We have four successful female/male teams in the Datchet Fleet. Emma Mangan sails a Flying Fifteen with her husband, Adam. Educated in Cork, her job in Investment Banking takes her all over the world. She holds a certificate for RYA day skipper and can manage both ends of a Flying Fifteen with some ease. Adam and Emma could have chosen many ways to carry out their passion for sailing – they chose Flying Fifteens at Datchet. Here’s why…..
FLYING FIFTEENS – THE LADIES VIEWPOINT
Why did we chose the Flying Fifteen?
I sail with my husband….. We spent a lot of time trying to work out which boat to buy and you can see from our criteria below it was process of elimination that led us to Flying Fifteens and Datchet.
First of all, the Girlie things !!
– Storage – you can bring sunblock, a hat, a flask, a power bar, make-up and keep them dry…..
– Can you cope with being overpowered ?? – there are lots of controls to depower the boat… So if the tight reaches get too much my husband can either help me if things get loaded too much, or alternatively to depower the boat
– Potter – it is possible to potter about eg creek hopping in Chichester, or take a novice/children out for a gentle sail
Now the more serious things :-
– Fleet size – Nationals with 60+ boats – my husband is very competitive and wanted a challenge / serious racing
– Non -trapeze for the crew – I have a bad back (this ruled out Cats, 505s, fireballs, Laser 4000)
– Racing types – open events and club events, regatta weeks including Cowes (I like the social aspects of the big boat racing / regattas !!!)
– World Championships / European Championship – The Flying Fifteen Class is genuinely international, events are held outside UK which means you can take holidays abroad and sail eg Melbourne, Mauritius, Majorca (at the time RS 200 / RS 400 boats didn’t have a big international fleet)
– Active open circuit in the UK with strong competition (TNT Traveller series has brought us outside of M25 / North of Watford gap)
– At Datchet, there is a Trial Sail offering, called the “Loan Boat” Program. This is a really sensible way to try a boat before you buy, and see if you like it. For not much money at all, you can ‘rent’ one of the boats for anything from a day to a whole 3 month race series. It’s such a good idea. You can read about it on the “Trial Sail?” tab of this website.
– The boat can be easily handled both onshore for towing and on the water (I can rig it, sail with a novice etc. I am able to tow it and launch the boat myself, if I have to,… but generally I find other FF sailors are more than willing to help )
– A two person boat – three would become a crowd …so we don’t have to find the gooseberry… Or two light weights! ( as in SB3)
– Crew weight – we don’t have to be on a diet for Flying Fifteens. The boat is tolerant of a wide range of crew weights….National Champions have a range of 22-31 stone teams!
– Affordable – we were able to buy a good second hand boat and still compete well at open events… We are able to invest in it year on year. Depreciation is low.
– The Keel …. it generally doesn’t capsize .. Unless my husband decides to go for it downwind big time… And of course, if you do “go over a bit”, as we would say, the boat just puts right back up on its own !!
– people were down to earth / friendly; willing to share info/ training courses; mixed fleet ability
– easy dry launching (concrete slip so no mud / sand / sitting in wet gear)
– you can race all year (reservoir / flat water / can sail in > 20knots)
– it’s near London (M4/M25/M1/M3)
– when the water level is high, launching and recovery is simplicity. Some people can even do it without getting their feet wet !! If the water level’s a bit lower, the slip is very wide – we drive the boat up and down the slip (so both of us can launch and recover easily)
©DWSC Ltd, 2011