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Brian Willis and Alan McClernon (CASC) won the Flying Fifteen Northern Championships in fine style winning three of the four races in light winds. Sixteen boats competed in the event hosted by Lough Neagh Sailing Club, Its been a long time since the fleet came to these shores and the majority of competitors enjoyed the warm weather camping at the lake shore.

The first race was won by Mulvin & Beirne (NYC) with Harrison & Hickland second, Willis was sixth after going back for a recall. Willis, a long time master of lake sailing soon got into his stride to win the next two races closely followed by McKee & Smyth. Light winds, well no wind, greeted the fleet on Sunday. PRO did well to get one race in and Willis continued his consistent sailing which saw him win what a would be the last race to win the Championship – a nice way to start Fathers Day according to Alan!

Published in Flying Fifteen

There was a breezy downwind finish (see below) for the Flying Fifteen keelboat on Dublin Bay yesterday as captured from the DBSC Committee Boat by Jonathan O'Rourke.

The popular class is the biggest one design keelboat fleet on Dublin Bay with regular turnouts in the 20s for DBSC club racing on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Published in Flying Fifteen

On a cloudy grey evening there was again a good turnout of 17 Flying Fifteens in the DBSC Series but all was not as it seemed as we sailed out in a force 4 westerly breeze writes our Flying Fifteen Correspondent. PRO Jack Roy was as confused as the rest of us and warned the fleet that anything could happen as the forecasted wind was from the south.

The fleet set of with just a individual recall and Balfe and Colin were quickest off the line, the fleet split with a group heading to the shore out of the tide, or so they thought, and the rest going to the right where there was a little more breeze. Balfe led at the weather mark from Colin, the first seven boats had a good lead with Mitchel, Doyle, Dooley and Green amongst them. Colin had the lead by the third mark Poldy but it was nip and tuck with Balfe on the challenging beat into Bay mark.

Meanwhile Doyle and Green who went closest to the shore out of the tide were in third and fourth spot with Mitchel fifth. On the way to East and the finish it all got a bit messy with the wind not knowing what it was doing. Balfe perservered and was looking good to finish first as Colin had disappeared, but Doyle and Green were more to ‘weather’ and were drifting faster, Green took the lead briefly but had to tack but Doyle continued to take the gun, apparently his first ever gun in a Flying Fifteen Dublin Bay race! Green finished second with Balfe third as they neared the 9pm time limit.

Most boats had gone home retired but those who hadn’t were now timed out. Thanks to Jack Roy and his team for an interesting evening on the Bay!

Published in Flying Fifteen

The DMYC hosted the Flying Fifteen East Coast Championships on Dublin Bay at the weekend in tricky and unpredictable conditions and the PRO Stuart Kinnear and his team managed to get all the races completed.
Saturday was more like October with rain bucketing down, many crews spent much time bailing out the boats! Three races were sailed when the wind eventually came in from the WNW direction. Niall & Nikki Meagher sailing Fantastic Mr Fox were quickest out of the blocks and lead all the way around for their first Regional Championship race win. Brien McKee & Ian Smyth were second with Lee Statham & Andrew Paul (WHSC) third.
Race 2 Mathews & Poole (NYC) led the way from Statham with the Meaghers third and Mulvin & Beirne fourth. After several general recalls the black flag was introduced, the tide and strong pin end bias made it difficult to get over the line and most boats were able to fetch the weather mark on port tack. Eventually they got going and Gorman & Doorly (NYC) went left to lead for the first lap before gear failure forced them to retire. McKee took advantage to win the race from Mathews in second place and Statham in third. After a good soaking during the day the fleet were glad to head ashore and food and entertainment took place in one of the local Monkstown restaurants.

