New Flying Fifteen launched ahead of the 50th Nationals

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Leonie Anderson
The 21st day of July 2012 marked a milestone for the Flying Fifteen International class with the launch of the 4000th boat constructed since the design came off the drawing board of legendary designer Uffa Fox in 1947.

The Flying Fifiteen is the first ISAF recognised international keelboat class to have 4000 registered boats.

The first NZ 4000 series boat took to the water just before Christmas at RAYC. 'the Godffather' was built by Ovington in the UK, and fitted by Pinnell and Bax before shipping to Auckland.

The boat is one of the first off the 2012 mould and like it's world champion sister ship is an epoxy carbon boat.

Owners Sally Garrett, more recently associated with two-handed sailing (on Expedition Coppelia) and Neil Easton, have sailed in the class since 2006, when Neil decided he wanted to take up sailing.

The pair felt the Flying Fifteen was the only one-design boat that an adult could learn to sail in and quickly be able to race.

Six nationals and the 2009 worlds behind them, Sally and Neil decided to upgrade and 2012 Ovington boat seemed the logical choice with the top five boats at the 2011 World Championship having the same hull shape.

The first regatta on the calendar for 'the Godffather' is the 50th Flying Fifteen National Championship and World Selection Trials to be held Nelson Yacht Club February 2-5.

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Leonie Anderson