The weekend of 22nd May saw an exciting return to the open meeting circuit as the Flying Fifteen Northern event landed at Burton Sailing Club on Foremark Reservoir. The host and the fleet were both equally excited in the run up, as this marked the first post-lockdown open event of the season – it was great to see plenty of sailors on the water, both home boats and visitors alike. Somewhat poetically, the event featured fifteen Fifteens on the water, including classic and silver fleet boats as well as opens, and some great racing was had by all.
The Saturday played host to three races, in reasonably light breeze (around Force 3). The shifty and changeable wind conditions made for some tricky course-setting decisions by the Race Officer team, who did a great job setting up some enjoyable courses with plenty of tactical legs. Race 1 saw Angus Wright and Paul Barnes from Notts County SC take an early lead in 3975, with club-mates Jeremy Arnold and John Allen hot on their heels in 2nd in 3936, and Blackpool & Fleetwood YC’s Rob Mountain and Andy Ritches in 3rd in 3622.
Race 2 saw Burton SC’s Grant Pollard and Owain Edwards take an early lead in 3357, but ultimately resulted in Angus and Paul securing their second bullet, fending off competition from local boys Alan Stone and John Howlett in 2nd and Blithfield’s Martin Smith and Karen Beston in 3rd. Race 3 saw Jeremy & John clinch the win, keeping Angus & Paul in the silver spot, followed by Ripon SC’s Graham Lamond and Scott Train in 3rd in 3428.Angus and Paul held a strong lead going in to day 2, with two more races to be sailed.
Conditions on Sunday were breezier and the racing saw lots of close battles and tactical play, with courses featuring great beats, some challenging tight three-sail reaches and lots of chopping and changing in the podium positions.
Race 4 saw Jeremy and John pull out an early lead, with some great pace on the boat. Burton SC’s Tim Bird and Martin Nelson were hot on their heels in 3483, with Graham & Scott finishing in 3rd.
Race 5 saw Tim and Martin pull out a good lead from the start, with Jeremy & John and Rob & Andy enjoying some close tactical battles for the 2nd spot. Unfortunately, a shroud failure resulted in a broken mast and an early trip to the bar for Jeremy and John. Tim and Martin held the lead until the penultimate lap, but were out-manoeuvred by Rob & Andy on the last lap as the new jib on 3622 demonstrated its great pointing ability over the older genoa on 3483.Rob & Andy finished in 1st, with Tim & Martin in 2nd and Angus & Paul in 3rd.
With five races sailed and two discards available, Angus & Paul narrowly secured the top spot for the event, with Jeremy & John tied on points but finishing in second on count-back. Rob & Andy finished in 3rd place, with Tim & Martin securing the prize for first Burton boat in 4th.Overall, a great weekend was had by all. Burton SC’s race team did a cracking job setting some great courses on the water.
Our thanks go to Adam and Ian (race officers) and all their various helpers on safety. Shore-side, the local House Team really looked after everybody, with a fun quiz and delicious curry provided on the Saturday evening, and some fantastic breakfasts and lunches to boot. Thank you to Mel, Helen, Sarah, Andy and Viki for all their hard work throughout the weekend.The next Northern traveller series will be at Blackpool & Fleetwood YC. Hope to see you all there!
Report by Malcolm Hall, photos courtesy of Helen Lancashire of BSC, and for many more images see the photo album at https://photos.app.goo.gl/6ut9HX1V7S4tyg1u7