Twin Spiro Fly Aways…..!

We have a team at our club experimenting with twin Spiro poles.  At the Show, Bill Chard had a very thoughtful set up which was attracting lots of attention.

This photo shows the guts of it, and the photo below shows you the very neat detailing at the mast gate controls.

At the back of the boom, of course, there’s a lot of elastic to fit in.



Dinghy Show Boat ….!!

Went to the Dinghy Show yesterday.  A great day actually!!

On the stand we had Coweslip, looking… well… Royal…!!  It was obviously very different back then – no toe straps for the helmsman, and one strap for the crew!

Of more technical interest was the new boat – 4047 fitted out by P&B.  In fact, I think it was Alan’s most recent boat and may be on the market if you want it!!

As such, it was in reasonably standard P&B trim but did have some interesting kit in a couple of places.


We first saw adjustable bridles of this kind a couple of years ago on Graham and Chris’ boat.  It certainly caused a lot of discussion on the stand.  Many people seemed to wonder how often you’d use it, but I must say when I asked Graham the same thing he said “most outings”.  Interesting.

I like the cutaway in the jib turning block carrier too.


Perhaps of more interest was that the boat was rigged with the new jib.  At first, lots of people didn’t even notice (!).  Alan though has moved to a twin track jib car system as we commonly used to have some years ago.

The emphasis here might be to have a track right on the inboard edge so as to have the ability to sheet it closer to the centre line.  Apparently Geoff Bayliss’ new boat has something similar (I’ve not seen it though), with both cars in place.  I must admit when we used to have two parallel plunger type tracks we used them a lot.   I had the opportunity to ask Richard Lovering of Hyde Sails what He thought of sheeting the new jib closer to the centre line, Richard said that the new sail caused a lot of that effect anyway – as the centre of fullness is much further forward now it might anyway set a couple of inches further inboard.  I think Richard said he might have to think about redesigning the main to match.

There was more than one conversation on the stand that maybe the old jib would be quicker in the light. If so, it’ll be hard to tell anyway!!

Phil Evans was telling me that he has come up with a smart little “two length” jib halyard idea, so that owners can easily interchange between the two sails.  That’s the way to go for me, I suspect.


This photo was mainly to illustrate two points:-

(i) the boat wasn’t rigged fully for its spinnaker.  It had a chute cover, but no sock in the cockpit. Interesting.  No bags either.  Perhaps they stuff the sail back under the foredeck as per “FooF”.

(ii) The protest flag.  Now most dinghies have been relieved of the obligation to carry a protest flag, but at 20 feet, if I recall correctly we are obliged to carry one.  But how many of us do??   Followers of the World Championship reports will know that it was eventually decided in the protest room and that the two main protagonists both flew their Code B, little red flags.

I wonder what happened to mine?  I’d better order up another from P&B…!!





The Dinghy Show is Almost Here ….!!

To kick start our 70th Anniversary year on an even #KEEL, we call upon all club members who sail International Flying Fifteen, or all keelboat sailors, to join us at RYA Suzuki Dinghy Show 4th & 5th March. You will discover how UK Flying Fifteen Association has built a reputation for ‘The most fun you can have with a keel on!’

We are indebted to many #flying15 members, especially the support of the Solent Fleet from Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club, to be able to announce that after many years Coweslip shall be on our
#standC2. The #Flying15 was designed & built by #UffaFox, #Coweslip was first presented to His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh who sailed it for many years. It was launched at Uffa’s yard 6 Jun 1949. Coweslip will be taking pride of place alongside GBR4047, an Ovington built boat owned by Ian Pinnell from Pinnell & Bax. Ian is a new comer to our fleet GBR4047 will be show casing the #NewSailPlan.

  •   Come an meet the team who made this happened and hear their stories and snippets;
  •   see footage of the past 7 decades, right up to hearing their updates and progress on the Southern Area Championship plans this July marking the anniversary celebrations
  •   Gain insights from one of our boat services expert Phil Evans from Royal Windermere Yacht Club, a past World champion crew, who will share his secrets and tips of the best way to fit

out a boat on Saturday
 discover where you #canSail a #flying15 to

exploring the depth of different series open to all levels of sailors, may it be get racing, up to joining the start line at next National Championship at Royal Cornwall Yacht Club, Falmouth, 27th – 30th September

We plan to host a live updates from the new #WorldChampions team from Napier SC, #NewZealand on Sunday 5th March, where we have a strong GBR team competing, fingers

crossed. We have a whole host of sailors merging from reservoirs, Estuaries, Loch, Harbour, Sea sailors coming from across the UK to help man the stand. Join us & discover the truth of what Greg Wells our past Commodore of FFI said, what makes our class so special? “We are like a family.” Stand managers Sue Bannister and Keith Jamieson are looking forward welcoming you to our stand.

With thanks to His Royal Highness The Duke of Edinburgh and Royal Collection Trust for the loan of Coweslip.

Sue Bannister

UKFFA Stand Manager

Dinghy Show Video Tour of the FFs….!!

For those of you who may have been unable to attend the FF stand at the Dinghy Show this year, we have put together a short video tour of the two Flying Fifteens on the Stand.

There were some great ideas on the World Champion boat to chew over, but some super innovations on Justin Waples new FF too.

