One of the many attractions of sailing a Flying 15 is the diversity of sailing clubs where they’re actively sailed. From disused gravel pits like South Cerney in Wiltshire, lakes, lochs & reservoirs and then to the open sea. It truly is a boat for all occasions. The recent East Coast Championship generously sponsored by Allen Brothers and Waples Wines provided me with a new type of F15 sailing , a river estuary.
The weekend’s sailing was split into two distinct activities, round the cans aka orienteering on Saturday and windward-leewards on Sunday. The windward – leewards provided a more compact fleet, but I must admit the orienteering was great fun.
Over a bacon sandwich at the briefing, Edwin Buckley our race officer, gave each boat an envelope, a map and lent us a radio. Probably foolishly we waited until we were on the water to open the envelope. It contained 3 strips of paper, each strip had the predefined course for each of the day’s races. Obviously, helms are totally incapable of multi tasking, so the poor crew at the front of the boat was left the full navigational responsibility. The only trouble was the spray from a F15 on a white sail reach was fast making the paper self destruct in true Mission Impossible style. Needless to say, despite all this adversity the crews stepped up to this challenge and successfully dragged the helms around the course.
Another crewing duty of the weekend included pointing out to the helm that we had slowly and gently run aground on the soft mud and the boat had in fact stopped moving forward. But the most enjoyable duty was to open and help pour a huge Salazar (9 litre bottle) of South African red to all the competitors at Saturday’s fleet dinner. Trust me it really was a 2 man job and it brought the fleet together brilliantly.
So, the point of writing this is to say; give travelling to an event away from your home club a go. You meet great friendly people, you learn a little more how to sail the boat and most importantly, it’s great fun.
I must say the use of radios really made communication easy – changing the class rules to allow them was a good move and makes our sport safer too; we’ll be using one next year.
It’s useful to have a flick through them to see how your boat set up compares with the likes of Graham Vials and Andy McKee’s. Here’s a snap taken by Roger Mant from the Sunday at Burnham showing the difference between 2 F15’s. The black sail number boat using a lot more kicker and the blue sail number consequently has a fuller main with more weather helm.
Thanks to Flying 15 International and others there’s a plethora of great 15 photos from the Europeans available.
And don’t forget these too:
And so to the worlds…. Bill Chard, your Vice President is working really, really hard to get the UK team down to Australia for the Perth worlds in March 2023. Unfortunately, any savings we have been able to negotiate have been wiped out by the recent political and fiscal turmoil. Nevertheless, I’m pleased to say the following 12 boats are representing the UKFFA. Now all they have to do is pass the stringent entry checks to get into Australia. This could be a challenge for the likes of Ian Pinnell!
|Campbell Alexander (RSA)
The current plan is for the boats to go to be packed in the morning of 18 November, in Harlow, Essex. We wish them well.