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Waples Wines Flying Fifteen Northern Travellers' Series at Notts County Sailing Club

by David Eberlin 29 Oct 2018 07:05 PDT 27-28 October 2018

The Notts County Sailing Club Flying 15 open took place at the weekend. The event is part of the Northern circuit sponsored by Waples Wines. There were 21 entries with visitors from Dovestone, Northampton, Ripon, Draycott, Bassenthwaite, Notts County and Datchet amongst others.

John Marshall the Race Officer got the racing off to a clean start about 15 minutes late and two races where held back to back, then there was a break and a final race of the day, followed by a Pauline Roast and Sweet in the evening. The weather was cold, between 4 and 6'C, quite a shock when it was 22'c only 2 weeks ago and though the wind averaged 12 knots it peaked at 20 knots.(force 4 to 5), and Andy McKee revelled in the conditions with crew Rich Jones, winning every race on Saturday often by a good margin they were followed by Chris and Marion Bowen from Northampton who were second after three races and Andy & Tom Goddard from Dovestone third. The first Notts County boat being Jeremy Arnold, with Paul Ogden and Ross Ryan following on equal points.

Sunday was a little more tame, with sunshine and a good breeze for the first race where David McKee and his son Andy were close together throughout the race, David in his new boat launched that morning won by a narrow margin, and his son Andy won the final race. The second race was a little more lively at the start as a storm came through, swinging the wind, then the wind reduced to a light breeze, only for another storm shower to come through as the race ended. Chris and Marion Bowen from Northampton were third in the final race, giving them second overall and Mike Preston and Paul Reid from SFYC were third overall after some consistent results.

Report from Jeremy Arnold

A strong entry of 21 boats gathered at Notts County Sailing Club on 27th-28th October for the final event of the 2018 Waples Wines Flying Fifteen Northern Travellers Series, with visitors traveling from as far afield as Cumbria and Suffolk.

All week the weather forecasters had been predicting the arrival of a cold Northerly front, and indeed the weekend was chilly but mostly dry. Saturday saw blustery winds blowing down the length of the lake, with three races being held in conditions which at times were quite testing. Flying Fifteens are powerful boats and special mention should be made of Chloe & Jake Willars and John Tailby, three members of NCSC's junior fleet who were competing in the event, each helping their respective boats to finish very respectfully in the top half of the fleet.

The first race was won by Andy Mckee & Rich Jones from Dovestone SC, and they were to proved the star performers of the weekend – just as Mckee had done just two weeks earlier when he had won the Scorpion Inlands also at Notts County SC. Second place was taken Mike Preston & Paul Reid from Blackpool & Fleetwood YC, with Chris & Marion Bowen from Northampton SC in third.

The second race was held back-to-back with the first with the same top-three positions being repeated, after which the fleet came ashore for lunch, and to collectively recover their breath and warm up again.

The third race saw Mckee & Jones again take the victory, this time with their Dovestone SC clubmates Andy & Tom Goddard in second place, followed by the ever-consistent Bowens in third.

Saturday evening saw more than thirty Flying Fifteen sailors sit down for another excellent meal provided by NCSC's redoubtable cook Pauline, after which everyone retired in various degrees of luxury (and warmth) to local guesthouses, campervans, tents and sleeping-bags-in-cars.

Sunday dawned somewhat warmer and with blue skies and less wind. Only two races were scheduled for the day, but a fairly early 10.30 start time meant that it was a bit of a rush to get all the boats launched in time down Notts County SC's single slipway. The fleet was larger today too as the brand-new boat of David Mckee & Mal Hartland joined the fun – it's first-ever sail having been postponed slightly due the strong winds of the previous day.

Justin Waples, another 'big name' in the Flying Fifteen class (and indeed sponsor of the Northern series) had also now arrived in time to team up with Keith Jamieson in Sunday's races, and it wasn't long before race four turned into a three-way battle between the Waples-Jamieson boat and the Mckee (elder)-Hartland and Mckee (junior)-Jones boats; as it turned-out though some sort of spinnaker-kerfuffle bought the Waples-Jamison challenge to an end, with Mckee-Hartland taking the victory, with Mckee-Jones in second and the local Notts County SC boat of Jeremy Arnold & Andy Stewart sneaking through into third.

So one more race to go, and in many ways this one would turn out to be the most dramatic; firstly a passing black cloud brought a sharp increase in wind strength and change in direction during the countdown sequence leading to the start being delayed as the course was re-set. Then, once the race had started, the wind continued to shift to the extent that boats that had begun the first reach with spinnakers flying ended-up having to beat-up to the next mark. And then the fun really began with another very big and very black cloud passing over the lake and a squall hitting the fleet, and a subsequent rapid shortening-of-course by the race officer. Everyone got around the course safely though, but the mach-speed downwind return to the congested jetty at the leeward end of the lake was definitely a test of boathanding skills. The race itself had again been won by Mckee-Jones, with Mckee-Hartland in second and the Bowens in third.

So thanks to Notts County SC for a well-run event, thanks to the weather for some memorable racing, and thanks to the visiting boats and crews representing no less than 14 different clubs for making the trip to Nottingham – and finally thanks to Waples Wines and MagazineExchange.co.uk for the support and prizes.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubPts
14005Andy MckeeRich JonesDovestone SC / Llandudno SC4
24013Chris BowenMarion BowenNorthampton SC12
33641Mike PrestonPaul ReidBlackpool & Fleetwood YC18
43936Jeremy ArnoldAndy StewartNotts County SC19
54056Andy GoddardTom GoddardDovestone SC 20
63902Richard HopeMike StensonDraycote Water SC23
74022Will GardnerNicki TheocritoffNotts County SC28
83599Ross RyanJohn TailbyNotts County SC31
93655Pete WaltersChloe WillarsNotts County SC36
103996Mike MooreKayla SheardBassenthwaite SC36
113712Paul OgdenJake WillarsNotts County SC37
124065David MckeeMal HartlandDovestone SC47
133631Chris WrightNicki HooperRutland SC48
14617Graham LamondAlistair LamondRipon SC50
154027Micheal ClappPeter MorrisDatchet SC55
163765Chris WhiteRoger Le PlaNorthampton SC55
173903Keith JamiesonTim O'Brien / Justin WaplesRWYC / Grafham SC / RCYC58
183975Angus WrightDave SnutchNotts County SC58
193583Mike WilczynskiJean WilczynskiRORC64
203759Paul BarnesJohn WellsNotts County SC72
213676John ChambersJohn DayNotts County SC77

More photos (and a scan of the full results) are on ncsc.org.uk/2018/10/27/flying-15-open

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