Lavery and O’Brien pipped to fourth at UK Nationals


The National Yacht Club’s John Lavery and David O’Brien finished an unlucky fourth overall in the Allen UK Flying Fifteen Nationals today, after wind conditions saw racing cancelled for the second day. 


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With strong winds foiling the fleet on Sunday, lack of wind at Largs, Scotland, today meant that the Championship rested on the first two days of racing. So the lead stayed with Simon Kneller and Dave Lucas, from Grafham Water SC. Lavery and O’Brien had been just two points off the top.

Kneller and Lucas were sailing in their tenth successive National Championship, and it was tenth time lucky as they landed the title for the first time.

Just two points behind, three teams were tied on six points, but the tiebreak gave Steve Goacher and Phil Evans second place, with husband and wife pairing David and Sally McKee third. Fourth in their brand new boat, IRL 4002, launched on the first day of the Championship, were Lavery and O’Brien.

They were one of three visiting boats from Dun Laoghaire who joined Scottish, English and Welsh boats in the 33-strong fleet. Alan Green and Ben Mulligan finished 16th, while Dave Mulviin and Ronan Beirne landed 20th.

Fifth were Charles Apthorp and Jonathan Clark, from Hayling Island. All five leading teams have years of experience in the class, and collectively boast many Championship titles. Racing was thus very competitive in this quality of fleet.

However those with a more relaxed attitude were also catered for, with several Silver fleet (older boats) and Classics (vintage) boats enjoying the Championship.

Alex Tatlow, who sailed in the Silver fleet said, “A Silver FF is the most economic way to have a competitive boat. Silvers give excellent value for money, and need much less maintenance than many other boats. My brother and I really enjoy sailing our Fifteen at events like Cowes Week, and at Championships like this.”

The Championship was well supported by sponsors, with title sponsor Allen supplying a generous range of prizes, while day sponsors Ovington, Goacher Sails, P & B and added to the prizes. Loch Fyne supported a seafood reception and contributed prizes, while Loch Lomond Distillery provided very welcome liquid Scottish products.

2012 Flying Fifteen UK Champions Simon Kneller and Dave Lucas. Photo Alan Henderson/

2012 Flying Fifteen UK Champions Simon Kneller and Dave Lucas. Photo Alan Henderson/

Results overall, Allen Flying Fifteen Nationals

  1. Simon Kneller/ Dave Lucas, Grafham Water SC, 4pts
  2. Steve Goacher/ Phil Evans, Royal Windermere YC, 6pts
  3. David and Sally McKee, Dovestone SC, 6pts
  4. John Lavery/ David O’Brien, National YC, IRL, 6pts
  5. Charles Apthorp/ Jonathan Clark, Hayling Island SC, 8pts.

Top Scots: Hamish Mackay and Andy Lawson, Royal Highland YC in 15th overall.

Top Classic overall; Bobby Salmond/ Ingrid Magnus, Holy Loch SC in 19th overall.

Top Silver overall; Chris and Marion Bowen, Northampton SC in 24th overall.

Best boat over 7 years old; Peter and Sue Bannister, Hayling Island SC in 10th overall.

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