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Australian Championships 2014 - Sunshine NSW

Congratulations to Barry and Daniel Bradford


During Easter 2014 the 2013/14 National titles were held at the Sunshine Club on Lake Macquarie (South Lake Maquarie ASC)

The competition in a generally light, steady wind was intense, with 4 different winners of the 7 heats held There were closely fought starts, ferocious tactical battles and narrow winning margins.

With two boats starting the series with newly installed untested rigs and many boats having crew combinations who had never or rarely sailed together, it might have been thought that the series would fall easily to those carrying consistent well tried combination into the event.

While the end results partially reflected the benefit of settled combinations of crew and boat, it was a near run thing. The slightest error in tactics or boat handling was likely to result in the loss of many places; something most boats discovered during the series.

A few highlights illustrate this point. In one heat the first six boats finished within 13 seconds of the first boat. In another the race officer indicated there were 5 different boats holding the lead at some stage during the race and the largest winning margin in any heat was less than 45 seconds.

Overall the race officer indicated it was the most exciting sailing he had ever witnessed.

In the end the Ballina boats showed the improvement that their intense weekly racing had brought about. Secret (B Bradford, 10 points, NSW) won from Allen (J Scott, 15 points, Vic), Magic Formula (L Irwin, 16 points, Vic) and Mr Bond (M Wiley, 17 points, NSW) with two other Ballina boats constantly snapping at the heels of the leaders and occasionally besting them.

Special mention should be made of 13 year old Zac Heuchmer sailing Toxic who together a young Liam Channer placed six overall but well earned his position as one of the leading six boats that were always in the battle for position and who actually led the fleet around the first mark in one race.

Our thanks to South Lakes ASC for hosting the event, Formula Sailcraft for their sponsorship of it and the WAGS of the sailors for their effort in providing post race refreshments and support

Results Link

Photos and Videos will be posted on the Formula Sailcraft Facebook Page. you will need to login and like the page and see the posts made by "PezHardie"

The National Championship was held at South Lake Macquarie ASC - Sunshine NSW over the Easter Weekend 2014. 8 boats are attending.

Day -1 (Practice Day)

Three boats were ready to go on the Friday before the event so two "Practice" races were held in 5 knots.  Results Link

Day 1

Three races were held between 8 and 12knots some great downwind rides with one boat breaking their trapeze ropes rushing to shore in race two for repairs and another boat capzising after cliping a rock surprizingley hidden next to a isolated danger mark. 

Day 2

With no wind in the morning racing was posponed till the afternoon, 3 races were held in light breeze with exciting racing. At the start of the second race of the day with wind increased slightly with 30sec to go pushing most of the fleet over the line for a general recall.

Day 3

Again no wind but an attempt was made to get racing underway in 2 knots, this built to 3 - 4 knots for the 35min race. On the last leg the right side of the course faded to nothing resulting in the last race being abandoned.

During the regatta the racing was very close with many times boats crossing the finish line a second apart and one race the first 6 boats finished within 38 seconds of each other. 

Perin Hardie - Race Officer

Series Results Link


NSW State Titles 2013/14

Youtube Video

The 2013/14 NSW State titles were held on the Richmond River at Ballina during the period 10 to 14 January. Although five boats were expected, the Sydney boat was forced out at the last moment by the late adelivery of a spinnaker pole.

Races were held on windward return courses of 1.5 to 2km, with two races held each day for a total of 8 races. All but one race were hrld in light conditions of less than 10 knots.

While Barry Bradford in Secret (06) was a clear winner from Michael Wiley in Mr Bond (007), the racing was very close with three different boats/skippers winning a heat, numerous lead changes during nearly every race and Barry winning one race by less than half a boat length.  Characteristic of the racing were numerous gybing duals down the length of the predominantely SE course, with the closeness of the racing forcing 15 or more gybes on each leg and the lead frequently passing to the boat on the starboard gybe; leading in turn to the skippers engaging in tactical battles to control the starboard gybe.  All of this put a premium on crew work.

On the last day, with the overall placing's nearly settles, it was decided a race should be sailed where crews swapped boats, to give everyone experience of waht other boats were like.  Just after leaving the beach, a cloud swept over the course increasing the wind from the expected gradient strength of 10 knots to an estimated 15 gusting to20 knots.  With many skippers now sailing unfamiliat boats and concerned about damaging someone else's boat, several decided discretion was the better part of valour and returned to the beach. 

