posted on May 17, 2010
Sixteen Flying Fifteens, including six visitors, gathered for the 2010 Chew Valley Open Meeting. They were greeted by beautiful sunshine but no wind. Race Officer Ralph Singleton spotted the breeze early and minimised any delay.
The first race took place in a force 3 westerly. David and Sally McKee led from the start and were never challenged with Ian Cadwallader and Dave Sweet coming a comfortable second. Max Passmore and Catherine Brockbank made a good start, got early onto the lifted tack and remained in third place. The mid-fleet saw some very close racing.
The breeze strengthened a little for the second race and oscillated towards the north making the choice of side for the first beat important. First and second places were the same but Noel West was a close third.
The breeze strengthened again for the third race. Ian Cadwallader, David McKee and Mike Thompson and Simon Millington were first onto the lifted port tack. Cadwallader and Sweet made the windward mark first with the McKees next and Thompson and Millington closely behind. The latter had some gear failure which dropped them back but they held onto third place. Cadwallader and Sweet took first place with the McKees second leaving them leading by one point overnight. The race for 3rds place and 5th to 8th place were equally close leaving all to play for on Sunday.
Butcombe Brewery sponsored the meeting in kind providing a pleasant Saturday evening interlude.
While the sun had disappeared on Sunday the breeze had not, varying force 3 to 4 with gusts up to force 5. race 4 was led almost from the start by Cadwallader and Smart with the McKees in second, leaving these crews level going into the final race. This turned into an epic duel between the two with close tacking duels and place changes but the McKees gained the upper hand to win and take the series.
The Trophy for the silver fleet was won by Alex Timms who only started started sailing a Flying Fifteen this year and, on this occasion was guest crewed by Anne Dyer.
The Race Management was excellent coping well with the somewhat shifty conditions.