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Flying Fifteens at Cowes Classic Week - Report & Results
FF Editor 1640

Flying Fifteens at Cowes Classic Week - Report & Results

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Six Flying Fifteens entered Cowes Classics Week (CCW) in 2018. It is fair to say they represented the history of the class from the beautifully original number 28, Femme Fatale, to a couple of Ovington Mark 10s. Also in the mix was 627 Vamoose owned by UK class president Bobby Salmond which has been in his family for some 50 years and is beautifully maintained and subtly updated. Also there was CCW regular Chris Evans sailing with his daughter Hannah in 3510 ffickle.

Racing was held over 5 days with 8 races scheduled in total. As has been fairly typical in this summer racing was not possible every day and six races were completed. Racing was a mixture of laid courses and racing round fixed Solent marks to sometimes finish the last race near to Cowes. This year on the race circuit the Fifteens used the event organisers experimented with trapezoid courses. This enabled a number of small fleets (Etchells, Dragons and Swallows raced from the same committee vessel as the Fifteens) to use the same course with good separation. CCW uses the class approved Portsmouth Yardsticks for the event: Open - 1015; Silver - 1026; Classic – 1041 thus providing hope for the older boats in a mixed fleet.

Femme Fatale, now owned by Elliott Hall, was the star of the show. She is very original from the varnished planking showing off the copper nails to her cassette style rudder. She is probably the only boat apart from Uffa’s prototype that was built with that style of rudder. She even came with her original 1949 cotton sails although they were not used for racing. The organisers were so impressed with her that she was awarded the Concours D’Elegance prize for the event.


The beautiful Femme Fatale

Femme Fatale on demonstration sail with 1949 sails

So too the racing. Vamoose sailed to her Yardstick so well that on corrected time she won every race. Bobby put this down to his secret weapon, local crew 16 year old Will Morris. The modern boats took line honours in every race apart from the last one but could never save their time. One race was held on Monday with fflashback leading around the course. On Tuesday two races were held with Ffreefire20 and Fifty Fifty each claiming line honours once. No racing was possible on Wednesday so on Thursday the organisers ran three races to get back on track. Freefire20, Fifty Fifty and Vamoose each took line honours once with Bobby achieving his aim of beating the modern boats on the water in the final race. Lack of wind was again a problem on Friday so around midday all racing was abandoned and Vamoose was crowned the winner. Special mention should be made of Femme Fatale which valiantly sailed around the course on four occasions but lacked the pace to keep up. Is there a case for further Yardstick divisions?

Vamoose, overall winner on corrected time

Vamoose leading the modern boats home in the last race

Cowes Classics Week offers sailing at Cowes in a large event but without the hustle and bustle of Cowes Week which can be quite off putting to some visitors. The Fifteens are based at the Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club. Every day after racing tea and cake is served to competitors at the Royal London Yacht Club. During the week there are a variety of social events with an opportunity to visit all five Cowes yacht clubs including a reception at the Royal Yacht Squadron. The evening receptions are included in the entry fee with the option to purchase tickets for dinners, barbeques, etc. So if you fancy Cowes in 2019 try Cowes Classics Week 28th July to 2nd August. For more details contact local fleet captain Mike Dixon [email protected].

See also Y&Y report https://www.yachtsandyachting.com/news/208147/Cowes-Classics-Week-overall

Results

 

Rank

Boat

Sail No

Helm

Rating

R1

R2

R3

R4

R5

R6

Total

1st

Vamoose

GBR

627

Bobby Salmond

1041

-1

1

1

1

1

1

6

2nd

FFreefire20

HKG 3834

Tony Bedingfield

1015

(8.0 DNC)

2

3

2

2

3

20

3rd

Fifty Fifty

GBR 3926

Andrew Millband

1015

3

4

2

-5

3

2

19

4th

ffickle

GBR 3510

Christopher Evans

1015

4

(8.0 DNC)

8.0 DNC

3

4

4

31

5th

fflashback

GBR 3819

Mike Dixon

1015

2

3

4

(8.0 DNC)

8.0 DNC

8.0 DNC

33

6th

Femme Fatale

UK28

Elliott Hall

1041

5

(8.0 DNC)

8.0 DNC

4

5

5

35

    

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