FLYING FIFTEEN OPEN MEETING AT ALDEBURGH YACHT CLUB
6TH– 7THJuly 2019
Part of the Southern Travellers Series
For the first time since 2004 the F15 fleet at Aldeburgh Yacht Club hosted an open weekend on the tidal River Alde. Appropriately fifteen 15s took part. Seven locals were delighted to be joined by eight visiting boats from Broxbourne, Bewl, Datchet, Grafham, Draycote and Ipswich (RORC).
On the Saturday afternoon, Race Officer Robert Mulcahy took advantage of the high tide to run 2 excellent windward/ leeward races upriver on the tidal flats at Blackheath. Light and shifty conditions led to close and interesting racing. In the first race Pip Hudson and Steve Stewart (3889) from Broxbourne mastered the conditions to win comfortably from local boat True Luff (3844) – Duncan Matthew and John Chalker – with a special mention to Jerry and Charlie Young who sailed their Silver Fleet boat Ffully Focussed (3139) into 4thplace on the water.
In the second race, following a delay to reposition marks as the wind shifted to the right, Grafham sailors Tim O’Brien and Colin Ferra in Ffoxy Lady (4042) put behind them their 13thplace from Race 1 to win, ahead of Datchet’s John Hanson and Helen Selden (3954), with the first two boats from race 1 coming third and fourth respectively. The steady drizzle and dying wind put paid to any chances of a third race and the fleet followed the tide back downriver to the AYC clubhouse – for plentiful drinks and an informal dinner.
The following morning, with racing set to take place at low tide and in a north easterly wind, Robert took the start boat downriver to Blackstakes where the bend in the river allowed a decent windward/leeward course to be set for two further races. A short start line dictated by the narrowness of the river led to general recalls in both races, whilst the change from an ebb to flood tide saw differing conditions in each race. Pip Hudson and Steve Stewart showed the way again in the third race but were convincingly pipped into second place in the fourth race by John Hanson and Helen Seldon.
However, Pip and Steve had done enough to win the Ratcliff Trophy from John and Helen, with top local boat True Luff in third.
In the silver/classics section, the Flamingo Tankard was won by locals Jerry and Charlie Young in Ffully Focussed (3139) ahead of Broxbourne’s Brian Turner and Jackie Burns in Windcheetah (3031).
Thanks again to Race Officer Robert Mulcahy, ably assisted by Caroline Donsworth for the whole weekend, and a big shout out for the youngest sailor in the fleet,16-year-old Freddie Fulford, who said he “mostly enjoyed” sailing with his Dad.
For the full set of results see:
Next photo ©Robert Mulcahy