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Willowbrook Organic Island Farm Flying Fifteen British Isles Championships 2024 at Strangford Lough YC
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Willowbrook Organic Island Farm Flying Fifteen British Isles Championships 2024 at Strangford Lough YC

19th-22nd June

Day 1

41 boats entered for the nationals being staged in Strangford Lough. However, team Batchelor/Rigg had to retire before even a race was sailed due to RIggy suffering a back injury before the start out on the boat.
The forecast was for light winds building later to F2/3, but with the added pressure of low tide around the time the boats would be coming back to shore, the race officer took the boats out to the course area for a 12 noon start which resulted in a two-hour delay whilst the wind dropped and then re-established itself from the south.
Race 1 suffered a few false starts whilst the fleets enthusiasm was tamed. Having got away cleanly at last the fleet split as usual into two. There was no clear indication as to the right way to the windward mark but soon shifting winds made their impact and on the first beat, Pinnell and Caddy emerged from the middle of the course to lead at the windward mark.  There was a right shift and increased pressure as the fleet approached the windward mark.  Wells/Tulloch rounded 5th but were the first to gybe and this proved to be a winning manoeuvre as they were first to round 2P and head to the favoured right side and into the lead which they held to the finish with Pinnell/Cadwallader second and Vials/Turner third.
Race 2 also took a few goes to get started, as much due to the shifting winds as to the eager fleet. Pinnell and Caddy started at the Committee Boat and were first to tack and head to the new southerly breeze under the island on the right.  They were first to pick up this breeze and led nicely at the windward mark from team Apthorp.  The race officer adjusted the course for the 2nd beat and Pinnell and Caddy extended their lead to win comfortably.  There was some great racing in the pack with plenty of place changes.
At the finish Pinnell/Cadwallader took line honours from the Apthorp’s with Vials/Turner bagging another third place.
Overnight the Pinnell/Cadwallader team led Vials/Turner with MacCarthy/McNally in third place with a 5th and 6th place. Thursday’s forecast was promising a better day.

Day 2

A better forecast with the wind prompted to rise to F3. The Race Officer had the fleet on the water for a 12-noon start. However, the early promise faded and despite an attempt to get away by just after 12, the first race started nearer 2pm once the wind had faded and then restarted. Unfortunately, the tide had by then turned and was ebbing causing the fleet to have problems trying to avoid drifting over the line.
Race 3 finally got away and resulting in a split fleet with those going left into the main tide having the advantage, McGrane/Stewart led at the first mark and held the lead until the gun. Vials/Turner took second and Pinnell/Cadwallader third.
Race 4 saw the wind increasing to F3, and as ever the fleet was split. With the increasing wind the fleet was staying closer together. With these wind strengths it was obvious there are no stragglers, just those who fails to get to the front. All competitors could have their day of glory.
Vials/Turner took the win with McGrane/Stewart in second place and O’Brien/O’Briain in third place.
Race 5 got underway with another black flag, With the promise of F4 winds the Race Officer set a sausage triangle course. This time the fleet went mostly for the left side of the course, but as had become the norm for this fleet, there was congestion at the windward mark and some boats needed two bites to get around the mark. The fleet then surfed down to the leeward marks where there was another congested rounding of the marks. On the second beat the fleet split evenly between left and right for the first part of the beat after which most boats chose the head towards the right-hand side. The two boats that chose the left were rewarded with a large gain in position and rounded in single figures.
The triangle was not all it promised to be. The wind could have been stronger, and the wing mark set further out. Both reaches ended up with many boats running or broad reaching into the final marks. The finish proved to be another congestion hotspot.
Vials/Turner took the win again by a distance with Pinnell/Cadwallader in second place after their holiday in Race 4 (10th place), Tunnicliffe/Hopwood took third. Vials/Turner were the new overnight leaders.

