Keelboat Regattas

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Locals light up Busselton leg to Ignite Championship Challenge


tech2 and Kleenmaid had a great round of the SuperFoiler Grand Prix in Busselton. – photo © Andrea Francolini



Two West Australian skippers have steered their teams to the podium in their home regatta with Perth’s Luke Parkinson (tech2) and Steve Thomas (Pavement) climbing onto the Busselton dais alongside Kleenmaid. tech2 secured a third victory of the regatta to claim the outright win by the slenderest of margins over Pavement.

“I loved the opportunity to be back sailing in WA over the weekend. We had a full range of conditions and this win puts us in great shape for the final in Sydney,” said Busselton’s victorious skipper Luke Parkinson – who thrust tech2 to the top for the very first time. 

“It has been a pleasure to sail in such a beautiful location, extremely tight racing it went all the way to the last run of the last race. I am really excited for the Grand Final in Sydney,” said tech2’s mainsheet hand Ayden Menzies.

In what was the most hotly contested regatta to date, Pavement finished four points behind in second.

“Pretty cool for WA to get on top at the home venue. I guess we had a lot of local knowledge,” said Pavement skipper and second on the podium Steve Thomas, “We were stoked to get second – it was a really close race between us and Kleenmaid.”

The regatta also witnessed the breakthrough podium for Olivia Price, Harry Morton and Josh McKnight – who missed out on claiming overall points by just one win. “As a team we’ve been playing the long game, slowly developing our techniques with Sydney being the end goal so this was a really important regatta for us to peak at,” said Kleenmaid mainsheet hand Josh McKnight.

The wash-up is Euroflex’s stranglehold on the championship has slipped after her last placed finish, although her star crew of Nathan Outteridge, Iain Jensen and Glenn Ashby still hold a two-point lead over tech2. It sets up a thrilling climax to the opening series with the Expr3ss! SuperFoiler Grand Final – Sydney from 23 to 25 March, 2018, to decide the first winner of the Ben Lexcen Trophy.


Championship Standings

Euroflex – 19 pts

Tech2 – 17 pts

Pavement – 16 pts

Record Point – 12 pts

iD Intranet – 11 pts

Kleenmaid  – 10 pts


Photo finish decides 2017 Star Sailors League Final champions



Star Sailors League Final in Nassau


With racing taking place in a balmy, near perfect 15 knots on Nassau’s Montagu Bay, the ‘take no prisoners’ shoot out on the last day of the Star Sailors League Final saw the fleet narrow to seven teams after the Quarter Finals and to four after the Semis. Finally this left the finals being contested by France’s Xavier Rohart/Pierre-Alexis Ponsot, Britain’s Paul Goodison sailing with German Frithjof Kleen, Brazil’s Robert Scheidt/Henry Boening and the USA’s Mark Mendelblatt/Brian Fatih, the latter crew having ‘fast tracked’ straight through after decisively winning the qualifiers yesterday.

In the final race, Mendelblatt/Fatih led off the line and all the boats heading out to the left. Goodison/Kleen benefitted on the right and coming into the weather mark just squeaked in ahead of the Americans. At the second top mark rounding the Anglo-German duo looked marginally more secure but with veins of breeze coming down the course, the outcome was still far from decided. On the final approach to the finish line, Scheidt/Boening closed, rolling in with more pressure and on some good waves as Goodison/Kleen looked slow. However at the very last moment Goodison/Kleen picked up speed to win by a metre. It was a suitable ending to this ultimate ‘champion of champions’ regatta, where the winners gets to walk away with US$ 40,000 of a US$ 200,000 total prize purse.

Goodison described the final seconds: “I was desperate to soak low to come into towards the pin end (of the finish line) and Frida (Frithjof Kleen) was going ‘You’re Going Too Slow, You’re Going Too Slow – Come Up!’. So there was a little panic. It was a little too close for comfort.” Kleen added: “It is always super hard to protect yourself from Robert Scheidt because he is the best downwind sailor in the world and he caught us up quite well…”

In fact the two time Moth World Champion and his burly Star veteran crewman had become experts at photo finishes having had a similar experience in the Semi-Finals. On that occasion they were in a must-win battle against Germans Philipp Buhl and Markus Koy: The winner progressing to the final, the loser eliminated. Winning that particular race within a race had been especially important for Kleen. “I was working hard to catch the Germans in the Semi-Final! You could see the difference between us – we were rolling more and that helped us,” he observed.




Despite losing the final, Robert Scheidt said it had been a great race. “A lot happened – position changes, tacking on each other, penalties – and then we had a photo finish. We managed to do a good gybe on the inside and we got a little bit more pressure so that when we converged, I thought at one stage that we had got those guys. But in the end I couldn’t go low because I was blocked by the race committee boat. They deserved it and for us to be part of that was really exciting.”

It was interesting to note that three of the four finalists were former Laser sailors who competed at Athens Olympics in 2004. On that occasion Scheidt claimed gold, Goodison was fourth and Mendleblatt seventh. Throughout the Qualifiers this week, Mendelblatt and Fatih had been the stand-out crew but perhaps suffered from coming into the Finals cold whereas the other teams had already warmed up in the quarter finals and semis.

