Development of the Flying 15
Objectives of the Development Sail
Flying Fifteen International (FFI) set the UK Fifteen Association (UKFFA) the task to evaluate and put forward the technical draft of rule changes to incorporate the following elements by Autumn 2009.
UKFFA to develop a rig that will enhance the handling of the Flying Fifteen without significantly changing the already excellent performance of the boat. This would allow a broader range of crew weights to sail the boat to the highest level. Objective - the development rigs included Mylar and Dacron mainsails with a higher roach to provide an improved gust response. The class was looking for a mainsail development that would provide greater forward speed and less healing when the gust hits. In addition the development rigs have taller genoas with a shorter foot.
The class gave the sailmakers the challenge of updating the aesthetics of the rig in addition to enhancing the handling and balance of the boat. The fleet of four development rigged boats and four standard rigs sailed in a variety of conditions that gave a good deal of comparative information for the class to consider. The brief given to the Class UK sailmakers was not to increase the combined sail area of the mainsail and genoa.
Strategy - the first trial was comprised of three sailmakers to trial four development rigs and compare them against three standard rigs over a series of races with 7 different crew weights. Aim was for 7 different crews in varying conditions to evaluate the initial performance. Throughout the weekend Philip Tinsley facilitated and managed these trails.
Initial Outcome - those involved in the assessment weekend concluded that between the development rigs they had indeed found the basis of a recommendation for the future rig.
Charles Athorp has made some valid comments about the sail changes . . . "The new rig is a big assistance to medium weight and light weight crews and modernises the appearance of the boat. Basically the boat goes forward rather than falling over as the sails twist off. Raking the rig just adds complexity, cost and doesnt achieve the same results. All modern classes have gone away from raking rigs towards a skiff style self adjusting rig - more akin to a windsurfer."
"The benefits need to be explained better: The real problem is misinformation, most people believe that having more area at the top makes the boat fall over, whereas the converse is true because the top of the rig is less supported by cutting away the area below, therefore it opens up much earlier. But it also balances the boat and makes it much nicer to sail, less weather helm and easier to sail - so it is really a no brainer."
Contact Keith Jamieson's secretary expressing an interest [email protected].org.uk