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On arrival at the National Yacht Club on Thursday evening, the prospects for sailing didn’t look that good. The forecast had been for a handful of knots and the boats trying to finish the Round Ireland race were limping down the east coast of the island in very fickle winds. However, the Irish flag at the end of the East Pier had some life to it and so we launched.

Flying Fifteen Race Officer John Mc Neilly had situated “Freebird” just east of the harbour entrance to avail of a forecast that suggested the wind would start SSE and slowly migrate to SSW. He also, rather cleverly, set a windward-leeward course using two of the fixed Dublin Bay marks, Bulloch (R) and Pier (V), with the length of race set at 3 laps, leaving both marks to Port. It took a bit of thought to decipher the course declaration but when the “penny dropped” it made infinite sense.

We (4081) decided that the thing to do was to get out of the flooding tide, as low water had been in the early afternoon and a preliminary first beat before the start suggested that was the way to go. However, a late check of the line also suggested that the pin was the place to start, which is what we did! Others who shared that view, but with slightly less conviction were Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028), Ken Dumpleton & Joe O’Reilly (3955) and Tom Murphy & Keith Poole (4057).

Niall & Susan Coleman (4008) didn’t share that view and started closer to the committee boat before working the inside half of the beat. Of the quartet at the pin, Colin bailed first, followed by Mulligan (4081), Murphy (4057) and finally Dumpleton (3955). Mulligan and Colin were looking good halfway up the beat and then it all went pear-shaped. The Colemans looked very good on the inside and to windward, Dumpleton and Murphy also seemed to have found something extra. The rounding order at Bulloch, for the first time was Dumpleton, Murphy, Coleman, Colin and Mulligan with a vanguard of boats behind Mulligan of Frank Miller & Conor O’Leary (3845), Adrian Cooper (3896) and Niall Meagher & Nicky Mathews (3938), all in a threatening position.

Adrian Cooper took a decidedly inshore course to Pier and flying a green spinnaker to great effect, closed on the boats ahead of him in such fashion that he rounded Pier in either first place or a very tight second. Dumpleton, Murphy and Coleman rounded in quick succession and Meagher wasn’t too far off the pace.

By now the breeze was easing which meant that tide was becoming a much bigger factor and the fleet split significantly. Meagher & Mathews went to sea and trumped everyone as a consequence to round Bulloch for the second time in the lead. Colin and Mulligan worked the inshore side of the beat and never got any change out of that approach. Coleman and Murphy managed to hold on to that which they already had as did Dumpleton. At Bulloch for the second time the order was Meagher, Cooper, Coleman, Murphy, Dumpleton and Mulligan had Miller and Frazier (3790) just ahead for very close company. Mulligan gybed early to pursue an inshore course and a second gybe brought him into a shortened course, downwind finish at Pier. Dumpleton was a little too far ahead to catch, but we got close. The better angle of attack allowed two places to be pinched at the finish, leaving a finishing order of Meagher, Cooper, Coleman, Murphy, Dumpleton, Mulligan, Frazier and Miller.

All agreed that getting a race in was a significant achievement given our pre-race scepticism. And RO John McNeilly was commended for shortening when he did – no-one missed the idea of another upwind leg to Bulloch!

DBSC; Thursday 23rd June.

Flying Fifteens (11 boats).
1. Niall Meagher & Nicky Mathews 3938
2. Adrian Cooper & crew 3896
3. Niall & Susan Coleman 4008
4. Tom Murphy & Keith Poole 4057
5. Ken Dumpleton & Joe O’Reilly 3955.