The WAGS (well if you want to be pedantic, just wives) looked after the sailors well with a delicious lunch being served each day to both sailors and officials, culminating on the last with a set table sit down meal.



Battle for Waterloo Regatta

By Micheal Wiley from Ballina NSW - December 2012

 Two of the clubs Formula 15’s – Secret and Mr Bond – travelled to Morton Bay to participate in the annual Battle for Waterloo Regatta. Both crews thoroughly enjoyed themselves and made the best of the open waters and true Olympic style courses.

  The Saturday’s racing was held in a building seabreeze that peaked at about 15 knots during the afternoon race. On the Sunday the wind struggled to get much about 10 knots.

  The 15’s themselves seemingly matched raced each other around the course in every race; almost like they were joined together with a bungee cord. More importantly, this was one of the first opportunities to test the Ballina 15’s against a wide variety of boats. In every race they found they could easily beat the 505’s both upwind and downwind and that only two of the three 16ft skiffs and the foiler moths crossed the line ahead of them (so yes, they consistently beat the third 16ft skiff). At the time of publication, the handicap results were not available, although since for this regatta the VYC results are supplemented by an arbitrary handicap, they final results won’t reveal much about pure VYC performance.

  Predictably, Secret managed to cross the line ahead of Mr Bond in three out of the four races.


New F15 heads to Sydney - August 2012

F15 11b

The latest Formula Fifteen No.11 (yet to be named) has been built and will be sailed by Colin Wiley in Sydney. The new boat will be based at Cronulla Sailing Club along with 01.

F15 11a

A contingent of F15s from Victoria are planning a trip up to Cronulla to sail with them once No.11 is ready to sail.

2012 Nationals

The 2012 Formula Fifteen Nationals were held at Lake Boga in Northern Victoria over the Easter weekend. The winds were quite fresh most of the time providing some exciting sailing.

Linsay Irwin and David Wright sailing Magic Formula 09 were the victors once again with Jim Scott and Ross Setford sailing Allen 10 second and Michael Wiley with James Rudolph on Mr Bond 007 third.


01 to head north

The original Formula Fifteen No 01 has been purchase from Elwood Sailing Club and after some renovations will be heading north to join the fleet in Ballina NSW. '01' will be be retrofitted with a self tacking jib and twin trapeze, and will also get a new bottom paint job.

2011 Vic State Titles and Inaugural Nationals

A fleet of nine Formula Fifteens contested the 2011 inaugural nationals at Lake Boga over Easter. The weather could not have been better with winds ranging from five to twenty knots over the weekend and fine warm weather. The lake was brimming full and the club beautifully presented.

Mike Wiley and Graeme Hams made the journey down from Ballina to make the event our first 'Nationals' with the remaining competitors all from Victoria. Unfortunately, Baz and Dan Bradford were unable to make it down from Ballina with their F15 'Secret' due to the recent arrival of a newborn baby F15 sailor in the family.

At the presentation, Lindsay was awarded the coveted F15 National Championship trophy (a piece of firewood) which he later cerimonially burnt in the campfire. We collected the 'ashes' the following morning which are to be enshrined in an urn mounted on the new trophy!

The burning of the Nationals 'trophy' (the small peice on top)

Vic News, July 2010

Since the June Queen's Birthday weekend (Hazelwood Regatta) the only Vic F15 to sail has been Juz and James on Redback, choosing a perfect opportunity to sail out to the Fawkner Beacon from Black Rock to check out the seals, in fine weather and about 10 knots of breeze. 

This weekend sees the beginning of the Mordialloc Winter Series which is Sundays through to the end of September. We should see some F15s coming out of hibernation over the next few weeks, possibly including the owners of Toxic from St. Leonards!

News from the North! July 2010 

Secret has had a total refit, all fittings were removed, holes filled, redrilled and epoxied into position after some painting and pro-griping. New cassette for new high aspect ratio dagger board was fitted and rudder was bushed to remove all play and new lines were fitted. Boat was pressure tested for leaks and old jib swivel cleat post was removed and a new carbon bracket was fitted in front of dagger board case. Also kicker and cunno controls were lead to side tanks by shrouds so that crew can adjust while both helm and crew are trapezing, lets face it the the last thing the helm wants to do is go into the boat to adjust the cuno because its now blowing 25 knots! All in all Baz and Dan are ready to put her into action! 


2010 Vic State Titles

The Victorian 15s sailed the 2010 States at Rhyll over the Ausralia Day weekend in January with Lindsay Irwin and Brodie Coutts (Magic Formula) taking out the title by a point to Jim Scott and Ross Setford (Allen) Justin Zattelman and James Rudolph (Redback) finished third overall.

