Please select your home edition
Edition
Naiad

Flying 15 Worlds- A new World Champion with a race to spare

by Graeme Robinson on 29 Jul 2011
Day 1, 2011 World Flying Fifteen Championships, Hayling Island Gerald New http://www.sail-world.co.uk
Napier Sailing Club member, Graeme Robinson reports from the Flying Fifteen Worlds in Hayling Island:

Dear All

Last night, the new Flying Fifteen World Champions, Graham Vials and Chris Turner were honoured at the prizegiving hosted by the Hayling Island Sailing Club. After winning Race 9 earlier in the afternoon they had the luxury of sitting out the final race of the series sailed off the south coast of England, having already secured the title with a race to spare.

Graham and Chris dedicated their victory to their mentor Tony Lee from the Derwent Sailing Club in northeast England. Tony, for many years a great contributor to the Flying Fifteen Class, died just a fortnight ago and was farewelled last Thursday, on the day before the World Championships began. At the prizeging, Flying Fifteen International Commodore Greg Wells announced the awarding of Uffa Fox Gold Medals to both Tony (posthumously) and his wife Brenda, who has also been heavily involved for many years in Class administration and he will present those special honours to Brenda in recognition of their great contributions to our Class.

Runners-up in the World Championships were local crew, 1988 Star Class Olympic Gold medallist Mike McIntyre and his daughter Gemma. They had received news yesterday that their younger daughter Eilith had taken out 6th place in the 470 Class Junior World Championships at Medemblik in the Netherlands, so there is much to celebrate for that family.

Emphasising their strength in the Flying Fifteen Class, British crews almost entirely dominated the overall results, filling fourteen of the top twenty places on the scoresheet. Only the Australian 2009 World Champions Grant Alderson and Dean McAullay (8th) prevented their clean sweep of the top ten places. It is small wonder that the locals are so good, because in local competition there are at least half a dozen World and European Champions racing here every weekend year-round and then there are regional regattas with upwards of 60-70 boats competing at a series of events throughout the year. One Irish and five Australian crews finished in the top twenty, then James Sandall and I were next overseas crew in 22nd place overall. Yesterday, we struggled in the solid 15 knot southerly winds and very lumpy seas in the two races that were sailed to complete the full schedule of six flights and four final races.

But, we also contributed to our own demise by taking a gamble that didn't pay off in Race 9, when we tried to make a late inside tack close to the top mark and earned a penalty. The two turns of the boat saw us dumped down from 13th to the mid-forties, such was the closeness of the racing and we had to work very hard to recover a few places to finish 35th, a score that we had to count after our poor showing in the second race of the finals series the day before. In the final race, we got the perfect pin start (again - that was a feature of our sailing here, with several similar good beginnings), only to be progressively run over by the bigger and more powerful crews as the wind and seas built.

However, our 25th place in Race 10 wasn't too bad and we can reflect on some very good moments during the World Championships. We had a string of very good starts, some legs where we picked up many places, several races where we made it into the top ten at the finish line and of course our win in Flight 1 of the World Championship, which no-one can take away from us - James in his very first race at a Flying Fifteen World Championship and me in my eleventh attempt over 25 years. We learnt many lessons, about staying out of trouble, taking small gains and making every place count. But, having regard for our non-existent build-up due to circumstances at home, our lack of sailing together (we have now had almost twice as many races here as we had before leaving New Zealand), my almost total non-sailing lead-in over our past summer, our low ranking from the 2011 New Zealand National Championships and the very high quality of the fleet here, I think we didn't do too badly.

The four New Zealand crews all finished the series in the Gold Fleet. Aucklanders Ben Lowe & Kate Gilbert were 30th, just ahead of Murray Gilbert and Jonathan Burgess in 31st, while the Nelson crew of John Leydon and Sandra Williams were 44th. We are all very grateful for the support that we have received from the Mediterranean Shipping Company, which delivered our container in perfect condition to Hayling Island. Now, it is time for us to pack up and get our four Flying Fifteens and gear back into the container ready for shipping home. Our sailors are heading homewards over the next few days. I could be sailing this weekend in a regatta on Christchurch Bay, but instead am taking a break before returning home for a couple of days and then it is back southwards to our own beleaguered Christchurch for another tour of duty. So many of my Flying Fifteen friends have asked me to pass on their sympathies and support to everyone there.