Goodison was delighted by the outcome: “I am over the moon – I didn’t expect this at all.” Given today’s slightly breezier conditions, the smart money had been on the Star veterans, rather than a newbie to the class like him. “This morning we had a look at the trophy and I saw Bart’s name on it (the late Andrew Simpson, who won Star Gold in Beijing 2008 as part of the British Olympic team with Goodison) and Frida mentioned that the top crew got the Andrew Simpson Trophy. Somewhere up there I am sure Bart was smiling on us and making us hike a little bit harder. It is a great honour to race against these guys and I feel so happy to have won and I feel so grateful to have had Frida who has been my mentor, my pain in the ass, my everything for the last 10 days.”

And what will he do with his share of the prize money? “Well, I have a new Moth being built, but I think my family might get some better Christmas presents this year!” concluded the two time Moth World Champion, Laser Olympic gold medallist and now Star Sailors League champion.

Tonight’s celebration will continue at the Nassau Yacht Club with a Gala Dinner, where Dennis Conner will hand out the prizes to the athletes – who will be wearing their Star Sailors League official blazers, kindly supplied by Think Pink.

The sixth edition of the Star Sailors League Finals will take place once again in Nassau, the Bahamas, from December 3rd to 8th 2018.


Highlights of finals of Star Sailors League


Bruni squeaks through to gain last Quarterfinals berth 



Day 4 of the Star Sailors League Finals


After three more races today on Nassau’s Montagu Bay, the full 11 Qualifier races of the Star Sailors League Final were completed to determine which ten of the 25 teams would progress through to tomorrow’s final rounds, when the US$ 200,000 prize pot will be distributed.

There was upset in the first race when another of the Star newbies won, beating the old hands of the former Olympic keelboat class. British Nacra 17 World Champion Ben Saxton, sailing with former Star World Champion Steve Mitchell, managed to hang on to their lead after winning the pin at the start and then fending off a persistent challenge from overall leaders the USA’s Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih.

“We were one boat length ahead for the whole race,” said Saxton. “On the second beat we only crossed ahead of Mark and Brian by two metres – it was awesomely close racing. Then on the last run we had the Poles, Paul Goodison and Mark/Brian alongside of us and it could have gone any way. It was a pretty big celebration when we finished.”



Italian Star veterans Diego Negri and Sergio Lambertenghi claimed the second race, their first bullet of the Qualifiers. But significant to the points tally was four teams being called OCS. This start line error would ultimately contribute to Brazil’s Lars Grael/Samuel Goncalves and London 2012 Olympic gold medallist Freddie Lööf and Bruno Prada from making it past the Qualifiers.

After race two it was time for the teams to get their calculators out, to determine who would make it into the all-important top ten and would continuing and the 15 teams heading home. At this point 10th place was held by Italians Francesco Bruni/Nando Colaninno with France’s Xavier Rohart/Pierre-Alexis Ponsot seven points ahead of them, while a further five teams were all still in with a good chance, up to nine points behind. These included Lööf/Prada and Norwegian reigning Star World Champion, Eivind Melleby/Joshua Revkin.

The day had got off badly for Bruni/Colaninno, in the sixth when they got out of bed, but dropping to 10th going into the final race.

“We couldn’t get our head around the shifts and we are not very fast downwind,” admitted Bruni, adding that with too many boats to cover they just had to sail their best.

“On the final run we knew that Lööf was behind and Lars [Grael] wasn’t in the top three, so it would be pretty close between us and the Norwegians.”



Finally on the last run it came together: “We just pushed hard and finally we had one good downwind where we passed four boats.” Melleby/Revkin’s sixth place to their eighth was enough and Bruni/Colaninno were able to hang on to tenth securing their place in tomorrow’s racing, albeit tied on points with Saxton/Mitchell. “We are very happy,” said a beaming Bruni.

The day became a British double win with Laser gold medallist and two time Moth World Champion Paul Goodison, sailing with German Star veteran Frithjof Kleen, claiming the final Qualifier race. This left them in fifth place overall.

Coming out on top is the class act of the 2017 Star Sailors League Finals – Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih. The American defending champions posted a 4-2-4 making them top scoring boat of the day and leaving them 19 points clear of early leaders Brazilian Olympic veteran Robert Scheidt and Henry Boening. Having won the Qualifiers Mendelblatt/Fatih are fast-tracked straight through to the Finals while Scheidt-Boening bypass the Quarter Finals and move directly to the Semi-Finals.



The remaining eight boats, from third placed Negri/Lambertenghi down, will compete in the single Quarter Finals race tomorrow, starting at 1100. Five then go through to join Scheidt/Boening in the Semi Finals. The top three from this join Mendelblatt/Fatih in the Finals, the winner of which will be crowned the 2017 Star Sailors League champion.