Handicap winner of the series went to Ben Johnston and Will Morris (Nitro)

Full Vic States Results


The Ballina boats are starting to settle in to their new river home. Initial indications are that, unlike the 29er fleet, they might well be able to sail up to their rating and beat those pesky NS14's on VYC. A couple of yardstick victories have already been notched up by the boats.

This is no mean feat. We are not talking here about racing on waters where you can set a nice windward return course and expect regular 15 knot seabreazes. Think rather of an 'M' course set across a 200 metre wide river. Think of runs along the river on a three quarter beam reach where the question constantly going through one's head is whether the next gust will drive you on to the rock wall and whether there's enough water to bear away to get off the trapeze and de-pressure the boat to get the kite down (personally I recommend at least a 5 metre clearance before prudence demands the spinnaker comes in - and the crew wonders why I'm a bit stressed about the takedown. A related question is to explore at just what angle of heel you can keep sailing spinnaker up - instead of bearing away on to the rocks - without having the rudder suddenly cavitate and dump you in the tide). Think about "road wind" (for the uninitiated, what you get while sailing across the road gap between 6 story buildings that State planning policies permitted to be built right on the water at the narrowest point of the river!).

This means that river based F15 sailors have to make decisions that never occur to bay sailors. Like will I set the spinnaker on this next square run? (Which is a proxy for, can I rely on my crew to set and take down the spinnaker quickly enough in a 200 metre run to actually get some benefit out of it?)

Or maybe, do I double trapeze in this 20 knot wind? (Which is proxy for, or will we simply have a giant double tea bag and capsize to windward when the road wind disappears and we're left with a 5 knot lull?)

Needless to say, all this puts a premium on crew work.

In this area, the Bradford team in "Secret" (06) have taken an early lead. This is a bit surprising since they are recent immigrants from the mother country. Now while history tells us the poms were pretty reasonable sailors a couple of hundred years ago (when they kept beating the French in their regular English Channel cannonading regattas), us Australians have always firmly been of the opinion that neither their boats nor their sailors had really moved on from the wooden square rigger days. But it seems they have had access to a top secret video prepared exclusively for use by UK Olympic 49er hopefuls and emigrants wanting to demoralise colonial sailors, which gave them all the moves. If MI5 is reading this, the writer firmly denies he might have been permitted a surreptitious viewing of this video to stop him being a complete embarrassment to the F15 fleet.

In practical terms, the real reason for the yardstick success seems to be that the boats have enough horsepower to break free of the tactical constraints normally imposed by the strong tides - in a way the 29ers do not. When you think about it the tides will always have a lesser relative impact on a faster boat.

The Bradford team have also recently launched their new MRB&BBTSD (or Mobile Regatta Base and Big Boy Toy Storage Device - better know as an enclosed trailer). Built by Barry, its the fanciest trailer this writer has ever seen. See the attached photos. Write to Barry and include a generous cheque if you want plans.

If any of you southerners feel like a two day drive to go sailing, don't forget our club regatta is coming up on the weekend 7& 8 November and more importantly, the Harwood Regatta is on the following weekend, 13 & 14 November

Michael Wiley

October 2009

F15 No 10

Jims new Allen V10 is now on the water, last week beating all five Must Skiffs at Black Rock by over 3 minutes. 'Allen' is carrying 3kg of lead and has the new deeper centreboard (as do Justin's Redback and Lindsay's Magic Formula)

Allen crew Ross is a fan of the new boat, see right...

July 2009 - F15s now sailing in Ballina NSW

As Michael Wiley explained..

* Baz Bradford and myself from the Richmond River Club had been looking a while for a suitable class of boat for club racing.

What we wanted was something that was one design and a little over-engineered so that it could be (more or less) just put under a cover every week and be ready for the next sail, intended for two adult sized persons, had a good stable hull so that it didn't just want to fall over all the time, but had twin trapezes both for the excitement; but also so that you didn't need a gorilla crew with a fly weight skipper to be competitive.

While we looked at the B14's, using wings is actually much harder on older bodies than a trapeze and in any case wings are a bit of a hazard in shallow and constricted water ways. Plus we found competitive second hand boats quite expensive.

In the end the Formula 15 was the only class we could find that meet these criteria.

