The “Non Traveller Series”…..!!

Do you read the Andy Rice column in Yachts and Yachting??  I must say, in the ever widening brief of the magazine, Andy’s piece of one of the few pieces I still hang on to and dash to read it first.

He does some pretty thoughtful stuff and this month (December but labelled January) majors on the importance of your home fleet versus constant travelling.  It’s a subject we’ve wondered about long and hard in these times of spiralling costs.

He ends this month’s column by wondering about inter club rivalry and whether you could do something in a Region or Nationally using sailwave to combine results from various fleets – without travelling…. Of course, he says that weather conditions would vary but rightly says it would even out over long series.

Then there is the issue that it is easier to get podium grade results in a small fleet than ina large fleet.  Well, how about inverting the points so if you win ina 20 boat fleet you get 20 points and so on…. Would that crack it??


By the way, BIFFA is going to try a ranking table alongside the worlds qualifiers list. It is designed and run by Tom Waples. It’s aimed at developing a UK Ranking for our teams, and differentiates between small and large events and so on. Plus, unlike the qualifiers the more events you attend the more you rise up the table. Big events get different multipliers to little events and Tom starts out from there…..

Y&Y Keelboat Review….!!

A while ago I was lucky enough to get a weekend sailing from the San Diego Yacht Club – the heart of “Dennis Connor Land”… It is really good at making the visiting Brit feel like he is from a third world country….!!   In small boat racing, the lowest they can go is a Star….

I concluded it’s just not the American Way – but I reckon their boat market might be downsizing in an interesting way.  Did you see the December edition of Yachts and Yachting – that includes the annual keelboat review??

The chaps at J Boats must be smiling – The J70 built 160 boats this year and even the J/80 built 70.  Then there is this new SB3 type boat called a B-One which has built 98 in 5 months – blimey!!!  These are all boats for 3-5 crew, so not really our scene… but it gives a feel for what might be happening in the big boat markets.

Personally I found getting teams together for larger boats was a fag and too much like trying to get teams together in the Office.  So what is happening in our (third) world??

We built 25 Flying fifteens and :-

  • The new single handed K1 has built 24 (I think I know two of these owners!), which is jolly impressive, I’d say.
  • SB20 (aka SB3) built 8
  • Squib built 4
  • Sunbeams built 3 !
  • The RS Elite and K6 did not fill in the box on the form for “New Boats in 2012” so I would suppose they built zero?

So – an OK year for us relatively.  The K1 will be interesting to watch – maybe singlehanders is the growth option. Remember, in the dinghy review the Solos built 90. Perhaps they nation is giving up two handed sailing !!!

Yachts and Yachting – Annual Dinghy Classes Review…..

(November 25th)

The Y&Y keelboat classes review will be in your letterbox soon.  I was just looking through the Dinghy Classes Review. The FF sort of sits across the two, of course – we have a foot in each market.

I always scour for two bits of news – turnout numbers at Championships and build rates in the year. I completed the FF Class input for the keelboat review in early November.

On the Championship numbers, we would normally hope to be in the top 20 or so as far as dinghy numbers are concerned.  We had 3 dozen boats up at Largs, which unfortunately would not make the top 25 listed.

Better news though on the build rates and the money invested in our Class.  In the twelve months to October 30th, 25 FF’s were registered (global number) and it stacked up pretty well in the dinghy market. Adjust for the price of a Flying Fifteen relative to a Dinghy and in terms of money invested in the Class, we did VERY well.

I always feel that if a Class does not state its build rate in Y&Y, then most probably they built zero.  And that is the majority of Classes listed, by the way.

So we built 25, ….  these were the others that caught my eye:-

  • Albacore 10
  • Contender 5
  • Enterprise 12 (UK)
  • Fireball 30
  • 49er 7
  • GP14 29
  • Javelin 4
  • Merlin Rocket 15
  • RS400 12
  • Solo 90 (wow – what’s going on there!)
  • Wayfarer 120 (Blimey!!)

Want to Follow the Olympic Sailing Live on your Blackberry/iPhone/PC….??

Then try this “Watch Live”  site at Yachts and Yachting.

