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Not content to bask in its 140th-anniversary glory, Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) will experiment with using the latest yacht race technology this season to deliver the largest racing programme in Ireland.

DBSC Commodore and Race Officer Ed Totterdell, who has used these marks in the USA and elsewhere, believes that while the technology is new and the logistics need to be examined, DBSC should take the lead and trial what could be a big step forward in mark laying.

The marks were successfully deployed at the weekend for the inaugural Irish Sailing League, also held on Dublin Bay.

“Having met several clubs and ROs during the winter, I set up a meeting where all could come together and discuss the options for events and clubs to consider using robotic marks in 2024. As a result of these meetings, Kenny Rumball has organised a low-cost trial rental for 6-8 weeks, which will involve clubs across Dublin Bay and potentially further afield to see if they would benefit from using them.

 Robotic marks will make adjustments to DBSC start and finish lines possible Photo: Afloat Robotic marks will make adjustments to DBSC start and finish lines possible Photo: Afloat

"In DBSC, forty minutes is an eternity when hoping that the line stays square, given the vagaries of Dublin Bay wind. We also need a 300-metre start line for Cruisers One division, but this is reduced to 150 metres for some smaller classes", Totterdell explains.

"Using our standard marks, making adjustments to the line is not an option once the sequence has started for the first class. Shock waves will now reverberate as the line swiftly moves up/down or in and out!", he says.

"Having used these marks most recently in Kenny Rumball’s hugely successful Irish Sailing League last weekend I am really excited to start the trial, which I intend to do on our first Thursday race of 2024," Totterdell said.

"After the trial, we will be better placed to judge whether the cost and logistics would justify making these marks a permanent feature for future seasons, ” he added.

In addition, DBSC has also unveiled a new chart of marks for 2024, as Afloat reports here.

MarineSevices.ie are Irish agents for the robotic marks and can supply/rent the buoys for use around Ireland.

Published in DBSC

The ever-changing need for compliance has forced Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) to position seven high-tech marks, and some changes in colour requested by members have meant that the familiar old chart of the bay needs a refresh.

To identify the “Guard Marks”, which are easier for shipping to see and have radar reflectors and lights built in, their shape and colours now feature on a new chart published in the 2024 yearbook ahead of this week's first races of the AIB-sponsored 140th DBSC season.

"Delan Curtin, who has the unenviable task of managing the maintenance, deployment and lift out of the marks each year, produced a new chart which better represents the marks in the bay", DBSC Commodore Eddie Totterdell said.

DBSC's Declan Curtin double-checked mark locations on Monday, April  22nd prior to the first races of the 2024 DBSC summer seasonDBSC's Declan Curtin double-checked mark locations on Monday, April  22nd prior to the first races of the 2024 DBSC summer season

“Members suggested that we update the chart and also change the colours used. For example, some black marks were directly in line when approached, making it harder to know which one to aim for", Totterdell said.

For example, Saoirse is now Green to differentiate it from Seapoint, and East, one of the “guard” marks, has a green band to make it easier to identify.

Saoirse is one of seven high-tech marks and is now green in colour to differentiate it from Seapoint for the 2024 DBSC summer season Photo: AfloatSaoirse is one of seven high-tech marks and is now green in colour to differentiate it from Seapoint for the 2024 DBSC summer season Photo: Afloat

DBSC is now also making more use of the West Pier start marks, with black and green appearing on more courses on Thursdays.

"As ever DBSC continues to refine its race documents and make it easier for competitors to understand", Totterdell told Afloat.

Molly (N) is one of seven high-tech marks for the 2024 DBSC summer season Photo: AfloatMolly (N) is one of seven high-tech marks for the 2024 DBSC summer season Photo: Afloat

Published in DBSC

There’s something special about a large organisation which is so attuned to the needs of the many services it quietly provides that it can - naturally and confidently and without fuss - move into action each year in a distinctly low key way.

