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Flying Fifteen Inland Championship at Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club

by Bill Chard 11 Oct 11:43 BST 9-10 October 2021

The 2021 Flying Fifteen Inland Championship at Chew Valley Lake SC on October 9th and 10th saw 24 entries, including six from the home fleet.

The forecast had looked light all week and proved to be remarkably accurate. Competitors arriving on Saturday were greeted with bacon butties, coffee and tea, a picturesque Chew Valley Lake, but zero wind! At 2pm, still with a flat calm and no prospect of improvement, racing was abandoned for the day giving everyone the afternoon for country walks and local sightseeing before a well-attended social at the sailing club in the evening.

Sunday morning started with the lake still rather calm, but by the 1030 start time the weather had improved to classic inland conditions, 8-10 knots with plenty of shifts and pleasantly warm sunshine for mid-October. The race team lead by PRO John Smalley got proceedings under way on time and ran 4 good races for a truncated but hotly contested championship series.

Race 1 started with a shifty first beat, and some competitors discovering the exact location of those shallows that someone mentioned in the briefing! There was plenty of place changing throughout the race, although on the last run Bill Chard & Josh Preater, and Charles & Charlie Apthorp, extended a lead from the rest of the fleet with Bill & Josh taking the win from the Apthorps, and Richard Hope & Mike Stenson in 3rd.

Race 2 started with a port shift allowing Chew skiff sailors Alex Knight & Rob Higgins in a borrowed boat to execute a perfect port end flyer and take the lead, only to have their race ended by gear failure on the first run. After three laps, Justin Waples & Jackie McKellar took first, followed by Jeremy Davey & Martin Huett, and then Bill & Josh.

Race 3 saw the only general recall of the event, but according to the committee boat it was a pretty blatant one! However the restart was still under a 'P' flag, and the fleet was away cleanly at the second attempt. Ian Pinnell & Ian Cadwallader rounded the windward mark first and went on to take a convincing win. Richard Lovering & Matt Alvarado were second, followed by Greg Wells & Elliot Wells.

Race 4 introduced a discard and would be the decider for the event, with 4 boats in the running. There was a short postponement, as a wind shift forced the race team to rotate the course to the left, making the shallows a more significant factor on the right side of the beat. Nevertheless, the right side paid, and at the first mark Jeremy & Martin (needing 2nd or better to win the event) rounded first.

Of the boats in contention, Bill & Josh, and Ian & Ian, were too far down the fleet to influence the end-result. At the front, Jeremy & Martin lead for most of the race pushed hard by Richard & Matt and Greg & Elliot.

Richard & Matt took the lead on the final run but second was enough for Jeremy & Martin to secure first overall. Richard & Matt's race win put them level on points with Bill & Josh, but just ahead on count-back so they took second overall.

The future looks bright for the class going into 2022, the 75th anniversary year of the Flying Fifteen class, with a healthy number of new boats launched and more being built. Next year's calendar is looking good and includes the Nationals at Hayling Island, and the European Championship at Cowes. Then in 2023 the next World Championship will take place in Fremantle Australia.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4Pts
1st3760Jeremy DaveyMartin HuettDraycote‑132428
2nd4002Richard LoveringMatt AlvaradoHISC‑116219
3rd4069Bill ChardJosh PreaterChew Valley Lake SC135‑119
4th4055Ian PinnellIan CadwalladerCVLSC641(DNC)11
5th4030Greg WellsElliot WellsHISC‑1953311
6th4033Justin WaplesJackie McKellarRCYC & RHYC‑1219515
7th4044Richard HopeMike StensonDraycote Water Sailing Club3‑116716
8th4080Simon PattersonSimon ThompsonDraycote Water SC58‑10417
9th4094John HansonHelen SeldenDatchet Sailing club47‑8617
10th3795Tim JohnsonJo JohnsonCVLSC‑14107825
11th4035Keith HarrisClaire JefferisCVLSC99‑12927
12th3936Jeremy ArnoldAngus WrightNotts County SC812‑171030
13th4004charles apthorpcharlie apthorpHISC21416(DNC)32
14th3829Andy GeorgeMatthew PallettBurton Sailing Club151311(DNC)39
15th3764Chris SparkEmma SparkAldeburgh Yacht Club‑2015131240
16th3969Peter CardStephen CardLlangorse SC7‑22191743
17th4027Michael ClappHoward ShawyerDatchet Water SC17‑21151345
18th3563Martin SmithKaren BestonBlithfield1618‑211448
19th3948Alex KnightRob HigginsCVLSC10(DNF)14DNC49
20th3536Angus David ScottAndrew WilsonDWSC‑2217201552
21st4084Tim O'BrienGraham WadeleyGWSC‑2120181856
22nd2611Hugh WhatleyAlex WhatleyCVLSC‑2319221657
23rd3914Adrian TattersallGlyn MorganPYC/TSC/FBYC1816(DNF)DNC59
24th4089Hamish MackayAndrew LawsonRoyal Thames YC(DNC)DNCDNCDNC75

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