian Cadwallader and Dave Sweet to lead around the windward mark, ahead of Irish visitors John Lavery and David O’Brien. Vials and Turner were in fourth, but no one was surprised to see them start to pick off the boats in front of them around the triangle, sausage, triangle course. Cadwallader and Sweet kept them in their rear-view mirrors all the way to the last gybe mark and for most of the final shy reach to the finish, only to see the red spinnaker of 4004 sneaking past just yards from the line.

SailingScenes F15 Nats Day 3-20140707484For race 6 – started under a black flag after another general recall – the breeze had rocked to the right and a few rapid shifts up the beat caught out the unwary. Playing them to good effect and leading around the weather mark were Andy McKee and Rich Jones, who were finding their form after a trying start to the championship. They lost a trailer wheel on their way down from Manchester and arrived on the back of an AA truck more than 18 hours after setting off, just making the start of the first race on Saturday and sailing for the first two days with a damaged keel. Catching up on sleep and performing minor sugary to the boat had an effect in the form of a fourth in race 5 and a third in race 6, in which they were overtaken only by the relentless Vials and Turner and by the oh-so-consistent Greg Wells and Richard Rigg, who notched up their fourth 2nd place.

SailingScenes F15 Nats Day 3-20140707475The highlights of the day for most were the reaches, especially the second of each triangle which was about as shy as it could be for a spinnakering leg. With waves to play with and sunshine to add sparkle to the spray, these were reaches to remember.

SailingScenes F15 Nats Day 3-20140707464Top six positions after day 3

1 4004 Graham Vials/Chris Turner (1)-1-1-1-1 5pts
2 4030 Greg Wells/Richard Rigg 2-(12)-2-2-8-2 18pts
3 4014 Ian Cadwallader/Dave Sweet 4-(9)-5-7-2-6 24pts
4 3955 Richard Lovering/Matthew Alvarado 5-2-4-3-(11)-11 25pts
5 3998 Alan Bax/Mark Darling 8-3-7-(19)-5-7 30pts
6 3780 Jeremy Davy/Martin Huett 9-4-(20)-13-3-8 37pts

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All photos ©David Harding,