For although Dublin Bay Sailing Club is into Year 140 this season, far from trying to clutter up the programme with another razzmatazz-laden Saturday anniversary-celebrating regatta, its well-proven race organising machine simply starts to whirr gently next Tuesday evening, April 23rd, when dinghies and smaller keelboats have their weekly evening racing, as it seems they have been doing since time immemorial.

Is this on-water steeple-chasing? The Water Wag ODs have been racing since 1887, with the present class – which has expanded with classic new builds in recent years – sailing the version designed in 1900 by Maimie Doyle. Their long-standing two-race programme at late afternoon and early evening every Wednesday is central to life in Dun Laoghaire HarbourIs this on-water steeple-chasing? The Water Wag ODs have been racing since 1887, with the present class – which has expanded with classic new builds in recent years – sailing the version designed in 1900 by Maimie Doyle. Their long-standing two-race programme at late afternoon and early evening every Wednesday is central to life in Dun Laoghaire Harbour

Then on Wednesday the 1887-founded Water Wags have the first duo of their two time-honoured in-harbour races on 24th April, while on April 25th, it’s time for what is effectively the first weekly regatta, as the regular mid-week Thursday evening turnout of larger cruisers racing their way in Dublin Bay involves boat and crew numbers that many an annual regatta elsewhere would be very proud to match.

PROGRAMME SHAPED TO SUIT WAY WE LIVE TODAY

Finally, the setup is complete with Saturday racing resuming a week hence, on April 27th. And thus with the mutually satisfactory sponsorship of AIB and their friendly CEO Colin Hunt, the DBSC show is on the road for another summer, seeming to stay the same while quietly changing all the time, and usefully reflecting the times we live in.

 The DBSC “cruisers” race in Dublin Bay every Thursday evening, regularly achieving mid-week turnouts that many fully-fledged weekend regattas would be very pleased to reach. Photo: Afloat The DBSC “cruisers” race in Dublin Bay every Thursday evening, regularly achieving mid-week turnouts that many fully-fledged weekend regattas would be very pleased to reach. Photo: Afloat

Thus it is an effect of those changing mores, duly acknowledged, that there are often more boat racing mid-week than on Saturdays, with the Thursdays being something very special to Dublin Bay. It’s a harbinger of the approaching weekend, and is best experienced by going straight from work in town to one of the club changing rooms, then on to the boat to race – possibly with shipmates you only see this one Thursday evening of the week - before finally finding the evening’s sustenance (and maybe celebration) at one of the traditional club Sailing Suppers – you’ve four venues available - as night descends.

DBSC HAS BECOME PART OF THE SCENERY OF DUBLIN BAY

It’s an overall picture of supply meeting demand so neatly that it’s maybe tempting fate to analyse it all too closely. In fact, many sailors find it best to find the reassuring presence of the Dublin Bay SC services as something that is just comfortably present around Dublin Bay, like Dalkey, Killiney Hill, the spires of Dun Laoghaire, the historic awareness of nearby Dublin Port, and the Hill of Howth surprisingly unspoilt to the north.

The familiar setting of Dublin Bay. Dublin Bay Sailing Club’s programme is now so much part of it that some think it goes with the scenery.The familiar setting of Dublin Bay. Dublin Bay Sailing Club’s programme is now so much part of it that some think it goes with the scenery

This attitude of being taken for granted is so much part of DBSC’s “goes with the territory” attitude and modus operandi, that I was tempted to say that the Club’s motto should be “No Fuss” in Latin, but have so far failed to find a satisfactory Latin version – all suggestions welcome, and if you can include the translation to Latin of “Doing Good Work By Stealth”, it would also be much appreciated.

THE ‘CORPS OF VOLUNTEERS’

Yet so accepting is the large but quietly functioning corps of 80 or so volunteers, and so busy getting on with the job, that when I asked current incumbent DBSC Commodore Eddie Totterdell what position he held in the Commodorial listings way back to 1884 and Richard Fry (who seems to have combined the role of first Commodore with Honorary Secretary until clearly made Commodore in 1890), Commodore Totterdell cheerfully said he didn’t know and would have to ask.