Overall (with discards)
1. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 16pts
2. Keith Poole & others 24.5pts
3. David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne 34.5pts
4. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley 35pts
5. David Gorman & Michael Huang 36pts

Published in Flying Fifteen
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The second of the Dun Laoghaire waterfront yacht club regattas was hosted last Saturday, 18th June, by the National Yacht Club and thirteen Flying Fifteens took to the water to contest the Davy-sponsored NYC regatta. The forecast was a more benign 10-15knots NNW going NW in contrast to the previous Saturday when the actual winds were in the high teens with gusts in the low to mid-twenties. The fleet size was also influenced by contestants sailing away events and, one imagines, the holiday season – some NYC stalwarts were conspicuous by their absence – all perfectly understandable. Despite the great heat of the Friday conditions overhead were grey and there was a coolness to the breeze.

Race Officer Barry O’Neil took the fleet out towards the Seapoint side of the Bay and set a weather mark in the lee of the Poolbeg chimneys. With a flooding tide running for the race period, there were early warnings from the RO not to be over the line and for the first racer of the day all the classes had clean starts.

In R1 for the Fifteens, the place to be was towards the pin end of the line, heading in towards the shore and a few took this approach. Among these were Tom Galvin & Keith Poole (4093), Niall and Laura Coleman (4008), sailing with crispy fresh sails, saved for high days and holidays, Tom Murphy & Carel (4057) and Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley (4081). The latter were enjoying good boat speed and got to the front of this group at an early stage. However, by playing the shifts they soon found themselves towards the middle and right-hand side of the beat and seemingly in a strong position. Galvin/Poole, Coleman² and the Leinster/Blue Bulls combination of Tom & Carel were now working the upper left-hand side of the beat. Mulligan rounded ahead of them all with Galvin, Coleman and Murphy rowing in behind. Dave Gorman & Michael Huang (4099) were next up.

Down the run, Mulligan had to keep a watching brief on Galvin as the distance between these two boats ebbed and flowed but by the end of the leg, Mulligan had managed to eke out a few more boat-lengths of a lead. All of these boats took the right-hand mark of the leeward gate and worked the left-hand side of the beat to varying degrees. And it is the varying degrees that determined the rounding order at the next weather mark as Galvin & Poole fell away and were replaced as the chasing boat by Tom & Carel. Mulligan had marginally increased his lead by working the shifts successfully and the Colemans were also in close proximity to Tom & Carel. At this stage the distance to the rest of the fleet was quite healthy with Galvin still ahead of Gorman, I think.
The third beat saw Mulligan increase his lead over Murphy and Coleman, with Murphy comfortable relative to Coleman. Approaching the leeward gate for the third time it was clear that the boats that had started before the Fifteens were in the process of finishing – causing some confusion. Four laps had been signalled, yet here we were seeing boats finishing after three laps. Only a solitary Dragon could be seen going upwind for the fourth time……….but everyone else was gybing to sail to a finish. As the leading Fifteen, Mulligan and Bradley debated the situation and complied with the herd instinct and got a winning sound signal at the finish, followed by Tom and Carel and the Colemans, with Gorman & Huang taking fourth with Galvin/Poole 5th.

With the wind moving in accordance with the forecast, the weather mark went leftwards towards the Aviva Stadium and out pre-race deliberations decided that the pin was the place to be. A General Recall for the Dragons and the Fifteens may have introduced some “brain-freeze” for instead of starting at the pin we found ourselves starting at the committee boat squeezing between “Freebird” and Dave & Valerie Mulvin (3864) and then being forced to make a tack to clear our air. As we later tried to get across to the left-hand side of the course the error of our ways was magnified – Gorman and Galvin, in particular, were gone, having started at the opposite end of the line. Murphy was well placed too and at the weather mark, the first race winners found themselves “off the pace” with Gorman and Galvin already too far ahead. At this early stage, the running order was Gorman, Galvin, Murphy (T) with a group closely bunched together of Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028), Ken Dumpleton & Joe O’Reilly (3955), the Colemans (4008), Peter Murphy & Ciara Mulvey (3774) and Mulligan & Bradley.

Down the first run, this group stayed pretty much together. After going through the leeward gate Mulligan broke away to try and salvage something by going right. Having sailed a reasonable distance, on a long windward leg, he got a header and on taking found a 15° lift that carried him away from the company at the leeward gate who had continued to sail to shore and gave him what looked like a platform to maybe claw Tom Murphy back.