Day 3

This was billed to be the “windy day” with the possibility of 25 knot gusts, but it turned out to be a good force 4 southerly but still looking good for the heavy weights!
The day started with a bit of drama.  With the wind was blowing from the south the race officer positioned the start line as far north as possible quite close to some rocks. Unfortunately, one of the fleet (Simon Kneller and Ashley Painter) were extremely unlucky and managed to get caught up in said rocks and had to be towed home.  The CB and line were moved further south, and Race 6 was underway after a delay.  Local boats headed right but a 15-degree shift to the left meant those on the left came out with a good lead. There was a good tussle between Vials/Turner and class commodore Chris Waples crewed by Simon Weatherill.  In the end Vials/Turner added their 3rd win in a row.  Waples/Weatherill took 2nd with Alastair Stevenson/David Culpan 3rd.  McGrane/Stewart were OCS which dented their championship hopes.
Race 7 was a similar story to Race 6 with the boats on the middle to left side of the course leading at the windward mark.  Vials and Turner continued their dominance to record a 4th win in a row and were rapidly closing in on an overall win.  Andy Tunnicliffe/Ian Hopwood were 2nd with father and son duo David and Harry Lucas coming in 3rd. 
For Race 8 the tide had turned, and the current was taking boats over the line so inevitably it took a black flag to get the fleet away.  This time it was those who started at the CB end, tacked and went hard right who came out leading. This pack was led by Pinnell/Cadwallader, and they went on to record a comfortable win followed by Tunnicliffe/Hopwood with their second 2nd place and a great day of 6,2,2.  McGrane/Stewart battled well to take the 3rd spot.

Day 4

At last, a change in the weather with a lighter, warmer wind from the SW moving SSW.
The Race officer postponed for a short time to let the wind settle and Race 9 was underway in a 10 knot south westerly with the windward mark precisely beneath the highest peak of the beautiful Morne mountain range way off in the distance. 
Once again, the fleet split left and right. Initially, it looked like the middle was good but new pressure from the left saw those on the left taking the leading positions at the windward mark with Vials/Turner once again amongst these and not surprisingly they soon worked their way into the lead to record a 5th win and with it the overall championship with a race to spare.  Dave/Harry Lucas, Tom Galvin/Cormac Bradley and the Spanish entry of James Waugh and Andy Cheetham all found a fantastic private shift and pressure on the left side of the 2nd beat to fly through to 2nd, 3rd and 4th respectively.   
Race 10, the final race, started on the same course axis as race 9 but needed a U flag to get the fleet underway.   There was a big shift to the left so once again it was the left side which paid dividends. 
Andrew McCleery and Colin Dougan looked to have a handsome lead but those further left prevailed more and it was McGrane/Stewart who led, followed by the popular O’Brien/O’Briain cousins Niall and Ronan from Chonomara near Galway and local boat and only lady helm Emma Pierce/Ian Smyth.  Following a close race and a course change for the last run McGrane/Stewart won by half a boat length from O’Brien/O’Briain with Dave and Harry Lucas completing a great last day with a 3rd place propelling them to a top ten overall.

Summary

For those who were at this venue in 2018, it was the first time we had normal conditions in the venue. The consensus was it is a great place to sail, the organisation was good and launching and retrieving aided by the sailors themselves was clean and rapid. The social side was also excellent, and the club were commended for their organisation by all at the prize giving.
The nature of the fleet was not that of a normal UK national championship as there were only 21 UK boats and 19 from Ireland, plus one Spanish boat. Those who travelled would have done so in expectation of good results.
The impact on the water was a fleet that was very equally matched resulting in very congested mark rounding from the first to the last mark in most races. This had the impact of a higher level of minor boat damage being incurred at the turns. Many Irish sailors remarked how competitive they found the fleet and how they were used to being well in the lead on home waters but had to contend with being in the pack during this event.
Simple poor decision making ending up being harshly dealt with; it was very easy to move up or down 10 or more places in the body of the fleet.
This probably foretells a very competitive fleet in Weymouth in 2025, especially with added Antipodean spice!

