Flying Ants: Small Champions With A Big Win

Congratulations to Jeremy Kaputin and Isaac Pringle for winning the 2015/2016 Australian Flying Ant Championship. Even though the two together weigh 105kg, they are considered on the heavy side for sailing Flying Ants. After two seasons of sailing together Kaputin and Pringle were nominated by the Flying Ant Association as the top Western Australian Flying Ant sailors.

This season they worked with top skiff coach Chelsea Hall. “It was Chelsea who told us that Geoff Bishop from UK Sailmakers was interested in getting back into Flying Ant sails,” wrote Kaputin. “We were the first of the current WA Flying Ants to buy new sails from UK Sailmakers and this turned out to be a significant boost to our Nationals preparation. We changed to a UK Sailmakers mainsail and jib for the State Selections regatta which we won comfortably with five firsts and a second.  The sails are a deeper cut than the flatter sails we used previously so they generate more power and have improved the performance of the boat hugely. We don’t seem to be able to get as much height upwind as with our old sails, but this doesn’t matter as the extra power means extra speed so we use VMG instead to get there quicker. And the UK Sailmakers main looks really cool!”

“The National Championship s was reasonably tough, with stiff competition from WA and NSW sailors. We placed second to last in the invitation race, which I found out after the race was due to seaweed caught on our centreboard and rudder. Glad we learned that lesson early! We then claimed three consecutive firsts while the other competitors swapped a mix of positions between them, putting us in a good lead. As the other competitors lifted and the winds lightened we placed 3rd and 5th in the next 2 races, before claiming a 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th for the last 4 races.  With two drops from 9 races we managed top 3 positions for our 7 scoring races.”

“I'd have to say my most favourite thing about Flying Ants is going out on a 20-knot day, hoisting the spinnaker and planing as fast as we can over the waves. This is now even faster thanks to asymmetric kites and UK Sailmakers. Speed thrills!”

Thank you Jeremy for the great report and good luck next season in whatever class of boat you move onto.