Sunday was warmer and dryer but the wind was very unsettled so the AP went up. Wind came in from the NE moving more Easterly and two Olympic triangle races were sailed. With the unpredictable wind it was also difficult to know how many races were going to be sailed so each race could have been the decider. In race 4 Mulligan led the way but McKee was close behind and took the lead on the second beat, this was how it finished with Gorman in third after some good sailing to move up the fleet. For the last race McKee was in pole position to win the event but Mathews was in with a chance also. McCleery & Dougan sailed a fantastic race to win comfortably from Mulvin in second, Mathews third and McKee’s fifth was enough to give him the title.

The next event takes place in Lough Neagh on June 18 and 18th.

Published in Flying Fifteen

After a long absence this coming weekend the Flying Fifteen East Coast Championships are being hosted by the DMYC and club fleet captain and organiser Neil Colin is expecting a large turnout of about 25 boats. With great numbers out in Dublin Bay all season additional boats will be coming from Dunmore East, Stangford Lough and Antrim.

As usual in this fleet it is difficult to call the winner as racing is always close and exciting, any of a number of boats could win. Holder of the trophy for the last three seasons Charles Apthorpe (UK) and Alan Green will not be defending but Green has teamed up with Whiterock’s Andy Martin and they will be among the favourites along with Ian Mathews & Keith Poole (NYC), David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (NYC) Former National Champions from Killyleagh David McCleery & Colin Dougan along with current National Champions David Gorman & Chris Doorly (NYC) will also have a say in proceedings.

Published in Flying Fifteen

Irish Flying Fifteen National Champion Chris Doorly is back on the water early this season but before he takes up his usual role at the sharp end of a National Yacht Club keelboat he can be found, as shown in our exclusive photograph above, with a ladies crew from St Michael's Rowing Club in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Doorly is training for the Celtic Challenge Irish Sea Rowing event which takes place from Arklow to Aberystwyth, Wales this coming Friday.

This test of endurance is 150km and can take 24 hours depending on weather. The club have a mens and womens crew consisting of three teams four who will operate a relay system.

The club are raising funds for both the RNLI and the upkeep of the local clubhouse which featured recently on Afloat.ie

Published in Coastal Rowing

The last day of the 21st Lexus Flying Fifteen World Championship turned out to be a real cliff hanger writes Jonny Fullerton. To finish on a high, Napier delivered on the weather with a warm sunny day and 9 - 11 knots of breeze. The National Yacht Club's Charles Apthorp and Alan Green continued their climb up the leaderboard to finish fourth overall, narrowly missing the podium, only three points behind third place after seven races.

The final race was delayed for about an hour as the NE/E breeze kept shifting from side to side causing two general recalls. On the third attempt the PRO got racing started with a 1.1nm beat into a sloppy chop in Hawke’s Bay.

The two title contenders were at each other from the 5 minute gun with the Brits, Steve Goacher & Tim Harper playing cat and mouse with Nick & Janet Jerwood (AUS) never losing sight of each other.

After a clean start under U flag, the fleet were split across the course with a slight bias to the middle left hand side upwind. The first rounding was really crowded with a whole raft of New Zealand boats leading the field. Locals Hayden Percy & Scott Pedersen led from Murray Gilbert & Jonathan Burgess from Royal Akarana YC in Auckland. Third round was a female skipper, Susan Thompson sailing with crew Cameron Taylor (AUS) from Daveys Bay in Victoria.

The following run turned dramatic, Goacher & Harper turned the spreader mark right on the stern of Nick & Janet Jerwood, both crews down in about 20th place. A collision from a luffing incident on the downwind leg ended up with a red flag on each of the lead boats along with a small hole in the Jerwood’s boat. The Jerwood’s rounded the gate in the top 10 but Goacher & Harper had dropped places to the mid 20’s, having done turns.

Jeremy Davy & Martin Huett (GBR) from Draycote Water SC took the lead at the gate, followed by David Yu & Chris Nelson (AUS) from Royal Freshwater Bay YC in Perth. The kiwi chase pack rounded in a huddle led by Murray Gilbert & Jonathan Burgess.