1 Mendelblatt/Brian Fatih — Straight to Finals

2 Robert Scheidt/Henry Boening — bypass to Semi-Finals

3 Diego Negri/Sergio Lambertenghi

4 Paul Cayard/Phil Trinter

5 Paul Goodison/Frithjof Kleen

6 Xavier Rohart/Pierre-Alexis Ponsot

7 Philipp Buhl/Markus Koy

8 Mateusz Kusznierewicz

9 Ben Saxton/Steve Mitchell

10 Francesco Bruni/Nando Colaninno


Highlight video of day 4


Defending champions edge ahead 



Day 3 of the Star Sailors League Finals


Despite a second light day that perhaps should have favoured the lighter crews, US heavyweights Mark Mendelblatt and Brian Fatih posted a solid 1-2 on day three of the Star Sailor’s League Final off Nassau to take the lead overall.

In truth, the US occupation of the top spot was equally down to the impressively consistent Brazilian Olympic legend Robert Scheidt and Henry Boening vacating it after an uncharacteristic error when they hooked the weather mark and had to carry out a penalty turn in today’s second race. This resulted in a 19th place finish and, despite discarding this, the Brazilians are now second, trailing Mendelblatt/Fatih by eight points.

“It was a great day – I am very happy with it. We survived the light air and then some, so that was good,” said a beaming Mendelblatt. “Brian has good movement in the boat, which is key as the big guy [ie crew]. You have to heel the boat right and always be moving with the pressure and the waves. He did a great job of keeping the boat powered up at the right angle. It felt good.” 

While they are leading, Mendelblatt was not resting on his laurels, with up to three more races to go tomorrow in the culmination of the Qualifier round, after which all but the top ten are eliminated.



The first race got away successfully under a black flag on its second attempt. This still caused Poles Kusznierewicz/Zycki and the two veteran crews of Szabo/Natucci and Diaz/Sperry to be disqualified – especially costly for the Poles, who were OCS in yesterday’s second race.

With the start line committee-boat favoured, Mendelblatt/Fatih started conservatively by the committee boat and headed out to the right. The lead shifted between the sides of the course with the US team reaching the top mark third behind Franck Cammas and Mark Strube – an impressive performance by Cammas, the French Volvo Ocean Race winner, America’s Cup skipper but Star boat newbie. After a long battle on the final run with the two Italian crews Francesco Bruni/Nando Colaninno and Diego Negri/Sergio Lambertenghi, the Americans found better pressure to roll past their rivals to take their third bullet of the Star Sailors League Finals.

Aside from Mendelblatt/Fatih, the day belonged to the two Italian teams. Francesco Bruni has been out of the Star class for more than a decade, his previous campaign including a seventh place at the Athens 2004 Olympic Games. Coming into the Star Sailors League Finals he had had just one day of training and yet today he managed to post a 4-1.



In the latter race Brazilian Olympic legend Torben Grael and Guilherme de Almeida had made the best of the start – leaping ahead after tacking on a favourable left hand shift. However it was Bruni/Colaninno who read the conditions the best and were first to the top mark. Bruni said he was pleased with how they had positioned themselves, such as not going all the way to the port layline coming into the top mark.

“We made a good balance between risk and reward.”

This had also paid in the first race when on the first run they had held on starboard longer after everyone had gybed, a move that took them from sixth-seventh to level with the leaders coming into the leeward gate.

“The only bad part of the day was the last part of the first race when we went from first to fourth.” This Bruni attributed to his lack of experiencing of free pumping which was permitted as the wind marginally increased on that leg.

Fellow countrymen Diego Negri/Sergio Lambertenghi were the third stand-out performer of the day posting two thirds, leaving them third overall.

Young German Laser sailor Philipp Buhl continued to shine today on board with old Star boat hand, Markus Koy. Their 9-5 today elevated them to fifth place overall, an outstanding performance considering Buhl has had only five days of training in the former Olympic keelboat before the Finals.

Tomorrow up to three races can be held in this Qualifier round and all of the 25 crews will be gunning to make the top 10 that will enable them to progress through to the final rounds of racing on Saturday.



Highlight video of day 3





Cayard goes turbo


Paul Cayard & Phil Trinter on Day 2 © Gilles Morelle / Star Sailors League


Day two of the Star Sailors League Finals in Nassau


A lighter, longer, hotter second day of racing at the Star Sailors League Finals in Nassau, was one of mixed fortunes for the 25 crews competing for the US$ 200,000 prize purse in this international ‘Champion of Champions’ contest.

Italy’s two time World Championship runners-up Diego Negri/Sergio Lambertenghi were the lowest scorers today, while Star newbies, German Laser sailor Philipp Buhl and British Nacra 17 World Champion Ben Saxton, put in stand-out performances with their respective crews, towering Markus Koy and former Star World Champion Steve Mitchell.

US veterans Paul Cayard/Phil Trinter scored two bullets in the first and last races. Yet after this generally high scoring day, Brazilian Olympic legend Robert Scheidt and Henry Boening showed ultra-resilience retaining their lead, two points ahead of Mark Mendelblatt/Brian Fatih.

While two races were held yesterday, today there were four, the start time coming forward to 1100 hrs. The easterly started off lighter at nine knots, dropping to seven for the final race by which time an evil grey rain cloud was veering the wind.

Cayard was pleased with his and Phil Trinter’s two bullets, but less so about his race three 20th.

“We had some kelp round the keel right off the start and weren’t fast, which was strange because we are very fast. Then I made a bad tactical choice to go to the layline on starboard instead of tacking early.”

