History of the Flying Fifteen
Designed by the legendary Uffa Fox, the 6m (20ft) Flying Fifteen has maintained its reputation as an exciting and competitive two-man racing craft. It provides access to sailing at reasonable prices for men and women from 15 to 75 and beyond.
The most famous Flying Fifteen is Coweslip presented to the Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Elizabeth as a wedding present. Uffa Fox and Prince Philip frequently sailed together at Cowes.
The Flying Fifteen has been modernised over the years with Uffa Fox agreeing to changes towards the end of his life to improve the design specification and sail plan. By this time, the class had established itself in a number of countries and when John Calvert-Jones came from Australia and won the UK championships, the stimulus was provided for the move to seek international status.
Under the guidance of Tom Ratcliffe, an International Federation of Flying Fifteen Associations was formed by nine countries from four continents. The first world championships were held in Perth, Australia in 1979 and subsequently have alternated between the Northern and Southern hemispheres biennially. The first European Championship took place in Spain in May 2004.
The International Federation is firmly committed to the one-design ideal and is actively promoting tighter tolerances and improved measuring techniques.
Racing takes place at sea and on inland waters, particularly large reservoirs and lakes to which the Flying Fifteen is well suited. Although national and world championships are an important feature of the class programme, every effort is made to encourage racing at all levels.
Club sailing is the backbone of fleets throughout the world and close racing is enjoyed by men and women, both as helm and crew, with all ranges of ability and age.