Andy Mckee and Richard Jones are worthy new 2022 European Champions
The 75th Anniversary Flying Fifteen European Championship came to a fitting close on another semi-overcast but warm, humid (for the Solent!) day. There was a short delay of an hour to wait for the wind to fill, which it did, to start one final 3 lap race at 1330hrs on the second attempt.
The wind averaged 10 - 12 knots from around NW in direction, with a slightly stronger ebbing tide improving upwind boat speeds by a shade. With a second series race discard coming into play the maths was a bit complicated but Andy Mckee and Richard Jones did enough with an 18th finish in the last race to win the championship. The pair from Dovestone SC / Shotwick Lake SC counted four race wins and an overall net points score of 25 points.
Their nearest threat before the last race of the series was Richard Lovering and Matt Alvarado (WYC / HISC) but the Hyde Sails pair suffered a bad start and struggled deep in the pack for the first two laps, deciding to throw in the towel and retire.
But this did provide another twist in the maths when Ian Pinnell and Ian Cadwallader (Pinnell & Bax) broke into a handsome lead to finish their regatta with a race win and thus, when dropping a lowly 27th in the 5th race of the series, promoting them to second place overall on 30 points.
Richard and Matt secured third overall nudging the youngest competitors in the fleet, Henry Bagnall and James Downer (Cowes Corinthian YC) to a very credible 4th overall. Henry and James both sailed in the British Finn squad and James still races an OK Dinghy but the pair jumped into a Flying Fifteen this week for the first time to give it a go. Henry explained that he had borrowed the boat from his father in law and enjoyed his time with the fleet but was suitably surprised by the level of competition.
5th overall was Hamish Mackay and Andrew Lawson (RTYC / HISC) and 6th, seasoned F15 campaigners Greg Wells and David Tulloch from the big team from Hayling Island SC.
The Classic fleet trophy went to Graham Latham and Sara Briscoe from Parkstone YC. The trophy for best local sailors went to Henry Bagnall and James Downer.
This event staged by Cowes Corinthian YC brings to a close two weeks of thoroughly successful and enjoyable F15 sailing on the Solent on this the 75th anniversary of the class.
by Jonny Fullerton of Regatta Services on behalf of FFI
Photo credits: John Green