The Draycote Sprint ….!!

Flying Fifteen Sprint – Draycote Water Sailing Club

The 2014 Flying Fifteen Season Finale took place on Saturday 18th October and what a finale it was! Competitors for the Draycote Sprint Open sponsored by Mercure Brandon Hall Hotel and Spa, were greeted with excellent sailing conditions especially for October! 18 degrees, sunshine and force 4 to 6 south westerly winds, marvellous! Competitors included 5 of the Top 10 from UK NationalsOne of the home teams was Iain Christie & Simon Roberts in GBR797, its first outing in winds over ten knots since its fantastic restoration by Iain.

With an undetermined number of races to be sailed and with each race to last around 30 minutes, Richard Pye (Principle Race Officer) and his team commenced the racing on schedule at Midday and set an excellent windward/leeward course, with a leeward gate. This led to some close and exciting finishes with places being won and lost on the line.

The first race saw a clean start and with the fleet keeping close together, Greg Wells & Richard Rigg popped out in front to lead round the first mark only then to forget about the hitch mark. By the time they realised and went back, they were at the back of the fleet. This left three boats to battle it out over the next three laps, Richard Lovering & Matt Alvarado, Ian Cadwallader & Nick Stone and the home team of Jeremy Davy & Martin Huett. After a close finish Richard & Matt crossed the line first followed by Jeremy & Martin from Ian & Nick. The rest of the fleet closely followed with the exception of Iain & Simon who got into trouble after jibing and thus filled the boat with water. As we all know classic boats are not good at removing water quickly. After much bailing, they finally got ashore. Unfortunately they missed the next race but did manage to start the third race only for the main halyard to break.

Race two quickly followed with Richard & Matt repeating the result of the first race this time followed home by Greg & Richard making amends for their seventh place in the first race, with Jeremy & Martin in third. A twenty minute on the water break was then taken to allow the competitors to recover mentally as well as physically! It felt more like five!

Race three saw the emergence of the home boats, and after the first beat three had broken away from the main fleet, Jeremy & Martin in front followed by Simon Patterson & Simon Thompson with Kevin Holliday & Richard Glen in third. And this is how they finished with both Simon & Simon and Kevin & Richard recording their best result of the event. Race 4was a repeat of Race 1 with Richard & Matt, Ian & Nick and Jeremy & Martin battling it out at the front, however the final result was completely different with Jeremy & Martin in first, Ian & Nick in second and Richard & Matt in third.

Race 5 and another clean start but for once Jeremy & Martin had a poor first beat which they never managed to recover from and recorded their worst finish so far being fourth. Meanwhile, Greg & Richard joined Richard & Matt and Ian & Nick up front but only could manage third with Ian & Nick taking their first victory. By now, tiredness was starting to set in both mentally and physically but luckily the wind was starting to ease.Only eight teams stayed out to compete in what they hoped would be the final race but it was the usual suspects up front which Jeremy & Martin recording their third win, followed by Richard & Matt and Ian & Nick. Once all the fleet had finished, the PRO decided there was plenty of time to hold one more race. So, after six thirty minute races, Jeremy & Martin led Richard & Matt by just one point. Not that anyone had any idea what the scores were by that stage!

Race 7 and another clean start (making six out of seven and even then only one team was over the line) which again saw the top three teams overall battling it out all the way up the first beat this timed joined by Richard Hope & Mike Stenson. Unfortunately Richard & Mike could not match the pace of the front three and at 5.00pm finished in fourth, one place ahead of Simon and Simon who ended up finishing fourth overall. Finishing just in front of Richard & Mike in third was Ian and Nick to take third overall. This left Jeremy & Martin and Richard & Matt to fight it out at the front with the winner takes all. In the end, after five hours of racing, Jeremy & Martin prevailed thus defending their title winning the Gifford Trophy, leaving Richard & Matt in second overall.   Despite recording two retirements and five did not starts, Iain & Simon won the Full Frontal Trophy and the FFalcon Cup, much to their surprise! So congratulations to Jeremy and Martin.

Our thanks go to Mike Stenson and Mercure Hotels for sponsoring the event and providing some of the best prizes on the circuit. Thanks also go to Richard Pye and the Miracle fleet for running this fantastic event. We look forward to hosting the event next year and welcoming more visitors to take part in this unique event on the open meeting calendar.


Richard Hope

Event Organiser


Full results click here

Season Finale – Draycote Sprint Coming Up…!!

The Flying Fifteen “Sprint” – The End-of-Season Finale at Draycote Water SC

This Saturday (18th October 2014) Draycote Water Sailing Club will host the Flying Fifteen “Sprint” – the grand finale to the 2014 Flying Fifteen season!