Regards from Hayling Island
Graeme
Barz Optics - San Juan Worlds Best EyewearMackay BoatsNaiad/Oracle Supplier

Related Articles

A Q&A with Olympic champ Malcolm Page about his new job at US Sailing
I recently talked with Malcolm Page, US Sailing’s newly hired Chief of Olympic Sailing, to learn more about his new job. Malcolm Page (AUS; 44) is a hyper-talented Men’s 470 sailor who won two Olympic gold medals (2008 and 2012) sailing with two different skippers, as well as seven World Championship titles, and who has long studied under the legendary Ukrainian coach Victor Kovalenko. I recently talked with Page, who was just hired as US Sailing’s new Chief of Olympic Sailing, to learn more about his new job.
Posted today at 7:21 pm
America's Cup - Kiwi lodges Appeal against Jury in San Francisco Cup
Former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell (NZL) has lodged an Appeal against a Decision to dismiss his case Former Oracle Team USA crew member, Matthew Mitchell (NZL) has lodged an Appeal against a Decision to dismiss his case taken against the International Jury for the 34th America's Cup in San Francisco. On October 28, 2016, US District Judge Vince Chhabria dismissed Mitchell's claim against the five-person International Jury on the basis that it was lodged too late.
Posted on 2 Dec
A Q&A with Nick Bice about the recent changes for the 2017/2018 VOR
I caught up with Nick Bice, the VOR’s director of boats and maintenance, to learn more about the VOR’s new directions. I recently had the pleasure of hearing Nick Bice, the Volvo Ocean Race’s director of boats and maintenance, deliver a keynote speech to an audience of marine-industry professionals and official Volvo Ocean Race suppliers at the 2016 METS trade show in Amsterdam. I caught up with Bice after his presentation to learn more about the new directions that the race is taking for its thirteenth edition.
Posted on 28 Nov
A Q&A with Sharon Green about the prep work that ensures great images
I talked with ace photographer Sharon Green to learn more about the prep work that goes into each image that she snaps. I caught up with ace photographer Sharon Green at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds to learn more about the behind-the-scenes preparation work that goes into each image that she snaps. While some of Green’s tips are specific to professional shooters (e.g., helicopter time or juggling multiple camera bodies), plenty of amateur lensmen will be well served to consider Green’s racecourse-proven tips.
Posted on 23 Nov
Dockside with CQS - radical, revamped supermaxi up close
The revamped supermaxi CQS is currently in Auckland's Silo Marina, ahead of her first race on Friday The revamped supermaxi CQS is currently in Auckland's Silo Marina, ahead of her first race on Friday - the White Island Race which will double as Rolex Sydney Hobart Qualifier. Originally the 90ft Nicorette designed by South African Alex Simonis, the new project to upgrade to a 100ft supermaxi has been led by Brett Bakewell-White (NZ) and Bakewell-White Yacht Design.
Posted on 22 Nov
Gladwell's Line - President Croce caught at helm in Perfect Storm
No real surprise that incumbent President Carlo Croce (ITA) was unseated mid-way an eight-year term After a year or more punctuated with issues that should not have happened, it is no real surprise that incumbent President Carlo Croce (ITA) was unseated mid-way through what should have been an eight-year term. Also gone is one of his lieutenants, Chris Atkins (GBR) as Vice President, who remarkably polled 13th out of the 15 candidates.
Posted on 15 Nov
Gladwell's Line -The America's Cup settlement deal
The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the Arbitration Panel is not news The 'News' today that Emirates Team New Zealand has won their case before the America's Cup Arbitration Panel is not new - Sail-World reported the same story in the first and second weeks of September. The Hearing on the amount of compensation to be paid is yet to be held. So far we have been unable to discover a date if indeed one has been set. Maybe next year?
Posted on 11 Oct
Debriefing the 2016 J/70 Worlds with Winning Skipper Joel Ronning
I talked with Joel Ronning after the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds to learn about his team’s win at this high-level regatta. Since its inception in 2012, the J/70 has become the most popular One Design boat in decades, with 1,100+ boats sailing in myriad countries. Some 68 boats from 15 countries arrived on San Francisco Bay last week to determine bragging rights at the 2016 Alcatel J/70 Worlds. I caught up with Joel Ronning to learn more about the Catapult team’s road to becoming the 2016 J/70 World Champions.
Posted on 5 Oct
Rio 2016 - America's Cup champ says Paralympic racing is closest ever
Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar Twice America’s Cup champion, Rick Dodson is extremely impressed with the standard of racing in the three man Sonar keelboat class at the 2016 Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. The regatta is being held in Guanabara Bay on three of the courses used for the Olympic Sailing Regatta in August.
Posted on 13 Sep
Debriefing the Rio 2016 Olympics with Team USA’s Helena Scutt
I talked with Team USA’s Helena Scutt to hear about her Olympic experience, and to learn more about her post-Rio plans. The 49erFX was introduced to Olympic circles when it replaced the Women’s Match Racing event following the 2012 Games. Not surprisingly, it drew high-performance sailors for the Rio 2016 Olympics, including Team USA’s Paris Henken and Helena Scutt. While Henken and Scutt were Olympic first-timers, they put on a strong show. I caught up with Scutt to hear more about her Olympic experience.
Posted on 8 Sep