To view it, go to the Members’ Area of the UK Flying Fifteen Association website and click on “FF Insight Zone”.  You have to be logged in with your member sign on to enter the Insight Zone or even see the tab.  If you haven’t already got your login code, then contact the Association secretary to get one.

You can get straight to the FF Insight Zone by clicking here.

Dinghy Show Highlights – Make a Note…!!

cropped-vials-and-turner-spi-reaching1.jpgWe’ll have two boats on the stand as usual.  One will be the World Champion boat (4004) from Graham Vials and Chris Turner, rigged with a P&B rig on an Alto section mast.  The second boat will be the latest from Phil Evans’ workshop and rigged with Goacher Sails.

At the Show, we hope to have double World Champion, Chris Turner, of Ovington Boats on the stand both days for a Q&A session at around 2pm.

We also have our sponsors, UKGlobal,  awarding the 2013 Ranking Trophies at around 3pm on the Saturday.

Sounds great !!  See you there !!

Dinghy Show – Get in Free !!

….by Volunteering a shift on the FF Stand….!!!

We are again running a stand at the RYA Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace on the 1st and 2nd March.

We would really appreciate some volunteers to help run the stand on both Saturday and Sunday, the Sunday crew would need to help de-rig the stand.

We could also do with a little help for Friday to help us build up for part of the day.

If you can help please email the secretary at or use the contact page from the website.

Volunteers will get a free two day pass for the show which usually allows concessions at certain food outlets, you can also get in early and if you have an exhibitor pass entry to the show party on Sat night.



Dinghy Show Chat Number 1….!!

There were some pretty interesting ideas to see on our Dinghy Show Stand this year.  Did you go??  No worries if you didn’t as we’ll do a series of news items to tell all.


Probably the most easy to miss, because the action was way above us in the Hall, were the two mainsails.  Both Goacher and P&B mains were sporting roughly double the number of seams from the hounds upward.  You might miss it on the Goacher main above (white stitching), but P&B kindly did the stitching in black. Here it is….


“Now what’s the idea of that?”, I hear you cry!!  Well, I asked Class Legend, Steve Goacher.  He described it as the threepenny bit problem. Sailcloth is flat of course, and it’s only the seams that bring shape – like the corners on the coin.  (think of the old threepenny bit).  So the idea is that if you have more seams, especially up top where the sail tends to flatten, you might induce more shape.  As Steve rushed to point out, there would be a practical limit to the number of seams – weight, labour cost etc. Plus each time you put a seam in you induce a tiny error and the errors add up!

I know Charles Apthorp has been experimenting with this idea during his winter training at Datchet – and likes the result.

I took a moment to ask Richard Lovering from Hydes about it, and he seemed non-plussed! Then he went and won all five races against staggering competition at the Datchet Open on his new design!!


Flying Fifteens at the Dinghy Show….!!

The Flying Fifteens will have a great stand at the Dinghy Show this Year.  In a break from the normal format, this year we shall have two top-notch, brand new boats at the Show – one from each of the UK’s leading suppliers. Multiple World Champions, Steve Goacher and Phil Evans will have their 2013 Ovington carbon beauty on display, prepared and fitted out by Phil for the campaign to this year’s Worlds in Hong Kong. P&B will have one of their latest examples for us to see their thinking for the coming year. We hope both Alan Bax and Steve Goacher will visit the stand during Saturday.

The Class has launched a new aggressively priced 2013 insurance scheme in conjunction with the Association’s Insurance Partner, UK Global. The stand should have representatives from UK Global in attendance pretty much throughout the weekend.  Come along and discuss your FF insurance requirements with them – and get a quotation on the day. The Insurance deal is even better for Association members, so don’t forget to ask about joining up at the Stand!

The stand will be staffed throughout the weekend by passionate FF sailors and leading stars of the Class, who will be able to talk to you about any aspect of the boat and about the terrific Flying Fifteen Fleet Racing Scene in the UK.

Phil Evans Console Layout….

The Stand at the Dinghy Show was graced by the new carbon boat that Phil Evans has put together for Chris Waples.

Phil is still fitting his superby engineered console which gives you 360 degree coverage of key controls from around the cockpit. We’ve had it on our last two fifteens and it works superbly.

You will see in the photo (click to enlarge) that Phil now has an extra line coming up the front of the console. It uses the same self cleating principle. It’s the cunningham control. Previously sited on the forward port cleat, this location is now taken by a single line which controls both jib cars. (Yellow line) Very neat….

Flying Fifteens at the Dinghy Show…

From time to time, Keith Jamieson kindly circulates material from the RYA.  A few days ago it was this very good website about the Dinghy Show at Alexandra Palace – in just a few weekends time. See the link at the end of this item…

On the Flying Fifteen Stand we can expect two boats – one brand new Ovi, and also Keith’s own Evans/Goacher boat to show how great the Mk IX’s can look.  The Datchet Fleet are planning to help staff the FF stand and scour the visitors for people who might try our Datchet FF Trial Sail program…  If you would be interested in giving a hand, contact Philip Tinsley, Adam Mangan, John Hanson or Mike Firth….. The more the better in my view…. If you we don’t bring back a handful of scalps, there’s going to be trouble from the VC…