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Gill Flying Fifteen Inland Championship at Grafham Water Sailing Club

by Shane MacCarthy & Simon Kneller 1 Jun 08:18 PDT 28-29 May 2022
Jeremy Davey and Martin Huett lead the fleet in the Gill Flying Fifteen Inland Championship at Grafham © Paul Sanwell / OPP

34 Boats arrived in glorious sunshine at Grafham Water Sailing Club for the Gill Flying Fifteen Inland Championships on 28th/29th May. The fleet included boats from Dublin and County Antrim who made the journey across the Irish Sea (great effort guys!) and from up and down the country to race at one of the best inland venues in the UK.

The boats ranged from the beautiful and exquisitely maintained "617" and "817" to the pretty much brand new "4102". As a qualifying event for the World championships next year in Fremantle, enthusiasm was running high with the whole fleet launched early and ready for the first start.

The forecast for Saturday was light, northerly breezes and as the fleet assembled in the starting area at the west end of the reservoir, the wind was settling at 7-10 knots. Although the sailing instructions gave options for three different courses, OODs Nigel Denchfield and Phil Bevan had already advised during the briefing that windward-leeward would be the default option for lighter breeze.

Keen to lay down an early marker, Ian Pinnell & Ian Cadwallader led the fleet at the first windward mark of race 1 and despite some snakes and ladders managed to secure their first bullet from Draycote pair Simon Patterson & Simon Thompson.

Race 2 saw another Draycote pairing at the front of the fleet, this time Jeremy Davy & Martin Huett picking their way through the shifts and patches of breeze to take the second race from Justin Waples & Jackie McKellar in second and Richard Lovering & Matt Alvarado third.

By race 3, the OOD began to lose patience with the fleet's over-enthusiastic starting habits and promptly produced the black flag after the first recall. Four boats were sent ashore for early pasta before the fleet finally got away at the fourth attempt. Pinnell & Cadwallader made the most of the strongest wind conditions of the day to take their second race win, getting past Charles & Charlie Apthorp at the end of the last beat with GP14 maestros Andy Tunnicliffe & Andy Smith completing the top three.

(Interesting fact from the Race Officer - one boat he never spotted on the start line before the gun was Ian Pinnell/Ian Cadwallader's.... mmmmmm... might be something in that!)

Sunday's forecast was for a slightly stronger 8-15 knots and a similar northerly direction. And in fact it was blowing 20 knots straight out of north as the fleet launched. First out of the blocks were Richard Lovering & Matt Alvarado with Shane MacCarthy & Adam Froggart second and the ever consistent Pinnell & Cadwallader third.

Race 5 produced yet another different race winner - Burghfield Sailing Club's Ian Linder & Kevin Sweetman sailing off into the distance with the Apthorps holding off MacCarthy & Froggart for second.

A fifth place for Pinnell & Cadwallader was enough for them to secure the title with a race to spare and never ones to turn down an opportunity for an early finish, they headed ashore to rehearse their speeches and do their makeup. Meanwhile back out on course the wind was getting tricky to read. Huge shifts and big pressure differences were producing massive gains and losses throughout the fleet. Lovering & Alvarado seemed to have it mastered though, winning the final race from Hamish McKay & Adam Lawson.

Crucially this second race win for the Hayling Island duo was enough for them to secure overall on countback from Jeremy Davy & Martin Huet who had to settle for third overall on this occasion.

The classic boats had great racing on day one, but with the strong northerlies the two older boats decided not to launch, Mark Greer and Andrew Connellan from Middle Nene taking the overall win.

In the Silvers, Jordan Aspin and Jason Benn in 3130 took the top spot.

Quote of the day from one of the competitors between races: "Loving the Flying 15....fantastic racing"

Huge thanks to everyone involved who made the event happen including the Race Officers Nigel Denchfield, Phil Bevan and their whole team, and also the sometimes unsung heroes like Andy the Coxswain who got all 34 FFs on and off the water in double quick time.

