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Flying 15 Spanish Championship 2024
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Flying 15 Spanish Championship 2024

Real Club Nautico Puerto Pollenca: 1st-3rd March

The Flying 15 Spanish (Balearic) National Championship was held in conjunction with the Snipe class Mallorcan Championship and Ladies Championship sailed in Cruisers. The Snipes and Cruisers had racing planned for the Saturday and Sunday only.

What may be a record 15 teams had signed up for the event and the weather forecast predicted lots of wind and rain, both typical for the time of year.

Day one brought sunshine and blustery conditions for the first race which was won by Patrick and Vincent Harris, followed closely by James Waugh and Tom Webb then Rafa and Pilar Benitez. During this race the wind was increasing to gusts of 24 knots and shifty conditions which made for a hectic second race start.

Patrick and Vincent Harris were called OCS at the start which they did not realise until the finish. During this second race many boats found themselves on the limit with only the very brave hoisting spinnakers. The most notable problems were  suffered by David Miles and Teresa Parry in ‘Heaven Sent’ breaking the forestay and somehow managing not only to keep the mast in one piece, but also to make it back to the harbour upwind which was a job well done by David and Teresa.

More seriously, while running fast with the spinnaker, ‘Ffeilgoods’ helm Scott Walker was tossed out of the boat, losing control and shortly after the crew Louise Verhoeven also fell into the water. The boat continued sailing fast over the horizon on its own. Quite quickly the swimmers were picked up by competitors and the escaping boat captured. During this second race many boats had suffered breakages. The committee boat recognised this and sent all ashore.

Day two had a similar wind strength from the early morning which was due to increase during the day. Actually launching the boats with the crane and getting off the cement wall was very challenging with all sailors helping one another. By the time the fleet had reached the race course out in the bay the wind was up near 30 knots. Upon reaching the committee boat, both the Flying 15’s and the Snipes were told to return ashore and wait for the wind to abate.

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Rafa and Pilar Benitez, Winners 2024
This was to be the end of the championship, with no further Flying 15 racing that day and a storm forecast on the final day on Sunday.

It was a good turnout of Flying 15’s  with some youngsters and new faces joining the fleet. It was a shame that only 2 of the 9 planned races were able to be sailed. Nevertheless there was a great up-beat feeling on the base and some nice lunches/dinners while waiting for the wind to drop.

Congratulations to winners: Rafa and Pilar Benitez who beat James Waugh and Tom Webb on count back and a commendable third place going to the Parry team. Long standing Flying 15 sailor and fleet measurer Steve Parry, with a broad grin on his face was heard to say. “Over the years I have gone very fast in a Flying 15, but I’ve never gone so fast as that last broad reach to the finish”.

Report by Stephen Babbage Flying 15 Spain.

PDF of results attached

Photo Credits in photos

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