posted on September 07, 2018
Well they did get another race in on the final day, and that changed the overall results with Hamish Mackay and Andrew Lawson squeezing the "Whippet and the Whopper" down into second place.
The final results table is below, together with a report from Elena Giolai from the host club.
Reports from the racing on days two, three and four are also included below, courtesy of Simon Thompson. (Remember that there was no racing on day one due to very light winds)
Flying Fifteen European Championship at Fraglia Vela Riva: Overall - by Elena Giolai
At the Fraglia Vela Riva, the European Championships of the Flying Fifteen class were concluded, frequented by amateurs who pleasantly combine sailing regattas with a nice week of vacation, particularly appreciated on Garda Trentino and in Riva del Garda.
That's how about forty crews spent beautiful days, competing in all ten races, often with sun and perfect wind from the south arriving in the afternoon, the ideal time to allow everyone to party in the evening, have time to visit the surrounding area with short trips in the morning and get to the club in the late morning ready to race.
And also the competitive part was exciting, since there was not an absolute leader, but the final was balanced with the first two in equal score: after ten races and two discards there has risen to the top of the podium, with 29 points, Mackay-Lawson, who, having finished with a last race better than direct opponents Goacher-Harper (seventh against a tenth) won the continental title.
Six points behind the other Bris was Wells-Jameson, second in the last race. Penalized by an OCS the winners of the final race, Gorringe-Brown, ended seventh.
On the part of everyone, the desire to return to the Fraglia Vela Riva early, choosing a period in which many participants can come with the whole family: evidently Garda Trentino once more has "bewitched" those who enjoyed it (especially by sailing on the lake) of the beauty and the enjoyment that are found in this area.
Reports from each day's racing from our own correspondent:
Report after Day 4:
Day 4 Flying Fifteen European Championships - Lessons learnt, mostly
3 Races in strong breezes and the fleet goes right to the cliffs
Day 4 started sunny but hazy with the threat of late thunderstorms. However the Ora started faintly just before noon and the fleet were called out to race. The Race Committee had agreed with the fleet that we would again sail 3 races as the forecast for Friday was poor and might mean no sailing that day
Race 7 started with the usual general recall, This was addressed by adjusting the start line and the fleet got away to a good start with most learning Wednesday's lesson and avoided flirting with going left. In a strengthening breeze, the first run saw quite different tracks taken to the the leeward marks, with inconclusive results. The reaches of the second lap varied from extremely tight at the end of the first leg to nearly a run on the second, the search for shafts of heightened breeze being the main method of advancing positions. The race ended with the winners being the first in the regatta to get more than one pole position with Steve Goacher/Tim Harper (GBR4021) taking the honours followed by Ian Cadwallader/Steve Graham (GBR4055) and Greg Wells/Andrew Jameson (GBR4030).
Race 8 saw the committee flatten the start line even more to attempt to reduce the crush at the committee boat end of the line (the alternative idea was to introduce a queuing system!). This time the race got away cleanly with yet again a brave group of boats attempting the left side of the course yet again. Serial offender Dave Tabb recorded his two poorest results in races 7 and 8 with this tactic. Battles for positions in the second rank of boats proved just as hard as with the leading boats with small cross tacks on the way to the cliffs sometimes benefitting and sometimes penalising those taking them. A similar race to race 7 unfolded with Simon Kneller/Dave Lucas (GBR4024) taking line honours after bagging the prime starting slot followed by Hamish Mackay/Andrew Lawson (GBR4059) and Charles and Charlie Apthorp (GBR3957).
Race 9 (and what may yet prove to be the final race) followed after yet another adjustment to the start line. This did have the desired impact of spreading the starters more down the line, but a very impatient fleet incurred some individual recalls. The leading boats all went close the the cliffs on the right hand side of the course and were rewarded with an unimpeded tack into the windward mark.
The run was mainly uneventful but with a few boats taking either a direct line to the bottom buoys or even trying further the right to locate the wind shafts discovered on previous races. This did not give the hoped for improvement on positions. The final beat produced no surprises but the leading group of 8 boats did open a gap on the rest of the fleet and were not troubled by following boats all the way to the finish with Hamish Mackay/Andrew Lawson (GBR4059) taking the gun followed by Greg Wells/Andrew Jameson (GBR4030) and Steve Goacher/Tim Harper (GBR4021).
The fleet headed then home into very dark clouds over the mountains behind Riva and the occasional clap of thunder. The wished for fast journey home with the wind behind us rapidly descended into the usual paddle or tow back to base as the Ora switched off when deprived of the sunshine that fuels it.
The provisional results after Race 9 show Steve Goacher/Tim Harper as regatta leaders just 3 points ahead of Hamish Mackay/Andrew Lawson. If as expected we do not race today then that will be the final positions with Greg Wells/Andrew Jameson in third place.
