Australia Reports from the Europeans – Day One ….!!

Report from John Hassen…..!!

We arrived Medemblik yesterday. Kev and Bev flew into Amsterdam on Friday and Leonie and I have put in a couple of big weeks eating and drinking in France in the hope it will be a windy regatta and an old fat bloke is required down at tactical HQ at the back end of the boat.

After rigging the boat yesterday it was a bit late to see if we had got all the bits and pieces in the right spots, so the finally tuned athletes went to the bar to have a few beers courtesy of the Exalted One, Grandpa Grand Pooh Bar ( aka Rookie FFI International President). I am not sure he knows about his shout for everyone but Greg Wells said it was OK to enjoy ourselves which we did.

Over a few Heineken’s Kev and I decided to agree on our regatta training program (in summary it was to get the shopping done with the ladies in the morning and get to the start of the first race before the five minute gun) and to agree on regatta objectives. The regatta objectives were a bit more difficult and so we agreed with 22 top performing boats we should aim for a top 20 finish. Hey if we achieve it we can say we finished in the top 20 boats in a European Championship and not too many other Australian Flying Fifteen sailors could boast such an outcome!.

As the only Australian boat we naturally decided we should aim to be the best performing Australian boat. Another tick! On looking at the entries most have GBR on their sails so we want to beat at least one or two Poms as we are sick and tired of hearing about team GBR. The only other foreigners are people from Spain and Belgium and they look like nice people so we are not sure if they should be targets for team Aussie.

flat stanley and john hassenWe also decided we could do with another crew member and so enlisted the help of “Flat Stanley”. Please see attached photo.

Unfortunately “Flat Stanley” was worth 10 men ashore as he kept trying to help Kev at the gybe mark where we lost 5 places in each of the first two races. We plan on taking the flat man out for some gybe to gibe training before tomorrows races.

We ended up with a 16 and 15 today and had our moments being in the top 5 in race two around the first couple of marks before Flat Stan tried to help Kev with the kite.

Parkstone Winter Series – Race 4….!!

FF from aboveSaturday the 25th of October saw 22 boats on the start line for 2 races. The first race was race 4 of the Parkstone winter series. A great course was set by the Osman family with a good beat followed by 3 nice reaches which resulted in planing in the gusts. Two rounds were sailed. The race started in a Westerly force 4 with the wind oscillating through 15 degrees and a changing tide. The first beat saw both sides of the fleet looking good at different times. At the first mark Crispin Read Wilson and Steve Brown were in the lead and managed to hold this to the end and held off a charging David Tabb and Chewey Sherrell. Graham and Ben Scroggie were third after pulling off a daring mark rounding on the reach to reach mark and stealing at least 6 places.

parkstone race 4 photo 1The second race was a part of the short mini series which is raced on every other weekend. The Osman’s set a good windward leeward course for this. The tide had also changed so inevitably the class saw a general recall. 4 boats were over the line and this resulted in some silence at the finishing line. The race was won convincingly by Bob Alexander and Huw Willetts, 2nd were Chris Gorringe and Nadia Hosie with Adrian Tattersall and Andy Murphy in 3rd.

Parkstone race 4 photo 2It was good to see the last 4 boats in each race only separated by a few seconds showing the close racing all the way through the fleet. We also welcomed back Peter and Jo Allum after Petes leg operation. However it wasn’t so nice for past Commodore Barry Rolf as we looked back to see Pete on Port colliding with Barry who nearly capsized. I’m told the Barry actually got one foot on the keel. All fun and capers here at Parkstone.

Pictures are by Jo Osman.

UKGlobal FF Nationals – Final Day…..!!

UKGlobal Flying Fifteen National Championship – Day 4

All photos ©David Harding,

SailingScenes F15 Nats Day 4-20140708053The winners won in emphatic style: Graham Vials and Chris Turner rattled off six successive bullets to stamp their authority over the rest of the 53-boat fleet at the British Flying Fifteen Nationals sailed from Parkstone Yacht Club, wrapping up the championship with a day to spare.

SailingScenes F15 Nats Day 4-20140708004Among the other top boats, however, there was still plenty of scope for place-changing on the final day. To make life even more interesting, Tuesday brought a major change in conditions. Poole Bay turned off the wind, waves and sparkle and replaced them with a light, fickle breeze, predominantly black skies, flat water and showers.

SailingScenes F15 Nats Day 4-20140708058Going into race 7, Greg Wells and Richard Rigg were lying 2nd overall. They held an eight-point lead over Ian Cadwallader and Dave Sweet, who in turn were three points clear of Richard Lovering and Matthew Alvarado in 4th. A further five points adrift in 5th, Alan Bax and Mark Darling were among those capable of moving up the leader-board should anyone ahead have a bad day.

SailingScenes F15 Nats Day 4-20140708015In the event, all top five positions remained unchanged, but the conditions meant that nothing was certain until the line was crossed. There was so little wind before the scheduled 10:30 first start that PRO Bryan Drake delayed sending the boats out. Then a light westerly filled in allowing a start to be attempted, only for much of the fleet to jump the gun and force a general recall.

SailingScenes F15 Nats Day 4-20140708085Over the next 90 minutes or so the wind came and went, clocking left and right and generally making life as difficult as could be. Another general recall and two abandoned starts later, racing finally got under way just after 1pm in a breeze that was still far from convincing.