The Volvo Ocean Race/Louis Vuitton Cup winner was particularly pleased by how their pace downwind has improved. 

“On Saturday we were getting our butts kicked. Now we are holding our own. If you can get to the weather mark in good shape and hold your own downwind, you are going to sail good races.”

In the fourth Cayard/Trinter, one of the most experienced crews competing, led at the first top mark rounding only to be rolled downwind by Ben Saxton/Steve Mitchell. The Brits led through the leeward gate only to be overhauled by the Americans on the second beat but still managed to hold second at the finish.

“We were struggling with speed downwind, but today we held our own, which meant we could put a race together,” explained Saxton.

He added they were almost more pleased with today’s second and third races when they successfully fought back from deep starts. After this they finally got a good start, up by the committee boat.

“We punched forwards off the line and then just led the bunch back from the left and tacked in and got a good lane,” said Saxton of the final race.

As to how it feels to be in the Star Sailors League finalists, Saxton adds: “It is an honour to line up against them. I am here because I can raise my game. It is wicked to see how these people put beats together. You can always learn off them.”


Ben Saxton & Steve Mitchell- Day 2 – photo © Carlo Borlenghi


While Saxton came close to winning race four, another 27-year-old Rio 2016 Olympian, Philipp Buhl had successfully claimed the race before. The German crew had been third around the top mark behind two Italian boats – Negri/Lambertenghi and America’s Cup tactician Francesco Bruni/Nando Colaninno. Buhl/Koy had pulled into the lead ahead of Negri/Lambertenghi at the second top mark rounding and held on to the finish.

“I thought I would struggle a bit more, but I’ve been sailing with confidence, maybe because we are sailing above my expectations,”said Buhl.

“I regard it as a super privilege to be invited to race against all these legends. When we won race three I realised we could sail on the same level as Robert Scheidt. That’s something we can be proud of because he’s had two Olympic Star boat campaigns…”

His towering crew, Markus Koy observed that having an ex-Olympic Laser sailor as a Star helm is a bonus.

“They do more course changes and use every wave.”

Italy’s Diego Negri/Sergio Lambertenghi have yet to win a race but today’s two seconds (in races one and three) enabled them be the lowest scoring crew today.

“It was very positive for us and it gives us a bit confidence to do well in the next few days,” said Negri, a two time Star European Champion.

“Tomorrow and Friday conditions will be similar to today’s and then very breezy on the final day, Saturday. This will make it more important to win the Qualification and get a bye straight to the Final – as we did last year. In windy conditions you can get tired and the boat can be damaged easier.”

With five races left to go in the Qualification series, tomorrow three races are scheduled with a start at 1100hrs.


Highlights video day 2 of racing








5 teams within 3 points after day 1


2017 Star Sailors League Finals – Day 1 © Gilles Morelle


Star Sailors League Finals in Nassau, Bahamas


International sailing’s premier Champion of Champions event got underway in Nassau with the first two races of the Star Sailors League Finals. Racing took place on Montagu Bay, a stone’s throw from the Nassau Yacht Club, this week playing host to the 25 Star teams. Among the all-star cast of sailors here are not just luminaries of the former Olympic keelboat, but three Volvo Ocean Race winning skippers, two Jules Verne Trophy winning skippers, America’s Cup winners plus countless Olympic medallists and World Champions.

On the Bahamas’ holiday brochure blues waters, racing took place in a relatively stable 12-15 knots easterly with ‘free pumping’ permitted.

On the first beat of race one, the boats on the left looked good including old US hands Paul Cayard/Phil Trinter and Mark Mendelblatt/Brian Fatih, but also invited VIP’s like double Moth World Champion Paul Goodison sailing with German Star legend Frithjof Kleen. At the top mark defending champions Mendelblatt/Fatih shows some of their old magic pulling out a solid five boatlength lead with Goodison/Kleen sneaking ahead of Cayard/Trinter to round second. But on the runs, experience paid: Mendelblatt/Fatih held position claiming the first race, while Brazilian Olympic legend Robert Scheidt and Henry Boening outsailed Goodison/Kleen, relieving them of second coming into the line.

“I know Goodie from our Laser days – I think he has got a good set up and a good crew and a good boat,” observed Scheidt. He added that with invited sailors such as his old British rival the line-up here is the toughest to date.


Robert Scheidt & Henry Boening – photo © Carlo Borlenghi


Mendelblatt/Fatih were also showing great pace, finishing comfortably ahead of the chasing pack. “It was pretty good downwind – better than in years past,” said Mendelblatt. “It was unlimited rocking and pumping today. Some guys go really hard and other go smoother. We are one of the smoother teams. Some of the big Finns guys can put a lot into it.”

In the second race, the left also paid on the first beat with Goodison/Kleen putting in another great performance, squeeze in from the port layline at the top mark just inside of Xavier Rohart and his London 2012 crew Pierre-Alexis Ponsot with Poles Mateusz Kusznierewicz/Dominik Zycki third.

