After several hours of waiting and one race start for the gold fleet, which was abandoned before they reached the windward mark. PRO Roger Palmer signalled the end of racing and the British Championship was officially over. An anticlimactic end to a difficult week, which had been plagued with unseasonable summer weather from day 1. The practice race and the first two races were lost due to the storms of the opening weekend. Monday was an exciting days sailing for those who could stand the pace, big seas and strong winds providing conditions that the 15 excels in.
And those conditions were very much to the liking of defending champions, Steve Goacher and Phil Evans, as they blasted to two victories. The conditions brought to the fore a lot of familiar names, revelling in the spray and spume: Russell Peters and Tim Hall, Greg Wells and Mark Darling, Charles Apthorp and Gavin Tappenden and Australian's Grant Alderson and Dean Mcaullay, and Dave Tucker and Matt Summers. But a significant factor in the day's results was the retirement rate in the rough sea conditions and the number of black flag transgressions, something that was to be critical as the week unrolled.
Now, all thoughts turn to the Flying 15 World Championship which begins on Friday. Headed by Goacher and Evans the Britsh fleet has great depth and they are looking to return the World title, held by Australians Grant Alderson and Dean Mcaullay, to the Old Country. The strong Aussie entry plus the 28 extra boats joining the fleet for the Worlds, including additional entries from Belgium, Hong Kong, Ireland and France might just upset that plan . . . weather permitting. -- Gerald New
Flying 15 Championship of the British Isles (Pre Worlds Regatta)
1. Steve Goacher / Phil Evans, GBR, 4 points
2. Russell Peters / Tim Hall, GBR, 6
3. Charles Apthorp / Gavin Tappenden, GBR, 7
4. Greg Wells / Mark Darling, GBR, 7
5. Jeremy Davy / Smon Childs, GBR, 8