This was the last event in the Flying Fifteen Southern Travellers series held at Broxbourne Sailing club who sail on the gravel pit in the Lee Valley. This provides a very different challenge to the more normal large open water events at many of the flying fifteen venues and is a great leveller between the older and newer boats. The club has a long established Flying Fifteen fleet and is well set up with effortless electric crane launching. The club welcomes any Fifteen sailors to come and join in our winter series and get some short course practice.
An unseasonably warm October day greeted the competitors with a West South Westerly wind around 10mph. This is one of the better directions for Broxbourne as it allows windward legs across the full diagonal of the lake. Accordingly race officer Pip Hudson set up a sausage-triangle course from a committee boat start line.
In the first race Richard Anthony sailing with his sister Bridget in FF3715 got away to a flyer from the port end and had a useful lead at the first mark. Behind them it was very close. At the end of the run John Hansen and Helen Selden, FF4094 emerged from the pack and started to chase down and eventually pass, FF3715 setting their pattern for the remaining races. Behind after much place changing Bob Tait and Nick Law, FF4051 finished third.
After lunch and a small course adjustment, race two resumed. This time FF4094 led from start to finish though behind there was much place changing with Brian Turner and Jackie Burns FF3707 second.
In race three it looked like the pin was preferred, however, a late shift favoured FF3094 at the committee boat end who again led from start to finish. Behind this team there was again much place changing with FF3707 again second and a steadily improving Neal and Stuart Bartholomy 3873 visiting from Middle Nene third.
A video of the first part of race three can be viewed on the Broxbourne Sailing Club Facebook Page
Broxbourne laid on a great feast in the evening which was much enjoyed by all. Much thanks to Sarah.
On Sunday the wind failed to turn up and so racing had to be abandoned. Thus the final winners were John Hanson and Helen Selden. They were never seriously threatened. It was great to see a good turn-out from the Broxbourne club sailors some of which were competing as helms in an Open event for the first time. Many of them had their moments of glory and it was a great occasion and very social.
Report & Photos by Pip Hudson