13 March – Trofeo Galeria Maior 3 – Pollença
The final race in this series was sailed in very light and variable winds. As this was to be immediately followed by the RCNPP Ladies race, many boats had changed their crew or helm to be ready.
Going into the day, Wight Flyer was leading the series on 5 points, with ffinally on 7, so it looked like a straight fight for the series. Events didn’t turn out this way, as right off the start ffinally got caught below Triffid – who’d stopped on the line. One they got out from underneath, they were forced to the right side of the course, where there was less wind. Arriving last at the top, they managed to salvage places to round the bottom in fourth, with Wight Flyer in sight.
Going up the second beat, the wind continually shifted right, whilst also dropping more on that side. This turned the fleet upside down, with the leaders dropping back, and others coming up from nowhere. The committee saw that things wouldn’t improve and shortened the course with the leaders a few hundred metres from the top mark. Nevertheless, it took a nail-biting quarter of an hour for most to finish, with Martini taking the honours, followed by Dragonfly who had been on the lucky side of the course. The ever-canny Michael Clough took third with ffinally languishing in eighth; their chances for the series gone.
1 GBR 3382 Martini Pilar Casares / Rafa Benítez 1
2 ESP 3817 Dragonfly Michael Beecken / Anna Penninger 2
3 ESP 3804 Speedy Gonzales Michael Clough / Karin Baatz 3
After totting up the points, Wight Flyer won the series with 11 points, Dragonfly second on 13 and fuego fatuo third – also with 13.
13 March – Ladies Race – Pollença
The Ladies Race was sailed in similar fluky conditions, with only one fleet – the flying fifteens having been given a handicap to allow them to compete directly with the cruisers.
In the flying fifteens, took first, whilst in fuego fatuo Ben Stitt crewed for fiancé Ilanit Goldschmidt and finished second – her first ever race!
3 April – Welcome April – Pollença
With the big gap between the previous races and the Mallorca Championships, we decided to add in a couple of weekend practices. On this first Saturday in April – during the Easter holidays, may were away but nevertheless five teams made it onto the water. We planned two races, both started by our automated system Gertrud.
The first race was a short up and down race to get us in the mood, and also to practice for the championships. Dragonfly, sailed by Michael Beecken and Karin, took the race followed by Michael Clough in Speedy Gonzales and James in Puffin.
Puffin and Triffid decided not to sail the second – a longer coastal race – leaving three gallant crews on the water. This took them up to Formentor island, through the narrow passage and back down to the club to finish.
Speedy was in her element, and won, followed by Victor and Juan in Fiscardo, with Michael and Karin following for third. Nevertheless this was enough for her to come second overall, with Speedy taking the day and Fiscardo third – Puffin and Triffid both carrying extra points for DNS.
1 ESP 3804 Speedy Gonzales Michael Clough / – new person 3
2 ESP 3817 Dragonfly Michael Beecken / Karin Baatz 4
3 HKG 3650 Fiscardo Victor Rosselló / Juan Buades 6
Overall a great afternoon on the water, and good way to spend Easter Saturday!
11 April – Championship practice – Pollença
Conditions on Saturday were poor, so the practice was moved to Sunday at short notice. Three boats were able to make it and had a good sail in a Force 3. First were a few practice starts, to get the blood flowing, then three up and down races.
Rafa and Pilar in Martini won the first race, with Michael & Karin (Dragonfly) next, followed by Victor and Juan in Fiscardo. Dragonfly took both the second and third races, with Fiscardo and Martini each getting a 2 and a 3. So, at the end of the day Dragonfly was on top with 4, then Martini with 6 and Fiscardo third on 8 points.
As many of you will know, Palma Vela has been postponed until 27 October, so the next big event was the Mallorca Championships on 17-18 April – after the May issue deadline, we’ll report in June. Although any of these might change in this new Covid era, let’s hope we can continue to sail into 2021!
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: http://categorically.allergies.abdomens – really!
Our 2021 calendar is posted on our website http://flyingfifteen.mallorcaservice.de
Visit us on Facebook @f15spain.
By Stephen Babbage