14 December – Trofeo Navidad (Liga de Otoño 3)
We left the Autumn series with three boats in the mix – Speedy Gonzales (Michael Clough has 3 points, Wight Flyer 4, and John and Stephen 5 – but in two different boats. So all to play for in this last race of the series.
Six boats turned out to compete, Speedy wasn’t one of them as Michael was travelling. The course was a long up and down one – from the start up to a windward mark off Llenaire, then a downwind trek to Pinar, before a slog back up to the finish.
ffinally was quick out of the start, and led round the top mark, extending all the way down the run. They rounded and tacked almost immediately, towards the finish. Wight Flyer followed a hundred metres behind, closely followed by ffugue. Looking back, we saw Dragonfly and Spanish Fly reach the bottom mark, and round up, but not tack – continuing instead towards the north shore.
The three boats on starboard carried on towards the finish. When they tacked, they saw that the next two boats were storming down the north shore and looking to be close. And then, horror of horrors, the wind dropped on the south side, and we watched them close up quickly, they passed just ahead and took the first two places, with ffinally, Wight Flyer and ffugue following.
This turned the series results upside down, with Stephen & John both on 8, and Michael now on 10.
|1||ESP 3728||Wight Flyer||Stephen Parry / Philip Parry||8|
|2||GBR 4014||ffinally||John Walker / Stephen Babbage||8|
|3||ESP 3817||Dragonfly||Michael Beecken / Hugh Birley, Markus Schweiger||10|
4 January – New Years regatta
Our traditional first race of the year was sailed in a variable easterly, with gusts up to about 15 knots. Leg 1 took us around Formentor island. Stephen and newcomer Christopher Walker took an early lead but were passed at Punta Avançada when they stayed too far out and were passed by fuego fatuo and Stormtrooper. Wight Flyer went inshore and took the on the corner of the island. Michael Clough, wily as ever, clawed his way ahead on the beat up the channel and finished fourth.
The second leg was started in reverse to the first leg finishing order. This didn’t work out too well as the wind dropped shortly out of the bay, and then came back in unpredictable squalls. ffinally picked these up first and planed off towards the finish a couple of miles away. Wight Flyer and fuego followed, finishing in that order. So overall the day ended:
|1||ESP 3577||fuego fatuo||John Walker / Jakob Gradisek||4|
|2||ESP 3728||Wight Flyer||Stephen Parry / Teresa Parry||5|
|3||GBR 4014||ffinally||Stephen Babbage / Christopher Walker||6|
25 January & 1 February – Puffin Hardcore Training
With Palma Vela and the Europeans both coming up in May, James suggested we have a practice series where we could sail short courses to hone our skills.
The first weekend saw Stormtrouper IV and Puffin sharing the top slots, with Puffin have two firsts and a second. Spanish Fly, Dragonfly and Swampfire didn’t make the following weekend, but ffinally, Wight Flyer and Triffid turned out and made their mark. Having sailed both weekends, it was no surprise that Puffin and Stormtrooper took the top two places,
|1||GBR 3724||Puffin||James Waugh / Ben Carwardine||13|
|2||ESP 4058||Stormtrouper ffour||David Miles / Corinne Miles||17|
|3||ESP 3728||Wight Flyer||Stephen Parry / Philip Parry||25|
25 January – Liguilla de Invierno 1
The first of James’ practices was followed later in the afternoon by first race in the RCNPP winter series. James and Ben took this, followed by John and Mona in Spanish Fly and Michael and Markus (Dragonfly). Fourth was a photo finish between Wight Flyer and Stormtrouper IV
8 February – Liguilla de Invierno 2
The second in the winter series saw nine boats on the water. Stephen was sailing ffinally with Alex, who’d never raced before, whilst in Wight Flyer, Steve Parry was sailing solo. The Harrises in Flying High started well and led the fleet all the way round. ffinally wanted the committee boat end at the start but was unable to slow down enough and kissed Dragonfly so had to do an immediate penalty turn.
The order was the same at the bottom, and it was time to make a decision which way to go up the beat. The top three went left, ffinally had an issue with spinnaker drop and Dragonfly pounced and rounded inside going for the right side. It took a few minutes for ffinally to sail out from under Dragonfly and tack across to go for the left. Spanish Fly had also chosen the right side and headed for Punta Avançada. Halfway up the beat, ffinally met Speedy Gonzales coming on port. Speedy tacked for a lee bow, but was unable to push ffinally out, and carried on to the left whilst ffinally tacked off to take the centre. Meanwhile fuego was carrying on to the left. Coming up to the finish, it became clear that the right side hadn’t been so bad, with Dragonfly crossing ffinally ten metres ahead. The left had also worked out for Speedy, who finished ahead of them both. fuego didn’t fare so well, and finished fifth, just ahead of Spanish Fly.
So, after race two, we have Dragonfly leading on 6 points, Spanish Fly on 8 and Wight Flyer on 11.
Our 2020 calendar is posted on our website http://flyingfifteen.mallorcaservice.de
Visit us on Facebook @f15spain.
By Stephen Babbage