Please select your home edition
Edition
Wessex Resins 2019 - Pro-Set - 728x90
Product Feature
Flying Fifteen Rudder Bag
Flying Fifteen Rudder Bag

Flying Fifteen class at Gaastra PalmaVela, Real Club Náutico de Palma

by Jonny Fullerton, Grand Prix Sailing 5 May 2014 17:39 BST 1-4 May 2014

Gecko victorious in Palma de Mallorca

Over 100 boats from 23 countries took part in Gaastra PalmaVela, the opening regatta of the Mediterranean season for a variety of classes. Flying Fifteens from Spain, Great Britain and Ireland took part in the regatta which consisted of three days racing on the Bay of Palma from 1 - 4 May, organized by the Real Club Nautico de Palma.

The Flying Fifteen fleet in the Balearic Islands includes a number of British and Irish expats enjoying the balmy Mediterranean climate and superb sailing conditions the islands have to offer.

The regatta also provided a good opportunity to brush off the rust and get some valuable training time on the water in advance of the European Championship which will be hosted by RCNPP Port de Pollensa on the north-east corner of the island of Mallorca in September this year.

The Flying Fifteen fleet enjoyed some very close tactical racing in a range of conditions with many of the races decided on the finish line with a photo finish. The opening day on Friday delivered some unseasonal cloud and a strong offshore breeze which delayed the start of racing until late in afternoon. The Fifteens sailed predominantly windward/leeward courses often with a long fetch from windward mark to spreader providing a sprint reach in the fresher conditions.

The local based GBR flagged Gecko skippered by class stalwart Michael Cough with his experienced long time ff crew Alan Green (IRL) claimed the opening day with two bullets and a second however the Anglo/Irish pair had to fight for the wins. Two races had to be abandoned due to large wind shifts and in the second race Gecko tangled with Irish crew Ken Dumpleton and Simon Murray at the top mark resulting in some turns of shame for Gecko. She recovered to win the race with the Irish boat Olive Oyl taking third. The final race of the first day was a start to finish win for local Cala Gamba sailor David Barber sailing Fine Fettle with his daughter Hannah.

Due to the shifting breeze and a shared course with J80's and Dragons it was a long day on the water with the fleet coming ashore at 1900 hrs local time just in time for the free! drinks and snacks offered by the RCNP on the club terrace.

A slightly hung over fleet re-assembled for day two on Saturday with a more normal sunny warm day but still with a battle between the local thermal winds and the regular sea breeze which usually fills in after lunchtime.

Three more races were held, the first two in light and shifty breeze but again with very close racing and bunched fleets. British boat Puff skippered by Stephen Hart sailed a blinder to take the bullet in the first race of the day but overall leader Gecko, (Clough/Green} sailed a shocker coming in 9th putting the pressure back on them with only one regatta discard allowed. Some blamed the quantity of free Plymouth gin & tonics drunk in the club bar the night before but the Anglo/Irish pair re-grouped to take out the next race of the day in 8-10 knots.

Another expat crew David Miles and Chris Doorly sailing a local ESP flagged boat Stormtrooper 3 enjoyed a great scrap with the Barber's sailing Fine Fettle and local Cala Gamba fifteen Flying High, sailed by last years PalmaVela winners Vincent and Patrick Harris. Stormtrooper grabbed second in a close finish but the Irish entry Olive Oyl sailed by Ken Dumpleton and Simon Murray were chipping away with regular podium finishes of their own.

Olive Oyl's consistency paid in the final race of the day which was sailed in a fresher moderate offshore breeze and a short chop. The fetch in this race was an exciting planing dash with a tough choice of whether to raise a spinnaker or wait before the turn downwind. The Irish crew went on to record their first win of the regatta and leave them five points behind Gecko with one more day to go.

Sunday delivered a typical Mallorcan Spring day with air temperatures close to 20c and a slightly more stable but cool SW onshore breeze. The overall regatta was Gecko's to lose, Michael Clough and Alan Green needed three more conservative results to take the Gaastra PalmaVela title. However the consistent Irish crew of Ken Dumpleton and Simon Murray continued to finish in the top three to keep the pressure on.

Despite more very close and compact fleet racing Gecko managed to hold off the chasing pack to finish the day with a 2,1,3 to win the regatta by 5 points. Olive Oyl finished with a 1,3,2 to seal second overall.

