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About the Flying Fifteen
The Flying Fifteen is a renowned British sailboat, crafted with precision and skill by designer Uffa Fox in 1948. This iconic one-design racer has since evolved into a World Sailing international class since March 1981, indicating its significant standing in the sailing world.
Crafted originally from wood and later transitioning to fibreglass, the Flying Fifteen showcases a refined, fractional sloop rig, a spooned and raked stem, and a plumb, raised counter transom. Its internally mounted spade-type rudder, operated by a tiller with an extension, and a swept fixed fin keel, are noteworthy. The boat’s displacement is 725 lb (329 kg), including a class-imposed minimum of 372 lb (169 kg) of ballast, balancing performance and stability.
For sailing efficiency, the Flying Fifteen is equipped with a self-bailing cockpit, a Cunningham, boom vang, downhaul, outhaul, and a 150 sq ft spinnaker. To ensure safety and compliance with class rules, it features air bag flotation and hiking straps, while forbidding the use of instruments and mast adjustments on the water. Notably, roller furling for the jib is permitted, enhancing its versatility.
The Flying Fifteen has a Portsmouth Yardstick racing average handicap of 91.0 and is typically raced by a crew of two sailors. This aspect underscores the boat’s blend of competitiveness and accessibility, making it a choice for both seasoned sailors and enthusiastic beginners.
The design’s popularity and impact are evidenced by its dedicated class club, Flying Fifteen International, which controls the design and organizes racing events. The class has a significant presence globally, with active racing fleets in Australia, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, South Africa, Britain, and the United States, both on the east and west coasts. This widespread presence speaks to the Flying Fifteen’s enduring appeal and its status as a cherished class in the sailing community.