Commodore Ed Totterdell with multi-prize-winner Tim Goodbody, a successful former Commodore of the Royal Alfred YC which is now incorporated into Dublin Bay SCCommodore Ed Totterdell with multi-prize-winner Tim Goodbody, a successful former Commodore of the Royal Alfred YC which is now incorporated into Dublin Bay SC

He personally has been much involved with DBSC since 1980 (you do the maths), and actively involved in the race management for the past dozen years. This is while also being a high input member of the National Yacht Club, and additionally the Operations Manager for the RNLI Dun Laoghaire Lifeboat in that very busy southeast corner of Laoghaire Harbour centred around the National Yacht Club, currently MG Motor Club of the Year, whose members are especially generous in donating personnel and effort to the DBSC cause.

CENTENARY REGULARISATION OF COMMODORES’ SERVICE TIME

Typical of this is DBSC Honorary Secretary Rosemary Roy, who was able to come up with the info on the Commodores of times past. In I40 years, there have only been 22 in all, for some served for very long periods. But at the Centenary in 1984 when Michael O’Rahilly – he is The O’Rahilly for those who are deeply into Irish history – was Commodore, it was decided to rationalize it to two year periods, for Dublin Bay sailing was entering a period of mega-expansion, and DBSC was providing such a good service that running it all was increasingly demanding – two years was enough for anyone.

A calming presence. DBSC Hon Sec Rosemary Roy has long years of experience, active afloat and ashore on the club’s Race Management Team. Photo: Robert BatemanA calming presence. DBSC Hon Sec Rosemary Roy has long years of experience, active afloat and ashore on the club’s Race Management Team. Photo: Robert Bateman

COMMODORES SINCE 1984

Thus the Commodore List for the past 40 years gives a memory-jerking reminder of those (some alas no longer with us) who gave service way over and above the call of duty to keep Dublin Bay sailing smoothly on course

  • 1985-88 C Denis Kelly
  • 1988-91 Roger O'Meara
  • 1991-93 Richard Hooper
  • 1993-96 Dr Donal Mc Sorley
  • 1996-99 Margaret Woods
  • 1999-02 Fintan Cairns
  • 2002-05 Jim Dolan
  • 2005-09 Tim Costello (DBSC Sailing Cub of year)
  • 2009-12 Anthony Fox
  • 2012-15 Pat Shannon
  • 2015- 18 Chris Moore
  • 2018 -20 Jonathan Nicholson
  • 2020-22 Ann Kirwan (DBSC MG Motor Sailing Club of Year)
  • 2022- Ed Totterdell.

The DBSC Centenary Regatta in Scotsman’s Bay in 1984 had light conditions that allowed members to interpret at leisure the message on Commodore Michael O’Rahilly’s Glen OD, cleverly created so that can be re-used at any future anniversary of significance. Photo: W M NixonThe DBSC Centenary Regatta in Scotsman’s Bay in 1984 had light conditions that allowed members to interpret at leisure the message on Commodore Michael O’Rahilly’s Glen OD, cleverly created so that can be re-used at any future anniversary of significance. Photo: W M Nixon

COMMODORES 1890-1984

Before that, going beyond the Centenary, the previous Commodores (hidden away in the mountain of info which is the online DBSC Yearbook), are listed as:

  • 1890 Richard Fry

  • 1899 Viscount Crichton
  • 1919 Dr.W.M.A. Wright
  • 1941 J.B.Stephens
  • 1944 Prof. J.T. Wigham
  • 1952 S.M. Smalldridge
  • 1960 George D. Craig
  • 1967 F. Derek Martin
  • 1971 John H. Walker
  • 1975 G. Harold Bleakley
  • 1979 Harry Boyd

  • 1981 Michael O’Rahilly

Modest beginnings – the DBSC fleet of 1886 in racing mode.Modest beginnings – the DBSC fleet of 1886 in racing mode

EARLY CLUB EXPANSION

The first period of hectic years of DBSC development came between its foundation in 1884 in order to provide racing for small craft not catered for by the big clubs, and its quietly dominant role – reached within twenty years - as the overall racing authority and racing organiser for all the clubs in Dun Laoghaire, as well as the harbour’s One-Design classes.