The second lap was more of the same, 9-11 knots with the breeze flicking regularly left and right. Davy & Huett begun to extend their lead from a charging Greg Wells & Richard Rigg (GBR).
There were a number of crucial place changes in the final leg to the finish but Davy & Huett held firm to take their first gun of the regatta, fellow Brits Wells & Riggs crossing second and Yu & Nelson recovering to 3rd.

The Jerwood’s crossed in 4th and Goacher & Harper in 21st but sadly the final result of the championship would have to be decided in the protest room.
After a lengthy hearing Nick & Janet Jerwood were disqualified from the final race handing the title to the British team.

Steve Goacher was a very happy man winning his 4th world title nearly 20 years after his last win in 1999. However he was even more pleased for Tim his crew of the last two years as it was Tim’s first world title. He claimed it was one of the tougher championships he had raced in 25 years or more of Flying Fifteen sailing.

By finishing the last race in 6th, the kiwis Gilbert & Burgess rose to 3rd on the overall podium overtaking Percy & Pedersen as first kiwis. Aaron Goodmanson & crew Alister Rowlands made up the third kiwi boat in the top ten.

Hayden Percy & Scott Pedersen however have the honour of being first Silver boat with an impressive 6th place overall in the Open rankings. First Classic division boat was Nicholas Heath & Philippa Noon from the UK.

Results (Top 10 of 57 entries, after 7 races with 1 discard)

1 GBR 4021 Steve Goacher / Tim Harper - 19,8,1,1,2,1,(20) = 32pts
2 AUS 3986 Nick Jerwood / Janet Jerwood - 5,2,8,(20),1,2,DSQ/58 = 38pts
3 NZL 3840 Murray Gilbert / Jonathan Burgess - (32),9,6,13,5,6,5 = 44pts
4 GBR 4004 Charles Apthorp / Alan Green - 6,(53),14,2,15,3,7 = 47pts
5 AUS 3684 Matthew Owen / Andrew Reed - 2,4,7,9,12,(24),13 = 47pts
6 NZL 3091 Hayden Percy / Scott Pedersen - 1,6,22,5,(25),5,9 = 48pts
7 GBR 3760 Jeremy Davy / Martin Huett - 9,5,10,7,(16),DSQ/58,1,= 48pts
8 GBR 4030 Greg Wells / Richard Rigg - 4,14,15,(24),11,4,2 = 50pts
9 HKG 3972 Ashley Smith / Adam Kingston - 14,(35),4,6,4,16,11 = 55pts
10 NZL 3739 Aaron Goodmanson / Alister Rowlands - (18),3,13,17,7,1,6 = 57pts

Published in Flying Fifteen

The penultimate race of the Flying Fifteen World Championship in Napier has set up to be a mouth watering finale with the title hanging in the balance writes Johnny Fullerton. The National Yacht Club's Charles Apthorp and Alan Green took a third in the penulitmate race, moving them up to seventh overall and a single point off a top five finish.

Another warm sunny day on Hawke’s Bay with a hint of a stronger breeze earlier on, which toyed with the PRO and ended up proving a real challenge. Twice race management were in start sequence when the radio call came in from the top mark that the breeze was swinging from 70 - 100 degrees and back again.

On the third attempt race 6 got underway around 1400hrs in another light and shifty 7-10 knot NE/E breeze with a bit of chop thrown in for good measure. The start was clean but with an almost constantly oscillating breeze it proved a real test to find the best way to tackle the first upwind leg.

Both the championship leaders Steve Goacher & Tim Harper (GBR) and Nick & Janet Jerwood started mid line and sniffed out the best track to round with a few boat lengths lead over a large pack including Charles Apthorp & Alan Green (GBR/IRE), fellow Brits Greg Wells & Richard Rigg and Hayden Percy & Scott Pedersen, the first of a bunch of kiwis.

The run proved a bit pedestrian as the breeze softened and the chase pack had to fight for room at the gate, sometimes rounding up to five boats abreast. Once ahead the Goacher machine went into cover mode never letting the Jerwood’s off their radar scanner. Apthorp & Green also managed to hold their position but the fight for the remaining top 10 places remained tight all the way round the triangle.