I’ve just been reading the new Radio Times, and there seems to be around two dozen BBC Olympic TV channels. Sailing will be on its own channel every day, but sadly which precise channel moves around a bit – try sub channel numbers 6,7,11 and if there are any weather problems, sailing and rowing might apparently swap channels. If you can lay a hand on the new Radio Times, it will all quickly make sense.



Yachts & Yachting – and Our New Facebook Page….!!

Mark Jardine, at Y&Y, has done a huge amount of work upgrading and updating their new website. He advised us though to upgrade our own Social Media Presence – which already covers Twitter, Linked In, and a Facebook Identity – by adding a Facebook Page.

The main attraction is that Facebook users who have not connected to “BritishIsles FlyingFifteens” as a facebook-friend, can still follow Flying Fifteen related chatter by viewing our Facebook page.

You can find it at

It turns out that the FF Blog which so far has been daily automatically updating Twitter, Linked In and Facebook cannot cope with two Facebook feeds at the same time – to our Wall, and to our Page.  So it needs manual intervention to post to both.  If you are a Facebook Ace, and have an opinion as to which is most suitable, do let us know….

A button for our Facebook Page is now shown in the Links section of the Yachts and Yachting FF Section.

Upgraded Yachts and Yachting Website….

It may have passed by without you noticing, but Y&Y has been making progressive changes to their website which means that our Flying Fifteen section looks much more modern and snazzy now.

It makes much better use of photos now and prominently on the news page you can elect to view:-

  • Photos (some great new photos in there)
  • Fixtures List
  • For Sale
  • Nationals
  • Top Ten Gear Guide
  • Useful Links

Gone though are the old class pages for “followers” and all of that – but I think that’s OK, as probably Keith Jamieson and I were the only people who ever used it!

It’s now a great shop window for the Class in the greater sailor-shopping world. Webpage hit rates there are enormous.  For us to keep it looking good we need to keep it fuelled with prompt news from our Open Meetings and Championships – and especially great photos which promote the excitement of a planing, two person, three sail keelboat.  So Fleet Captains, keep up the good work on both fronts!!

To see the new-look Y&Y Flying Fifteen Page, click on “FF@Y&Y Magazine” in the black bar below the photo at the top of this page, or simply click here.

Rodney Pattisson

Yachts and Yachting’s March edition plopped through the letter box a couple of days ago.  It’s getting very “big boat”, don’t you find?

However, there’s a great 3 page feature on Rodney Pattisson – they are going have one of his Flying Dutchman at the Dinghy Show.

He came to fame when I was still a teenager. He and John Oakley were my sporting heroes back then. Rodney was highly active from the 1968 Olympics (Acapulco) right through to 1984 – 16 years is a pretty good innings. It wasn’t all smooth sailing but he certainly did a lot to change the class – and possibly our sport – immense attention to detail and innovate, innovate, innovate….  His last FD was apparently made with an aluminium honeycomb core between kevlar sheets – blimey. He really understood gamesmanship too. All those stories of electronics at the masthead, dawn training and ailerons on the centreboard trailing edge. I especially loved the story that he had Bob Hoare build him four identical looking hulls so that nobody could actually tell what he was up to with the boats. We don’t have anyone like that do we, Charles??!!!

Try this link and see if it works (hilarious photo of the two stars of FD sailing…!!)

Keelboat Racing Increases in Line with Ageing Population!!….

Yachts and Yachting magazine just plopped through the letterbox.  It’s the month of the Keelboat Classes Review. If you’re disappointed that I didn’t advertise in this edition as well as the Dinghy Classes Review, I have to say you would feel faint if you knew the cost.

The class review itself always makes an interesting read. I assume if the class omits to show the number built in the current year, it was zero – which is the general case. I’m always interested to see what FF competitors are up to on new builds – for the RS Elite it was 6, the Laser SB3 is not shown but I doubt it was zero, and the K6 shows nothing either and might be zero or close to it. The new and slightly geeky single-handed K1 keelboat though claims to have built 22 in the year – interesting…..

