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Home > Regattas > Flying Fifteen Mallorca

Flying Fifteen Mallorca

15 August – Michael Clough Regatta – Pollença

Regular readers will recall that this regatta is about more than outright speed – boat handling is also tested over the weekend! Once again, Michael wrote his own Sailing Instructions. This is as much about fun as outright racing and designed so that less experienced sailors can come to the fore.

For the first day, we had a short course – the two marks being set 200m apart, with the start in the middle. Doesn’t sound too difficult – what could go wrong?

Race one was up to the top and back – the catch being that only the main could be used. Steve and Philip (Wight Flyer) took that one, ahead of Melvin and father Michael in Speedy and Michael Beecken and Annie in Dragonfly. For the second race jibs were allowed but spinnakers still not – they were banned for the day. Giving Annie something to do clearly paid off – they won this one, with Speedy and Wight Flyer behind.

Now a downwind start, head around the leeward mark and back to finish – with main only of course. Michael and Annie took this too, Wight Flyer recovering to second, with Francisco and Ximena bringing Ffuga home third. At last we saw a full length race, first up to windward, down to leeward and back to finish, all good? Well not quite, it was forbidden to tack – such a manoeuvre earning an immediate 720° penalty. Wight Flyer continued to improve, taking first followed by Dragonfly and Speedy.

Pulling it all together, race five saw each boat having to do a 720° on each and every leg. This didn’t deter Stephen and Philip, again finishing first, with Speedy and Dragonfly switching places.

For the last race, of day one, we sailed the full length of the course, however each boat had to decide whether to start to windward or leeward. Plenty of opportunity for confusion – and yet there were no accidents! Wight Flyer rounded off the day with another win, David & Joey Miles taking a surprise second and Dragonfly third.

For Sunday we sailed two races on coastal courses. The first took us from the harbour on the 4nm around Isla Formentor where we passed the narrow channel between Mallorca and Isla Formentor in downwind direction. Speedy won, with Wight Flyer second and then Ffuga.

The second race started with a gate start inside the bay of Formentor, sailing the course in reverse, so going upwind through the channel first before downwind to home. Melvin and Michael C won again, Michael B and Anni second, with Ffuga taking third.

The challenges didn’t stop on the water – everyone got to choose a bottle prize, but Michael decided in what order they could have a pick. Once again, Michael had given us a great weekend to celebrate his birthday – congratulations!

1 ESP 3728 Wight Flyer Stephen Parry / Philip Parry 18
2 ESP 3817 Dragonfly Michael Beecken / Annie Wilson 19
3 ESP 3804 Speedy Gonzales Melvin Clough / Michael Clough 21


22 August – Trofeo Cormonan – Pollença

Ten of the twelve entrants made it to the start of the annual RCNPP Trofeo Cormoran – two boats electing to stay at home following a possible Covid exposure. A further three crews from overseas were unable to travel to Pollença, otherwise we would have had fifteen! The cruiser fleet also was larger than normal with 29, possibly as there’s been little other racing this year. We even saw yachts from France and the Nordics!

The flying fifteens were started first, on a 15-mile course which would be as much endurance test as tactical. First leg would take us to Cabo Pinar, some three miles to the east. Right off the start line fuego fatuo’s crew Jakob was so fast across the boat on the first tack that he kept going straight over the side. Being young and fit, his top half never got wet, and after being dragged alongside for a bit he pulled himself aboard and off they went.

Meanwhile, the fleet split almost evenly, with six electing to take the right-hand side and heading for the southern side of the bay. The others decided that the Embat wouldn’t be coming in so early and went for the middle. Spanish Fly sped off in this direction, followed by Flying High and ffinally, with Wight Flyer and Dragonfly making up this group.

Positions didn’t change up the beat, the first two rounding in the same order. Picking up a good shift coming into the mark allowed Wight Flyer and Dragonfly to slip inside of ffinally, with Puffin just behind.

On the downwind leg ffinally and Wight Flyer had a good tussle, only to be passed by Puffin. With ffinally going backwards through the fleet, and with Stephen suffering from heat exhaustion they decided to retire. Looking back, they saw the rest of the fleet only now arriving at the mark, together with the first cruisers.

Second time around saw an exciting reach from Cabo Pinar to Isla Formentor, with post-race analysis of our trackers showing speeds on the far side of 10 knots. 200 metres from the finish, Steve parted contact with Wight Flyer, after a lull on the shy reach dumped him to windward. Mainsheet in hand, he stayed with the boat and got back in over the stern – but not before an inadvertent gybe. Nevertheless, the top five didn’t change position, whilst behind them John and Jakob in fuego fatuo had a great battle with Francisco and Ximena in Ffuga, finishing in that order, with Swampfire and Triffid making up the rest.

Covid prevented any of the planned post-regatta celebrations – prize winners were to get a telephone call with collection instructions.

Thanks to RCNPP for a great and challenging day!

1 ESP 3825 Spanish Fly Paco Palmer / Jaume Pujadas 1
2 ESP 3592 Flying High Vincent Harris / Patrick Harris 2
3 ESP 3817 Dragonfly Michael Beecken / Annie Wilson 3


By the time you read this, we’ll have sailed our National Championships – full report next month!

If you’re interested in a trial sail, just follow the link: http://tiny.cc/TrialaFlying15, we’d love to see you!

Our 2020 calendar is posted on our website http://flyingfifteen.mallorcaservice.de
Visit us on Facebook @f15spain

By Stephen Babbage