Please select your home edition
Edition
Southern Spars - North Technology

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
Zhik Isotak Ocean 660x82PredictWind.comAncasta Ker 40+ 660x82

Related Articles

America's Cup - Emirates Team NZ give first look at the pedaling AC50
Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. Emirates Team New Zealand formally christened their new AC50 America's Cup Challenger on a rainy Auckland afternoon. The team has been sailing for the previous two days making news headlines after it was revealed in Sail-World.com that the AC50 would become only the second yacht in America's Cup history to use pedal power.
Posted on 16 Feb
America's Cup - Kiwis sign Olympic Cyclist for the Tour de Bermuda
Ttop cyclist Simon van Velthooven, a 2012 Olympic Bronze cycling medallist had been signed by the America's Cup team Emirates Team New Zealand put in a second foiling display on Auckland's Waitemata harbour ahead of the official launching of their AC50 tomorrow. With brighter skies the cycling team took their places on the pedalstals and used leg power to provide the hydraulic pressure necessary to run the AC50's control systems for the foils and wingsail.
Posted on 15 Feb
A Q&A with Shawn Macking about the StPYC’s Sailing Center and OD fleet
I talked with Shawn Macking, the StPYC’s waterfront director, to learn how the club is getting more people out sailing. I caught up with Shawn Macking, waterfront director of the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, via email to learn more about the club’s Sailing Center, its hefty investment in a new fleet of ten J/70s, and how the StPYC is using this infrastructure to expose more people to the sport we all love.
Posted on 13 Feb
A Q&A with Karen Angle about the 2017 Conch Republic Cup race to Cuba
I caught up with Karen Angle, executive director of the Conch Republic Cup, to learn more about this exciting event. If you’re like me and have arrived at saturation with winter’s cold rain and snow, imagine racing to Cuba as part of a 13-day cross-cultural event that’s designed to lower barriers of entry at a time when some Americans see a need for taller walls. I caught up with Karen Angle, executive director of the Conch Republic Cup, to learn more about this exciting event and the adventures it affords.
Posted on 23 Jan
A Q&A with Anna Tunnicliffe about her return to competitive sailing
I talked with Anna Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing. Anna Tunnicliffe won gold at the Beijing 2008 Olympics in the Laser Radial before shifting her sights to the Women’s Match Racing event for the London 2012 Olympics. Here, she came up shy of expectation and left sailing for the CrossFit Games, but now she is returning to her roots. I talked with Tunnicliffe before the Sailing World Cup Miami to learn about her return to Olympic-class sailing.
Posted on 23 Jan
A Q&A with Dick Neville, Quantum Key West Race Week’s RC chairman
I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for the Quantum Key West Race Week, to learn more about the event. For the past 30 years, international sailors have gathered in Key West, Florida, each January for Key West Race Week, a regatta that has achieved legendary status due to its calendar dates, its location, and the impressive level of competition and racecourse management that this storied event offers. I caught up with Dick Neville, Race Committee chair for this year’s Quantum KWRW, to learn more.
Posted on 16 Jan
A Q&A with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Race’s new deputy race director
I talked with Daniel Smith, the Clipper Round The World Race’s new deputy race director, to learn more about his role. I was fortunate to sail with Daniel Smith [36, SCO], skipper of “Derry~Londonderry~Doire” for the 2015/2016 edition of the Clipper Round The World Race, when the fleet reached Seattle last spring. Now, Smith has been hired as the event’s deputy race director-a job that will test many of the skills that he polished as a skipper. I caught up with Smith via email to learn more about his new job.
Posted on 9 Jan
Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race - Suck it up, sunshine!
The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour The 72nd start of the iconic blue water classic had 300,000 spectators lining the foreshores of Sydney Harbour, another two million watching on TV, and the constant buzz and whir of media helicopters overhead. 88 boats, from Australia, USA, UK, Germany, Sweden, Russia, Japan, Korea, China, oh and New Zealand, had lined up on three start lines.
Posted on 31 Dec 2016
Rolex Sydney Hobart Race - More merriment on the airwaves
Here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and Hobart Race Control So on December 29, 2016, after the River Derwent had let just three boats home (Perpetual Loyal, Giacomo and Scallywag, all inside the old race record, she went to sleep for a lot of the day. This made it frustrating for the sailors, some of whom saw the lighter side. So after seeing some of those in Dark & Stormy, here are more examples of merriment on the airwaves between the boats and HRC
Posted on 29 Dec 2016
Sydney Hobart Race-Dark and stormy, well because it is Dark and Stormy
Proving that there is a lighter side to the frustrations that is a race to Hobart Well it is now dark and the rain 'storms' have passed, but proving that there is a lighter side to the frustrations that is a race to Hobart, the custom Murray 37, Dark & Stormy had a wonderful exchange on the radio. Quite possibly it was co-owner and Navigator Terry Courts on the VHF in the super-frank exchange with Hobart Race Control at around 1928hrs on 29/12/16.
Posted on 29 Dec 2016