posted on March 24, 2010
Fifty boats from 6 countries assembled for the Flying Fifteen European Championships under the burgee of the Societe de Regates des Rochelaises.
Among the fleet were five former World Champions and a cluster of National Champions. The biggest fleet was the British one with the home French fleet next largest. The scene was set for some exciting racing.
After some particularly stormy weather in the days before the regatta the first race day produced a beautiful sunny day with a light Force 2-3 breeze from the north west shifting west. The Race Officer set a one-lap windward – leeward course for the first race.
Defending champions Steve Goacher and Phil Evans got off to a bad start in a collision at the start of the first race followed by two turns. The race was dominated by Andy Davis and Andy Couch sailing Ken Dodd’s Dad’s Dog’s still dead and Simon Kneller and Dave Lucas.
There appeared to be no particular gain from one side of the course and those who made best use of the wind shifts fared best. Kneller and Lucas prevailed with Davis and Couch second. Arnaud Biet and Fabien Constant were third and Charles Apthorp and Alan Green fourth.
The second race was a two-lap windward leeward course with a slight shift of the breeze. Simon Kneller was first over the finish line only to be disqualified for being over the line at the start. Steve Goacher and Phil Evans took the lead but lost it in a tacking duel after a windshift to Andy Davis and Andy Couch.
Thus, at the end of the first day Andy Davis and Andy Couch lead with Mike Hart and Richard Rigg in second having sailed very consistently.
The forecast for day two is for light breezes and possibly stormy weather on day 3.
An exciting contest is in prospect.
Flying 15 - European Championship, Leading positions after 2 races (50 entries)
1 3958 DAVIS Andy COUCH Andy BLITHFIELD S.C 2 1 3 3pts
2 3917 HART Mike RIGG Richard PDSC 6 3 9 9
3 3920 WELLS Greg DARLING Mark HISC 8 4 12 12
4 3941 BAX Alan MASTERMAN Bill HISC. 5 7 12 12
5 3821 GOACHER Stene EVANS Phil RWYC 12 2 14 14
6 3961 BIET Arnaud CONSTANT Fabien Y.C.DINARD 3 11 14 14
7 3959 GOODARD Andy MAL Hartland DOVESTONE S.C 7 8 15 15
8 3957 APTHOP Charles GREEN Alan HISC 4 13 17 17
9 3954 WAPLES Justia STAVE Ian RC Y.GBRC 14 5 19 19
10 3883 LAVERY John O'BRIEN David NATIONAL .Y.C 16 6 22 22
11 3955 BROWNING Gill GRADY Martin HISC 17 9 26 26
12 3899 THOMPSON Michael MILLINGTON Simon CHEW VALLEY LAKE 15 14 29 29