Only one race was completed on day 1 of the Flying 15 World Championship at Hayling Island SC. It was a frustrating light wind day for the fleets with constant shifts frustrating the PRO in setting a start.
Winner in the Blue fleet were Brian McKee and Ian Smyth from Ireland. Winner in the Yellow fleet were James Sandell and Graeme Robinson from New Zealand. Winners in the Classic/Silver fleet were Bobby Salmond and Mike Leydon and first Silver boat, Michel D'Almeida and Erwan Gouriou from France.
Yellow were away first after a long wait for the wind to settle, Sandell and Robinson made a pin end start into clear air before tacking halfway up the beat, but understood the mark and needed two more tacks before rounding behind Australians Grant Alderson and Dean McAullay. Greg Wells and Mark Darling rounding behind Graham Vials and Chris Turner.
Sandell and Robinson went high before setting the kite and rounded some five lengths behind Alderson and McAullay. Sandell and Robinson gybed to port and went inside the Aussie pair at the next mark, went for the RH buoy and picked up some good shifts and covered up the beat. An early port gybe on the run kept their lead and they carried the kite on the reach and covered to the line. Wells and Darling finished in second with Vials and Turner third, Alderson and McAullay fourth and Dave McKee and Chris Hewkin fifth.
For Graeme Robinson this was his first Worlds race victory in eleven F15 Worlds events, the first in 1986 in Hong Kong - this was one very happy Kiwi. For James this was his first F15 worlds race, he was at HISC last year for the Laser Worlds.
In the Blue fleet Brian McKee and Ian Smyth also made a pin end start on starbord, then onto port taking advantage of the tide. They rounded the weather mark behind the French pair, Bernard Dermartial and Jean-Yves Renault. A starboard gybe took them inside Dermartial and Renault, they gybed at the gate in fifth with the Aussie pair Ron Packer and Peter Mudford leading. In a close beat with the Aussie pair they rounded with a comfortable lead and then held it down the reach where they caught the yellow fleet boats.
Keeping out of trouble, McKee and Smyth concentrated on covering Packer and Mudford to the line. Dermartial and Renault took third, Steve Hegerstrom and Gregg Dobson from South Africa were fourth and Jeremy Davy and Simon Childs fifth.
Bernard Dermartial was pleased with his third. A 470 sailor in his youth, placing in the top three at the worlds and a long time F15 sailor in the Dinard fleet, he normally sails an older boat. But at HISC he is at the worlds helming the new boat of his crew, Jean-Yves Renault and also liking the light conditions.
The single race for the two flights puts Sandell and Brian McKee joint top of the leader board, Wells and Packer joint second and Vials and Deramtial in joint third overall.
Some big names were down the fleet in these conditions and will already have their discard. New British Champions, Steve Goacher and Phil Evans finished ninth (17 overall), Mike Hart and Richard Rigg 17th (33 overall), Russell Peters and Tim Hall 18th (35 overall), Charles Apthorp and Gavin Tappenden 20th (39 overall), Alan Bax and Bill Masterman 29th (57 overall).