As Goacher & Harper rounded the gate to head up to the finish, the sea breeze came in with a final flourish sucking the lead group in to make the final work leg interesting. Everything the Jerwoods did to get away from the clutches of the Goach, it was to no avail, the British team crossing for the third bullet of the championship with 1 race to go.

Apthorp & Green finished 3rd ahead of a big cluster of boats. The young kiwis, Percy & Pedersen were back in form in their 28 year old Silver fleet boat grabbing a useful 4th and Brits David Mckee & Mal Hartland a solid 5th.

So the world title hangs in the balance with one ore race to go. Steve Goacher & Tim Harper stand 5 points ahead of Nick & Janet Jerwood but neither crew can afford any mishaps carrying double digit discards.

Canberra sailors Matthew Owen & Andrew Reed had a day to forget finishing 25th, their discard, but remain in 3rd overall, ahead of a log jam of crews on 39 & 40 points. It looks like a classic finale between the British and Australian pairs but neither can afford a slip up in the final race with only one discard.

Race 7 is scheduled for a an earlier start time of 1000 hrs (local) with no racing starting after1300hrs (local).

Provisional Results (Top 10 of 57 entries, after 6 races with 1 discard)

1 GBR 4021 Steve Goacher / Tim Harper - (19),8,1,1,2,1 = 13pts
2 AUS 3986 Nick Jerwood / Janet Jerwood - 5,2,8,(20),1,2 = 18pts
3 AUS 3684 Matthew Owen / Andrew Reed - 2,4,7,9,12,(24) = 34pts
4 NZL 3091 Hayden Percy / Scott Pedersen - 1,6,22,5,(25),5 = 39pts
5 GBR 4005 David McKee / Mal Hartland - 7,10,2,10,(23),10 = 39pts
6 NZL 3840 Murray Gilbert / Jonathan Burgess - (32), 9,6,13,5,6 = 39pts
7 GBR 4004 Charles Apthorp / Alan Green - 6,(53),14,2,15,3 = 40pts
8 HKG 3972 Ashley Smith / Adam Kingston - 14,(35),4,6,4,16 = 44pts
9 GBR 3760 Jeremy Davy / Martin Huett - 9,5,10,7,(16),DSQ/58 = 47pts
10 GBR 4030 Greg Wells / Richard Rigg - 4,14,15,(24),11,4 = 48pts

Published in Flying Fifteen

What a difference a day makes, the sun came out for day four of the 21st Lexus Flying Fifteen World Championship in Napier writes Johnny Fullerton. Race 5 was sailed in a light NE breeze shifting from 40 - 50 degrees, but with a short chop rather than the rolling swell of the last few days. As they say in these parts, the lambs were just about to leap out of the paddock, allowing the bigger crews to get out on the side decks and even do a bit of hiking! Ireland's sole interest represented by National Yacht Club pairing Charles Apthorp and Alan Green are back in the top ten overall after five races sailed. 

57 Fifteens were spread across the start line in a far more conventional start but with new choices over upwind tactics. Whilst the majority of the fleet decided to work the left, a late shift favoured the boats that had really banged the right corner hard!

Of these kiwis, Brian & Bridget Kent from Royal Akarana YC in Auckland, sailed a blinder to round the top mark in the lead from the Flying Flamingos, Lewis Davies & John Radnell from Daveys Bay YC in Australia. (These guys are easily recognisable with their pink, hats, kite and accessories!. Another kiwi boat in the Silver fleet, Wade & Lyle Tresadern from Bucklands Beach in Auckland, rounded in 3rd.

Most of the usual suspects were a bit deep in the pile with work to do but It only took the first run to see some of the downwind specialists starting to make their move. Steve Goacher rounded in the top 15 but scythed down the middle of the course to put pressure on the leaders at the gate. Nick & Janet Jerwood (AUS) were also working their way into the mix after a late change of gate choice at the gate got them on the right side of the race course for the beat.