On the first run, the French held on starboard gybe and took the lead coming into the leeward gate with Mendelblatt/Fatih also rolling past Goodison/Kleen. Rohart/Ponsot kept their noses clean for the rest of the race which was not the case for many other, including the likes of Mendelblatt/Fatih and reigning Star World Champion, Norway’s Eivind Melleby, sailing here with the USA’s Joshua Revkin all of whom infringed at the top mark and had to carry out penalty turns. Ultimately the Poles claimed third with Scheidt/Boening managing second to finish the opening day leading overall by a point from Kusznierewicz/Zycki, but with just three points separating the top five.

“It was a match – we took the right decision to stay outside at the top mark,” said race two winning crew Pierre-Alexis Ponsot. “Then it was about finding a good space with the waves for the oouching and pumping. Upwind it was hard because it is very choppy so we had to hike very much.”



Fleet ashore on day 1 – photo © Carlo Borlenghi


Coming off the water with the biggest grin was definitely Goodison.

They have all been sailing for years and I have only down 10 days total,” he said of the competition. Of rediscovering long lost muscle groups after his first ever Star races, he added:

“It is almost like the old Laser days when you were a bit out of practice and not quite fit enough at the beginning of the year. It is amazing to be out there racing with all these guys. I was very worried coming into this that we would be way off the pace. I am very fortunate that this is Frida’s boat (Kleen) and he has a good feel for the numbers. I do a little bit of the ‘feel’ stuff and he does general set-up. Downwind it is very much like sailing a Laser – just the rocking and steering, only I’m not as strong as some of the big guys and can’t pump as hard.”


Highlights video of day 1 of racing



Goacher and Harper clinch world title in dramatic last race


2017 World Champions Steve Goacher & Tim Harper


21st Lexus Flying Fifteen World Championship at Napier


The last day of the 21st Lexus Flying Fifteen World Championship turned out to be a real cliff hanger. To finish on a high, Napier delivered on the weather with a warm sunny day and  9 – 11 knots of breeze.

The final race was delayed for about an hour as the NE/E breeze kept shifting  from side to side causing two general recalls. On the third attempt the PRO got racing started with a 1.1nm beat into a sloppy chop in Hawke’s Bay.

The two title contenders were at each other from the 5 minute gun with the Brits, Steve Goacher & Tim Harper playing cat and mouse with Nick & Janet Jerwood (AUS) never losing sight of each other.



Murray Gilbert & Jonathan Burguess lead the kiwi pack around the top mark


After a clean start under U flag, the fleet were split across the course with a slight bias to the middle left hand side upwind. The first rounding was really crowded with a whole raft of New Zealand boats leading the field. Locals Hayden Percy & Scott Pedersen led from Murray Gilbert & Jonathan Burgess from Royal Akarana YC in Auckland. Third round was a female skipper, Susan Thompson sailing with crew Cameron Taylor (AUS) from Daveys Bay in Victoria.

The following run turned dramatic, Goacher & Harper turned the spreader mark right on the stern of Nick & Janet Jerwood, both crews down in about 20th place. A collision from a luffing incident on the downwind leg ended up with a red flag on each of the lead boats along with a small hole in the Jerwood’s boat. The Jerwood’s rounded the gate in the top 10 but Goacher & Harper had dropped places to the mid 20’s, having done turns.


The kiwi fleet chase down the run


Jeremy Davy & Martin Huett (GBR) from Draycote Water SC took the lead at the gate, followed by David Yu & Chris Nelson (AUS) from Royal Freshwater Bay YC in Perth. The kiwi chase pack rounded in a huddle led by Murray Gilbert & Jonathan Burgess.

The second lap was more of the same, 9-11 knots with the breeze flicking regularly left and right. Davy & Huett begun to extend their lead from a charging Greg Wells & Richard Rigg (GBR).

There were a number of crucial place changes in the final leg to the finish but Davy & Huett held firm to take their first gun of the regatta, fellow Brits Wells & Riggs crossing second and Yu & Nelson recovering to 3rd.


Nick & Janet Jerwood have to settle for second


The Jerwood’s crossed in 4th and Goacher & Harper in 21st but sadly the final result of the championship would have to be decided in the protest room.

After a lengthy hearing Nick & Janet Jerwood were disqualified from the final race handing the title to the British team.

Steve Goacher was a very happy man winning his 4th world title nearly 20 years after his last win in 1999. However he was even more pleased for Tim his crew of the last two years as it was Tim’s first world title. He claimed it was one of the tougher championships he had raced in 25 years or more of Flying Fifteen sailing.

By finishing the last race in 6th, the kiwis Gilbert & Burgess rose to 3rd on the overall podium overtaking Percy & Pedersen as first kiwis. Aaron Goodmanson & crew Alister Rowlands made up the third kiwi boat in the top ten.

Hayden Percy & Scott Pedersen however have the honour of being first Silver boat with an impressive 6th place overall in the Open rankings. First Classic division boat was Nicholas Heath & Philippa Noon from the UK.


