Flying Fifteen Championships hosted by drought-stricken lake in VIC

Victorian Flying Fifteen State Champions Dale Collings and Glenn Scheen in ’’Aussie Falcon’’ - Victorian Flying Fifteen State Championships
Steb Fisher
The ‘Art of Stainless’ Victorian Flying Fifteen State Championships were recently held on Lake Cairn Curran after a dearth of events due to drought conditions in country Victoria. With the recent waters flowing after many lean years, it is great to see the passion and enthusiasm rise again for sailors at Victorian country sailing clubs.

The Flying Fifteen class in Victoria rotate their annual regatta between city and country venues, however with next to no water in the country it has been a difficult to honour this system, hence the country members have travelled to and fro Melbourne to ensure they can participate.

The fleet of 20 travelled far and wide; Melbourne, Gippsland Lakes and even Canberra to make this a memorable event for a revitalised Cairn Curran Sailing Club. In trying conditions, Mordialloc sailors Dale Collings and Glenn Scheen came out victorious in ‘Aussie Falcon’.

It was anyone’s regatta with six of the top seven boats, having battle; each claiming one victory in the seven heats, and Adam Hawkins and Ben Jones (I'd swap it for a Bundy) winning two of these heats.

Dale and Glenn sailed a consistent regatta with their worse placing being a fifth, and their eventual discard. The conditions varied from light and fluky on Saturday for three heats; to a glassy lake on Sunday morning, seeing a postponement before the afternoon front came through providing a steady 12-15 knots for the three afternoon races, Monday commenced in a solid breeze of 12 knots, fading to 8 knots for the final and deciding heat of the championships.

The ‘Classic’ champion after sailing an excellent regatta was Reagan Burdon-Bear and Les Kearney in 'Affrodite'...they came sixth place overall on scratch and outright winner on yardstick; a fine effort for a fifty year old boat! Gippsland Lakes stalwart, Jim Callahan and Brendan Hancock in 'F 'n F' won the silver division.

This event was the final lead-up to the bi-annual Worlds being held at Hayling Island in United Kingdom in July of this year, where a team of seven Victorian boats will be participating, part of the 21 strong Australian team. This is probably the biggest team travelling from Australia for many years.