Back upwind the pressure stayed a bit more reliable but a new leader was emerging in David Williamson & Craig Morton (AUS) from Mordialloc SC in Victoria. The Aussie crew had the two previous world champions chasing them down both legs of the triangle. Behind them there was a lot of shuffling in the lead pack, places could be won or lost on the boat handling at the gybe mark. But the real test was the final working leg to the finish. This is where the real champions work their magic and there was little surprise when the smiling faces of Nick & Janet Jerwood from South of Perth YC, were seen tacking up to the line with a reasonable lead. They crossed to take their first gun of the championship and leap back into contention for the tile with two days to go.

“We had two very difficult legs, we got to the top mark in the low teens and managed to get the bottom of the run wrong and lost a lot of spots there, I am guessing we were about 20th there. Things stated to get a bit better from there, we made a late decision to change gates at the bottom and it was a really good decision, put us on the right side of the course and we were able to pick a few good shifts which put us back into the top 10 and we took a few more as we progressed up to the beat to 4th so that was the best leg of the regatta for us so far from 20th to 4th.”

“Two days to go but we still have to sail the best race you can, the wind is way too localised, you can be 4 or 5 boat lengths away from somebody and be in totally different conditions so you just have to sail the best you can with what you have at that point in time. It is just going to be a case of how fast you can get round that race course. We actually used toe straps for the first time in the regatta today and it was great so I am looking forward to more of that in the final two days.” Nick Jerwood

Second to finish was Steve Goacher & Tim Harper (GBR) who is now able to drop his 19th place to take the overall lead in the regatta by 4 points. With the discard coming into play, the overall leaderboard sees a few changes with previous leaders Matthew Owen & Andrew Reed (AUS) from Canberra, slipping to 3rd overall, and Ashley Smith & Adam Kingston from Queensland (sailing under the Hong Kong flag), dropping their 35th to jump up to 4th in the overall classification.

With two days to go the pressure is rising and so is the barometer. There is a promise of more warm weather and a bit more breeze which might just suit some of the bigger crews who enjoy a bit of planing activity for which the Flying Fifteen is famous for.

Race 6 is scheduled for a 1300hrs (local) start time.

Results (Top 10 of 57 entries, after 5 races with 1 discard)

1 GBR 4021 Steve Goacher / Tim Harper - (19),8,1,1,2 = 12pts
2 AUS 3986 Nick Jerwood / Janet Jerwood - 5,2,8,(20),1 = 16pts
3 AUS 3684 Matthew Owen / Andrew Reed - 2,4,7,9,(12) = 22pts
4 HKG 3972 Ashley Smith / Adam Kingston - (35), 46,4 = 28pts
5 GBR 4005 David McKee / Mal Hartland - 7,10,2,10,(23) = 29pts
6 GBR 3760 Jeremy Davy / Martin Huett - 9,5,10,7,(16) = 31pts
7 NZL 3840 Murray Gilbert / Jonathan Burgess - (32), 9,6,13,5 = 33pts
8 NZL 3091 Hayden Percy / Scott Pedersen - 1,6,22,5,(25) = 34pts
9 GBR 4004 Charles Apthorp / Alan Green - 6,(53),14,2,15 = 37pts
10 AUS 3859 David Yu / Chris Nelson - 3,1,9,26,27 = 39pts

Published in Flying Fifteen

Day 3 of the 21st Lexus Flying Fifteen World Championship in Napier, New Zealand and another semi - overcast day with light winds on Hawke’s Bay. For a while it looked like an on schedule start for the fleet of 57 boats but after two general recalls the PRO was frustrated by the persistent shifts in direction from 60 - 100 degrees and had to signal a wait for the breeze to settle.

National Yacht Club pair Charles Apthorp and Alan Green are back up to 17th with a second in race four after four races sailed. Download the results below. 

Race 4 got started mid afternoon in 6 - 10 knots with a flicking breeze which just remained with enough pressure to sail a two lap course of one windward/leeward lap followed by a triangle and beat to the finish.

