Ideal conditions for Flying Fifteen invitational race in Esperance

Esperance delivered ideal conditions for a genteel introduction to the Gemmill Homes 55th Flying Fifteen Australian National Championship. 

A mostly sunny day with a moderate breeze of 12 – 15 knots and relatively flat seas (according to locals, they are described as ripples!) to others they are waves!. 

A slightly flustered race committee boat skipper (Kiwi) had a bad start to the day turning the start boat key to the sound of silence. After a short delay, a number of jump leads and some burly local help the committee boat was able to get out to the course for an on time start. 

After one general recall, race officer John Taylor (JT) raised a U flag which seemed to do the trick with a big sag in the middle of the start line for the second go. The course was a windward/leeward followed by a triangle and an upwind to the finish providing a range of sailing angles and a number of place changes throughout the fleet. 

However Nick and Janet Jerwood sailing Ineffable got a good start and tacked into an early lead at the top mark. The South of Perth YC sailors extended their lead on every leg to lead by a country mile by the last leg to the finish. They finished just under a minute ahead of the chasing pack. 

“We got a good start and took a few shifts off the line, got ahead and managed to stay there so we were quite fortunate with a comfortable race after a good start.”  Nick Jerwood

Philippa Packer and Dean McAullay sailing (Absolutely Ffabulous) worked their way into second place with Philippa letting out a (woop) of satisfaction as they crossed the line but the fight for third was only decided in the last few tacks. Places 3 – 6 were split by 10 seconds. The (Glamour Buoys) Greg Leaversush and Peter Barblett crossed the distance of a dental floss ahead of fourth placed Greg Tonnison and Mark Lovelady (Spot the Difference) with Ron Packer and Steve Ward (Affrodisiac) finishing fifth. 

Locals David Swan (Swanny) and Matt Elliot finished 8th sailing a brand new boat (Phar Lap) launched hours earlier in a christening ceremony on the EBYC lawn. Rounding off the top 10 was Alan Bax and Simon Childs from Hayling Island SC in the UK, sailing Fforever Young. 

Nick Jerwood after racing at the bar: We got down to Esperance a couple of days early to practice and the weather was quite harsh but after that we got two good days of sailing.”

Apparently Janet really enjoyed some wild reaches! 

“We are fairly comfortable with most breezes but obviously we might struggle against the big guys if it gets above 25kts.

 The rest of the fleet can only pray it blows!

The whole fleet enjoyed a big New Years Eve bash overlooking the tranquil waters of Esperance Bay and an early day off to recover on New Years Day. The first days racing is scheduled for a 1300hrs (local time) start on Monday 2nd January with a long range forecast of increasing winds and a bit more bumpy seas (or larger ripples as they say at EBYC)! 

Invitational Race for the Uffa Fox Trophy

1 AUS3986 Ineffable Nick – Jerwood / Janet Jerwood (SoPYC)
2 AUS3775 Absolutely Ffabulous – Philippa Packer / Dean McAullay (RFBYC)
3 AUS3992 Glamour Buoys – Greg Leaversuch / Peter Barblett (RFBYC)
4 AUS3743 Spot the Difference – Greg Tonnison / Mark Lovelady (SoPYC)
5 AUS3619 Affrodisiac – Ron Packer / Steve Ward (RFBYC)
6 AUS3989 Ffast Lane 4 – John Wilson / Matthew Summers (SoPYC)
7 AUS3859 Tuffan Up – David Yu / Chris Nelson (SoPYC)
8 AUS4053 Phar Lap – David Swan / Matt Elliot (EBYC)
9 AUS3879 Aussie Way – Kim Peaker / Neil White (SoPYC)
10 GBR4047 Fforever Young – Alan Bax / Simon Childs (HISC UK)

For full results see: :

There is a full schedule of social events for friends and families. More details are available from: and and the Facebook site:

The organising authority of the 2017 Gemmill Homes Flying Fifteen 55th Australian National Championship is Esperance Bay Yacht Club (Inc), in conjunction with Flying Fifteen International Australia (Inc). 

Sponsors include Gemmill Homes, Westpac Agribusiness, Cliffs, South Coast Insurance Brokers, Southern Ports Authority, Brahma, Ferngrove and Southeast Petroleum.  

by Jonny Fullerton of Grand Prix Sailing 


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