The Colemans threatened for a short period but also fell away and Mulligan found himself in fourth pace at the next weather mark. Up the third beat and the right and middle was worked again and with Murphy (T) apparently stranded on the left-hand side the prospect of clawing back third developed. However, Murphy escaped and while he and Mulligan seemed to close on both Galvin and Gorman, the dye was cast for a tiebreak. This time the four laps indicated by the committee boat and emphasised by the RO at each start were sailed!

Matters on the water were thus tied up between three boats on five points – Gorman & Huang (4,1), Murphy & Carel (2,3) and Mulligan & Bradley (1,4) and Galvin & Poole on seven (5,2). At the prize-giving the final result was announced, in reverse order as Murphy, Mulligan and Gorman.

This gives Tom and Carel a 1,3 across the two Dun Laoghaire regattas sailed. Mulligan and Bradley were involved in the running of the DMYC regatta and Gorman and Huang didn’t sail the DMYC event.

Published in Flying Fifteen

The Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen fleet and the National Yacht Club are hosting an evening of ' Remembering Gerry Donleavy' on Thursday 23rd June after the DBSC race at the NYC clubhouse on the East Pier.

Long-time NYC member Donleavy was one of the most successful helmsmen on the water winning multiple national and regional championship titles, including a unique double in 1988 when he won both the British and Irish Flying Fifteen National Championships.

Gerry Donleavy photographed at the NYC in 2019Gerry Donleavy photographed at a 505 class reunion at the NYC in 2019

He was associated with many dinghy classes including 420s, 505s and Fireballs where he coached and supplied equipment.

"The evening (starting at 8.30 pm) is to give the Flying Fifteen class and the wider sailing community the opportunity to remember Gerry by recounting stories and memories", organiser Chris Doorly told Afloat.

All are welcome.

Buffet supper tickets are available on

Published in Flying Fifteen
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David Gorman's 'Fomo' was the winner of Race eight in the Flying Fifteen race of tonight's AIB Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) Thursday night series.

Neil Colin, who leads the Tuesday night DBSC Fireball series, was second in Ffuzzy with DMYC clubmate Ben Mulligan third in Enfant de Marie.

Unusually, the Flying Fifteen Thursday night fleet was small in size but for those who did get out, there was some very close racing…….at least for the majority of the participants. Conditions on site in Johnstown, some 40 minutes inland from Dun Laoghaire suggested that a sea-breeze might be in play as we baked in 20° + heat under blue skies, but the racing in Dun Laoghaire took place under grey skies and an initially brisk South-Easterly that started to fade shortly after the start.

Race Officer, John McNeally, set a course with long beats and downwind legs, using Battery and Bullock as the upwind extremities of the course and Harbour as the downwind extremity. Battery was a passing mark to be left to port en route to Bullough.

With an incoming tide the fleet was able to start close to the line and at the pin end were Dave Gorman & Michael Huang (4099), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028), Tom Murphy & Frank Miller (4057) and Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley (4081). Taking an initial shoreside hike were Jill Fleming & Joe Coughlan (3913), Niall Coleman & daughter (4008) and Mick Quinn & Mary-Jane Mulligan (3960). Of the quartet at the pin end, Gorman and Mulligan vied for the best start with Gorman marginally ahead but to leeward of Mulligan. Colin was astern of Mulligan and slightly to leeward. Gorman pulled out on Mulligan and Mulligan took his medicine and tacked off to go inshore. Gorman and Colin persisted a bit longer with the offshore course before they too headed shorewards. At this stage it was difficult to say which side was the better, because when the fleet congregated at Battery, only Gorman had a margin of distance on the fleet. An over-sized blanket would have covered Colin, Mulligan, Murphy, Coleman and Fleming.

Gorman stretched his lead on the leg to Bulloch and was able to get around clear ahead. The others managed the tide at the mark in different ways with the sequence of rounding being – Colin, Coleman, Murphy, Fleming and Mulligan.