Report by Greg Wells / Simon Thompson

Photos © Simon McIlwaine / www.wavelengthimage.com

Final Results

Sailed: 10, Discards: 2, To count: 8, Entries: 41, Scoring system: Appendix A

Rank Fleet Boat Name Sail No Club Helm Crew R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 R10 Total Nett
1st Red Floaty McFloatface 4071 Derwent Reservoir and Lyme Regis Sailing Graham Vials Chris Turner 3.0 3.0 2.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0 (5.0) 1.0 (42.0 RET) 60.0 13.0
2nd Red Interstella 4126 NSC & HISC Ian Pinnell Ian Cadwallader 2.0 1.0 3.0 10.0 2.0 4.0 5.0 1.0 (20.0) (42.0 DNC) 90.0 28.0
3rd Red Hydrated 4002 Netley SC Ben McGrane Jamie Stewart 4.0 9.0 1.0 2.0 (12.0) (42.0 OCS) 4.0 3.0 12.0 1.0 90.0 36.0
4th Red Checkmate 4092 FFC Niall O Brien Ronan O Briain (24.0) (34.0) 10.0 3.0 5.0 8.0 6.0 12.0 5.0 2.0 109.0 51.0
5th Red Maurice 4112 Hayling Island SC Greg Wells David Tulloch 1.0 (14.0) (18.0) 5.0 8.0 7.0 9.0 13.0 8.0 4.0 87.0 55.0
6th Red Raffi 4124 Bassenthwaite SC Andy Tunnicliffe Ian Hopwood 14.0 11.0 9.0 9.0 3.0 6.0 2.0 2.0 (15.0) (20.0) 91.0 56.0
7th Red Fourwinds 3957 HISC Charles Apthorp Charlie Apthorp 18.0 2.0 (27.0) 6.0 4.0 14.0 7.0 6.0 7.0 (28.0) 119.0 64.0
8th Red Fantasy II 3793 Parkstone YC Pete Allam Jo Allam (31.0) (29.0) 5.0 7.0 7.0 5.0 17.0 4.0 6.0 16.0 127.0 67.0
9th Red Mr Potato Head 4116 National YC Shane MacCarthy Hugh McNally 5.0 6.0 6.0 8.0 13.0 15.0 10.0 11.0 (23.0) (42.0 RET) 139.0 74.0
10th Red Carbon Footprint 4017 Grafham Water David Lucas Harry Lucas (20.0) 12.0 (32.0) 15.0 10.0 16.0 3.0 19.0 2.0 3.0 132.0 80.0
11th Red #Sparks 4061 HISC Chris Waples Simon Weatherill (23.0) 23.0 4.0 4.0 11.0 2.0 18.0 8.0 (26.0) 17.0 136.0 87.0
12th Red Team Ridgeway 3920 SLYC Peter Kennedy Stephen Kane 19.0 10.0 7.0 13.0 (24.0) 11.0 11.0 7.0 14.0 (21.0) 137.0 92.0
13th Red Sparks & Bubbles 4033 RCYC Justin Waples Jackie McKellar 12.0 4.0 (21.0) (42.0 BFD) 15.0 12.0 19.0 16.0 9.0 12.0 162.0 99.0
14th Blue Agatha 4030 HISC Alastair Stevenson David Culpan 6.0 17.0 20.0 22.0 (25.0) 3.0 8.0 22.0 (30.0) 7.0 160.0 105.0
15th Blue Foxtrot Oscar 4120 Killyleagh YC Andrew McCleery Colin Dougan 17.0 24.0 (34.0) 11.0 (27.0) 9.0 14.0 15.0 10.0 5.0 166.0 105.0
16th Blue FFRIG-IT 3893 Portaferry SC Peter Lawson Chris Hannon 11.0 (25.0) 11.0 18.0 21.0 19.0 12.0 17.0 (32.0) 18.0 184.0 127.0
17th Green Phoenix 4083 FFC Dermot Flaherty Joe McDonagh (29.0) 15.0 (30.0) 14.0 6.0 13.0 15.0 26.0 25.0 14.0 187.0 128.0
18th Blue Puffling 3803 RSGYC Philip Lawton Neil O'Hagan (30.0) 19.0 8.0 17.0 19.0 28.0 (35.0) 21.0 13.0 19.0 209.0 144.0
19th Blue Quindici 4069 Chew Valley SC Bill Chard Josh Preater 9.0 22.0 22.0 (27.0) (26.0) 23.0 24.0 10.0 19.0 15.0 197.0 144.0
20th Green Don't Look Back 3782 Carrickfergus SC Trevor DArcy Alan McClernon (42.0 DSQ) 28.0 (39.0) 19.0 14.0 18.0 21.0 23.0 17.0 9.0 230.0 149.0
21st Blue Fer Fox Sake 3756 SLYC Hammy Baker Peter Chamberlain 32.0 18.0 14.0 23.0 16.0 10.0 22.0 14.0 (42.0 DNS) (42.0 DNC) 233.0 149.0
22nd Blue Triggers Brush 4070 WHSC Lee Statham Andy Paul 7.0 16.0 (33.0) 20.0 23.0 25.0 20.0 29.0 16.0 (42.0 DNC) 231.0 156.0
