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Flying Fifteen Northern Area Championship at Royal Windermere Yacht Club

by Jeremy Arnold 26 Apr 10:40 BST 21-22 April 2018
Flying Fifteen Northern Area Championship on Windermere © Jeremy Arnold

The Flying Fifteen Northern Championships were hosted by Royal Windermere YC over the weekend of 21st-22nd April and attracted a large and very competitive fleet of 47 boats, numbers being boosted due to the event being part of the qualification series for the 2019 World Championships taking place in Ireland.

The unseasonably hot and sunny weather of the preceding week continued into the first day of the event with the fleet launching under a cloudless sky and very little wind - in fact by the time everyone had reached the starting area the wind had disappeared entirely, resulting in a lengthy postponement before racing could get under way. Eventually the forecast 8 knot breeze did materialise and three good races around a triangle-sausage course could be held.

In the first race, and after the obligatory couple of general recalls, Royal Windermere local Steve Goacher sailing with Tim Harper (current World Champions) established a healthy lead ahead of the chasing pack and went on to win the race followed by Jeremy Davy & Martin Huett from Draycote SC in second and Simon Patterson & Simon Thompson also from Draycote in third place.

Goacher & Harper also led the fleet home in the second race, this time followed by Ian Pinnell and Graham Vials & Chris Turner.

Vials & Turner (also previous Flying Fifteen World Champions) went one better by winning the final race of the day with the ever-consistent Goacher & Harper this time in second place, followed this time by Pinnell in third.

The provision of race tracking by Sail Racer allowed the racing to be followed by many both at the clubhouse, and further afield, we are told the website had 5000 hits for day one. This can still be viewed courtesy of Sailracer here

So the results at the top of the fleet were extremely tight at the end of the first day, but with the possibility of everything still changing as a weather front moved-through overnight, accompanied by some spectacular lightning and short but intense rain showers.

Sunday dawned wet and grey and with a chilly 15-knot breeze - but remarkably by the time the fleet launched the wind had again almost disappeared and it was a long sail out of Bowness Bay to the race area.

Once again, the wind returned on schedule to allow the final two races to be held, but this time conditions were typical Windermere - very shifty and with lots of holes and the occasional strong gust. Vials & Turner continued where they had left off and won the first race of the day, followed by Davy & Huett in second and Goacher & Harper in third.

A large wind shift at the start of the final race of the event saw boats at one end of the start line almost reaching across the line as the gun went, with some boats to windward of them being forced-out and having to circle-around before being able to start and then having to play catch-up for the rest of the race - and that's a very difficult thing to achieve in the Flying Fifteen fleet which is famous for the strength-in-depth of its sailing talent and the very even boat speed through the fleet.

Greg Wells and Andrew Jamieson from Hayling Island SC won the final race, followed by David McKee & Mal Hartland from Dovestone SC and Dave Heron & Chris Ducker from Royal Windermere YC. Overall Steve Goacher and Tim Harper were worthy winners of the Northern Championships, followed by Vials & Turner in second and Davy & Huett in third.

Royal Windermere YC are to be congratulated on the efficient manner in which the event ran both on and off the water, especially given the demands of accommodating a fleet of 47 Flying Fifteens within a fairly small area, and then getting them all launched smoothly.

With thanks also to the sponsors and supporters of the event Slam UK, Goacher Sails, Pattinson Builders, as well as Peter & Lynn Gooch without whom the event would not have run so smoothly. The provision of additional spot-prizes enabled many sailors down the fleet and the army of helpers to go home as winners too.

The next big event for the UK Flying Fifteen fleet is the Southern Championships at Hayling Island SC is also a qualifier for the 2019 Worlds. In total five qualifiers will take place, with only three results required to qualify - so there's still time to beg, borrow or steal a boat and join the fun and the excellent racing!

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewBoatClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st4021Steve GoacherTim Harper R.W.Y.C.1123‑87
2nd4002Graham VialsChris Turner DRSC/LRSC‑431149
3rd3760Jeremy DavyMartin Huett Draycote Water S.C.2482‑1216
4th4005David McKeeMal HartlandFIERY CHARIOTDovestone S.C.5‑854216
5th4030Greg WellsAndrew JamesonAGATHAHISC‑18675119
6th4055Ian CadwalladerEllie Deveraux Chew Valley67116‑1430
7th4060Ian Pinnell   823‑352033
8th4033Andy MckeeRichard Jones Dovestone S.C.14597(RET)35
9th4016Dave HeronChris DuckerPITCH PERFECTR.W.Y.C.121016‑28341
10th4059Hamish MacKayAndrew LawsonPUFFER FISHRoyal Thames1013613(RET)42
11th4031Nigel TullettGraham TullettNIFFTYR.W.Y.C.1311‑149942
12th3954John HansonHelen SeldenHAKUNA KOTOADatched S.C.7‑264102546
13th4004Charles ApthorpAlan GreenFOOFHISC9‑3317111148
14th4044Simon PattersonSimon ThompsonWINDWHISTLERDraycote Water S.C.391326‑2751
15th3641Mike PrestonDavid ManifoldFFUNKY CHICKENBlackpool & Fleetwood Y.C.1720‑2317559
16th3520Neil CurrieRory YardleyCHIPS FOR FREEBassenthwaite S.C.2318‑2415662
17th3573John AtkinsonElizabeth MoretonFUNNY ENUFFR.W.Y.C.‑241610231362
18th3591Mark WestonAndy WeatherspoonFOUR WINDS IVWest Riding Y.C.11142120(RET)66
19th4017Phil SnewinRos ColemanCARBON FOOTPRINTR.W.Y.C.2619‑2816768
20th3902Richard HopeMike StensonDEFFIANT IIDraycote Water S.C.2015‑31181669
21st3787David BrockbankSimon MillingtonFIVEKey West Community S.C.1523‑27141870
22nd4056Andy GoddardTom Goddard Dovestone S.C.1927208‑2974
23rd3996Mike MooreKayla SheardHIGHWAYMANBassenthwaite S.C.2517‑26221074
24th4041Bill ChardJosh PreaterQUIDICIChew Valley21241221(RET)78
25th3624Emma HoulihanClare HoulihanFLYIG FERRETR.W.Y.C.‑372219241580
26th3751Julian NewmanAmanda WilsonFELIX FELICISR.W.Y.C.3128‑37121990
27th3517Craig RobinsonHannah RobinsonOFFBEATUllswater Y.C.‑352115273093
28th3936Jeremy ArnoldPaul BarnesMAGGIENotts County S.C.27252519‑2896
29th4052David TabbChewey Sherrell Parkstone(DNS)121825RET104
30th3998John WalterRoseanne Walter R.W.Y.C.293129‑3621110
31st3506Chritstian BarnesDenise SykesHUMMING BIRDUllswater Y.C.2238(DNF)2924113
32nd3729Bryan WillisJohn McPeakeSMOOTH GOLDCounty Antrim S.C.16293042(RET)117
33rd4027Michael ClappPeter MorrisVAQUERODatched S.C.2830‑353326117
34th3903Keith JamiesonPierre LabattVITALSTATISTIXR.W.Y.C.323732(DNF)17118
35th3463John ThornleyJon AbbatFIRTH OF FORTHUllswater Y.C.‑3432223431119
36th3627Rob GoodisonJohnathan Mallory Scarborough Y.C.36‑40383023127
37th4042Tim O'BrianColin FerraFFOXY LADYG.W.S.C.383534‑4322129
38th3563Alistair StevensonJeremy ValentineEVEN KEELDatched S.C.30343632(RET)132
39th3418Michael WilsonHelen LathamFFENELLAI.O.M.Y.C.3336‑423933141
40th3631Chris WrightNicki HooperFFOLLYRutland S.C.‑3939333834144
41st3583Mike WilczynskiJean WilcnynskiMOJORORC‑4441413132145
42nd3732Ian HockeyValerie HockeyOUTSIDERBlackpool & Fleetwood Y.C.42453937(RET)163
43rd3622Robert MountainAlex TorkingtonFOOFIGHTERBlackpool & Fleetwood Y.C.41424044(RET)167
44th3944Alastair ScammellStephanie BrownSOUFFLERutland S.C.40434341(RET)167
45th3602Peter MountainDavid GyteTHE FFWORDBlackpool & Fleetwood Y.C.43444440(DNS)171
46th3806Paul LangleyMichelle KayFIREBOLTR.W.Y.C.45(DNF)4545RET184
47th3130Jordan AspinJason BenANEMONESouth Windermere S.C.(RET)DNSDNSDNSDNS196
47th3973Simon LongstaffJon DenwoodLONGSTAFF'S BOATBassenthwaite S.C.(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNC196

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