Subaru Flying Fifteen World Championship 2019 in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland
6 - 13 September, 2019
Racing was brought forward to an earlier start time on day 2 of the Subaru Flying Fifteen World Championship due to a forecast of a fading breeze later in the afternoon. The fleet of 75 boats from 9 nations head out to the start line in overcast but dry weather for two more windward / leeward races.
After one false start the first race was started under U flag at 1115 hrs in an 11 - 13 knot northerly with a slight chop but a weaker tidal flow than yesterday. Both sides of the beat had a fairly even spread but three boats played the shifts well to arrive at the windward mark with a healthy lead. David Tabb and Chewey Sherrell from Parkstone YC in Poole, who placed third at the UK Nationals last July, sailed an excellent upwind to lead from yesterday’s star Irish performer Ian Mathews and Keith Poole from host club the National Yacht Club. Third round was another local boat from NYC, Dave Gorman and crew Chris Doorly.
Down the first run, regatta leaders Graham Vials and Chris Turner were already breathing down the necks of the lead three boats. Also moving through the gears were the British armada including Steve Goacher, Nathan Batchelor, Andy Mckee and Ian Cadwallader.
On lap two Tabb and Sherrell maintained their lead but had Vials and Turner on their transom. The two lead boats split gybes with the two Irish boats trying desperately to hold off the hunting Brit pack but down the second run the pressure was beginning to tell.
Rounding for the short upwind leg to the finish it was a two horse race which was going tack for tack to the line. David Tabb fell agonisingly short pipped on the finish line by Vials / Turner who scored their second win of the championship. Steve Goacher and Tim Harper (Royal Windermere YC) broke through for 3rd. Gorman / Doorly (NYC) were an excellent 4th and Andy Mckee and Richard Jones from Dovestone SC in the UK, a consistent 5th.
Richard Lovering and Matt Alvarado (HISC) were a bit disappointed to drop a few places on the last leg to finish 13th. Other good performances included Ireland’s Andy and Rory Martin from Strangford Lough YC, in 11th, John Wilson and Matthew Summers from South of Perth YC in Australia, who finished 14th and the oldest boat in the fleet GBR 2520 a classic F15 sailed by Nick Heath and Pip Chapman (Cam Sailing Club). The pair punched well above their weight with a 30th place.
Local Irishman Dave Gorman sums up an excellent 4 / 11 in races today:
“We were delighted with racing today, the conditions suited us a lot better. We had a bad enough start in the first race but spotted some cloud on the right and got a nice knock out there and rounded second at the weather mark. We were waiting for all these fast guys to come through but we just wanted to sail as well as we can and we were 2nd, 3rd 4th round the marks, so we were delighted we were able to keep our own in an older boat.”
“Ironically we had a much better start in the second race but we went up the middle of the course which was probably the wrong thing to do and got into the 20’s at the first mark. We were going to gybe set at the mark but luckily we decided not to because the breeze filled in down the run and when we got to the gate in about 11th we had taken about 15 places on the run. So we were delighted to get two counters today.”
Race 2 of the day and 3 of the championship started shortly after at around 1245pm under U flag again at the second go. The breeze had shifted a bit more N/NE and dropped to around 8 - 10 knots.
Nathan Batchelor (Ovington Boats) and Ricky Riggs from Tynemouth SC got a peach of a start leaping out to a two boat length lead off the start line. Again the spread was fairly even across the course but the British pair rounded the weather mark just behind Australians Mike Hart and Dean McAullay from the Royal Freshwater Bay YC in Perth. Again the leaders were largely made up by the British boats but this time regatta leaders Graham Vials and Chris Turner copped a penalty losing a lot of ground.
The first run was quite well spread but Batchelor and Riggs got a bit of a jump on the fleet to lead at the gate. Jeremy Davy and Martin Huett (Draycote Water SC) moved up into the lead pack with Andy Mckee / Richard Jones and Richard Lovering / Matt Alvarado and Australians Ashley Smith and Charlie Aprhorpe.
On the second lap of the windward / leeward course, Batchelor / Riggs had established a comfortable lead ahead of Lovering / Alvarado but the battle was still full on for third place. The pre-worlds regatta winners closed out the win followed by Lovering but the tacking duel for third involved three boats. On the line Andy Mckee / Richard Jones just claimed 3rd, Davy and Huett, 4th and the Australians, Smith / Apthorpe 5th.
Nathan Batchelor winners of race 2 of the day:
“We had a great time today, we had a bit of damage on the boat before the start of the first one, the mast ram lever broke but we got a good start and were going quickly so we got a 9th in the first race which was pleasing.”
“The second race we had a great transit on the start line and Riggy had confidence in where we were and called us forward with about 15 seconds to go so we started a couple of boat lengths ahead of the boats around us so it always makes it a bit easier. Despite the forecast to go right all day, which it did in the first race, it actually went 30 degrees left on the second beat so plenty of shifts to play but the second lap got a bit light and we got a bit of distance ahead at the bottom as the other boats were fighting each other so it was just a covering job to the finish.”
Vials / Turner never recovered after their penalty turns to score a lowly 19th. Ian Pinnell from P&B (HISC) stayed in the mix with a 10th and top of the local boats was again David Gorman and Chris Doorly with a solid 11th. Other good performances in race 3 included Chris Villa and Mark Holmes from Lake Macquarie YC in Australia with 14th, Jonathan Ward and Roger Deane (Ogston SC) GBR with 15th and another local boat Alastair Court / Conor O’Leary (Royal St George YC) Dun Laoghaire in 17th.
In the provisional overall results Andy McKee / Richard Jones head a pack of 12 British boats, two Irish boats occupy places 13 and 14 overall. The World Championship continues with another two races scheduled for Sunday but the weather forecast is for very light winds.
For results and more info visit the regatta website:
by Jonny Fullerton of Regatta Services
Photos © Jonny Fullerton