If this is the end it has been an enjoyable regatta with varied results for many and no dominant leader until the last day. We will never forget the Race Committee's magnificent lunches with wine on the table in the clubhouse before they departed for the race area each day, giving us a friendly reminder of three toots that we should shift ourselves and get there as well.
by Simon Thompson GBR4044
Report after Day 3:
Day 3 Flying Fifteen European Championship
The day started off with more promise and as the fleet assembled for the start of the second day there was already a good breeze from the south and clear blue skies.
The first race (Race 4) took three attempts to get started as the enthusiasm of the sailors showed itself. The issue was resolved by adjusting the start line bias and hoisting the U flag. Various incidents occurred as the fleet approached the windward mark for the first time with boats overestimating their pointing ability or underestimating the northerly flow of the water. The first reach appeared less tight than on day 2, but the second reach was turning into a run. In continuation of the mixed results of day 2, the race was won by Ian Mathews/Keith Poole (IRL3864) with Steve Goacher/Tim Harper (GBR4021) and Hamish Mackay/Andrew Lawson (GBR4059) following them across the line.
Race 5 got away to a clean start and progressed with the usual quandary of exactly which line to take up the first beat. As usual those going closer to the cliffs on the right prevailed. The eventual winners were Hamish Mackay/Andrew Lawson (GBR4059), followed by Jon Gorringe/Steve Brown (GBR3922) and Charles and Charlie Apthorp (GBR3957).
Race 6 proved to be startling in the number of top class sailors who broke the golden rule mentioned in the title and went to the left side of the course on the first beat only to see the rule followers cross then 400 metres ahead on their run into the first windward mark, and gap most would never recover from. Amongst that pack were Charles Apthorp and Steve Goacher. The eventual winners having led around that first windward mark were Simon Kneller/Dave Lucas (GBR4024) with Alan Green and anonymous crew (IRL3970) and Bob Alexander/Huw Willetts (GBR3537) following them.
Hopefully dear reader you will have noticed by now that getting consistent results are a challenge at this regatta. With the weather forecast for Friday being poor (heavy rain and thunderstorms) the race committee sought permission from the fleet to run 3 races again on Thursday to complete a 9 race series. No-one is assured of victory until "the fat lady sings".
by Simon Thompson GBR4044
Report After Day 2:
Day 2 ff15 Europeans
The forecast was for a much stronger "Ora" (southerly) wind than the failed attempt on Monday. The fleet left the harbour with the start of a breeze meaning no paddling required. As the boats reached the starting area it was a "both seats on deck" wind strength.
The first race had to be restarted due to an over-exuberant fleet, but the second start went well and the wind faded, so back to crews sitting inboard. The fleet split into two with many potential winners going left whilst as many went right to the cliffs. Some chose the central route. The consensus seemed to be that the right paid off better than the left. It was then a long slow run back to the start but then the wind recovered and built further so that the triangle after the next beat gave some exciting reaching into the finish with Ian Cadwallader/Steve Graham (GBR4055) taking the line honours followed by Charles and Charlie Apthorp (GBR3957) and Ashley Smith/Kim Thrumpkin (HKG4004) from Royal Queensland YC.
Race 2 started in the same fresh breeze and the fleet got away on the first time of asking. This time more boats took the right hand course with those who persisted the longest appearing to come out the better at the windward mark. The run this time had greater wind pressure bringing the fleet the the leeward marks in a more compact form, with some challenging language being heard. The wind was continuing to rise through the next beat and the subsequent triangle was starting to become quite tight on the first half, but the second leg turned more into a run. The final leg to the finish was also now a tight reach with differing decisions as to flying the spinnaker or not. The new conditions brought different winners with Steve Goacher/Tim Harper (GBR4021) taking the win, followed by Hamish Mackay/Andrew Lawson (GBR4059) and Greg Wells/Andrew Jameson (GBR4030).
Race 3 enjoyed the same lively conditions but the wind had swung a little to the east giving an advantage to those who start at the Committee boat end and tacked early onto port tack. They saw the windward mark dead ahead, a situation which lasted for about two thirds of the beat until the leaders were headed off just in time for a useful tack onto starboard and the leg to the mark. A similar race to the second unfolded but again with different players at the front. The race ended with John Goringe/Steve Brown (GBR3922) taking line honours ahead of Dave Tabb/Chewey Sherrell (GBR4052) and Greg Wells/Andrew Jameson (GBR4030).
As the attached provisional results show there is no dominant team showing on day 2, but consistent good results will show benefits as the results of the top 3 overall display in the attached sheet.
Day 3 promises the same weather but the following days look more doubtful as Riva's strange summer weather seems destined to return.
By Simon Thompson GBR4044
ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF FRAGLIA VELA RIVA
There is a full album of photos available to view here
There is also a video produced by the club showing some of the racing here
And finally there are video interviews with some of the competitors on Facebook here