My word, haven’t they grown in just 12 years? The new Fife-designed Dublin Bay 25s starting through the harbor mouth in 1898My word, haven’t they grown in just 12 years? The new Fife-designed Dublin Bay 25s starting through the harbor mouth in 1898

The bricks_and_mortar clubs, of course, host their own special events – local, regional, national and international – but it is all done with the support structure of the DBSC in the background. It could be argued that were such a key organisation being created today, it would probably be called an association. But you could equally assert that its key to the spirit of DBSC that it is a club with its own membership and thus its own essential core of volunteers sharing a very special ethos.

DBSC RIGHT UP TO SPEED WITH MINDFULNESS

DBSC is all mindfulness. They live in the present, and if they think beyond that, it’s of the future rather than the past. Thus every so often there’s an attempt to write another history to continue from longtime Honorary Secretary Donal O’Sullivan’s A Century of Sailing published in 1984, copies of which are today so rare that it’s an endangered species.

Keep it under lock and key. Donal O’Sullivan’s history of DBSC at the Centenary in 1984 is now a collector’s item.Keep it under lock and key. Donal O’Sullivan’s history of DBSC at the Centenary in 1984 is now a collector’s item.

Maybe a new history book about DBSC can be created by AI. For so many facts, involving so many classes since 1984, have to be included that an ordinary humanoid brain would surely explode with the effort.

CONTINUOUS CHANGE

Thus changes in 2024 will include a proper programme for the new Melges 15 class, and during the season there’s be a replacement committee boat – currently nearing completion by boatbuilder Gerry Smyth in Kilkeel – arriving on station.

Hard-worked vessels. Dublin Bay SC will be taking delivery of a new Committee Boat during the 2024 season. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’BrienHard-worked vessels. Dublin Bay SC will be taking delivery of a new Committee Boat during the 2024 season. Photo: Afloat.ie/David O’Brien

DUBLIN BAY 21s RETURN TO LIFE

But for the more traditional, the real thing to anticipate keenly for Season 2024 is that the restoration of the 1903-vintage Dublin Bay 21 class, by Hal Sisk and Fionan de Barra, has now passed the tipping point to become a viable reality. Work on the seven boats for restoration by Steve Morris of Kilrush has been progressing steadily since 2018, and this year the National YC has seen to it that all seven will have highly visible moorings close along the East Pier, with the first three taking them up in style last Saturday.

Here’s a pictorial history of their story:

The new DB21 Garavogue about to be launched by builder James Kelly at Portrush in 1903. Photo: Courtesy Robin RuddockThe new DB21 Garavogue about to be launched by builder James Kelly at Portrush in 1903. Photo: Courtesy Robin Ruddock

The Dublin Bay 21 class in their prime under their original rig, with Naneen (no 6, built Dun Laoghaire 1905) in the foreground.The Dublin Bay 21 class in their prime under their original rig, with Naneen (no 6, built Dun Laoghaire 1905) in the foreground

Garavogue under her original rig, cutting a dash when races still started and finished in the harbourGaravogue under her original rig, cutting a dash when races still started and finished in the harbour

From 1964 until 1986, the DB21s sailed under Bermudan rig, as seen here on Innisfallen. Photo: FacebookFrom 1964 until 1986, the DB21s sailed under Bermudan rig, as seen here on Innisfallen. Photo: Facebook

After the destruction of Hurricane Charley in 1986, the deteriorating Dublin Bay 21s were stored for many years in a farmyard at Redcross in Wicklow.

