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2022 Hong Kong Flying Fifteen Class Championship

This year the fleet returned to the world championship course off Lamma for the first time for 3 years. Twelve boats participated in the 2022 Flying Fifteen Class Championship, regulars and newcomers alike.

Day 1
With a light N/E forecast for Saturday followed by 15 knots forecast for Sunday, it looked like the weather would serve up something for everyone. In the end however, it was a weekend that got lighter and trickier as it went on. Day 1 was a day for those being over the start early:

Race 1 started in about 6-8 knots from NW beating up to Lamma; the question was which way to go. Several boats were over the line early, including Frankie Lui and Clara Kwong in Skiver who didn’t return and sailed to finish with a score of OCS, while Peter Britten and Ros Liu on Noisy Forefather returned to clear their OCS. Having seen the fleet go left, they decided to search the building breeze on the right to reach the top mark in front of Howard Williams and Adam Kingston in Squiffy in 2nd and Sam Chan and Kingston Leung in Full Power in 3rd. This was then the order for the podium of Race 1 through to the finish.

Race 2 saw Howard making best use of varying breeze and holding a commanding race lead to the end. Sam and Pete fought right up to the finish line with Pete just squeezing inside to grab 2nd place by 1 second. In the second half of the fleet, Gina Chen and Josh Crowhurst in Ffolly began a regatta-long duel with Yukinori Kirihara and Miki Takeuchi in Pathfinder and Jun Komatsu and Aya Ozawa in French Fries, alternating port starboard crossings on the beat and chasing to cover each other downwind.

Race 3 started with some antics at the committee boat end, with Sam having command of the gap and shutting multiple boats out, only to get pushed over the line himself while also incurring a 720 penalty. As the fleet sailed off, Sam calmly dipped the line, completed his penalty (which took 2 minutes in the light air), and then planned his comeback. Having seen the fleet go right, Sam and Kingston decided to find breeze in the left corner. Years of racing off Lamma paid off as he climbed the ladder and showed the young guns how to go from zero to hero, finishing the race in 3rd place after having started 2 minutes behind everybody else.

Day 2
As the fleet headed out to the race course, it became apparent that the forecast of 15 knots was never going to happen. The wind was so light that a few boats were late for the start. Luckily for them, Race Officer Dave Norton had the AP up, challenged by a wind swinging 60 degrees before the start but finally got a good race track.

Race 4 started with Pete and Edith Llerena Fernandez on Noisy Forefather taking the lead, but on the second beat were shown a clean pair of heels by Carlyon Knight-Evans and Lucy Sutro on Kerfuffle and Sam and Kingston on Full Power, both showing a master class of managing a difficult and oscillating breeze by pulling out a strong lead. Carlyon and Lucy took the win with Sam and Kingston close behind. The rest of the fleet had varying degrees of success trying to stay out of the holes in the top, middle, and bottom of the course.

Image
1st place: Peter Britten, Ros Liu, and Edith Fernandez, presented by Carlyon Knight-Evans
A long wait for the breeze to settle for race 5, but Dave Norton and his team got the timing perfect and ran a race in a dying breeze. With a shortened course, the top five boats all crossed the line within 30 seconds of each other with Pete and Edith taking their third bullet of the series. 4 minutes later, the second half of the fleet finished within 1 minute of each other, with Gina and Josh having found a singular breath of wind from the far right to keep the kite just precariously filled, catching up Jun and Aya, but it wasn’t enough to beat Kiri and Miki across the line. RO Dave Norton then declared the series over due to the dying breeze, allowing Peter, Ros and Edith to celebrate the win. 2nd place went to Howard and Adam on Squiffy, having just squeezed in front of Sam and Kingston on Full Power on count back to make up the Podium.

A huge thanks to Tim Roberts and Oliver Merz for all their efforts to make this happen, and to Dave Norton and his race management team for getting 5 races done in difficult conditions.

Full Results

Words by Peter Britten & Gina Chen

Photos by Tim Roberts (More Photos)

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