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Flying Fifteen European Championship at Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club - Preview

by Jonny Fullerton 15 Aug 01:58 PDT 21-25 August 2022
Flying Fifteens at Cowes © Hamo Thorneycroft

The Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club (CCYC) is looking forward to welcoming 70 Flying Fifteens for the 2022 European Championship to be sailed in the Solent from 21 - 25 August. The regatta will mark the 75th anniversary of the design by the legendary Uffa Fox.

Entries have come from all over the world including all parts of the UK, Australia, Hong Kong, South Africa, Spain, Belgium and Ireland.

The European Championship will consist of 8 races over 4 days and will be split by a special one-off race on Tuesday 23 August, started from the Royal Yacht Squadron line on a traditional Solent course around the cans with the prize-giving for that race to be held at the Commodore's House, Uffa's last residence, after racing that day.

CCYC is the home of Flying Fifteens in Cowes and currently has a fleet of a dozen boats. The club is adjacent to where Uffa had his last boatyard and where the royal yacht Coweslip was built. Coweslip was presented to the Queen and Prince Philip by the people of Cowes as a wedding gift and was raced in Cowes Week by Prince Philip and Uffa from the early 1950s until the late 1960s when Uffa's health deteriorated.

Immediately before the European Championship the Royal London Yacht Club will be hosting a regatta to mark 50 years since Uffa Fox passed away and many Fifteens will be joining in to familiarise themselves with Solent racing with CCYC running windward-leeward racing on the Saturday as practice for the Championship which starts the following day.

The typically challenging waters of the Solent are sure to test the skills of all Flying Fifteen crews and a true European Champion will be a crew who show a mixture of experience, boat speed, handling skills with a sprinkling of tactical genius thrown in!

Entries to date include far too many to mention of the 'whos who' of past and present Flying 15 sailors. A very strong UK contingent is headed up by:

  • Graham Vials & Chris Turner - Lyme Regis SC
    Current and four-time world champions but according to the records never won a European title! They won the recent F15 UK Nationals with a string of consistent results in the second half of the regatta. Have not competed in the 2022 UK Championship Series except at the Nationals. Surely the strong favourites on paper, going into the 2022 Europeans.

  • Steve Goacher & Tim Harper
    Steve the 'Goat' Goacher, almost as old as the class itself!, Steve Goacher from Royal Windermere YC is another multiple world champion with two different crews. Won the 2016 Europeans at Medemblik with Tim Harper and three times back to back 2010, 2008 and 2006 with Phil Evans.

  • Ian Pinnell & Ian Cadwallader sailing a new boat called 'Oooh La La'
    Won the 2022 UK Championship Series of regional regattas and came 2nd at the UK Nationals at Hayling Island SC earlier this year.

  • Jeremy Davy & Martin Huett from Draycote Water SC
    2nd at the 2022 UK Championships Series and won the Southerns this year. 4th at 2022 UK Nationals

  • Greg Wells from Hayling Island SC sailing another new boat "Noughty"
    Holds a string of podiums on the world and championship circuits, well overdue a big title championship regatta win.

  • Andy McKee & Richard Jones sailing "Fiery Chariot"
    2nd at 2019 F15 Worlds in Dublin

  • Richard Lovering & Matt Alvarado from Hayling Island SC
    3rd at the 2022 UK Championship Series
    3rd at 2019 F15 Worlds in Dublin

  • Charles Apthorp
    Former world champion. 5th at the 2022 UK Championship Series.

  • Hamish Mackay & Mackay Lawson
    6th at the UK 2022 Championship Series

  • Nathan Batchelor & Richard Rigg - Tynemouth SC
    5th at 2022 UK Nationals

  • Andrew Jameson sailing 'Ffil the Greek'
    3rd at 2022 UK Nationals at Hayling Island SC

  • Rupert Mander sailing Men Behaving Badly
    Won Cowes Week 2022 with straight bullets
Special mentions also go to overseas competitors who have travelled massive distances when travel is still plagued by complications and high costs!
  • Philippa Packer comes all the way from Western Australia sailing 'Firefly'

  • Sam Chan sailing 'Freefire 20" competes from Hong Kong and Campbell Alexander sailing 'Rand Hedge' from South Africa.

CCYC relies heavily on volunteers and has around 50 ready to support the regatta.

Details of the championship can be found at www.ff75.org.

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