The Royal Corinthian YC Flying 15 Open was welcomed by 20+ knots of wind and an ebbing tide which meant that boat position in the estuary would make all the difference in the first two races round the fixed marks. Race 1 started from the clubhouse line on a three sail reach heading with the tide down-estuary.
As the fleet of five rounded the first mark and headed upwind against the tide up the Roach, the local knowledge of Justin Waples crewed by Iain Stowe and brother Chris Waples crewed by his son Tom was quickly emulated by the other boats with furious close tacking as near the shoreline as one dared. For most of the leg a blanket could have been thrown over all five boats. The local knowledge prevailed on the day with J. Waples taking first in both races, followed by C. Waples in second.
The wind had picked up marginally by the start of Sunday’s racing resulting in spectacularly fast reaches and runs, on a flooding tide which made inshore tacking less important. Race 3 resulted in a reversal of races 1 and 2, with C. Waples crossing the line in front of J. Waples. At the start of race 4, C. Waples suffered a broken gooseneck and had to make a dignified retirement to the bar, leaving J. Waples to take another victory, followed by Adrian Tattersall crewed by Tim Smart.
There was no doubt that by the time of the fifth race the wind had strengthened further, but was no excuse for A. Tattersall jumping the gun and having to go back and start again. A mistake further compounded by sailing too close inshore on the now ebbing tide, which resulted in both helm and crew having to abandon ship in an undignified manner and push her off the ‘putty’. J. Waples notched up his fourth win, followed by Pip Hudson crewed by Jamie Waterhouse.
Guest ff sailor, club member and resident sailmaker Ian Grey borrowed ff Presidents boat 3736, and whilst not in the chocolates at the end really enjoyed the sailing experience and was even heard asking 'how do you make these boats go faster!'
At the final reckoning it was J. Waples taking home the victor’s glass pot, with C. Waples in second and P. Hudson in third. A weekend of thoroughly good yachting and excellent club hospitality.
Flying 15 GBR website