This popular fixture on the Flying Fifteen calendar attracts the very best FF racers in the World and the following are already confirmed entries for the 2014 event:

  • Greg Wells and Richard Rigg (winners of the last two European Championships);
  • Charles Apthorpe (2001 World Champion);
  • Simon Kneller (2012 National Champion); and
  • Richard Lovering and Matt Alverado (2013 top-ranked FF team).

The Sprint is the last opportunity for FF sailors to earn 2014 National Ranking points and, with everything still to play for in each of the ranking categories, the event should prove to be an exciting climax to a fantastic FF season. As the fleet prepares for the 2015 World Championships in France, turnouts at FF events are on the up and the 2014 Sprint is expected to be the biggest yet!

his unique event requires the Race Team to run as many short 45-minute races as possible between 12pm and the deadline of 5pm. The quality of the fleet is always of the highest order as the top crews turn up to pit their wits against their rivals in an attempt to be crowned as the UK’s best FF team in the shorter Sprint format. As one top FF sailor explained, “If the Flying Fifteen Nationals are a Test Match, the Sprint is a T-20 Bash!”

The Sprint will again be sponsored by Mercure Hotels.


The ‘Big Guns’ confirm their entries to the FF ‘Sprint’….!!

“The current European Champion, Greg Wells, and past-World Champion, Charles Apthorpe, have already confirmed their entries for the the fast-approaching end-of-season FF finale at Draycote Water.

The Draycote “Sprint” will be held on Saturday 18 October and is now firmly ensconced as the traditional climax to the FF racing season. The “Sprint” format continues to capture the imagination of the top FF crews who enjoy the challenge of pitting their wits against their rivals in the shorter-form racing format. As one top FF sailor explained, “If the FF Nationals is a Test Match, the ‘Sprint’ is a T20 Bash!”

As with previous years, the PRO will run as many short (40-45 minute) races as possible during the day but with no races starting after the 5pm cut-off. The winners will take home the Gifford Trophy, valuable National Ranking points and the glory of knowing they are the UK’s top crew in the short-form ‘Sprint’ format! The event will again be sponsored by Mercure Hotels.

If you fancy your chances against the best FF sailors in the World in this unique format, then make sure you’re on the start line next month. It’s going to be a big one!



The 2013 Draycote Sprint…..!!

Five visiting teams (from Llangorse, Datchet, Northampton & Hayling Island) joined eight home teams to compete in the final domestic event of the year, being the Draycote Sprint Open sponsored by Mercure Hotels.  Weather conditions were perfect, warm, dry, occasional sun and winds varying between 10 – 18 knots with enough shifts to make both the beats and runs challenging.  Racing commenced on schedule with six races consisting of windward/leeward courses being completed.

The first race saw a clean start with the home team of Richard Hope & Mike Stenson using local knowledge to keep right up the first beat to lead round the windward mark from the fleet president Jeremy Davy (Hayling Island) sailing with Martin Huett (Draycote) followed  Martin’s father, Geoff with Keith Snow in third place. Teams Hope/Stenson & Davy/Huett then pulled away from the fleet with Davy/Huett taking over the lead by the leeward mark.  Their lead grew over the next two laps with third place changing hands nearly on every leg. Finally, at the end of lap three, another home team, Simon Patterson & and our webmaster, Simon Thompson came through to take third.  Race two again saw teams Davy/Huett and Hope/Stenson slowly pull away from the fleet with Davy/Huett leading round the first mark. In third this time was Northampton’s Chris & Marion Bowen.  Four laps later and the positions remained unaltered despite team Hope/Stenson hitting the leeward mark on lap three.

A twenty minute on the water break was then taken to allow the competitors to recover mentally as well as physically!  Race three saw another clean start with team Davy/Huett again leading the way, a lead they would comfortably hold for all three laps.  The next three places saw three Draycote boats battling it out.  Eventually Steve Cooper & Anna Day broke free to comfortably finish in second, a vast improvement on their 9th and 5th places in the first two races, with team Patterson/Thompson narrowly beating team Hope/Stenson into third.  With the wind staying fairly constant, the race officer was able to get race four underway promptly and it was no surprise to see team Davy/Huett again leading from start to finish however they were pushed right to the end by Charles Apthorp and Jonathan Clark. Behind the leading pair, a battle royal was taking place between three teams, Bowen/Bowen, Hope/Stenson and Cooper/Day, with positions changing on a regular basis. Hope/Stenson looked to have secured third until their spinnaker sheet got jammed in the pole on the final gybe allowing team Bowen/Bowen to take third from team Cooper/Day.

