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Gill Flying 15 Open meeting at Grafham Water SC

13-14th May 2023

This year’s Gill Flying Fifteen Open meeting at Grafham Water SC also served as event two of the 2023 Southern Travellers Series. It was planned as a two-day event, 13-14th May. In the end the weather gods gave us a great day’s racing on the Saturday and a flat calm on the Sunday.

Fifteen fifteens entered, with some sailors having only just returned for the World Championships in Freemantle - good effort Ian Cadwallader, Bill Chard and Josh Preater! PRO Peter Curtis ran an extra (4th race) on the Saturday which turned out to be an excellent decision. All four races were windward leeward courses, which made for close, tactical racing in the average 8-10 knots NNE that we got for the day.

Race 1 was taken in fine style by the team from Aldeburgh Duncan Matthew and John Walker with John Hanson and Alistair Stevenson in second and local boys Simon Kneller and Ashley Painter slotting into third spot.

However, results-wise things were about to rapidly change as Flying 15 Johnny come lately new boys Ben Cooper and Richard Bundock suddenly got the hang of sailing a Flying 15 and posted 3 wins in a row. Now, we know Ben and Richard are very experienced sailors, but even so, this was a really impressive performance from sailors unfamiliar with a Flying 15, securing them the win overall.

The Aldeburgh team picked up two 2nd places after their win, to secure 2nd overall. That left the rest of the fleet squabbling for 3rd, 4th and 5th.

Grafham regulars Geoff Floyd and Colin Gilbert had a sensational first beat in races 3 and 4, leading round the top mark in both….so far ahead of us I’m not sure which way they took down the run, but anyway they took a great 2nd place in R4. This just showed that all the boats on the water had the pace to do well on the day, but it was critical to get the shifts right on the all-important first beat. In the end it was as tight as it could be for the 3rd spot with John Hanson/Alistair Stevenson, Ian Cadwallader/Simon Forbes, and Simon Kneller/Ashley Painter all tied on 10 points. After some mathematical tie breaking, it was John and Alistair in a well-deserved 3rd place overall.

So, well done to Ben and Richard winning the event and taking home the Grafham trophy for the Flying 15 Open – a lovely half hull model of a Flying 15 – don’t forget to bring it back next year guys!
After Round 2 of the Southern Travellers, Jeremy Valentine and Andrew Telford from Datchet Water Sailing are leading the series overall.

Huge thanks to the PRO Peter Curtis and the whole team at Grafham who made this such a successful and enjoyable event, with a special mention for Coxswain Andy Taylor for getting all the Fifteens launched and recovered so efficiently – we do hope to welcome even more 15ers back to Grafham next year. The event was sponsored by Gill who supplied some excellent prizes.

Finally, I must add a note of personal thanks to Tim O’Brien for letting us use his FF4084 for the event.
The full results of the regatta are below and more photographs of the event can be viewed at the Grafham Water SC Photo Gallery

Report by Simon Kneller

Photographs Copyright- Paul Sanwell/OPP



Sailed: 4, Discards: 1, To count: 3, Entries: 15, Scoring system: Appendix A
Sail_number Helms_Name Crews_Name Sailing_Club R1 R2 R3 R4 Total Nett
3904 Richard Bundock Ben Cooper Grafham Water Sailing Club (6.0) 1.0 1.0 1.0 9.0 3.0
3844 Duncan Matthew John Chalker Aldeburgh 1.0 2.0 2.0 (5.0) 10.0 5.0
4094 John Hanson Alistair RYA 2.0 4.0 4.0 (7.0) 17.0 10.0
4055 Ian Cadwallader Simon Forbes Chew Valley Lake 4.0 3.0 (7.0) 3.0 17.0 10.0
4084 Simon Kneller Ashley Painter Grafham Water Sailing Club 3.0 (7.0) 3.0 4.0 17.0 10.0
4042 Geoff Floyd Colin Gilbert Grafham Water Sailing Club (9.0) 6.0 6.0 2.0 23.0 14.0
3794 David Philpott Pippa Chapman Grafham Water Sailing Club 5.0 (9.0) 5.0 9.0 28.0 19.0
4069 Bill Chard Josh Preater Chew Valley Lake 7.0 5.0 (8.0) 8.0 28.0 20.0
3726 Duncan Grindley Jon Mortimer Grafham Water Sailing Club 8.0 8.0 (11.0) 6.0 33.0 22.0
3969 Peter Card Stephen Card Cowes Corinthian (12.0) 10.0 9.0 10.0 41.0 29.0
4011 Jeremy Valentine Andrew Telford Datchet Water Sailing Club 10.0 11.0 13.0 (16.0 DNF) 50.0 34.0
3873 Neil Bartholomey John Montemayor Middle Nene Sailing Club 11.0 (12.0) 12.0 11.0 46.0 34.0
3536 Angus Scott Philip Snowdon Datchet Water Sailing Club (13.0) 13.0 10.0 12.0 48.0 35.0
4039 Sue Rhodes Andy Rhodes Grafham Water Sailing Club (14.0) 14.0 14.0 13.0 55.0 41.0
4012 Jonathan Knight Trish Knight Grafham Water Sailing Club (16.0 DNC) 16.0 DNC 16.0 DNC 16.0 DNC 64.0 48.0

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