Now I have to admit an error here on my part – it says in the FF review that we built 32 last year, but actually it was 22.  My fingers are too big for the keyboard (!), but I tried to get back into Y&Y’s input page and fix it but it wouldn’t let me in. Anyway, it’ll worry the the heck out of the other classes!! If anybody asks you, just say something wise like, “It was a big World Championship year… It always boosts new build numbers”  …  However, the thing that drew my attention was what that means for the amount of money invested in our class, in our boat, worldwide, in the last year – because it’ll be about £400,000 invested in new boats and their kit. I must do some research, but I have a feeling that if you did the same “new money invested” calculation for something like the RS400, it would not be as large as the sum invested in our fleet – or put it another way, the amount of revenue our class is taking in the market.

The Review article also has a great analysis table of Championship turnout in the last five years (FF at number two behind XOD – hurrah!!)…  What caught my eye was the five year trend for the 12 classes listed – they say that championship numbers for keelboats is up 30% over the ten year period.  “Keelboat racing is in great health” they point out.  So as the dinghy sailing population get older, the bubble is arriving in keelboats. That’s our prime market right there, don’t you think? – The Ageing Population…..

(If you have the magazine, it’s all on page 72… check out the Championship turnouts for RS Elite, K6, and Laser SB3. And then say “Remember the Laser 5000” quietly to yourself….)

Watch Out for Flying Fifteens in Yachts and Yachting This Month….(worth buying!)….

The November Edition of Y&Y just plopped through the letter box. There’s a superb four page spread on the Flying Fifteen starting at page 38.  It’s a feature (not race report) titled “Winning the Fifteen Worlds”

Great FF photos too, from David Harding, Eddie Mays, Steve Bell, Chris Bashell and Elizabeth Firth. ..  and don’t miss our half page Association advert on the fourth page of the feature, just beneath the Ovington Advert. It’s one of my favourite action shots of an FF – we have a huge print of it now on our Clubhouse Staircase and you may recognise that it’s the same photo that we use as our web “Brand Identity”.  If you want a copy of the same photo you can order it from Eddie Mays at (though it’s easier to phone him in Southampton). David Harding ( has given a couple of great shots to the feature article. David has taken a whole number of my favourite FF action photos of all time (see our photos on this website). He just has the way, the touch – complete magic! ….

Next month Y&Y are changing the format and relaunching the magazine with the December edition. It has the annual dinghy classes review included, so as usual we’ll have an advert in there too. You wait till you see the David Harding FF action photo we chose for that ad  – it’ll make your head explode!!……

Getting Quickly to the Y&Y Flying Fifteen Page….

I don’t know about you, but clicking your way through Y&Y’s excellent website to get to the FF News page always seems a bit of a fag to me …. go to Y&Y, click classes, click a drop down under yachts, or is it a dinghy, click Flying Fifteen and click “Go”…..

Now you can get there in one click. Right in the middle of the black strip under our banner photo (above) you will see a button labelled “FF@Y&Y”. Just one click there and you go straight in….

(Sorry if “FF@Y&Y” is a tad cryptic – I ran out of room on the back strip to fit anything sensible in….)

Yachts and Yachting Coverage of the Hayling Worlds….

If you got this month’s copy of Y&Y, you wont be surprised that the report on the Hayling Worlds was not in there… just too soon.

Do you get other magazines where the issue you receive in May for example, says July on the cover?? Well – working a long way ahead is just a publishing industry problem, and our colleagues at Yachts and Yachting are no exception.  The Editor tells us that an in depth feature of the Hayling Worlds is scheduled for the next issue, which is the November edition – which of course is published in October !! Got it??!!

The great news is that in addition to the event coverage it will feature an interview with the winners, and a profile piece on someone coming into the class and tracking their progress to the Worlds….

Yachts and Yachting Award for the Flying Fifteen….

I just noticed this on the BIFFA website….

“You may have noticed a curious Y&Y logo that has appeared on the front page of the BIFFA website. In the Yachts and Yachting Keelboat Class of the year Awards the Flying Fifteen Class was awarded runner-up position. In the citation in the magazine it was noted that the Flying Fifteens are definitely in an upwards phase with the largest year on year growth of any of the small keelboat classes.
Hayling Island Sailing Club did equally well in the Club of the Year Award. The combination augurs well for the Class and the hosting of the 2011 World Championships….”

(Trying to find out more….)