Race 5 brought the most competitive race of the day with positions regularly changing as the fleet remained closely packed.  Team Apthorp/Clark continued their good form from race 4 to lead after the first lap closely from Davy/Huett.  However, by the end of lap 2, team Bowen/Bowen had taken over the lead only to see team Apthorp/Clarke take it back on the final beat and then to hold onto it take the race win. Having been in seventh rounding the windward mark for the final time, team Cooper/Day went left down the final run, found their own piece of wind, and eventually caught team Bowen/Bowen & team Davy/Huett, and having the inside position on the final mark, they took second place which they held to the finish, with team Bowen/Bowen in third.

So going into what turn out to be the last race (not that any of the competitors knew it at the time), team Davy/Huett had a ten point lead but with all races counting, they still had to finish the last race.  The home team of Hope/Stenson was three points in front of teams Apthorp/Clarke & Bowen/Bowen, who in turn were one point in front of Cooper/Day.  So pressure on!

Another clean start (making six out of six) which saw the top five overall boats battling it out all the way up the first beat. Indeed, the top five teams were the first five boats at the end of lap one.  Rounding in fifth was team Bowen/Bowen, but that as high as they got as eventually they ended up seventh to finish fifth overall.  Rounding in fourth was team Apthorp/Clarke but was starting to fall back from the leading three teams and eventually they finish fourth thus giving them fourth overall.  Rounding in third was team Davy/Huett who then managed to pass team Hope/Stenson up the next beat but could not manage to catch the leader so finished in second place to take the event overall.  Team Cooper/Day calmly kept their lead and took the final race.  However this was only good enough for third overall, as team Hope/Stenson finished comfortably in third place to take second overall.  The first silver boat winning the Full Frontal Trophy went to Draycote’s fleet captain, Pete Slater, crewed by Tim Case and the first classic boat winning the Falcon Cup went to John Craddock and Paul Kendall from Llangorse.  Congratulations to Jeremy Davy and Martin Huett for winning the Gifford Trophy.

Our thanks go to Mercure Hotels for sponsoring the event and to Alistair Jones and the Miracle for running the event and we look forward to hosting the event next year.

Click here for the full results

Richard Hope

Online Entry Form for The Draycote Sprint……!!

I have set up an online entry form for the coming DWSC Mini Open. I wondered if you could pass it around to your contacts. Obviously it is not obligatory to enter in advance and no payment is taken, we will welcome people on the day but it may help us have an idea of numbers.
Hope to see you,

Rodger Webb

Goacher and Evans Take the Draycote Sprint…!!!

Twenty competitors at the Draycote Sprint!  Steve Goacher and Phil Evans scored a great victory (3,1,3,1,3), with Greg Wells and Mark Darling in second (a very close thing – compare the scorelines for yourselves!), and BIFFA President Jeremy Davy and Tom Hall in third.

Full report later !!

Click here for the full results

Three Past World Champs Go To The Draycote Sprint….!!

Rupert Mander, ex-FF World Champ, is going to be competing in the event. Rupert is rarely seen in a FF these days due to work and family commitments, but has dusted down his boat and has even been seen practising at Draycote in preparation for the Sprint! That means there will be at least 3 ex-World Champions competing at the event!

Jeremy Davy

BIFFA President

Coming to the Draycote Sprint Next Week….??

Please remember that the first ever ‘Sprint’ Event in the FF will take place at Draycote on Saturday 20 Oct – see BIFFA website for details.
The one day format means no requirement to arrange overnight accommodation, although entrants are invited to join club racing on Sunday if they wish. The racing format will be new to the FF with 45 min races and the number of races will be limited by time I.e. We’ll squeeze in as many as the time limit will allow.
Our new National Champions have confirmed that they are ‘up for it’ and are keen to see if they can win under this format as well, so I have thrown the gauntlet down to the likes of Greg, Steve, Charles etc to see how they fare!  And Steve says he is coming!!!!  Greg is coming !!!   I have also challenged the 2011 World Champions to beg, borrow or steal a boat to compete! It’s one not to miss and I hope you will come along too.
See you on the 20th Oct!

Jeremy Davy

BIFFA President

And Now Russell Peters is Up for “The Sprint”…..!!

If  I can continue my promotional theme of announcing some high profile entries at the Draycote Sprint… Russell Peters (multi-class champion) who joined the FF fleet to compete in the 2011 Worlds (where he finished 5th) but then sold his boat, has confirmed that he intends to borrow a boat and make a guest appearance for this one event.  Russell was also 2nd at the 2011 Nationals, which means that the entire Top 5 at last year’s Nationals are all confirmed entries!
Jeremy Davy
BIIFA President