The Final day of the 2017 Flying Fifteen National Championship finished with a flourish in squally conditions in Falmouth Bay. Two races were scheduled with an earlier start of 1100hrs to finish the regatta before another front hit the Cornwall region with some adverse weather.
Race 7 of the championship was the first to bring out the general recall flag, but the fleet got away at the second attempt. PRO Peter Saxton set a 2km first leg in a fluctuating 10 - 13 knot breeze from 210 degrees. The majority of the fleet worked the mid right to right hand side of the course closer to the shore.
The leaders round the windward mark were the top three boats fighting for the title, Jeremy Davy/Martin Huett (DWSC), followed by Charles Apthorp/Alan Green (HISC) and Richard Lovering/Matt Alvarado (HISC). However, down the run, Graham/Ben Scroggie (Parkstone YC) and Ian Cadwallader/Dave Sweet (Chew Valley Lake SC surged past as the breeze picked up in gusts.
On the second lap around the triangle these two boats reached away leaving the title contenders fighting for third place. At the wing mark Cadwallader/Sweet got inside the Scroggies to reach to the finish line for their third championship race win in a row. The Scroggies held on for second and Lovering/Alvarado squeezed in for third to take the advantage of a 2 point lead into the last race. Apthorp/Green finished 5th and Davy/Huett 7th.
The final race was lengthened to a 3 lap race as the breeze increased as some big black clouds gathered bringing rain squalls with them. With the title going down to the wire the final race was another general recall but when the black flag was raised a slightly reduced fleet calmed down.
The first windward/leeward leg saw the usual suspects fighting it out for the top positions but the race was led by David Tabb/Chewey Sherrell (Parkstone YC). The three title contenders were fighting it out up and down wind as the squalls blew down the race course.
Visibility was becoming poor as the rain showers persisted but the dayglow regatta leader bibs worn by Lovering/Alvarado came into view on the second lap showing that they had worked up to second place and more importantly two places ahead of Apthorp/Green. Despite some close racing and flying reaches around the triangle, once Lovering/Alvarado had got ahead of their main rivals they covered them up the final upwind leg to round for home. Down the final run the champions elect even managed to surf past Tabb/Sherrell to take the winning gun and seal the 2017 CARRS Land Rover Flying Fifteen National Championship title.
Apthorp/Green crossed in 4th to take second overall by 3 points leaving Davy/Huett with 3rd overall. Cadwallader/Sweet finished 9th to move to 4th overall and Tabb/Sherrell moved up to 5th overall with their final race 2nd. The Lovering/Alvarado partnership have now finished 1st/2nd/1st in the last three Flying Fifteen UK National Championships.
The first boat in the Classic division was Class President, Bobby Salmond/David Hill.
Matt comments on his regatta win:
“We were pretty happy we were never really racing for a bullet in the last race, we just wanted to keep ourselves between the hoop and our main competitors but it just fell right for us up the last beat. We also had a little bit of luck with our own private puff of wind but a great last race.
Fantastic way to end the regatta, we always enjoy ourselves, we have fun morning, noon and night, win, loose or draw we always sail with a smile on our face.”
Richards summed up his experience:
“This week we have been consistent, there were a couple of high scorers in the fleet behind us so it was just a case of keeping it smart and keeping it clean and not taking risks. We are 1-2-1 in the last three UK Flying Fifteen Nationals so a great regatta for us and a great venue.”
Link to results.