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Flying Fifteen Western Australian State Championships at Esperance Bay Yacht Club

by Russell Dawes 1 Oct 2023 21:37 PDT 22-24 September 2023
The fleet downwind on day 3 of the Australian Flying Fifteen Championship © Jonny Fullerton

The 62nd Western Australian Flying Fifteen Championships got under way under overcast skies in, what is normally, sunny Esperance. The predicted 25 knots of south-westerly didn't fully prevail but the breeze was boisterous enough to exercise the body while the shifts were enough to entertain the mind.

There were plenty of the high value manoeuvres prized by Flying Fifteen sailors, several keel reveals and a few sailors having 'out of boat' experiences. All in all, the 19 boat fleet was well behaved and Race Officer Stewart Wallace had few troubles running 4 heats for the afternoon.

Results wise, local Laser/ILCA sailor, Luke Elliott teamed up with Peter Mudford aboard Neffarious to win the first 2 races, local sailor David Swan and Matt Elliott (Phar Lap) won the third race and former World Champion Grant Alderson sailing with Luke Paterson (El Toro) won the fourth. Minor placings were shared between those previously mentioned and Phillippa Packer and Dean MacAullay (Firefly), Mike and Paul Dunbar (Ineffable), Greg Leaversuch and Peter Barblett (Glamour Boys). The final 3 races are scheduled for Sunday morning at 1000 hrs with somewhat lighter conditions in effect.

Day 2 served up a typical Esperance spring day with a cool southerly breeze of no more than 15 knots, low swell and an even lower chop. RO Wallace got the fleet moving at exactly 1000 hrs over a couple of longer courses with only a couple of boats having to be reminded to start correctly with the X flag.

Luke and Muddy (Neffarious) continued their winning form with 2 more bullets to seal the series. Grant and the other Luke (El Toro) won the other race to finish second overall and Team Dunbar (Mike and Paul in Ineffable) were models on consistency to finish third overall.

While the on water action was super competitive and difficult to pick a winner, the Mug of the Day was a runaway victory for the Chairman of the organising committee, David Swan. Within the first 5 minutes of the welcome night, 'Swanny' had forgotten that John Wilson, the principle sponsor of this and many other regattas, was also a Life Member of the WA State Association. This established Swanny in an unassailable position to win the not particularly coveted award despite the efforts of other sailors to score points by falling out of boats and various mechanical faux pas.

Esperance Bay Yacht Club is renowned for running fabulous sailing events and this was no exception. Thanks to Commodore and Race Officer Stewart Wallace, Regatta Chairman David Swan, Sailing Administrator Toni Hawkins and the large contingent of volunteers who pitched in to make a memorable and successful event.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameSkipper / Crew (Club)R1R2R3R4R5R6R7Pts
13809NeffariousLuke Elliott / Peter Mudford (FSC)11‑422118
23933El ToroGrant Alderson / Luke Paterson (RFBYC)2‑62115314
33986IneffableMike Dunbar / Paul Dunbar (SOPYC)42‑5332216
44063FireflyPhilippa Packer / Dean McAullay (RFBYC)3534‑76425
54098Phar LapDavid Swan / Matt Elliott (EBYC)5 1953528
64053Tuffan UpDavid Yu / Chris Nelson (RFBYC)‑1446644731
73992Glamour BuoysGreg Leaversuch / Peter Barblett (RFBYC)‑1137569838
83989Ffast Lane 4John Wilson / Matt Summers (SOPYC)89810‑1381053
94075Final FifteenJohn Hassen / Kevin Griffiths (SOPYC)9811710‑151257
104032FreudeRob Donaldson / Gordon McWilliam (EBYC)615912‑1612660
113879Aussie WayKim Peaker / Neil Whilte (SOPYC)7712DNC12101361
124089Puffa FishAshley Reichstein / Tim Buckman (EBYC)101110‑161471466
133858Second BreakfastKaren Dawes / Russell Dawes (SOPYC)1312‑14811131168
143855FflashpointPeter Rooke / Alan Sharpe (SOPYC)1613‑1611814971
154064Fly in the Ointment Sandy Dunn‑Greg Howell(SOPYC) 1216‑17139111576
164010Mr FoxMark Millman / Nygel Moffat (GYC)1510131415171683
173545Frequent FlyerWayne North / Ela North (PRSC)17 151517161797
183619AffrodisiacDavid Rooke / Julia Rooke (EBYC)181718DNCDNCDNCDNC113
193909Tuffa NuffRyan Norris / Julie Waters (EBYC)RETRETDNSDNS181818113

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