The Flying Fifteen Open European Championship takes place from Sunday 2nd to Friday 7th of September at one of Europe’s favourite sailing venues, Lake Garda.
The crystal clear deep waters and regular ‘Peler’ and ‘Ora’ breezes make the venue one of the more glamorous locations to hold a regatta. The host venue, Riva del Garda is perched at the Northern end of the lake surrounded by mountains which makes the race course a true test for the best of crews.
Registration takes place on Sunday 2nd September, with racing commencing on Monday 3rd through to Friday 7th September. Twelve races are scheduled with no more than three races per day. The overall winner of the FFI European Championship will be awarded the Uffa Fox Memorial Trophy. (Uffa Fox designed the Flying Fifteen.)
There are just under 40 entrants to the championship with the vast majority travelling from Great Britain. These include the current World and European Champions, Steve Goacher sailing with regular crew Tim Harper. This pair won the last World Championship held in Napier, New Zealand in February 2017 and previous to that, the last Europeans held at Medemblik in the Netherlands in September 2016.
There is a plethora of ex UK national champions and Flying Fifteen regulars amongst the fleet, some sailing with different crews. These include Greg Wells (second at the last European Championship), who is sailing this time with crew Andrew Jameson and Charles Apthorp, who came fourth at the last World Championship in Napier.
The Brit pack also includes Flying Fifteen regulars, Simon Kneller sailing with Dave Lucas, David Tabb and Chewey Sherrell, Ian Cadwallader and Steve Graham, Chris Gorringe and Nadia Hosie and Adrian Tattersall and Richard Pepper, to name just a few.
There is also a good fleet from Ireland who will be using the Europeans as vital training for the Flying Fifteen International 22nd World Championship which is due to take place in exactly one years time at the National Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire, Ireland.
There is even an entry from the globe trotters representing Hong Kong in the shape of Ashley Smith and Kym Thumpkin.
by Jonny Fullerton