Beyond perfect…..the restored Garavogue after a world class paint job in Steve Morris’s boatyard in Kilrush in 2022. Photo: Steve MorrisBeyond perfect…..the restored Garavogue after a world class paint job in Steve Morris’s boatyard in Kilrush in 2022. Photo: Steve Morris

A dream finally fulfilled – Garavogue sails again on Dublin Bay under her third rigA dream finally fulfilled – Garavogue sails again on Dublin Bay under her third rig

Back where they belong. The restored Dublin Bay 21s start to take up their allotted moorings in Dun Laoghaire, Saturday April 14th 2024. Photo: Afloat.ieBack where they belong. The restored Dublin Bay 21s start to take up their allotted moorings in Dun Laoghaire, Saturday April 14th 2024. Photo: Afloat.ie

ANTICIPATING THE SESQUICENTENNIAL

The comprehensive DBSC 2024 YearbookThe comprehensive DBSC 2024 Yearbook

Maybe they’re playing it really cool for the 140th, but perhaps in 2034, the commissariat in Dublin Bay, SC, will let their hair down a bit for a proper celebration of the DBSC Sesquicentennial. Just so long as some of us are allowed to call it the 150th, rather than exhausting ourselves by trying to enunciate that word clearly without requiring everyone nearby to have an umbrella.

Published in W M Nixon

Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) has recently announced the introduction of a new non-spinnaker rating for CR4 and CR5 to promote white sails racing in Dublin Bay.

The move comes following the success of the VPRS rating system in the Sports Boats Class, which has been expanded to other classes. With a certificate costing only €25 and no need to get a boat measured, it means that those who do not need IRC ratings can get certified at a much lower cost.

Commodore Ed Totterdell explained, "For the 2024 season, boats currently competing in CR4 and CR5 will be able to compete in a new VPRS Division. This will promote non-spinnaker racing in DBSC by opening another area of competition and fun for all."

DBSC Commodore Ed Totterdell has launched a special Under 30s discount for Dublin Bay racingDBSC Commodore Ed Totterdell Photo: Michael Chester

Class Captain Catherine Day welcomed the initiative, saying, "I am delighted by the overwhelmingly positive response to trialling the new VPRS rating system for the 2024 season.

This initiative promises to offer a fair opportunity for all our class members, ensuring that boat characteristics, rather than crew performance, are the primary focus in DBSC racing. We will continue to support Echo throughout the class too."

Applying for a VPRS Certificate couldn’t be easier, say the organisers, and DBSC has put a link on their membership form for those who need to obtain one.

Any DBSC Cr4 or CR5 member who needs more information is welcome to contact DBSC by emailing [email protected].

The move is expected to promote non-spinnaker racing in Dublin Bay, offering a fair opportunity for all class members.

The new rating system will ensure that boat characteristics, rather than crew performance, are the primary focus in DBSC racing.

The initiative is expected to be welcomed by racing enthusiasts and could lead to more participants joining the races in the future.

Published in DBSC

Between the delivery of its new committee boat and the strong entries received so far, it looks like a great season ahead for Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC).

DBSC Commodore Ed Totterdell visited builder Gerry Smyth Boats on St. Brigid's holiday weekend and was delighted with the progress. “We have a firm delivery date of March, and she will be on station for the first race of the season,” he told Afloat.

With a bumper edition of the pre-Christmas Turkey shoot successfully concluded and with racing already underway in the Spring Chicken Warm-Up Series, DBSC 2024 summer racing begins in AprilWith a bumper edition of the pre-Christmas Turkey shoot successfully concluded and with racing already underway in the Spring Chicken Warm-Up Series, DBSC 2024 summer racing begins in April

DBSC has received entries for each of its racing classes, with, for example, over half of the B211 class having entered so far. "With a very busy season on the bay, including the club regattas, J Cup, J109 Europeans, ICRAs and IRC European Championships, we have a lot of work to do to make sure we provide all our members a season to remember and receive these entries helps with that planning", Totterdell said. 

Ruffian 23s will now start with the DBSC Red Fleet for Saturday Summer Series racing on Dublin Bay Photo: AfloatRuffian 23s will now start with the DBSC Red Fleet for Saturday Summer Series racing on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat

"We intend to contact the Class Captains of CR0, 1 and 2 shortly and ask that they poll their members who have entered as to whether they would like to start their race (Starred races do not count towards season points) for the Saturday of the ICRAs," he says.

