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President's Letter for February
Jeremy Arnold 500

President's Letter for February

Bill welcomes us to a new year of 'Fifteen events

So all the winter maintenance is done, the weather will soon start to warm up (I promise), and we’re ready to get stuck into a bumper season of Fifteen sailing for the UK class.

The first event in our calendar doesn’t involve getting cold or wet though - as I write this we’re only 10 days away from the RYA Dinghy Show. This year we will have two boats on the Flying Fifteen stand. The first is a brand new boat, no doubt with a few innovations in fit-out and ready to launch for the open meeting season. The other is Ben McGrane’s boat 4002, built in 2012 - a multiple nationals winning boat, including the 2023 title, demonstrating the long competitive life enjoyed by our boats. It’s not too late to volunteer for a spell of stand duty at the show - use the link in the fixture list on the class website to sign up.

The weekend after the show we’re straight into the open meeting series with the Chew Valley open (shameless plug for my home club!). This event is shared with the Scorpions and Merlin Rockets and should be a real spectacle.

With the next World Championship scheduled for 2025 in Weymouth, I know we have lots of new faces in the class preparing to compete in the qualifier series throughout this season with the aim of securing a place in the Worlds. It’s looking like being a highly competitive and well attended series of events - as a reminder, that’s the Nationals, Inlands, Scottish, Northerns, and Southerns. If you’re planning to sail in these events, the fixture list on the class website has dates, locations, and importantly scrutineering forms to complete. Now would be a good time to make sure your certificate is up to date, including sail endorsements - there will be checks throughout the series, if you’re unfamiliar with the sail limitation rules please look them up in the rules section of the FFI site.

On the subject of the Worlds, the organising committee is working hard to attract the top teams from all countries with Fifteen fleets. We know that shipping a Fifteen across the World for an event like this is a big undertaking, and there have already been some enquiries about chartering UK boats. If the Worlds is not your thing, but you have a competitive boat you’d be willing to charter, please get in touch. It may still be over a year away, but these things take a lot of planning!

That’s all from me for now, enjoy the rest of this newsletter, and I’ll hopefully see you at the Dinghy Show or at an open meeting very soon.

Bill Chard
GBR 4069

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