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Strangford Lough's McKee & Smyth win Flying Fifteen Western Championships on Countback

24th October 2016
Flying fifteen Western winners Ian Smyth (left) with LDYC Commodore David Meredith (centre) and Brian McKee Flying fifteen Western winners Ian Smyth (left) with LDYC Commodore David Meredith (centre) and Brian McKee

This weekend's Flying Ffifteen Western Championships was hosted by Lough Derg Yacht Club in varied shifty conditions. Racing could not have been much closer as after six races one point separated the first three boats with Brian McKee & Ian Smyth (SLYC) winning on countback from David Gorman & Chris Doorly (NYC) with Bryan Willis & John McPeake (CAYC) one point behind in third and Sean Craig & Alan Green (NYC) fourth.

Fifteen Flying Fifteens travelled and they were not disappointed with the welcome, the quality of racing from John Leech and his team and of course the local entertainment. On Saturday the wind was from the E-NE but shifted constantly to make it a difficult day. There were four different race winners, Willis, Craig, Gorman and McKee but it was McKee who led overnight with the more consistant results.

On Sunday the forecasted strong winds did not materialise but it was stronger from the East. As usual it was snakes and ladders up the beat but Craig led the way in the first race to win from Gorman in second, Willis third and McKee fourth. Going into the last race it was all to play for and a number of winners were possible. The Meaghers led the way up the first beat in impressive style closely followed by Gorman who soon took the lead. If he kept this lead he would win, just as he rounded the gate and went right the wind shifted left and Willis and Rory Martin went into first and second for the last beat. The wind had picked up so the racing was extremely close but this is how it finished and McKee was the winner on countback. All the positions were hotly contested and those who didn’t travel missed out on great racing in what was the last event of the season.

It was a great seasons sailing with great numbers in some of the best locations in the country. Thanks to FFAI President Keith Poole and his hard working committee in for all their work behind the scenes in making it happen. The fleet ranking concluded with this event and consolation for Gorman & Doorly was that they finished the season at the head of the ranking table.

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Flying Fifteen - At A Glance

Overall Length 20 ft6.1 m

Waterline Length 15 ft4.6 m

Mast Height 22 ft 6 in6.86 m

Sail Area 150 sq ft14 sqm

Spinnaker Area 140 sq ft13 sqm

Hull Weight 300 lb136 kg

Keel Weight 400 lb169 kg

Minimum Weight 685 lb305 kg

Racing Crew Two

Ideal Crew Range 18 - 28 st145 - 185 kg

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