The 62nd Western Australian Flying Fifteen Championships got under way last Saturday under overcast skies in, what is normally, sunny Esperance. The predicted 25 knots of south-westerly didn’t fully prevail but the breeze was boisterous enough to exercise the body while the shifts were enough to entertain the mind.
There were plenty of the high value manoeuvres prized by Flying Fifteen sailors, several keel reveals and a few sailors having ‘out of boat’ experiences. All in all, the 19 boat fleet was well behaved and Race Officer Stewart Wallace had few troubles running 4 heats for the afternoon.
Results wise, local Laser/ILCA sailor, Luke Elliott teamed up with Peter Mudford aboard Neffarious to win the first 2 races, local sailor David Swan and Matt Elliott (Phar Lap) won the third race and former World Champion Grant Alderson sailing with Luke Paterson (El Toro) won the fourth. Minor placings were shared between those previously mentioned and Phillippa Packer and Dean MacAullay (Firefly), Mike and Paul Dunbar (Ineffable), Greg Leaversuch and Peter Barblett (Glamour Boys). The final 3 races are scheduled for Sunday morning at 1000 hrs with somewhat lighter conditions in effect.
Day 2 served up a typical Esperance spring day with a cool southerly breeze of no more than 15knots, low swell and an even lower chop. RO Wallace got the fleet moving at exactly 1000 hrs over a couple of longer courses with only a couple of boats having to be reminded to start correctly with the X flag.
Luke and Muddy (Neffarious) continued their winning form with 2 more bullets to seal the series. Grant and the other Luke (El Toro) won the other race to finish second overall and Team Dunbar (Mike and Paul in Ineffable) were models on consistency to finish third overall.
While the on water action was super competitive and difficult to pick a winner, the Mug of the Day was a runaway victory for the Chairman of the organising committee, David Swan. Within the first 5 minutes of the welcome night, ‘Swanny’ had forgotten that John Wilson, the principle sponsor of this and many other regattas, was also a Life Member of the WA State Association. This established Swanny in an unassailable position to win the not particularly coveted award despite the efforts of other sailors to score points by falling out of boats and various mechanical faux pas.
Esperance Bay Yacht Club is renowned for running fabulous sailing events and this was no exception. Thanks to Commodore and Race Officer Stewart Wallace, Regatta Chairman David Swan, Sailing Administrator Toni Hawkins and the large contingent of volunteers who pitched in to make a memorable and successful event.
Regatta Report by Russell Dawes
Photo: Luke Eliott and Peter Mudford being presented with the State Champions trophies by event sponsor and life member, John Wilson.
[Results attached to this news item]