"It is important, therefore, that everyone has a voice, and we urge members to put their entries in as soon as possible, he notes.

Some classes have also approached DBSC to change their racing schedule, such as the Ruffians now starting with the Red Fleet on Saturdays and the FF15s changing their position in the start sequence, putting them as second start to the SB20s.

Between making these changes, designing some new regatta-type courses, commissioning and launching the new committee boat and working with the clubs to ensure DBSC can run racing while they run championships, it is shaping up to be a busy and exciting 2024 season.

Published in DBSC

As Afloat.ie reported over the weekend, last Friday's DBSC prizegiving was a gala affair at the National Maritime Museum in Dun Laoghaire Harbour for the country's biggest yacht racing club.

As well as six premier awards for best performances, DBSC Commodore Eddie Totterdell congratulated over 100 winners from 22 DBSC classes.

All the results from 2023 season are below.

Check out our prizegiving gallery from the night below by Photographer Michael Chester:

Published in DBSC

Lindsay Casey's J97 Windjammer won Dublin Bay Sailing Club's (DBSC) AIB Summer Series race IRC Two division on Saturday afternoon.

The Royal St. George Yacht Club series leader finished with a corrected time of one hour, 24 minutes and 35 seconds to beat Fergus O'Sullivan's Sigma 33 Moonshine (1:36:44 corr). Third was Jim McCann's Mustang 30 Peridot (1:42:39 corr).

DBSC's IRC One division was won by Colin Byrne's Xp33 Bon Exemple, with the IRC Zero race abandoned.

Full results in all DBSC classes are below

 

 

Published in DBSC

In a warm-up for this weekend's J109 National Championships on the same Dublin Bay race track, Timothy Goodbody's J109 White Mischief, from the Royal Irish Yacht Club, was the DBSC Thursday night IRC One winner on a corrected IRC time of  1 hour, nine minutes and 12 seconds from clubmate Barry Cunningham's sistership Blast on Chimaera (1:11:16 corr). Colin Byrne's XP33 Bon Exemple, also of the RIYC, was third (1:11:59 corr) in the nine-boat fleet, including six J109s.

The J109 Nationals are being raced as part of the inaugural Key Yachting J Cup Ireland at the Royal Irish Yacht Club, as Afloat reports here.

Meanwhile, in the DBSC One Design divisions, Chris Johnston's Prospect was the winner in a seven-boat  Beneteau 31.7 turnout from Eoin O’Driscoll's Kernach. Third was John Power's Levante.  Overall, Johnston leads the AIB DBSC Thursday Summer Series by 17 points from Michael Blaney's After You.

Full results in all DBSC classes are below

Published in DBSC

Flat seas and strong offshore southwesterly winds on Dublin Bay presented great sailing conditions for Saturday's AIB DBSC Summer Series racing on August 16th.

In a two-boat Cruisers Zero division race, the Royal Irish First 40 Prima Forte, skippered by Sean Lemass, beat Michelle Farrell's 44.7 Tsunami from the National Yacht Club.

In a Royal Irish Yacht Club battle, Colin Byrne's XP 33 Bon Exemple beat Timothy Goodbody's J109 White Mischief to win the five-boat IRC One race, which puts Byrne at the IRC One Saturday table. 

Lindsay Casey's Royal St. George J97 Windjammer beat Jim McCann's Peridot from the Royal Irish Yacht Club in a two-boat IRC Two race.

In the one design divisions, Joe Smyth's Yikes in the Beneteau 211 (scratch racing) won from Pat Shannon in Beeswing. Third was Rowan Fogarty's Ventuno.

In a five-boat Beneteau 31.7 race, overall leader Chris Johnston's Prospect from the National Yacht Club won from clubmate John Power's Levante. Third was Michael Bryson's Bluefin Two, also from NYC.