Results (Top 10 of 57 entries, after 7 races with 1 discard)

1 GBR 4021 Steve Goacher / Tim Harper – 19,8,1,1,2,1,(20) = 32pts

2 AUS 3986 Nick Jerwood / Janet Jerwood – 5,2,8,(20),1,2,DSQ/58 = 38pts

3 NZL 3840 Murray Gilbert / Jonathan Burgess – (32),9,6,13,5,6,5 = 44pts

4 GBR 4004 Charles Apthorp / Alan Green – 6,(53),14,2,15,3,7 = 47pts

5 AUS 3684 Matthew Owen / Andrew Reed – 2,4,7,9,12,(24),13 = 47pts

6 NZL 3091 Hayden Percy / Scott Pedersen – 1,6,22,5,(25),5,9 = 48pts

7 GBR 3760 Jeremy Davy / Martin Huett – 9,5,10,7,(16),DSQ/58,1,= 48pts

8 GBR 4030 Greg Wells / Richard Rigg – 4,14,15,(24),11,4,2 = 50pts

9 HKG 3972 Ashley Smith / Adam Kingston – 14,(35),4,6,4,16,11 = 55pts

10 NZL 3739 Aaron Goodmanson / Alister Rowlands – (18),3,13,17,7,1,6 = 57pts

For full results and more information visit:


The 21st Flying Fifteen World Championship host club is Napier Sailing Club.

Major sponsors and supporters include: Lexus of Hawkes Bay, Napier City Council, The Food Company, Nelson Signs, Napier Port, GWR, Marineland, Ericksen Honda, Clearview Estate Winery

More photos are available via facebook site:


by Jonny Fullerton, on behalf of the International Flying Fifteen Class



Goacher sneaks ahead with one race to go 



21st Lexus Flying Fifteen World Championship at Napier


The penultimate race of the 21st Luxus Flying Fifteen World Championship in Napier has set up to be a mouth watering finale with the title hanging in the balance.

Another warm sunny day on Hawke’s Bay with a hint of a stronger breeze earlier on, which toyed with the PRO and ended up proving a real challenge. Twice race management were in start sequence when the radio call came in from the top mark that the breeze was swinging from 70 – 100 degrees and back again.

On the third attempt race 6 got underway around 1400hrs in another light and shifty 7-10 knot NE/E breeze with a bit of chop thrown in for good measure. The start was clean but with an almost constantly oscillating breeze it proved a real test to find the best way to tackle the first upwind leg.



Both the championship leaders Steve Goacher & Tim Harper (GBR) and Nick & Janet Jerwood started mid line and sniffed out the best track to round with a few boat lengths lead over a large pack including Charles Apthorp & Alan Green (GBR/IRE), fellow Brits Greg Wells & Richard Rigg and Hayden Percy & Scott Pedersen, the first of a bunch of kiwis.

The run proved a bit pedestrian as the breeze softened and the chase pack had to fight for room at the gate, sometimes rounding up to five boats abreast. Once ahead the Goacher machine went into cover mode never letting the Jerwood’s off their radar scanner. Apthorp & Green also managed to hold their position but the fight for the remaining top 10 places remained tight all the way round the triangle.



As Goacher & Harper rounded the gate to head up to the finish, the sea breeze came in with a final flourish sucking the lead group in to make the final  work leg interesting. Everything the Jerwoods did to get away from the clutches of the Goach, it was to no avail, the British team crossing for the third bullet of the championship with 1 race to go.

Apthorp & Green finished 3rd ahead of a big cluster of boats. The young kiwis, Percy & Pedersen were back in form in their 28 year old Silver fleet boat grabbing a useful 4th and Brits David Mckee & Mal Hartland a solid 5th.



So the world title hangs in the balance with one ore race to go. Steve Goacher & Tim Harper stand 5 points ahead of Nick & Janet Jerwood but neither crew can afford any mishaps carrying double digit discards.

Canberra sailors Matthew Owen & Andrew Reed had a day to forget finishing 25th, their discard, but remain in 3rd overall, ahead of a log jam of crews on 39 & 40 points. It looks like a classic finale between the British and Australian pairs but neither can afford a slip up in the final race with only one discard.

Race 7 is scheduled for a an earlier start time of 1000 hrs (local) with no racing starting after1300hrs (local).



Provisional Results (Top 10 of 57 entries, after 6 races with 1 discard)

1 GBR 4021 Steve Goacher / Tim Harper – (19),8,1,1,2,1 = 13pts

2 AUS 3986 Nick Jerwood / Janet Jerwood – 5,2,8,(20),1,2 = 18pts

3 AUS 3684 Matthew Owen / Andrew Reed – 2,4,7,9,12,(24) = 34pts

4 NZL 3091 Hayden Percy / Scott Pedersen – 1,6,22,5,(25),5 = 39pts

5 GBR 4005 David McKee / Mal Hartland – 7,10,2,10,(23),10 = 39pts

6 NZL 3840 Murray Gilbert / Jonathan Burgess – (32), 9,6,13,5,6 = 39pts

7 GBR 4004 Charles Apthorp / Alan Green – 6,(53),14,2,15,3 = 40pts

8 HKG 3972 Ashley Smith / Adam Kingston – 14,(35),4,6,4,16 = 44pts

9 GBR 3760 Jeremy Davy / Martin Huett – 9,5,10,7,(16),DSQ/58 = 47pts

10 GBR 4030 Greg Wells / Richard Rigg – 4,14,15,(24),11,4 = 48pts


For full results and more information visit:


The 21st Flying Fifteen World Championship host club is Napier Sailing Club.