The battle for third remained a three way tussle between David and Hannah Barber's Fine Fettle, the Harris brothers sailing Flying High and Stormtroooper sailed by David Miles and Chris Doorly. The result had to be decided on the last run of the day, but the Barbers had done all they could winning the final race of the regatta to clinch third overall by one point.

The Balearic Flying Fifteen fleet now have a number of regattas around the island of Mallorca over the summer months with a view to preparing for the European Championship in September in Pollensa, details of which can be obtained from the website, www.flyingfifteen.net.

Overall Results: (top five, 9 races, 1 discard)

1 GBR 3817, Gecko, Michael Clough/Alan Green: 1,1,2,(9),1,3,2,1,3 - 14pts
2 IRL 3753, Olive Oyl, Ken Dumpleton/Simon Murray: 3,3,(5),2,4,1,1,3,2 - 19pts
3 ESP 3728, Fine Fettle, David Barber/Hannah Barber: 4,6,1,(7),3,5,5,2,1 - 27pts
4 ESP 3592, Flying High, Vincent Harris/Patrick Harris: 2,4,3,3,(6),2,6,4,4 - 28pts
5 ESP 3610, Stormtrooper 3, David Miles/Chris Doorly: 5,2,(6),4,2,4,3,5,6 - 31pts

For full results visit www.palmavela.com

For details on the Flying Fifteen European Championship in Pollensa visit www.flyingfifteen.net.

Related Articles

Flying Fifteens at Broxbourne
Very light and variable winds for the competitors Very light and variable winds greeted the competitors to the Broxbourne Flying Fifteen open meeting on the weekend of 18th & 19th May. Posted on 22 May
Flying Fifteens at the 16th Palma Vela Regatta
A perfect European season curtain raiser The Flying Fifteen fleet sailed the full complement of nine races over a three day weekend, sharing a course with Vipers, Dragons and J80's. Posted on 14 May
Flying Fifteen Northerns at Ullswater
A weekend of challenging conditions Three firsts out of five races won David McKee and Mal Hartland of Dovestone SC the Flying Fifteen Northern Championships at Ullswater Yacht Club on May 11 and 12. A total of 25 boats with visitors from all over the country took part. Posted on 13 May
Inaugural Blackpool & Fleetwood Flying 15 Open
First round of the 2019 Walpes Wine Northern Series Blackpool and Fleetwood Yacht Club hosted 34 sailors in 17 boats at their inaugural Flying Fifteen Open and the first round of the 2019 Walpes Wine Northern Series on 5th & 6th May 2019. Posted on 9 May
124 teams prepare for 16th Sail Racing PalmaVela
The countdown begins for teams from 23 countries The 14 classes which make up the multi-faceted fleet, ORC 0, ORC 1, ORC 2, ORC 3, ORC 4, ORC 5, IRC 0, Box Rule, J80, Dragon, Flying Fifteen, Viper, Vintage/Classic/Spirit of Tradition and Disabled Sailing start racing this Thursday. Posted on 7 May
Cowes Classics to repeat great sailing experience
Another keen competitor coming back for another shot "As a regular competitor in Cowes Classics Week I am looking forward to another week of fantastic clear water racing and excellent courses together with the best onshore social events in the Cowes calendar," says regular competitor Sir Richard Ottaway. Posted on 2 May
Flying 15 Subaru World Championships takes shape
Preparations are well under way and all countries have completed their qualification series With the Subaru Flying Fifteen World Championships combined with an International event and the Championships of Ireland September promises to be a fantastic festival of sailing on Dublin Bay hosted by the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. Posted on 30 Apr
P&B Sails
Constructed by hand using top materials and the latest technology With over 50 years of sail-making experience at its disposal, the P&B Sail Loft team have built a reputation for producing some of the best sails available on the market. Posted on 26 Apr
Western Australian Flying Fifteen Championship
Jerwood claims close state title at Esperance Bay YC Storm conditions forced the cancellation of the first of a three day Gemmill Homes Flying Fifteen State championship hosted by the Esperance Bay Yacht Club so it was decided to reduce the regatta to a six race, two day affair. Posted on 22 Apr
Lendy Cowes Week starts in just 112 days
A new GRP Classics Class and other changes this year Here at Cowes Week Ltd we are excited to look forward to another great year ahead, with Lendy Cowes Week starting in just 113 days. Posted on 19 Apr