Published: Friday, 14 June 2013
Mike Fulton

This year’s Flying Fifteen World Championships, to be hosted by Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club and run from 26 October to 8 November, is shaping up to be a fierce contest amongst a compact fleet, with 51 entries received by the entry deadline of 1 June. Of these, only four boats have indicated that they do not expect to contest the Hong Kong Nationals to be held the week before the Worlds.

19th Flying Fifteen World Championships 1

Since 1979, the Worlds venue has alternated between northern and southern hemisphere hosts. Over the years, average entries have numbered around 70, peaking in 2011 with 113 boats at Hayling Island. The current entry list for the 19th edition features 17 entries each from Australia and Hong Kong, with 15 from Great Britain and two from New Zealand.

When the boats take to the water in October, RHKYC will be the host for the third time, previously hosting in 1986 and 1995. Amongst a healthy collection of local entries, Tom Sheppard (Tomffoolery) and Sam Chan (Noisy Forefather II) stand out as the only helms to have competed in all three ‘home’ rubbers. 

They will be joined in Hong Kong by defending World Champions, Graham Vials and Chris Turner of Great Britain and the Melbourne 2009 winners, Grant Alderson and Dean McAullay. Fellow Aussies Nick and Janet Jerwood, who triumphed with Spot The Difference in 2005, will be campaigning Ineffable while three-time World Champions Steve Goacher and crew Phil Evans will be going for a fourth title and a second win in Hong Kong to add to their 1995 triumph. Renowned sailmaker Alan Bax from the UK will also be competing, having won the Brisbane Worlds in 1990.

Organising Committee Chairman, Joseph Nelson, was very happy with the quality of the entries and said Looking at the entries we have received so far we know it’s going to be very competitive with so many former champions coming. With 51 boats we still have room for more. With the event having been granted an open event status, we’ll be accepting entries until 31 July. It should be a great event!"