The Richmond River Club has a large number of former (but now mature age) skiff sailors who have always shown a keen interest in the club's fleet of 29er's, while recognising their limitation for older sailors. Its hoped that over time we might manage to convert one or two more of them to these new boats"

The beach at the Richmond River Sailing Club, 

2009 State titles, Black Rock Skiff Regatta, March 2009

2008 State Titles, Lake Bullen Merri, Easter 2008

Nick Majors new boat?

Almost, its 02 totally revamped! Bottom refinished in Ford 'Toxic' and deck grip re-done too. It looks like a new boat and is sure to be carrying lead after its winter weight reduction program.

Now for a name, what about 'Wasabi'? or maybe 'Toxic'? Whatever the name, Nick's boat should be very eye catching this season and yes it will have twin trapeze. 02 should be on the water at Mordi in a few weeks time.

The first Mordialloc Winter Series race was a beauty with fresh northerly wind and not too cold. Jim and Heath sailed twin wire on Magic Formula and were quite quick downwind after slow hoists due to a rigging error. Upwind needs work, boat wants to go high. Need to pull board up in those conditions and sail lower to keep boat on the plane. otherwise quite good for a first effort racing twin wire. Justin Zattelman sailed with Nicky Allen on Redback (also twin wire) and completed the course ok despite their very light combined crew weight (about 120kg). Justin said after that the boat felt very fast upwind, just need to cope better with the added boat handling challenges of sailing twin wire.

Twin Trapeze F15s

Justin Zattelman and Jim Scott have fitted their boats with an additional set of trapeze wires and long twin tiller extensions. Juz and Jim are not the first to do this. Lindsay Irwin has sailed his F15 two-wire with Penny on some occasions and Nick Major sailed his boat two-wire with Ross Setford at last years Flinders weekend. Jim and Heath had two-wire fitted on Mr Bond and sailed it as such a couple of times, and since it went to Brisbane, Kevin Cameron and Bevan Webber have sailed it mostly two-wire.

F15s sailed two-wire are faster in a straight line particularly up-wind in over 12-15 knots of wind but of course require a higher skill level and athleticism on the part of the skipper. The optimum combined crew weight for sailing two-wire is probably between 120kg-160kg as apposed to between 140kg-180kg for single wire.

What we all have found is that the boat will readily plane to windward when sailing two-wire and feels lighter and more lively downwind. In strong winds and big waves there is slightly more tendancy to nosedive downwind but it is still relatively safe compared to other skiff classes and can still be pushed very hard in these conditions.

On Magic Formula (pictured below) the new CST carbon mast was designed with two-wiring in mind and seems to support the extra load fine (with the main spreaders powered up a few turns). The alloy Goldspars also cope OK with the two-wire load.

Sailing F15s two-wire is certainly more exciting than single wire and allows smaller people to be competitive but it is more challenging to master. The current rules don't allow it at this stage but we may consider allowing two-wire sailing at some events this season as a trial.

Left: Jim Scott and Nick Major sailing Magic Formula two-wire in 12-15 knots of breeze with a combined crew weight of 140kg

Two-wire F15s would also be an ideal stepping stone for young sailors wanting to eventually sail the more technical (and more expensive) International 14 - infact, the two wire F15 is very much like the pre-hydrofoil I14 to sail, with the added benefeit of a one design hull.

Other developements in the pipeline are new higher aspect carbon foils with NACA foil sections (subject to class approval)

Jim, Justin and Nick are planning to sail their boats two-wire at the Mordialloc Winter Series.

Anyone wanting to have a go should give either of us a call:

Jim 0409 151121

Justin 0707 333478

Nick 0434 227380

Brisbane Expedition, Winter 2007

The Formula Fifteen class has spread north!

Jim Scott, Nick Major and Stuart Johnson drove two boats up to Brisbane for a weekend sail at Royal Queensland YS. A number of local sailors went sailing on the 15s on beautiful Waterloo Bay in perfect skiff sailing conditions.

Mr Bond 007 is now living in Brisbane with new Qld F15 agent Kevin Cameron. Anyone who wants to try a 15 in Brisbane can contact Kevin 0417 770844

2007 Black Rock YC Icicle series

Six Formula Fifteens sailed in this years Icicle series with one race lost due to insuficient wind and one lost due to too much. The last race however was a doozie with a 25kt northerly and Greg Coutts/Rick DeJong showing how fast a 15 goes upwind in a breeze when you have 110kgs on the wire and 90-odd kgs hiking!

Of particular mention was 17y/old Nick Major's win in heat 2 sailing his very own Alpha. Well done Nick!