The National Yacht Club's David Gorman continues to lead overall after two more races in a ten-boat Flying Fifteen turnout.

It's all to play for in the final seven Saturdays that will close the 2023 DBSC Summer Series.

See results in all classes below.

Published in DBSC

The longstanding commitment of Facet Jewellers to the Flying Fifteen Class in Dun Laoghaire Harbour manifested itself again this past Saturday when the Facet Trophy was raced for by ten Flying Fifteens in a relatively empty Dublin Bay. Indeed, a start of ten boats might have been a high for the day in terms of overall participation.

The forecast for the weekend had been dire from the middle of the week, but as the week wore its way towards Friday, there was a sense that the conditions were set to moderate. However, anyone who was awake very early on the Saturday morning (3 – 4am) would have heard a howling gale outside. By 13:00, the concern wasn’t so much the wind but the sea state! However, a preliminary reconnaissance by the committee boat deemed that racing could proceed.

With the wind set to be slightly west of north, according to XCWeather, we set off for a start area in the vicinity of Merrion with a weather mark that was initially in transit with the leading lights at the mouth of the Liffey.

The wind was pretty much as forecast 16/17 knots with gusts coming through with each pass of grey cloud. However, with the tide still having just over an hour of flooding and the course being inshore, in relative terms, the seas were quite confused and lumpy. The majority of the fleet started on starboard tack for the first race with David Gorman & Cormac Bradley (4099) about halfway down the line in the company of Ian Mathews and Keith Poole (4093), David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (4068), with Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028) also in this group. Unbeknownst to this scribe, three boats went hard right – Ken Dumpleton & Joe Hickey (3955), Joe Coughlan & Andrew Marshall (3913) and Jill Fleming (3747). The consequence of the latter group going hard right was that the former group, having done their best to get away from their colleagues in the middle and left of the course, found themselves playing second fiddle to Dumpleton & Hickey who were never headed after the weather mark and won by a comfortable margin. Behind them, the running order was Gorman & Bradley in very close company with Mulvin & Beirne and Mathews & Poole. Down the first leeward leg, Mathews and Mulvin closed on Gorman with Alastair Court & Conor O’Leary (3753) behind this group. Colin & Casey were also not far away from the chasing three.

As the chasing group gybed and gybed again to get to the leeward mark, Mulvin sneaked in ahead of Gorman while Mathews dropped a little behind. Within the last few boat-lengths to the mark, Gorman came back again, and while he had no room, Mulvin made sure that he wasn’t tempted to squeeze in, by slamming the door shut. At this stage, Mathews and Poole parted company, giving Gorman the chance to chase Mulvin up the next beat unfettered. Court also took advantage to get into fourth place.

There were no changes up the second beat and subsequent run in the lead group, leading to a finishing order of Dumpleton, Mulvin, Gorman, Court, Mathews, Colin, Alan Balfe & son (3995), Coughlan, Mick Quinn & Mary-Jane Mulligan (3960) and Fleming. Back on shore Dumpleton said his decision to go hard right was influenced by the cloud movement and while there wasn’t unanimity about that on the boat, it paid dividends.

For the second race, the RO, Barry O’Neil moved the weather mark quite a bit westward to compensate for the shifting breeze. Once underway the reverse of the first race applied! The bulk of the fleet worked the middle and right of the course after a starboard tacked start. Gorman, peeled off first, taking a modest port tack before coming back into the middle of the course again. Mathews, Court and Mulvin took the port tack later and Gorman found himself leading this bunch as he worked the middle part of the course. But where were Colin & Casey? In contrast to Dumpleton the first time round, they worked the extreme left of the course as Dumpleton had done before on the right and lead the fleet around the weather mark. Behind them came Gorman and Court with a bit of distance before Mathews, Mulvin and Dumpleton rounded.

The run to the leeward mark required only a single gybe and a much later one at that. Colin, Gorman and Court all rounded safely without giving anything away to those who were chasing them. All three set off on the second beat holding a port tack before Court became the first to peel off and go shore-wards. Gorman took the decision to chase Colin and as the beat developed it appeared that was a good decision as some distance had been eked out from Court and Colin’s lead was slightly reduced.

