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News about the UK Flying Fifteen fleet

What is going on in the world of UK Flying Fifteens

UK Flying 15 News

Jeremy Arnold 798

President's Letter, Christmas 2022

Containers away and calendar sorted...and how to bear away!

With the boats safely in the containers for Australia, Alastair Stevenson, aided and abetted by John Hanson have produced and published our 2023 fixture list. I’m especially pleased to announce our Classic & Silver Nationals at Bass in sunny August. So, come on Classic & Silver owners, check those road trailer bearings – it’s an easy winter job. And, to you the other 15 sailors, why not beg or borrow an older boat and join in the fun!

We’re also making plans for the Flying 15 stand at the RYA Dinghy & Watersports Show. Like last year, this will be held at Farnborough International over the weekend of 25 - 26 February 2023. If you could spare some time to help out on the stand, please contact Keith Jamieson.

The Flying 15 is a great boat to sail with little or few vices. However, it does have a relatively small rudder and like a lot of things in life, it requires a little thought and preparation to make efficient manoeuvres. And even if you’re not a racer, I hope might use my thoughts to get off the club pontoon with low stress.

In principle, we’re trying to keep the boat in balance using a combination of sheet tension and boat heel.  Look at the tiller at this Australian boat going up wind.


The helm is having counteract weather helm by pulling to tiller windward. This can be counteracted using 2 tools:
  1. Depower the main  - in it’s rawest form, ease the main. If you want to be more subtle, ease the kicker, let the ram forward; and
  2. Flatten the boat – i.e. Sit out harder.

This also applies in manoeuvres. Have a look at this windy windward mark at Chew.


Jeremy and Martin are ready to bear off on to the run. The boat is flat and the sails, especially the main is eased, with the kicker let off. There is only way this boat is going to turn – downwind.

Compare this to Rob and Glyn just behind, they’re heeled to leeward, with main still sheeted on. Which way do you think their boat going to turn ? Yes, unless Rob pulls the tiller up around his head the boats going to round up into wind.

And, all this extra tiller movement relates to increased drag which slows the boat down.

So, in summary
Bear Away: Luff Up:
  • Ease Main
  • Ease Kicker
  • Windward Heal
  • Oversheet / Back Jib
  • Sheet Main
  • Sheet Kicker
  • Leeward Heal
  • Ease Jib

Ian Cadwallader
GBR 4055, GBR 4060


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