At the third attempt the fleet got away to a clean start under the U flag with quite a split in choice of upwind strategy. Whilst the middle right upwind had been the best bet all week, finally the breeze shifted far enough into the E/NE sector to tempt enough competitors into trying mid left as an alternative.

A new leader appeared at the top mark in the shape of Peter Milne & Trevor Williams from Black Rock YC/Gippsland Lakes in Victoria, Australia. Local kiwi crew, Hayden Percy & Scott Pedersen from Napier SC were back in the front pack but lurking close behind was yesterday’s winner and former world champion, Steve Goacher sailing with Tim Harper from the UK.

Downwind to the gate the vast majority of the fleet searched for the pressure on the offshore side of the race track. Again Goacher and crew Harper used all his expertise to shrink the lead of the lead boat to a boat length by the bottom gate. Places from 3 - 6 continued to shuffle with Charles Apthorp & Alan Green (GBR/IRE) making good gains along with Brits Greg Wells & Richard Rigg.

Upwind again and another split in tactics, this time the cunning Goacher / Harper combination rounding in the lead to lead the pack on the triangle. The chase pack was close, the Aussies, Milne & Williams holding off Apthorp & Green but early pace setters, Percy & Pedersen dropping off the pace.

Today the breeze held in pressure but the British team of Goacher & Harper could not be slowed, covering their opponents all the way to chalk up a second bullet of the championship. Apthorp & Green squeezed in at the boat end of the line to snatch second in the final boat lengths to the finish line from Milne and Williams (AUS). FFI Commodore Peter Rooke sailing with Martin Arrowsmith (AUS) sailed an excellent final work leg to cross in 4th with the persistent local kiwi crew, Percy & Pedersen picking up 5th in their 20 year old (Silver) category Flying Fifteen.

However with four races sailed, the overall leaders are Matthew Owen & Andrew Reed from Canberra, Australia who are the only crew to have recorded single digit results by continuing to dig themselves out of difficult positions when buried in the pack. They lead the regatta by 7 points from Goacher & Harper who are chasing their 4th world championship win.

Matthew Owen describes his tactics: 
“We actually ended up with three really good starts today if you include the two general recalls, so we were pretty good off the line. We got a great start, turned over and about 50 boats down at the pin end crossed us so we were pretty much back of the fleet 30 seconds in, so we had to chip away quite hard to get back into it. We got a couple of nice shifts at the top but we were on the back foot from the start.”

“At the top mark we just did a few different things to the rest of the pack because it is just such a competitive, similar speed fleet and if you do something different to the rest of the pack the gains can be quite massive, but our whole motto is just chip chip chip. All through this regatta we have not had a good first work so we have had to come from behind.”

Race 5 is scheduled for a 1300hrs (local) start with similar light breezes forecast.

Provisional Results (Top 10 of 57 entries, after 4 races)

1 AUS 3684 Matthew Owen / Andrew Reed - 2,4,7,9 = 22pts
2 GBR 4021 Steve Goacher / Tim Harper - 19,8,1,1 = 29pts
3 GBR 4005 David McKee / Mal Hartland - 7,10,2,10 = 29pts
4 GBR 3760 Jeremy Davy / Martin Huett - 9,5,10,7 = 31pts
5 NZL 3091 Hayden Percy / Scott Pedersen - 1,6,22,5 = 34pts
6 AUS 3986 Nick Jerwood / Janet Jerwood - 5,2,8,20 - 35pts
7 AUS 3859 David Yu / Chris Nelson - 3,1,9,26 = 39pts
8 NZL 3739 Aaron Goodmanson / Alister Rowlands - 18,3,13,17 = 51pts
9 GBR 4030 Greg Wells / Richard Rigg - 4,14,15,24 = 57pts
10 AUS 3855 Peter Rooke / Martin Arrowsmith - 31,12,11,4 = 58

Published in Flying Fifteen
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