Prizes were kindly sponsored by Gill and winning helm Ian Pinnell thanked Grafham Water Sailing Club, the race team and all the onshore helpers for a really enjoyable weekends racing.

More photographs of the event can be viewed at

Overall Results:

PosFleetDivisionSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stOpenRed4096Ian PinnellIan CadwallerderHayling Island SC15135(DNC)15
2ndOpenRed4002Richard LoveringMatt AlvaradoHayling Island SC73(BFD)17119
3rdOpenRed3760Jeremy DavyMartin HuettDraycote Water SC415‑106319
4thOpenRed4085Shane MacCarthyAdam FroggartGreystone SC96423(DNF)24
5thOpenRed4089Hamish MackayAndrew LawsonRoyal Thames YC5495‑19225
6thOpenRed4004Charles ApthorpCharlie ApthorpHayling Island SC12‑14242828
7thOpenBlue3851Ian LinderKevin SweetmanBurghfield SC687‑1611133
8thOpenRed4102Andy TunnicliffeAndy SmithBassenthwaite SC11(UFD)379535
9thOpenRed4094John HansonHelen SeldenDatchet Water SC10910‑144639
10thOpenRed4083John LaveryAlan GreenNational Yacht Club876614‑1541
11thOpenRed4033Justin WaplesJackie MckellarRCYC/RHYC132‑1411101349
12thOpenRed4024Simon KnellerAshley PainterGrafham Water SC‑2613111217760
13thOpenBlue4091Jeremy ArnoldKeith JamiesonNotts County SC15‑19198111063
14thOpenRed4080Simon PattersonSimon ThompsonDraycote Water SC211(BFD)21221268
15thOpenBlue4069Bill ChardJosh PreaterChew Valley Lake SC14101219‑201469
16thOpenBlue4044Richard HopeMike StensonDraycote Water SC19‑20139181675
17thOpenBlue4030Alistair StevensonDavid CulpanDatchet Water SC28‑29813151781
18thOpenRed4082Terry ScutcherChris HewkinDubai Offshore SC3(UFD)BFD2613482
19thOpenBlue3794David PhilpottGraham WadeleyGrafham Water SC2317(BFD)2581891
20thOpenBlue3726Duncan GrindleyJon MortimerGrafham Water SC21‑241624122093
21stOpenBlue4084Tim O'BrienPip NoonGrafham Water SC171218‑27232494
22ndOpenGreen3969Peter CardStephen CardCowes Corinthian YC2016171824(DNC)95
23rdOpenGreen3703Julian MetherellHarry BlowersGrafham Water SC16(UFD)2222162197
24thOpenBlue4027Michael ClappHoward ShawyerParkstone/22221520‑261998
25thOpenBlue4042Geoff FloydColin GilbertGrafham Water SC1826(BFD)17319101
26thOpenGreen4097Tony GaffneyRaymond FlanaganDraycote Water SC‑292725152925121
27thOpenBlue3873Neil BartholomeyTom VaseyMiddle Nene SC‑323123232123121
28thOpenBlue4041Simon CooperAlastair CooperBewl SA271526‑282826122
29thOpenBlue3937Richard MajorJohn AstonGrafham Water SC‑303027302522134
30thOpenGreen3536Angus ScottJeremy ScottDatchet Water SC2428(DNF)292728136
31stClassicBlue2433Mark GreerAndrew ConnellanMiddle Nene SC‑342328313027139
32ndClassicBlue817Bryan WillisJohn McPeakeCounty Antrim YC252521(DNC)DNCDNC143
33rdClassicBlue617Graham LamondRachel LamondRipon SC311824(DNC)DNCDNC145
34thSilverGreen3130Jordan AspinJason BennSir John Fisher SC332120(DNC)DNCDNC146
35thOpenBlue4012Jonathan KnightTrish KnightGrafham Water SC(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC180

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