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Flying Fifteen UK National Championships at the Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club

by Simon Thompson 28 Jun 22:46 PDT 24-27 June 2021

The fleet assembled for its first National Championship since the 2019 event at Parkstone Yacht Club. A fleet of 33 boats assembled, including a good contingent of Classic boats.

Day 1

The forecast for the event favoured the light wind specialists, with Thursday being the windiest (and wettest) day. The courses for both races were 2 laps windward-leeward.

Racing commenced at 12:55pm with the wind coming from the south west with a variability of about 20 degrees. The committee boat unexpectedly showed no bearing to the windward mark, so the fleet had to decide on the way to windward with the fleet splitting between those choosing a middle course up to windward and those deciding to go hard left, which proved to be the correct decision.

The first boat to the windward mark was (4092) sailed by newcomer to the fleet Nigel Biggs from Budworth Sailing Club near Northwich. Nigel comes from a big boat background and his tidal understanding paid off. The second beat changed the positions around and at the finish Greg Wells and David Tulloch (4030) led from the Ian's - Pinnell and Cadwallader (4055) with current World Champions Graham Vials and Chris Turner (4071) in third place.

Race 2 started in similar conditions but the fleet was now over excited and had to be subjected to a General Recall. The second start was more acceptable but proved a bit messy in the middle order with much jockeying for clear air going away from the line. The tide had now turned and was starting to ebb quite fast and the wind played games and delivered some quieter moments when the larger crews had to hide inside the boat. Going left was still the right decision and the surprise first boat at the windward mark was Mike Preston and Chris Robinson from Blackpool and Fleetwood YC. The change in tidal conditions and wind strength conditions for lap 2 saw changes in position and by the end Graham Vials and Chris Turner had returned to winning ways followed by Jeremy Davy and Martin Huett from Draycote Water SC with the Ian's in third place.

Overnight positions were Vials/Turner first, the Ian's second and Wells/Tulloch third.

Day 2

Friday's forecast was for lighter winds from the North but no rain.

That proved to be half true; no rain but Force 4 - 5 winds from the North which in Helensburgh means over the hills and with 40 degree wind shifts, which proved to be a challenge for the whole fleet.

Race 3 was a 3 lap windward-leeward affair made interesting by a wind shift to port at the start making getting away from the line difficult for many boats. Those choosing a pin end start and tacking onto port ultimately benefited. The first windward mark was very busy as the fleet arrived 'en masse' and there were a few issues to be resolved between teams. The expert of shifty conditions, Steve Goacher and Tim Harper made the best of the race to win from Davy and Huett. Vials and turner took the third place.

Race 4 was the first with reaching legs, again 3 laps. The fleet was now used to the days conditions and made a better job of the approach to the windward mark with many of the leaders going hard left in the approach to the windward mark. The off wind leg was characterised by bands of winds down the run, something that every race on day 2 had, so choice of the route downwind was crucial to maintaining position come the following beat. Race 4 ended up a win for Nathan Batchelor and Richard Rigg with Day/Huett and Vials/Turner taking the runner up slots.

The Race Officer took his time setting the course for the final race of the day before settling on a small 10 degree adjustment to post.

Race 5 (again with reaching legs, 3 laps) started with yet another wind shift occurring just after the start causing the fleet to change onto port tack for the first half of the beat before going for the windward mark. The wind was reaching its maximum at this time and all enjoyed brisk runs down to the leeward mark. The reach was not a challenge being set quite flat but still gave the opportunity for overtaking in the gusts downwind.

At the end of the race there were two teams way in front; Goacher/Harper and Vials/Turner with Steve Goacher just missing on the line honours.

No further racing was possible on Saturday or Sunday, due to the lack of a decent sailing breeze, so the final results stood as of Friday with five races completed.

Overall winners are Graham Vials and Chris Turner with 8 points, 2nd Jeremy Davy and Martin Huett on 11 points and 3rd Greg Wells and David Tulloch with 12 points.

Overall Results:
If you finished in the top ten at the Flying Fifteen nationals then enter your Gear Guide information here

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1GBR4071Floaty McFloat FaceGraham VialsChris Turner‑313318
2GBR3760 Jeremy DavyMartin Huett‑8222511
3GBR4030AgathaGreg WellsDavid Tulloch1‑544312
4GBR4021The Whippet and the WhopperSteve GoacherTim Harper5‑1315213
5GBR4055 Ian PinnellIan Cadwalader23‑116718
6GBR3942 Nathan BatchelorRichard Rigg‑18491822
74087 Andy TuncliffeKevan Gibb7613‑18632
8FF4004FoofCharles ApthorpCharlie Apthorp616‑298434
94092Checkmate XIXNigel BiggsPeter Evans41587‑1634
104033Sparks & BubblesJustin WaplesJackie McKellar1295‑141440
113641ffunky ChickenMike PrestonChris Robinson1776(DSQ)1040
12GBR3862HavocAlastair StevensonDavid Culpan11‑14791340
134024Really FlyingSimon KnellerBen Longstaff1381010‑1541
143965Ffin MagicSimon ChildsKato Greer‑14101211942
154017Carbon FootprintPhil SnewinChris Ducker9121516‑2052
16GBR4080WindbreakerSimon PattersonSimon Thompson16‑2019121259
173520Chips for FreeJohn ReekieRory Yardley‑221714201162
18GBR3884FlossieMark NicholsonSteve Culpitt1011(RET)172664
194013More MischieffChris BowenMarion Bowen‑252117132172
203622Foo FighterRobert Mountain 21‑2216191975
214059PandaHamish MackaySally Mackay15182322‑2478
22GBR4046Fram FreyrRichard DrabbieMatt Pallett2019‑22211878
23GBR2260Forever FishJohn HansonHelenSelden232320‑251783
243463Firth of FifthJohn ThornleyMegan Thornley‑282518242390
254084IneffableTim O'BrienSam Neal‑302927152293
26627VamooseBobby SalmondDavid Cunningham19(DNS)2123DNC97
273590Frequent FlyerCharlie McKeeSimon Montague27242526‑28102
28GBR3906MaverickPeter MountainDavid Guite26‑30262825105
29GBR3074RagamuffinAlasdair IrelandAlasdair Ireland Jr29262427(DNC)106
303732ffootlooseIan HockeyValerie Hockey2431(RET)3027112
313142 John BestIain Best32272829(DNC)116
322803Ffeeling LuckyGlen FullartonCraig McCracken31283031(DNC)120
333451WhipsnadeHugh SimpsonDavid Watkins333231(DNF)DNC130

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