Major sponsors and supporters include: Lexus of Hawkes Bay, Napier City Council, The Food Company, Nelson Signs, Napier Port, GWR, Marineland, Ericksen Honda, Clearview Estate Winery

More photos are available via facebook site:

by Jonny Fullerton, on behalf of the International Flying Fifteen Class


Jerwood’s sail into world title contention




21st Lexus Flying Fifteen World Championship at Napier


What a difference a day makes, the sun came out for day four of the 21st Lexus Flying Fifteen World Championship in Napier. Race 5 was sailed in a light NE breeze shifting from 40 – 50 degrees, but with a short chop rather than the rolling swell of the last few days. As they say in these parts, the lambs were just about to leap out of the paddock, allowing the bigger crews to get out on the side decks and even do a bit of hiking!

57 Fifteens were spread across the start line in a far more conventional start but with new choices over upwind tactics. Whilst the majority of the fleet decided to work the left, a late shift favoured the boats that had really banged the right corner hard!



Of these kiwis, Brian & Bridget Kent from Royal Akarana YC in Auckland, sailed a blinder to round the top mark in the lead from the Flying Flamingos, Lewis Davies & John Radnell from Daveys Bay YC in Australia. (These guys are easily recognisable with their pink, hats, kite and accessories!. Another kiwi boat in the Silver fleet, Wade & Lyle Tresadern from Bucklands Beach in Auckland, rounded in 3rd.

Most of the usual suspects were a bit deep in the pile with work to do but It only took the first run to see some of the downwind specialists starting to make their move. Steve Goacher rounded in the top 15 but scythed down the middle of the course to put pressure on the leaders at the gate. Nick & Janet Jerwood (AUS) were also working their way into the mix after a late change of gate choice at the gate got them on the right side of the race course for the beat.



Back upwind the pressure stayed a bit more reliable but a new leader was emerging in David Williamson & Craig Morton (AUS) from Mordialloc SC in Victoria. The Aussie crew had the two previous world champions chasing them down both legs of the triangle. Behind them there was a lot of shuffling in the lead pack, places could be won or lost on the boat handling at the gybe mark. But the real test was the final working leg to the finish. This is where the real champions work their magic and there was little surprise when the smiling faces of Nick & Janet Jerwood from South of Perth YC, were seen tacking up to the line with a reasonable lead. They crossed to take their first gun of the championship and leap back into contention for the tile with two days to go.



“We had two very difficult legs, we got to the top mark in the low teens and managed to get the bottom of the run wrong and lost a lot of spots there, I am guessing we were about 20th there. Things stated to get a bit better from there, we made a late decision to change gates at the bottom and it was a really good decision, put us on the right side of the course and we were able to pick a few good shifts which put us back into the top 10 and we took a few more as we progressed up to the beat to 4th so that was the best leg of the regatta for us so far from 20th to 4th.”



“Two days to go but we still have to sail the best race you can, the wind is way too localised, you can be 4 or 5 boat lengths away from somebody and be in totally different conditions so you just have to sail the best you can with what you have at that point in time. It is just going to be a case of how fast you can get round that race course. We actually used toe straps for the first time in the regatta today and it was great so I am looking forward to more of that in the final two days.” Nick Jerwood

Second to finish was Steve Goacher & Tim Harper (GBR) who is now able to drop his 19th place to take the overall lead in the regatta by 4 points. With the discard coming into play, the overall leaderboard sees a few changes with previous leaders Matthew Owen & Andrew Reed (AUS) from Canberra, slipping to 3rd overall, and Ashley Smith & Adam Kingston from Queensland (sailing under the Hong Kong flag), dropping their 35th to jump up to 4th in the overall classification.



With two days to go the pressure is rising and so is the barometer. There is a promise of more warm weather and a bit more breeze which might just suit some of the bigger crews who enjoy a bit of planing activity for which the Flying Fifteen is famous for.

Race 6 is scheduled for a 1300hrs (local) start time.



Results (Top 10 of 57 entries, after 5 races with 1 discard)

1 GBR 4021 Steve Goacher / Tim Harper – (19),8,1,1,2 = 12pts

2 AUS 3986 Nick Jerwood / Janet Jerwood – 5,2,8,(20),1 = 16pts

3 AUS 3684 Matthew Owen / Andrew Reed – 2,4,7,9,(12) = 22pts

4 HKG 3972 Ashley Smith / Adam Kingston – (35), 46,4 = 28pts

5 GBR 4005 David McKee / Mal Hartland – 7,10,2,10,(23) = 29pts

6 GBR 3760 Jeremy Davy / Martin Huett – 9,5,10,7,(16) = 31pts

7 NZL 3840 Murray Gilbert / Jonathan Burgess – (32), 9,6,13,5 = 33pts

8 NZL 3091 Hayden Percy / Scott Pedersen – 1,6,22,5,(25) = 34pts

9 GBR 4004 Charles Apthorp / Alan Green – 6,(53),14,2,15 = 37pts

10 AUS 3859 David Yu / Chris Nelson – 3,1,9,26,27 = 39pts


For full results and more information visit:


The 21st Flying Fifteen World Championship host club is Napier Sailing Club.

