Gregg Wells and Richard Riggs are the 2012 Flying 15 European Champions. Steve Goacher and Phil Evans won the first race of the final day, with Wells and Riggs in fourth, and could still take the title if they won the final two races. Race 9 started in 20 knots of breeze and Wells hooked into a 10 degree right hander to lead at the windward mark with Goacher back in the pack. Wells and Riggs won comfortably to seal the title and with conditions deteriorating and the championship decided, race officer Antonio Micillio made the wise decision to abandon the final race and send the fleet home.
For the final day of the Flying 15 European Championship at at Fraglia Vela Riva, Lake Garda the wind increased and veered to the northeast and at the start it was blowing a good 20 knots plus! The first start (race 8) got away with a couple of recalls. Title contenders, Wells/Rigg and Goacher/Evans started next to each other near the committee boat with Wells taking control and forcing Goacher to tack off. However Wells was pinned by another boat and couldn't tack to cover.
From the Torbole side of the course Goacher hooked into a massive right hander and led by miles at the windward mark followed by Hamish McKay/Andrew Lawson and then Gill Browning/Tom Pickles.
Wells worked the shifts in the middle and rounded fourth. Down the first run the wind veered more and increased to almost 30 knots giving everyone a spectacular broad reach down the lake. At the finish Goacher was 1st, McKay 2nd and Browning 3rd. Wells was 5th behind Lavery/O'Brien but they were called OCS so this promoted Wells to 4th.
With two more races still scheduled Goacher could still win the title but needed to win both races. Race 9 started in about 20 knots. Wells and Goacher were again seen close to each other near the committee boat but Goacher saw an opportunity to get clear and reached off to start down the line, while Wells started right on the committee boat and tacked towards the Torbole shore.
This proved to be a regatta winning move as this time it was Wells who hooked into a 10 degree right hander and led at the windward mark with Goacher back in the pack. Second at the top mark were Browning and Pickles who were having a great day. Third round was Robert Hogben and Glyn Morgan.
As the race progressed the wind increased and Wells extended to win the race comfortably and with it the European Flying 15 title. Second were Gill Browning and Tom Pickles which made them the best boat of the day, a fitting result for Gill as she has sadly announced her retirement from FF racing after many years always near the top of the fleet. Third to finish were Hogben and Morgan following a great battle with Charles Apthorp and Alan Green.
With conditions deteriorating and the championship decided, race officer Antonio Micillio made the wise decision to abandon the final race and send the fleet home. This bought to a close what can only be described as a terrific and memorable week of racing in one of the great sailing venues. (Although I admit I may have a slightly biased opinion!) - GW
Flying 15 - European Championship, Final positions (35 entries)
1 GBR 3920 Wells Greg, Rigg Richard, Hayling Island Sailing Club 10,0 pts
2 GBR 3821 Steve Goacher, Phil Evans, Royal Windermere Yacht Club 17,0 pts
3 GBR 3957 Apthorp Charles, Green Alan, Hayling Island Sailing Club 27,0 pts
4 GBR 3998 Alan Bax, Simon Childs, Hayling Island Sailing Club 32,0 pts
5 IRL 4002 Lavery John, David O'Brien, National YC 36,0 pts
6 GBR 3788 Mackay Hamish, Lawson Andrew, Royal Highland Yacht Club 42,0 pts
7 GBR 3955 Gill Browning, Tom Pickles, Hayling Island Sailing Club 48,0 pts
8 GBR 3994 Waples Chris, Waples Tom, Hayling Island Sailing Club 66,0 pts
9 GBR 3953 Hogben Robert, Glyn Morgan, Bewl Valley Sailing Club 66,0 pts
10 GBR 3795 Patterson Simon, Thompson Simon, Draycote Water Sailing Club 71,0 pts
11 GBR 3965 Osman Anthony, Murphy Andrew, Parkstone Yacht Club 72,0 pts
12 GBR 3905 McKee David, Sally McKee, Dovestone SC 73,0 pts
13 GBR 3954 Waples Justin, Stowe Iain, R.C.Y.C. 73,0 pts
14 GBR 3942 Cadwallader Ian, Sweet Dave, Chew Valley Lake SC 76,0 pts
15 GBR 3820 Snewin Philip, Thompson Mark, Royal Windermere Yacht Club 83,0 pts
16 GBR 3816 Tullett Nigel, Tullet Gavin, Royal Windermere 86,0 pts
17 GBR 3539 Hanson John, Selden Helen, Datchet SC 99,0 pts
18 GBR 3787 Brockbank David, Millington Catherine, Key West 108,0 pts
19 GBR 3914 Tattersall Adrian, Parkstone YC 110,0 pts
20 GBR 3936 Douthwaite Steve, Averley Paul, DRSC 116,0 pts
21 GBR 3959 Goddard Andy, Martland Mal, Dovestone Sailing Club 121,0 pts
22 GBR 3862 Chard Bill, Millington Simon, Chew Valley Lake SC 131,0 pts
23 FRA 3961 Arnaud Biet, Constant Fabien, YCD 137,3 pts
24 GBR 3939 King Athol, Bellis Trevor, Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club 150,0 pts
25 ESP 3728 Barber David, Barber Hannah, CN Portitxol Mallorca 150,0 pts
26 GBR 3765 Castle Ian, Barford Neil, Hayling Island Sailing Club 152,0 pts
27 AUS 3964 Lucas Simon, Lucias Aileen, Princess Royal Sailing Club 169,0 pts
28 BEL 3885 Hachez Veronique, Van Peeterssen Benoit, SN de l'Eau d'He 187,0 pts
29 FRA 3932 Pelegrin Michel, Gouriou Erwan, Yacht Club de Dinard 187,0 pts
30 BEL 3530 Ezékiel Desantoine, Philippe Coweg, SNEH 189,0 pts
31 FRA 3976 Jean-Yves Renault, Arnaud PiSSARD, YCD Dinard 205,0 pts
32 GBR 3826 Lyall Tony, Berry John, Welwyn Garden City Sailing Club 211,0 pts
33 GBR 3897 Apthorp Richard, Apthorp Charles, Hayling Island Sailing Club 218,0 pts
34 BEL 2233 Pletinckx Jean, Martens Pierre-Yves, SNEH 226,0 pts
35 GBR 759 Hogg Peter, Oatley Tony, South Cerney Sailing Club 247,0 pts
31 August 2012 18:55