posted on November 10, 2015
The 2015 Flying Fifteen Open Meeting Season finally came to a conclusion on Saturday 7th November at Draycote Water.
Competitors for the Sprint Open sponsored by Mercure Brandon Hall Hotel and Spa, were not exactly greeted with ideal sailing conditions, wet and windy! The rain abated for a while to allow boats to be rigged however the wind remained force 5/6 gusting an lot more! Two teams from Chew Valley, Ian Cadwallader/Dave Sweet and Bill Chard/Ken Cromrie, joined the home fleet of six teams including the reigning champs, Jeremy Davy and Martin Huett. With an undetermined number of races to be sailed and with each race to last around 30 minutes, Jon Hughes (Principle Race Officer) and his team commenced the racing slightly later than scheduled and set a windward/leeward course, with two leeward marks.
Rain returned for the first race which saw a clean start with team Davy/Huett leading the way, and that was not to change over the next three laps. Positions behind them changed plenty due to the strong winds with team Cadwallader/Sweet eventually finishing second with Draycote’s Fleet Captain, Pete Slater, and Tim Case not far behind in third, which proved to be their best result.
Following the wind swinging towards the west during the first race, race two was delayed slightly to allow marks to be adjusted, and to give the fleet a short rest! The rain had abated for the day and after another clean start, team Davy/Huett again led the way but the fleet was tightly packed especially going round the windward mark. Places again being won and lost in the windy conditions and rounding the windward mark for third and final time, team Davy/Huett led from team Cadwallader/Sweet with the event organiser and sponsor, Richard Hope/Mike Stenson, in third having passed Steve Copper/Anna Day at the windward mark. Unfortunately for team Cadwallader/Sweet, they encountered spinnaker problems during the hoist which dropped them back to fourth. So team Davy/Huett took line honours from team Hope/Stenson with team Copper/Day in third. However, that was to be team Cooper/Day’s final race as equipment failure meant they could not continue.
So seven boats started the third race this time in sunshine as the clouds had dissipated, unfortunately the wind was as strong as ever causing the race officer a few headaches as the windward mark kept moving and had to be put back in place at the end of each race. Made it interesting for the fleet as one was never too sure where the windward mark would be in relation to the hitch mark! Anyway, another clean start and again Davy/Huett led the way from start to finish with team Cadwallader/Sweet coming second and team Chard/Cromrie in third. Further down the fleet saw more gear failure with Simon Patterson and our president, Simon Thompson, having sold their own boat and thus in a borrowed boat, return it to its owners minus a functioning spinnaker pole having snapped it in half! Ooops! A broken pole end fitting was also the demise of Draycote’s Ray Flanaghan and John Dinnie.
So five boats started race four which turned out to be a repeated of race 3 in terms of the top three places however team Slater/Case called it a day at the end of the race due to fatigue. The wind then dropped to a very pleasant force 3 for the fifth and final race but only four boats had survived to see the event to its finale. Despite the lighter wind and the four boats remaining very close together with numerous place changes, the result was the same as race 4, which meant team Davy/Huett had won all five races.
So the final result was as follows:-
- 1st Jeremy Davy & Martin Huett
- 2nd Ian Cadwallader & Dave Sweet
- 3rd Bill Chard & Ken Cromrie
- 4th Richard Hope & Mike Stenson
Our thanks go to Mike Stenson and Mercure Hotels for sponsoring the event and providing some of the best prizes on the circuit, overnight accommodation in various Mercure Hotels around the country. Thanks also go to Jon Hughes and the Miracle fleet for running this fantastic event and enduring the bad weather.
We look forward to hosting the event next year and welcoming more visitors to take part in this unique event on the open meeting calendar.