23rd Green Thingamabob 3757 National YC Tom Galvin Cormac Bradley 16.0 (35.0) (42.0 BFD) 25.0 18.0 27.0 29.0 28.0 3.0 13.0 236.0 159.0
24th Red SNAffU 4094 RYA John Hanson Helen Selden 10.0 (31.0) 17.0 29.0 17.0 29.0 16.0 20.0 (33.0) 29.0 231.0 167.0
25th Blue The Final Resort 3962 SLYC Roger Chamberlain Phil Anderson 13.0 7.0 16.0 31.0 30.0 (34.0) 23.0 (34.0) 28.0 22.0 238.0 170.0
26th Green Very Stable Genius 4091 Notts County SC Jeremy Arnold Richard Hope 8.0 30.0 15.0 16.0 31.0 20.0 (33.0) 25.0 (34.0) 25.0 237.0 170.0
27th Blue Puffin 3601 Real Club Nautico Porto Pollenca James Waugh Andy Cheetham 26.0 26.0 26.0 (32.0) 20.0 (32.0) 27.0 24.0 4.0 31.0 248.0 184.0
28th Green Monkey Business 3608 SLYC Emma Pierce Ian Smyth 33.0 21.0 28.0 (37.0) (34.0) 30.0 34.0 9.0 21.0 10.0 257.0 186.0
29th Green Defying Gravity 3914 Parkstone YC / Fishguard YC Adrian Tattersall John Mathie 25.0 5.0 (37.0) 21.0 29.0 17.0 32.0 33.0 (36.0) 26.0 261.0 188.0
30th Blue Windbreaker 4080 Draycote Water SC Simon Patterson Simon Thompson (34.0) 32.0 25.0 (34.0) 9.0 22.0 28.0 31.0 18.0 23.0 256.0 188.0
31st Green SPROCKET 3903 Northampton SC Gary Stuart Pete George 15.0 27.0 12.0 30.0 35.0 (42.0 DNS) (42.0 DNS) 42.0 DNC 22.0 6.0 273.0 189.0
32nd Green ffinisterre 3753 Royal St. George YC Alastair Court Conor O'Leary 27.0 (36.0) 24.0 24.0 28.0 26.0 13.0 18.0 31.0 (34.0) 261.0 191.0
33rd Blue Brian 4109 Ullswater David Chandler David Clarke 38.0 (42.0 DSQ) 31.0 26.0 37.0 24.0 26.0 (42.0 BFD) 11.0 8.0 285.0 201.0
34th Green Ignis Caput Duo 4068 National YC David Mulvin Ronan Beirne (37.0) 13.0 13.0 28.0 (33.0) 31.0 31.0 27.0 27.0 32.0 272.0 202.0
35th Green FFuZZy 4028 R St G YC Neil Colin Margaret Casey 22.0 (38.0) 19.0 33.0 38.0 21.0 30.0 (42.0 RET) 24.0 27.0 294.0 214.0
36th Blue Angels one five 4113 Grafham Sailing Club Simon Kneller Ashley painter 28.0 8.0 23.0 12.0 22.0 (42.0 DNS) (42.0 DNS) 42.0 DNC 42.0 DNS 42.0 DNC 303.0 219.0
37th Green Final fling 4018 Portaferry SC Shane McCarthy Jeremy Rogers 21.0 37.0 36.0 (42.0 DNC) (42.0 DNC) 42.0 OCS 25.0 32.0 37.0 11.0 325.0 241.0
38th Green Flyer 4008 National YC Niall Coleman Laura Colemn (36.0) 20.0 29.0 35.0 36.0 33.0 (36.5) 30.0 35.0 30.0 320.5 248.0
39th Green Double Trouble 3895 Strangford SC NIALL BRADSHAW RORY SCULLION 35.0 33.0 35.0 (38.0) (39.0) 35.0 38.0 35.0 29.0 24.0 341.0 264.0
40th Green Ineffable 4084 GWSC Tim O'Brien Colin Burns (42.0 DNF) (42.0 RET) 38.0 36.0 32.0 42.0 SCP 36.5 42.0 BFD 38.0 33.0 381.5 297.5
41st Red Flying 15 4122 Tynemouth SC Nathan Batchelor Richard Rigg (42.0 RET) (42.0 RET) 42.0 DNS 42.0 DNS 42.0 DNS 42.0 DNC 42.0 DNC 42.0 DNC 42.0 DNS 42.0 DNC 420.0 336.0

Scoring codes used

Code Description Points
BFD Black flag disqualification under rule 30.4 42
DNC Did not come to the starting area 42
DNF Started but did not finish 42
DNS Came to the start area but did not start 42
DSQ Disqualification 42
OCS On course side at start or broke rule 30.1 42
RET Retired 42
SCP Scoring penalty under rule 44.3 42

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