While Gorman had closed on Colin, he had to keep an eye on Court as a slip at this stage might change the whole scene in overall terms. Again, the run to the mark was a single tack sail with a gybe late on to accommodate the short three sail reach to the finish, the wind having swung a bit further westward. Gorman gybed before he reached the leeward mark which allowed him a more relaxed set of the spinnaker and a higher windward slot to the finish. Colin’s later gybe did not go quite so smoothly and Gorman was able to take advantage and the winning gun. Ashore, Colin’s explanation of his first beat tactics was working the shifts on the left hand-side.

Since a recent session on rigging and tuning by John Lavery, there has been a much greater awareness of the need to change rigs in accordance with conditions. Post-race it seems everyone had taken heed of John’s advice as most people made a rigging change between the two races.

The finishing order for the second race was; Gorman, Colin, Court, Mathews, Mulvin, Dumpleton, Coughlan, Balfe, Fleming.

Over the two races the points were as follows; Gorman (4), Court, Mulvin and Dumpleton (7), Mathews (9), Coughlan and Balfe (15), Quinn and Fleming (19), meaning that tie-breaks were needed to resolve the 1-2-3 in both the Silver and Gold Fleet.

Ronan Beirne & David Mulvin (4068) were 2nd Gold Fleet in the Flying Fifteen Facet Trophy race and were presented with the trophy by Pat Shannon of Facet Jewellers (right) Photo: Dasha HilliardRonan Beirne & David Mulvin (4068) were 2nd Gold Fleet in the Flying Fifteen Facet Trophy race and were presented with the trophy by Pat Shannon of Facet Jewellers (right) Photo: Dasha Hilliard

Ken Dumpleton (left) & Joe Hickey (3955) were 3rd Gold Fleet in the Flying Fifteen Facet Trophy race and were presented with the trophy by Pat Shannon of Facet Jewellers (centre) Photo: Dasha HilliardKen Dumpleton (left) & Joe Hickey (3955) were 3rd Gold Fleet in the Flying Fifteen Facet Trophy race and were presented with the trophy by Pat Shannon of Facet Jewellers (centre) Photo: Dasha Hilliard

Gold Overall
1. David Gorman & Cormac Bradley 4pts
2. Ken Dumpleton & Joe Hickey 7pts
3. David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne 7pts

Silver Fleet
1. Joe Coughlan & Andrew Marshall 15pts
2. Alan Balfe & son, 15pts
3. Mick Quinn & Mary-Jane Mulligan 19pts.

Alan Balfe & son (3995) – 1st Silver Fleet in the Flying Fifteen Facet Trophy race Photo: Dasha HilliardAlan Balfe & son (3995) – 1st Silver Fleet in the Flying Fifteen Facet Trophy race Photo: Dasha Hilliard

Andrew Marshall & Joe Coughlan – 2nd Silver Fleet in the Flying Fifteen Facet Trophy race Photo: Dasha HilliardAndrew Marshall & Joe Coughlan – 2nd Silver Fleet in the Flying Fifteen Facet Trophy race Photo: Dasha Hilliard

Mick Quinn (3960) was 3rd Silver Fleet in the Flying Fifteen Facet Trophy race Photo: Dasha HilliardMick Quinn (3960) was 3rd Silver Fleet in the Flying Fifteen Facet Trophy race Photo: Dasha Hilliard

Class Captain Robin Hilliard, ably assisted by his daughter Dasha, officiated at the prizegiving at the National Yacht Club with Facet Jewellers’ Pat Shannon in attendance to hand out the prizes. Pat commended the fleet for the day’s racing and referenced the longstanding relationship between Facet Jewellers and the Flying Fifteen Fleet. He also thanked Class Captain Robin Hilliard for his work in putting the event together.

Published in Flying Fifteen
Page 1 of 60

William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago