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The Inside Track - The Story of the Flying Fifteen Class Dinghy Show Exhibit

by Jeremy Arnold 3 Mar 14:50 GMT
Chris Ducker and Phil Evans working together like a well-oiled machine © David Heron

The 2020 RYA Dinghy Show saw two Flying Fifteens on display, one being a fairly conventional boat built, fitted-out and displayed by Ovington Boats Ltd, whilst the second boat exhibited on the Class Association stand incorporated some new and unique features. This is the story of that second boat.

Flying Fifteen fleets exist across the globe and the international association manages the evolution of the class very carefully to ensure the boat remains thoroughly modern and appealing to sailors - whilst also controlling ownership costs and maintaining the longevity and strict one-design nature for which the boats are famed.

An example of a fairly recent development was a change to the design of the genoa - increasing it's height but reducing it's width - to reduce sheet loads for the benefit of lighter-weight crews. This change hasn't altered the speed of the boat but top crews have discovered that it's possible to sheet the new genoa slightly closer to the centerline in certain conditions and thus achieve a slight gain in height upwind. Experiments are now taking place across the fleet into the best way of achieving this.

Chris Ducker of Royal Windermere YC recently commissioned boatbuilder Phil Evans to fit-out a new Ovington Mk10 hull to his own specification and incorporating custom-made pre-preg carbon 'pods' mounted on each side of the cockpit, upon each of which are mounted twin, linked, genoa tracks.

This boat became GBR 4073, the boat on display on the UK class association stand at the dinghy show; the story of it's design and fit-out - completed less than one day before the show - has been documented in video form by David Heron, and is well worth watching.

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