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Flying Fifteen European Championship Lake Garda 2012

Gregg Wells and Richard Rigg are the 2012 Flying 15 European Champions. Steve Goacher and Phil Evans won the first race of the final day, with Wells and Riggs in fourth, and could still take the title if they won the final two races. Race 9 started in 20 knots of breeze and Wells hooked into a 10 degree right hander to lead at the windward mark with Goacher back in the pack. Wells and Riggs won comfortably to seal the title and with conditions deteriorating and the championship decided, race officer Antonio Micillio made the wise decision to abandon the final race and send the fleet home.

For the final day of the Flying 15 European Championship at at Fraglia Vela Riva, Lake Garda the wind increased and veered to the northeast and at the start it was blowing a good 20 knots plus! The first start (race 8) got away with a couple of recalls. Title contenders, Wells/Rigg and Goacher/Evans started next to each other near the committee boat with Wells taking control and forcing Goacher to tack off. However Wells was pinned by another boat and couldn’t tack to cover.

From the Torbole side of the course Goacher hooked into a massive right hander and led by miles at the windward mark followed by Hamish McKay/Andrew Lawson and then Gill Browning/Tom pickles.

Wells worked the shifts in the middle and rounded fourth. Down the first run the wind veered more and increased to almost 30 knots giving everyone a spectacular broad reach down the lake. At the finish Goacher was 1st, McKay 2nd and Browning 3rd. Wells was 5th behind Lavery/O’Brien but they were called OCS so this promoted Wells to 4th.

With two more races still scheduled Goacher could still win the title but needed to win both races. Race 9 started in about 20 knots. Wells and Goacher were again seen close to each other near the committee boat but Goacher saw an opportunity to get clear and reached off to start down the line, while Wells started right on the committee boat and tacked towards the Torbole shore.

This proved to be a regatta winning move as this time it was Wells who hooked into a 10 degree right hander and led at the windward mark with Goacher back in the pack. Second at the top mark were Browning and Pickles who were having a great day. Third round was Robert Hogben and Glyn Morgan.

As the race progressed the wind increased and Wells extended to win the race comfortably and with it the European Flying 15 title. Second were Gill Browning and Tom Pickles which made them the best boat of the day, a fitting result for Gill as she has sadly announced her retirement from FF racing after many years always near the top of the fleet. Thirdrd to finish was Hogben and Morgan following a great battle with Charles Apthorp and Alan Green.

With conditions deteriorating and the championship decided, race officer Antonio Micillio made the wise decision to abandon the final race and send the fleet home. This bought to a close what can only be described as a terrific and memorable week of racing in one of the great sailing venues. (Although I admit I may have a slightly biased opinion!) – Written by Gill Browning

Day 2 races 3 and 4

Well another nice morning 30c again then the wind came in for a first race at 20 knots to start, the bigger crews showed there worth keeping the boats flat for the helms and the lighter ones all going a pie eating course tonight! The first race went to Greg wells.

The second race saw the non pie eating crews start to smile by the end of the race when the wind dropped to nothing! The big crews are now having a T total night and having cabbage soup just incase the light breeze stays until tomorrow. John lavery took the win in the second race. Written by Riggy

Races 1 and 2

Lake Garda delivered today with a classic Ora breeze. 15 knots at the start and building to 20 knots by the end. Sunny, windy and warm water – fabulous conditions. In race one John Lavery and David O’Brien sailing IRL 4002 crossed the fleet on port and despite a luffing match with Steve Goacher and Phil Evans down the last two reaches held on to a well deserved victory although there is a protest as a result of the luffing match. In third place was the father and son team of Chris and Tom Waples with Greg Wells and Richard Rigg recovering well from an appalling start to finish 4th Just ahead of David and Sally McKee.

In race two more boats lined up at the port end of the start line and this time Lavery had to duck behind a few boats but still managed to get out on port. Greg Wells and Richard Rigg won the pin and after a few boat lengths tacked onto port and from there were well clear at the windward mark. A lead they extended to win comfortably. John Lavery and David had a battle with Alan Bax and Simon Childs up the first beat and came out on top at the first mark. From there they also extended and took 2nd. Alan and Simon finished 3rd. Charles Apthorp and Alan Green had a good tussle with Gill Browning and Tom Pickles. Charles took Gill 100 yards from the finish to take 4th and Gill was 5th. A lot of happy sailors returned to shore and enjoyed the free pasta! Written by Greg Wells

Flying 15 – European Championship, Final positions (35 entries)
1 GBR 3920 Wells Greg, Rigg Richard, Hayling Island Sailing Club 10,0 pts
2 GBR 3821 Steve Goacher, Phil Evans, Royal Windermere Yacht Club 17,0 pts
3 GBR 3957 Apthorp Charles, Green Alan, Hayling Island Sailing Club 27,0 pts
4 GBR 3998 Alan Bax, Simon Childs, Hayling Island Sailing Club 32,0 pts
5 IRL 4002 Lavery John, David O’Brien, National YC 36,0 pts
6 GBR 3788 Mackay Hamish, Lawson Andrew, Royal Highland Yacht Club 42,0 pts
7 GBR 3955 Gill Browning, Tom Pickles, Hayling Island Sailing Club 48,0 pts
8 GBR 3994 Waples Chris, Waples Tom, Hayling Island Sailing Club 66,0 pts
9 GBR 3953 Hogben Robert, Glyn Morgan, Bewl Valley Sailing Club 66,0 pts
10 GBR 3795 Patterson Simon, Thompson Simon, Draycote Water Sailing Club 71,0 pts

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