Major sponsors and supporters include: Lexus of Hawkes Bay, Napier City Council, The Food Company, Nelson Signs, Napier Port, GWR, Marineland, Ericksen Honda, Clearview Estate Winery

More photos are available via facebook site:


by Jonny Fullerton, on behalf of the International Flying Fifteen Class


Another bullet for Steve Goacher and Tim Harper in Napier



21st Lexus Flying Fifteen World Championship at Napier, New Zealand



Day 3 of the 21st Lexus Flying Fifteen World Championship in Napier and another semi – overcast day with light winds on Hawke’s Bay. For a while it looked like an on schedule start for the fleet of 57 boats but after two general recalls the PRO was frustrated by the persistent shifts in direction from 60 – 100 degrees and had to signal a wait for the breeze to settle.

Race 4 got started mid afternoon in 6 – 10 knots with a flicking breeze which just remained with enough pressure to sail a two lap course of one windward/leeward lap followed by a triangle and beat to the finish.

At the third attempt the fleet got away to a clean start under the U flag with quite a split in choice of upwind strategy. Whilst the middle right upwind had been the best bet all week, finally the breeze shifted far enough into the E/NE sector to tempt enough competitors into trying mid left as an alternative.



A new leader appeared at the top mark in the shape of Peter Milne & Trevor Williams from Black Rock YC/Gippsland Lakes in Victoria, Australia. Local kiwi crew, Hayden Percy & Scott Pedersen from Napier SC were back in the front pack but lurking close behind was yesterday’s winner and former world champion, Steve Goacher sailing with Tim Harper from the UK.

Downwind to the gate the vast majority of the fleet searched for the pressure on the offshore side of the race track. Again Goacher and crew Harper used all his expertise to shrink the lead of the lead boat to a boat length by the bottom gate. Places from 3 – 6 continued to shuffle with Charles Apthorp & Alan Green (GBR/IRE) making good gains along with Brits Greg Wells & Richard Rigg.

Upwind again and another split in tactics, this time the cunning Goacher / Harper combination rounding in the lead to lead the pack on the triangle. The chase pack was close, the Aussies, Milne & Williams holding off Apthorp & Green but early pace setters, Percy & Pedersen dropping off the pace.



Today the breeze held in pressure but the British team of Goacher & Harper could not be slowed, covering their opponents all the way to chalk up a second bullet of the championship. Apthorp & Green squeezed in at the boat end of the line to snatch second in the final boat lengths to the finish line from Milne and Williams (AUS). FFI Commodore Peter Rooke sailing with Martin Arrowsmith (AUS) sailed an excellent final work leg to cross in 4th with the persistent local kiwi crew, Percy & Pedersen picking up 5th in their 20 year old (Silver) category Flying Fifteen.

However with four races sailed, the overall leaders are Matthew Owen & Andrew Reed from Canberra, Australia who are the only crew to have recorded single digit results by continuing to dig themselves out of difficult positions when buried in the pack. They lead the regatta by 7 points from Goacher & Harper who are chasing their 4th world championship win.



Matthew Owen describes his tactics

“We actually ended up with three really good starts today if you include the two general recalls, so we were pretty good off the line. We got a great start, turned over and about 50 boats down at the pin end crossed us so we were pretty much back of the fleet 30 seconds in, so we had to chip away quite hard to get back into it. We got a couple of nice shifts at the top but we were on the back foot from the start.”

“At the top mark we just did a few different things to the rest of the pack because it is just such a competitive, similar speed fleet and if you do something different to the rest of the pack the gains can be quite massive, but our whole motto is just chip chip chip. All through this regatta we have not had a good first work so we have had to come from behind.”

Race 5 is scheduled for a 1300hrs (local) start with similar light breezes forecast.



Provisional Results (Top 10 of 57 entries, after 4 races)

1 AUS 3684 Matthew Owen / Andrew Reed – 2,4,7,9 = 22pts

2 GBR 4021 Steve Goacher / Tim Harper – 19,8,1,1 = 29pts

3 GBR 4005 David McKee / Mal Hartland – 7,10,2,10 = 29pts

4 GBR 3760 Jeremy Davy / Martin Huett – 9,5,10,7 = 31pts

5 NZL 3091 Hayden Percy / Scott Pedersen – 1,6,22,5 = 34pts

6 AUS 3986 Nick Jerwood / Janet Jerwood – 5,2,8,20 – 35pts

7 AUS 3859 David Yu / Chris Nelson – 3,1,9,26 = 39pts

8 NZL 3739 Aaron Goodmanson / Alister Rowlands – 18,3,13,17 = 51pts

9 GBR 4030 Greg Wells / Richard Rigg – 4,14,15,24 = 57pts

10 AUS 3855 Peter Rooke / Martin Arrowsmith – 31,12,11,4 = 58


For full results and more information visit:


The 21st Flying Fifteen World Championship host club is Napier Sailing Club.

Major sponsors and supporters include: Lexus of Hawkes Bay, Napier City Council, The Food Company, Nelson Signs, Napier Port, GWR, Marineland, Ericksen Honda, Clearview Estate Winery

More photos are available via facebook site:


by Jonny Fullerton, on behalf of the International Flying Fifteen Class


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