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Bay of Plenty II

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Heaven is a Flying Fifteen

You are going to get sick of my eulogy to the genius of Uffa Fox before too long, so let's get it over and done with: he is a genius.

Why? For one reason because the Flying Fifteen he designed in the '50s, and which is still going strong, must be one of the prettiest and funniest (that's "most fun" in anglo-Belgian) keelboats afloat. Ffly is among those 3,500 or so Ffs now afloat, and among the furthest north, lying to her mooring off the Wee Pier at Ullapool, where she was launched last week.

Since then I have had the most extreme fun in many a year. Alone, with a crew in winds ranging from Force 3 to gusting 6 she was, as they say, a blast. Yesterday being a case in point. The MetOffice said strong, gale-force at times, winds and so it proved - hitting us squarely on the beam around midday, and sending Ffly fflying homewards, barely in control. But what larks!

Photo: Chris Perkins copyright

Photo: Chris Perkins copyright

Photo: Chris Perkins copyright

Courtesy of Chris Perkins, boat builder extraordinary and photographer par excellence, here are some shots taken during the much quieter Saturday. He says she only came into shot as the backdrop to the launch  of Ulla, the St Ayles skiff built in these parts. But I can't help thinking his lens was inexorably drawn to the elegance of her line, the speed of her advance and the ludicrous attitude of her owner and skipper...

2 comments:

  1. Hooray for Chris!
    Such larks - in a way it's good that Chris doesn't trust the water - he gets all the good shots. But look what he's missing!!
    I checked out his photos of the naming of Ulla, too. Seems much fun is being had on the Loch.

    michael

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  2. Adrian, You see the truth of it - your last seven words sum it up perfectly, now if it was varnished ply then that would draw the lens inexorabbubly to the beauty of the boat.

    Michael, but I do trust the water, I trust that it is very wet, I trust it is very, very cold, and most of all I trust it cannot support my ever expanding girth and if I was drownded I couldn't be snap happy.
    What I was really waiting for was the darned boat to tip Ade into the water, but of course that just doesn't happen with a FF ;-)

    Chris

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