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25 May 2004, 12:24 pm
Epic Event Concludes On Mallorca
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Flying Fifteen European Championship
Puerto Pollensa, Mallorca

Held between 9 and 14 May in Puerto Pollensa on the Spanish Island of Mallorca, 41 boats took part in the 2004 European Championship for the Uffa Fox Memorial Trophy. Below is a report from the Flying Fifteen Class Website.
Along with forty other boats and crews we arrived in Puerto Pollenca on the beautiful island of Mallorca for the inaugural European Championship of the International Flying Fifteen. Travelling by land, sea and air our competitors from all over the world gathered at the Reial Club Nautic de Puerto de Pollenca for the event held between the 9th and 14th May, 2004, to compete for the Uffa Fox Memorial Perpetual Trophy.

Serious business started on Monday morning! Postcards written and posted while drinking coffee on the esplanade, the fleet then slipped or craned into the water and made ready for the practice race. The breeze gradually filled in but it was light and fluky and some of us thought we could be in for a frustrating week! Jock MAWSON and Ben ROBINSON launched their kite on the final beat!!!!! and crossed the line first in 'Hayffever'. Having moored in the marina we then gathered in the clubhouse for the warm welcome by the President of RCNPP and were treated to the first of the week's 'eats and drinks', which included extremely tasty Mallorcan pies and pastries.

Tuesday. It isn't like this normally!!!! Overcast, there was wind, predicted to rise and it did. During the first race the wind built up gradually providing exhilarating reaches and testing beats as the wind swung. In our 'Sweet Chariot' we crossed the line first followed by John LAVERY and David O'BRIEN from the National YC. Eight boats later discovered that they were OCS.

More wind followed for the second race, with huge, steep waves coming square on a port tack at times crashing in to the cockpit. Amazing reaches, we were surfing the waves while trying not to sail down the mines. Some damage ensued, broken halyards and the like, and as the local fleet were not used to sailing in such conditions, it was mainly the British and Irish boats that took the top places with Charles and David APTHORP first and Tom HALL and Ian BARKER from Northampton second. Thoroughly exhausted we crossed the line fifth but recorded a third place, as another two boats were OCS. Wow, first overall that night! A barbecue was planned for the evening and some hardened souls (being used to this as well) duly cooked their food in the pouring rain and partied anyway. We finished the day with a large mug of PG tea in the chip shop!

Day Two arrived in the teeth of a gale! The race team took a long lunch and abandoned for the day shortly after three o'clock. It is never like this usually!!!! For some of us the evening was spent in the Jazz restaurant with a delicious buffet dinner. Others, I believe, adjourned to a local Irish pub, which did good business all week!

Calm seas, and a postponement while the sea breeze fought with the land breeze delayed the start on Thursday until eventually the committee boat led us further out of the bay. During the first race the wind veered considerably and as the marks were moved those on the right of the beat took advantage of the increased pressure in the bands of wind. The Apthorps gained their second bullet and Eric BASSET and Arnaud BIET from Dinard finished second with Lavery and O'Brien third. With a little more pressure for the second race, right was good again but it paid to take the shifts. Nigel TULLET and Sam RAYNER from Royal Windermere were at the front when the first three boats mistakenly went through the gate at the end of the reach, leaving the way open for us to record another win on the score card! Justin Burke and Alan Green came in second with the Apthorps third. The points were now very close at the top of the table!

A fantastic three course Regatta dinner with wine was served to over one hundred and twenty noisy people in the club that evening. All included in the entry fee! The evening finished with a film of some of the racing on the giant screen, all of which is to be available on DVD at a later date.

The final day, Friday, brought 'normal' conditions, bright sunshine, good wind and a superb day on the water. Again the wind was shifty with lines of pressure, but the very efficient and professional race committee and crews ensured fair racing and although the black flag appeared for the first time it was not fallen foul of. Tullet and Rayner made good their mistake from the previous day and won the first race convincingly with Jeremy Davy and Andy Thompson second and local sailors, Javier Chacartegui and Joaquin Cobarro, in third place. Going in to what was to be the last race, the Apthorps, finally discarding their OCS, shot off the line and made sure of the title by winning for the third time.

The prize giving was held outside by the pool in the sunshine. More eats and drinks! Prizes were awarded to the first boat from each country, the first classic, silver and youngest sailors, the furthest travelled, (Jeffrey MORRISON and Graeme Robinson from New Zealand), and the furthest travelled with boat, (James Gerard and Jon McKencie from Scotland). The first three overall, Charles and David Apthorp form Hayling Island, David and Sally McKee (us) from Dovestone SC and John Lavery and David O'Brien from National YC, Ireland, took home a variety of swag including a scooter each provided by one of the many sponsors. (Full results are below). Nils Blumann responded once again to the speeches and thanked the RCNPP for holding a fabulous Championship.

Sally McKee

Full results are available on the class website at the address below.

Overall Top Ten

Pos Nation Helm Crew Total R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6
1 GBR Charles Apthorp David Apthorp 13 OCS 1 1 3 7 1
2 GBR David McKee Sally McKee 17 1 3 10 1 6 6
3 IRL John Lavery David O'Brien 22 2 DNC 3 4 9 4
4 GBR Jeremy Davy Andy Thomson 30 OCS 4 8 6 2 10
5 IRL Justin Burke Alan Green 33 7 9 12 2 10 5
6 GBR Simon Kneller David Lucas 33 3 OCS 7 5 11 7
7 FRA Basset Eric Biet Arnaud 36 OCS 10 2 8 8 8
8 GBR Nigel Tullet Sam Rayner 37 8 8 16 7 1 13
9 GBR Tom Hall Ian Barker 43 4 2 13 13 14 11
10 GBR Roger Palmer Barbara Palmer 47 10 17 6 10 12 9
Class Media (As Amended By ISAF News Editor)
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