19 September – Trofeo Mortitx – Pollença
Some 30 boats turned out for the Annual Trofeo Mortitx – sponsored by Viñas Mortitx. We were divided into two classes, cruceros and flying fifteen. This year, there were to be two up and down regattas, each of two laps, with the cruceros starting first.
ffinally started midline and stayed in the middle of the course up the beat, arriving first. She set off down the run, and extended her lead, with Martini and Wight Flyer tussling behind, followed by Dragonfly. The second beat saw Martini pull ahead of Wight Flyer, and round behind ffinally. Try as they did, they could pull past, and finished second, with Wight Flyer and Dragonfly following.
Things had been getting lighter as the afternoon wore on, so the committee moved the top mark closer, shortening the course to compensate for the vanishing wind.
Wight Flyer and Martini made great starts, the former going left with ffinally following Rafa off to the right. The left proved better, and Wight Flyer got to the top first, joined by Dragonfly and Spanish Fly, with the left two boats behind and still in sequence. They both passed Dragonfly, then Spanish Fly too. The three leaders extended up the beat as the wind continued to drop and arrived at the top in almost no breeze. However, as they came down again, some puffs came back, and ffinally started to pull up to the other two. Wight Flyer stayed to the right; Martini passed her close to the finish but ffinally remained behind.
|1||ESP 3382||Martini||Rafa Benitez / Pilar Casares||3|
|2||ESP 4014||ffinally||John Walker / Stephen Babbage||4|
|3||ESP 3728||Wight Flyer||Stephen Parry / Philip Parry||5|
A great day’s sailing; well done to the Race Officer, many thanks to RCNPP for inviting us, and Viñas Mortitx for their sponsorship and great prizes!
10 October – Trofeo Australia – Pollença
Around the beginning of the century a couple of Aussies dropped by including Niels Blumen from Esperance, president of Flying Fifteen International. They enjoyed themselves so much they presented this trophy . (They came back in 2004 for the inaugural European championships and brought a bunch of friends.)
Despite tightened Covid restrictions, five boats had entered the regatta, which was reduced to one day. In the event, two were unable to join, so we sailed a simpler day, with four up and down races. The breeze was light to moderate, NE, and we set the windward mark near to the lighthouse on Punta de l’Avançada.
As our electronic starter was unavailable, so we elected for a modified rabbit start, between the unused port and starboard buoys at the seaward end of the small boat channel near Lleanaire, giving ¾ mile beat. Start routine was to be for the last boat from the previous race to cross the line, and the others must start behind her. For the first race, Francisco and Ximena in ffuga elected to be that boat.
Race one got off to a good start, with ffuga clearing the line on starboard, followed by ffinally and Wight Flyer. The latter tacked off for the right side of the course hoping for more breeze, however, the northern side had better shifts and ffinally arrived at the top mark first and set off down the run. Wight Flyer slipped in just ahead of ffuga and chasedafter the leader. However, they could not catch them and finished second, with ffuga third.
ffuga started race two well, followed Wight Flyer’s race one track, and had a good lead coming up to the mark. However, she misjudged the last tack and overstood, allowing Wight Flyer and ffinally to both get around ahead of her. Despite their downwind speed, ffinally didn’t quite catch the first boat, whilst ffuga closed up and all three finished within twenty metres.
In race 3, everyone went up the left side, ffinally rounding first with Wight Flyer gybing soon after hoisting their spinnaker. ffuga closed up on ffinally, and passed them halfway down, to end up middle boat. ffinally managed to pull back, and were level coming to the finish. Wight Flyer gybed to make the line, putting her on starboard. ffinally also gybed, leaving ffuga trapped on port. Wight Flyer was caught in ffuga’s wind shadow, whilst ffinally accelerated to take the win by a foredeck length, with ffuga third.
Positions were now: ffinally 1,2,1; Wight Flyer 2,1,2; ffuga 3,3,3, so whichever of the top two took the final race would win the series.
For the final race, it was agreed the crew and helms of wight flyer and ffinally were to swap positions in the boat. ffuga got off to a storming start, with great boat speed, ffinally following to the left side of the course whilst Wight Flyer again went right. ffinally soon climber above ffuga, to take control of the left side, but the right proved to have had better shifts, and Wight Flyer rounded five lengths ahead. ffinally set out to catch the leader, and initially went higher for speed. As the wind shifter slightly, she was able to soak down, and by hallway was within striking distance. Following the gybes, she was now to leeward, and struggling to break through. Taking a bit of a risk, she dropped deeper, to clear her wind, and then up to accelerate. Fifty metres off the line she was overlapped with Wight Flyer, and the final battle began. She edged ahead on the puffs, and with ten metres to go was alongside, and finally just ahead. The finish was close, Wight Flyer’s bows crossing before ffinally’s transom was through.
Although we had no committee boat, start equipment and few boats, everyone agreed that this was some of the closest – and best – racing for some time!
|1||ESP 4014||ffinally||John Walker / Stephen Babbage||5|
|2||ESP 3728||Wight Flyer||Stephen Parry / Philip Parry||7|
|3||CHI 3598||ffuga||Francisco Gadala-Maria / Ximena Rubio||12|
If you’re interested in a trial sail, just follow the link: http://tiny.cc/TrialaFlying15, we’d love to see you! Or come see us, we’re at: ///categorically.allergies.abdomens – really!
Our 2020 calendar is posted on our website http://flyingfifteen.mallorcaservice.de
Visit us on Facebook @f15spain.
By Stephen Babbage