The Belgian Flying Fifteen Championship took place on the weekend of 8 - 9 October at SNEH on the Plate Taille Lake.
The championship fleet at SNEH
The participants were graced with magnificent conditions with generous sunshine during the whole weekend and a wind ranging from 5 to 14 knots from the Northwest on Saturday and from the Southeast on Sunday.
These conditions allowed the race committee to run 8 races of about 45 minutes duration, each on the main axis of the lake.
12 crews responded to the invitation with foreign visitors Lionel and Clovis Kerdrain (FRA3438) from YCIF and Andy Bones and Josh Praeter (GBR3899) from Chew Valley SC in the UK.
On Saturday, the key to success was good starts in order to get away from the fleet quickly and to have fresh wind throughout the course.
In these race conditions, the British crew and the current Belgian champions Ezékiel Desantoine and Aurélie Chantrenne (BEL3915) did best with two wins and two second places each.
Back on land, the club team treated all participants to a delicious dinner with the usual variety of Belgian beers. A local rock band also came to entertain in the evening.
The conditions changed on Sunday with the wind shifting to the South-East, which always brings bigger variations in wind direction, that opened up the game and tested the nerves of the competitors.
Winners Ezékiel Desantoine and Aurélie Chantrenne (centre) with Andy Bones and Josh Praeter (left) and Michel and Morgane Vincent (right)
With this change two new crews, Michel and Morgane Vincent (BEL3596) and Véronique Hachez and Benoit Bourlon (BEL3885) joined the leaders of the previous day, which resulted in very close, tactical and interesting sailing with frequent changes of leaders.
In the end it was the local crew Ezékiel Desantoine and Aurélie Chantrenne (BEL3915) who won the title followed closely by the British crew Andy Bones and Josh Praeter (GBR3899). The father-daughter crew Michel and Morgane Vincent (BEL3596) took 3rd place.
This year, the Equinox Trophy, which is now traditionally awarded at this Championship, was awarded to the highest ranked wooden deck boat and went to Lionel and Clovis Kerdrain (FRA3438).
The Belgian Flying Fifteen Association would like to thank all the participants and in particular those who crossed the border to join us and hopes to see even more of you at the 2023 Belgian Championship!
by Ezékiel Desantoine (BEL3915)
photos credits: Alain Destatte, Eric Van Houten, Ezékiel Desantoine)