Final results were: 1st - Greg/Brodie Coutts Rocket Pig 04, 2,4,2,1, 9pts, 2nd - Lindsay Irwin Secret 06, 3,3,1,2, 9pts. 3rd - Jim Scott Mr Bond 007, 1,ocs,3,3, 13pts, 4th - Nick Major Alpha 02, 6,1,4,dnf, 17pts, 5th - Mark Daly Nitro 05, 4,2,dnc,dnc, 20pts, 6th Justin Zattelman Red Back 08, 5,dnc,dnc,4, 23pts.

note: the first heat of the above results was the Cock of the Rock race.

2007 State Championships, Lake Bullen Merri 

The 2007 Formula Fifteen State Championships were held at Lake Bullen Merri over the Easter weekend. Bullen Merri is a crater lake just south of Camperdown in Victoria's west with deep water and surrounding hills. The sailing conditions were very challenging with wind speed and direction varying to a large degree all over the lake. The challenge of predicting where to put your boat to make the best of the breeze proved too difficult for the less experienced sailors. Early series leaders Justin Zattelman and James Rudolph sailing the new Redback 08 fell foul of the winds in races 3 & 4 while Lindsay Irwin and Penny Irwin sailing Secret 06 won the last three heats giving them the title.

Handicap overall winner went to Greg & Brodie/Linley Coutts sailing Rocket Pig 04. Their results also included second over the line in two races.

2007 States Results

Lake Bullen Merri, A deep water crater lake. The camping was on lush green grass on the shore of the lake. The weather was brilliant and event organizers should be highly commended.

2006 Sauna Sail Regatta, Hazelwood Pondage Circuit Leg 4 Resail

Five F15s braved the cold this year to compete in the annual Sauna Sail. There were a variety of wind conditions over the weekend from drifters to 20 knots with the usual challenging shifts, lulls and gusts near the island.

Final Results:

1st Secret 06 (L.Irwin/K.Irwin-J.Lysic-S.Youl)

2nd Mr.Bond 07 (J.Scott/J.Lysic-B.Hewett)

3rd Rocket Rhino 04 (S.Schafer/Scotty)

4th Alpha 02 (N.Major/A.Kiel)

5th Nitro 05 (H.Maconachie/S.Youl)

Icicle Regatta, Black Rock Y.C.

The annual Icicle regatta concluded on Saturday May 27 with the final race in 3-6 knots shortened after only one lap. Micheal & Chris (BRYC sabre / OK sailors) sailingSecret lead at the start, the first and second marks before sailing into a hole on the last leg to finish second behind Mr Bond with Metro Kitchens third and Nitrofourth. Nitro was skippered by Heath Maconachie (normally crew on Mr Bond) sailing his first F15 race as skipper. Nitro actually rounded the windward mark in front of Metro Kitchens, not a bad effort for a rookie!

Lindsay Irwin was the overall winner of the regatta on yardstick sailing his 14'Skiff. The first F15 was Mr Bond(Jim Scott/Heath Maconachie and others) which placed 4th overall. The Icicle was well attended this year with over 100 different boats sailing over the six weeks.

Four fifteens at Black Rock for the last Icicle race 

Lake Boga Easter Regatta 2006 (F15 Circuit Leg 6)

This year's Boga was a blast with strong winds on Friday and Saturday, the traditional Sunday drifter and a nice 12 knots on Monday to finish off. Everyone found the mud with their masts at some stage but overall capsize honors went to Nitro sailed by 125 sailor Sam Sutton and crewed by Carl Cubitt. Nitro finished the last race after being up in third spot for a while. Nick and Simon sailing Alpha struggled a bit in the windy races (they weigh only 123kg between them) but they did manage to finish heat 2 in 15-20 knots of wind, a very good effort! Up at the front of the field,Mr Bond and Secret had a great battle and even gave the 14s and and Guy "Bethwaite's'' 49er a run for their money at times.

The final heat of 12 knots really displayed the one design nature of the Formula Fifteen class with performance being dictated by sailing ability (both boatspeed and tactics) Positions changed throughout the race including at the pointy end where Lindsay & Kim Irwin in Secret held an early lead, later relinquishing it to Jim & Heath sailing Mr Bond.

Final Results: 1st Mr Bond 07 (J.Scott/H.Maconachie), 2nd Secret 06 (L.Irwin/K.Irwin), 3rd Metro Kitchens 01 (J.Zattelman/ J.Rudolph),4th Alpha 02 (N.Major/S.Youl), 5th Nitro 05 (S.Sutton/K.Cubbit)