flying fifteen Mallorca

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20 September –- Extra race, Pollensa

Yes, it was a very good day, full of surprises and up and down luck. We’d planned for this Extra to use the marks of the big Optimist regatta that had been organised by RCNPP earlier in the day.

Bad luck: The wind had unexpectedly shifted to NW and destroyed our plan to use the yellow marks lying in the middle of the bay as windward marks.

Good luck: Tim Pyne’s friend Michael arrived with his yacht and immediately offered to be committee boat. He anchored half way to Bonaire and gave us 3 starts. As windward mark we chose a yacht with no mast, anchored in front of the sailing school Sail & Surf and hoped that no one would move it during the regatta.

We managed to complete 3 good races and everybody was happy to sail races in winds between force 3 and 4 with clear skies. The hardest competition was between John Leaf, with Mark Hart as crew, and John Walker, who sailed with Francisco. John Leaf won the regatta with two first and a third. John Walker had two seconds and a first, giving equal points but second on countback. Stephen Parry, sailing Triffid with his daughter Teresa, sailed very good races – 2 third and a second, but could not pass the leaders.

ESP 3825         Spanish Fly                    John Leaf / Mark Hart 5
ESP 3577         fuego fatuo                   John Walker/Francisco Gadala-Maria 5
GBR 3471       Triffid                            Stephen Parry/Teresa Parry 8
10 October – Liga de Otoño, Pollensa

Three fifteens joined the cruisers for this monthly event. Start was prompt at 12:00, with an unusual wind from the NW. Pin end was favoured, and feugo fatuo took full advantage to start there and quickly cross the fleet on port, lay the windward mark first, followed by Spanish Fly and then the cruisers. Michael Clough had a few problems ashore, and started a little later, but never discount him!

Round the mark, and spinnakers up for the broad reach to Bon Aire, which we’d be seeing twice during the race. Despite a huge waterline length, the 50 foot Beneteau couldn’t get past the two flying fifteens, although a mistake from fuego fatuo allowed Spanish Fly to reach the mark ahead. Then off to Formentor, on what proved to be a single leg, fetch or close reach all the way. Fuego fatuo stayed a little higher, and passed Spanish Fly halfway across, to round the mark in Formentor bay first, with John Leaf a short distance behind. Next mark was back to Bon Aire, so logically this should have been a broad reach. But no, the wind died, and we were treated to an interminable – but probably only five minutes – of slopping around in the water. Right then, Michael Clough appeared to windward, reaching down in 12 knots towards Formentor! It took an age for the breeze to reach the leaders, and when it did Spanish Fly, to windward, got it first and stormed off, only to lose it shortly afterwards and have fuego fatuo blast through to leeward. Spanish Fly’s windward position allowed her to round the Bon Aire mark first, and head back to Formentor again. Fuego fatuo clawed back, but were still second at the mark.

Spanish Fly stayed south, allowing fuego fatuo to gain as she stayed closer into the north where the wind didn’t die. At the lighthouse, fuego fatuo was able to harden up onto a close reach, and keep a 50 metre lead all the way to the finish.

All in all a great afternoon’s sailing, with very close racing. Thanks Diego!

ESP 3577         fuego fatuo                   Stephen Babbage/John Walker
ESP 3825         Spanish Fly                    John Leaf / Mark Hart
ESP 3432         esp                                Michael Clough

Coming up

We’re racing at every month from now until the end of the year, if you’d like to join us, visit, we have a club boat available (and some for sale!), and are always keen to bring new crews into the fleet. Or just turn up at the next event:

14 Nov              Liga de Otoño       RCNPP, Pollensa
12 Dec              Liga de Otoño       RCNPP, Pollensa

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