Getting to grips with the situation straight away were Cadwallader and Sweet, rounding the windward mark with a comfortable lead. Behind them were Martin Lewis and Mike Riley, Crispin Read-Wilson with Steve Brown and then Wells/Rigg.

Choosing the right-hand side up the next beat of the windward/leeward course, Wells and Rigg closed in on the boats ahead, as did Mark and Ben Longstaff. On the second run the wind clocked so far to the left that it became more of a broad reach and the next beat would have been a one-leg lay had PRO Bryan Drake not moved the weather mark.
By now Cadwallader and Sweet had what proved to be an unassailable lead, but a faltering breeze down the final run led to more than the occasional anxious moment for some and to a few place changes as boats were rolled over by those behind. In the end, Team Longstaff just pipped Wells and Rigg by about half a boat-length, with Read-Wilson 4th and Andy McKee/Rich Jones 5th.

As if to say ‘that’s it’, the clouds then shed their load to give everyone a good soaking as they headed for home.

SailingScenes F15 Nats Day 4-20140708101With boats packed away back at the club, it was time for the daily prize-giving, the major offering being a jib from Hyde. There were vouchers from P&B and Harken goody-bags too, as well as jackets from Hudson Wight for the overall winners, which Vials and Turner decided should go to the French team of Jean-Yves Renault and Jean-Yves Martens.
Other sponsors helping make the event possible were Dave Tabb’s Mar-Key group, Flying Fifteen builders Ovington, WebCollect, who managed the on-line entry, Poole Harbour Commissioners and, of course, the title sponsors, UKGlobal, who administer the class insurance scheme.

SailingScenes F15 Nats Day 2-20140706406So that’s it for the nationals 2014 – a great success for a highly competitive class that’s in rude health and will certainly be returning to Parkstone in the not-too-distant future.
Top six positions overall
1 4004 Graham Vials/Chris Turner 1-1-1-1-1-1 6pts
2 4030 Greg Wells/Richard Rigg 2-(12)-2-2-8-2-3 19pts
3 4014 Ian Cadwallader/Dave Sweet 4-(9)-5-7-2-6-1 25pts
4 3955 Richard Lovering/Matthew Alvarado 5-2-4-3-11-11-(25) 36pts
5 3998 Alan Bax/Mark Darling 8-3-7-(19)-5-7-11 41pts
6 4005 Andy McKee/Rich Jones 12-10-(25)-8-4-3-5 42pts

(If, like me, you are having technical trouble viewing the full results table, then try checking on the Y&Y website by clicking here… Ed)

Hong Kong Worlds – Day One Report…..!!

Flying 15 World Championships 2013With typhoon Krosa meandering east to west below the coast of China and threatening to disrupt the sailing programme for the worlds, Race Officer Jerry Rollin wasted no time today in informing competitors that his intention was to try and fit in two races if at all possible, as an insurance against the possible postponement of tomorrow’s racing in the event of a T3 being raised.

Flying 15 World Championships 2013The Nationals were designed to acclimatise overseas sailors to Lamma conditions, however after four days of racing with a pleasant easterly and barely any swell, today’s conditions reflected the imminent typhoon giving a NNE breeze and a 3m swell which set a completely different test for sailors and boats.

Having learned lessons from the Nationals, the 51-strong fleet was circumspect at the start of Race 1 and no recalls were required. A sign of a well laid course is whether the boats split evenly up the left and right Flying 15 World Championships 2013and, in spite of the Hong Kong mantra ‘go left at Lamma’ the fleet was pretty much split 50/50 for the first leg, El Toro taking 15 minutes to round, ahead of Foof and Aussie Falcon. At the end of the first spinnaker run, Steve Goacher had moved up into third behind Alderson and Vials ahead of a procession of ‘Fifteens and these places stayed static for another lap until Foof moved into the lead with Nick and Janet Jerwood moving up into fourth.

The conditions took their toll with one dismasting, one broken spinnaker pole, one broken vang and a MOB resulting in only 46 boats making the start line for race 2.

Flying 15 World Championships 2013With conditions picking up, together with four damaged boats, Vamoose decided to call it a day in order to preserve the 50 year-old timber classic for the remainder of the regatta. Rollins looked at the deteriorating conditions and gave the remaining fleet a quick restart in 22kts gusting to 25 – once again, they recorded a clean start and racing was underway.

Flying 15 World Championships 2013This time it was David Lavery on who took the early lead to the top mark, followed by El Toro and Foof. Lavery maintained his advantage on the downwind leg, only to be passed by El Toro and Foof at the next windward mark.

By the end of the second lap, Foof led through the gate with El Toro and in her wake, with Alan Bax and the Jerwoods battling it out behind with the final results showing Bax finishing fourth, 20 seconds ahead of Ineffable.

Flying 15 World Championships 2013The gap between the top ten boats is averaging 3 minutes over a 75 minute race, so this is shaping up to be an extremely competitive series, with Graham Vials starting a perfect defence of his title.

Full results with elapsed times can be seen by clicking here.

Tracking of a selection of the top performing boats can be viewed by clicking here

tacktracker logo

All photos ©Image: RHKYC/ Guy Nowell

Typhoon permitting, the 19th International Flying Fifteen World Championship will continue tomorrow, Sunday 3 November.