Top Turnout for Start of Winter Series

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We had our best (equal) turnout of the year this week with 8 boats out including a return of the legendary FooF under new management (Charles). This was as many as the entire asymmetric fleet managed to get out and earned us our own start in winterised start format. The wind freshened up through the morning and gave us some nice reaches in the puffs. The water has come in as well – but fortunately not quite enough to break Mervyn’s mast when it hit the underside of the tower while he was watching the mussels crunch against his gunwhale!

Richard/ Howard and Charles/ Adrian shared the day’s honours with a first and a second place in each. For some reason the races seemed a bit processional after the first lap with boats struggling to change places except for Richard and Howard taking out Charles/ Adrian on a beat in race 1 and taking Mervyn/ George on the last reach in race 2.

Next week is the last Sunday series event of the year (followed by the FF AGM) with the Datchet Flyer the following weekend, then the Xmas Special/ Xmas Lunch on 18th and Christmas itself the week after! It would be great to start off the new year with at least 8 boats out again and build from there.

Winter Series starts this weekend – with modified start arrangements

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The Winter Series starts this Sunday. Three key points to note:

– All starts slipped 30 mins (10.57am first warning signal)

– Starts combined – Flying Fifteens either start in Start 1 (with the Fast Handicap, Laser & Youth) or Start 3 (on our own) if there are more than 4 of us

– Briefing at 10am in the wetbar

Changes to SI’s on the blog (here)

The results are in!

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I woke up this morning to see that someone (Mike Clapp I suspect) has been beavering away on the club website to produce the results for the Autumn Series – and with them the Fleet Championship (which this year combines the results of the Spring, Summer and Autumn Series). So here they are:

The Autumn Series, and the Backbone Cup, was won by John and Helen in the boat with a long name, on a brief stopover between the UK circuit and New Zealand.

1st John Hanson/ Helen Selden 3954 Hakuna Kutoa Katika
2nd Mervyn Wright/ George Caspall 3904 Ffizzbuzz too
3rd Mike Clapp/ Peter Morris 3427 Effortless

The Fleet Championship, and the Mountifield Cup, was won by Richard and Howard in Carbon Copy

1st Richard Jones/ Howard Shawyer 4011 Carbon Copy
2nd Mervyn W/ George C/ Gabrielle B 3904 Ffizzbuzz too
3rd Mike Firth/ Phil Tinsley 3888 Firth’s Folly

Their wins are all the more impressive because Richard/ Howard’s result consisted entirely of bullets, while John and Helen had to count only one second place (and that was when they were mucking about!)

Congratulations to the winners and all involved. We had 18 boats competing for the Fleet Championship and 11 for the Autumn Series – with a peak turnout of 8 (almost 9 if Trevor had remembered his kit!). The full results are in the website (Fleet Champs) & (Autumn Series)

Cowboy claims Castle Cup

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Last weekend was the first time for 11 months that we competed for the Castle Cup (Sunday 13th). It was a lovely sunny day and there was a little more wind than expected so a good time was had by all, despite some rather unconventional choices by the race team… that is, until it was time to recover, when John decided his trailer needed to visit the bottom of the reservoir. Hopefully, the police divers will recover it when they are training this week

Despite the lovely weather, there were very few club boats out but 4 Flying Fifteens shared the water with loads of visiting Laser 4.7’s and Optimists (several of whom joined the club – future competition?). Any of 3 could have won (with Mervyn ruling out himself and ace lightweight crew Ruth with two awful starts) – but Mike and Peter came to the front and won their first trophy in only their second week racing Vaquero. Congratulations to them.

Sunday was also the last day of the Autumn Series and Fleet Championship – once the results are finalised in the club website, I’ll announce who has won!

Coming up next

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This weekend is the first Sunday 15th this year – so we will be competing for the Castle Cup, last held in December last year. Let’s see if can get a good turnout to make it a worthwhile contest. The first start will be after 11am as it’s Remembrance Day

Race report last week (with thanks to Richard Jones)

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Despite the glorious blue skies of the photos, the whole of Club racing was poorly attended. Indeed keen the Flying Fifteens could only muster three teams, which would be less than half (!!) our recent regular turnouts. Our fleet day started with some shovelling of silt from the jetty while Admiral Firth and Commodore ("three more days to go”) Tinsley adjusted the jetty to get it optimised.

Mike and Peter had their lovely new boat – collected from Gretna Green during the week – and now carry the mantle of “newest boat in the fleet”! FF GBR4027 is a stunner – absolutely beautiful and looks hardly used. It’s an Ovington Mk X with carbon liner, built 2-3 years ago for Bobby Salmond and finished by Phil Evans with a Goacher Sails rig.

Nick and Maxine were PRO’s for the day, and so the race organisation was flawless – although the same could not be said for the sailors. Richard and Howard were heard hailing the PRO team to ask when the FF start was to happen, only to get the reply “well, your first one started three minutes ago”, then Mike and Peter started after them! John and Helen stopped at the first mark for a rest and waited there for the others to catch up… and then sailed circles around them for the rest of the race. We had 12-25mph of wind with strong gust patterns and constantly shifting conditions. To be honest, it was all pretty testing!

Race two got away in a bit more orderly fashion, and occasionally it did look like a three boat race. It was a nervy kind of day for Mike and Peter to take their first race in the new boat, so they are forgiven – but John and Helen were superb , frequently, and playfully, waiting the other side of the gusts for the competition to catch up and have a tussle. It must be said that there were some spectacular three sail reaches to be had, even if most of us looked as if we had arm extensions as we entered the bar afterwards!

Bring a shovel sailing day

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Please bring a shovel and wheelbarrow on Sunday and be prepared to spare no more than 30 mins to clear the ramp.

With the drop in water level last week, there is a pile of silt that needs clearing before it gets washed down to the waterline. We did this a couple of months ago and many hands made very light work of it. Unfortunately George and I aren’t around this weekend to share our expertise but hopefully one of you will remember this important life skill and pass it on!

Every cloud has a silver lining…

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Or in this case a Mk10 lining…

5 boatloads of keen flying fifteen sailors turns up on Sunday to see a glassy Queen Mother Reservoir and fog. After a great team effort in straightening the pontoon, much tea was drunk and many pearls of wisdom were shared

One among us however was feeling in a very proactive mood. Mike Clapp – having dismissed the Wayfarer Inland Champs for which he was RO – drove up to a Gretna Green for an assignation with our esteemed class national president Bobby Salmond and came home with a new boat 4027 (name yet to be announced).

Congratulations to Mike – and look out everyone else when Mike takes his new toy out to play