These five spread themselves across the downwind leg with Mulligan sailing an inshore route down the left-hand side and Colin sailing an offshore route. At various stages some of the others flirted with Mulligan on the left but none stayed the pace and Mulligan dragged himself back into the reckoning at the rounding of Harbour. From Harbour, everyone took an inshore hike and used this as the basis for the attack on the remainder of the long haul to Bulloch. Colin, Coleman, Murphy and Mulligan were playing various forms of cat & mouse with each other, before Mulligan bailed and went off to sea. At this stage Gorman could watch the chasing pack from a very safe distance.

The wind was easing at this stage and while Mulligan was getting lifted on starboard tack towards Bulloch, the boats inside him were still in the ascendency – Colin, Coleman and Murphy. Again, managing the tidal race around Bulloch was challenging and at least one boat underestimated the tide and lost ground to the others.

For the second run to harbour, Mulligan persisted in playing the left-hand side and for the second time it worked. The others were to his seaward side and in the final run-in to the mark, the quartet of boats could be covered by that same oversized blanket – Colin, Murphy, Mulligan and Coleman. The latter had a spinnaker that wouldn’t come down so we were left with a trio of boats heading inshore on port with Colin watching two boats and Murphy watching one!

Murphy & Miller worked very hard to make sure Mulligan didn’t sail through their weather, so Mulligan bailed. A few hitches later, the three boats came together again with Mulligan in the weather slot. At this stage it was reasonable to set a final course for the finish situated on the Scotsman’s Bay side of the harbour entrance. With a final throw of the dice producing a six, fresh breeze arrived from Dalkey island which allowed Mulligan to pinch 3rd place on the line behind Colin and only just ahead of Murphy. Gorman, of course, was long gone!

DBSC Flying Fifteens, Thursday 16th June

1. David Gorman & Michael Huang (4099)
2. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028)
3. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley (4081)
4. Tom Murphy & Frank Miller (4057).

Overall: (Eight races, two discards): Colin (13), Keith Poole (16.5), Gorman (22), Mulvin (26.5), Mulligan (29)

See full DBSC individual and overall results in all classes below. 

Three live Dublin Bay webcams featuring some DBSC race course areas are here

Published in DBSC
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Given that the Heineken Cup, as it was then, has made an appearance in at least one of the Dun Laoghaire clubs at a major regatta in times past (a Volvo Regatta), it was hardly surprising that Saturday’s DBSC’s schedule of races was adjusted to accommodate those who wanted to watch the Leinster – La Rochelle game first-hand rather than rely on a delayed recording. For the 14 Flying Fifteens and others on the Green Course that meant we had a single race with a start area literally just outside the harbour mouth. Of course, this location was also impacted by the fact that the Dragons (12 boats) were having an East Coast Championship NE of the harbour and the ILCAs were having a Masters’ Championships to the West and all the other DBSC fleets were out. Even the DBSC dinghies sailed inside the harbour!

Green Course Race Officer Barry O’Neil set a long Windward -Leeward course, with weather mark offset, with 4 laps signalled but the prospect of a shortened course in his radio briefing to the fleet. In the better-than-expected easterly breeze which moved around a bit and under an ebbing tide, there was some excitement when Alan Balfe, crewed by his son, (3995) decided to upset what had, until then, been an orderly approach to the start. There was nothing improper about his manoeuvring other than the fact that it wasn’t what we were expecting. Post-race David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (4068) were of the view that it didn’t help their cause whereas it opened an opportunity for Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley (4081) that Mulvin had endeavoured to cut off.

The gap created by these “shenanigans” allowed Mulligan and Bradley a clean break to go right initially, before working the left-hand side of the beat on port tack. Further to leeward of them on port tack were David Gorman & Michael Huang (4099), the aforementioned Mulvin & Beirne, Tom Murphy & Carel (4057) and Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary (3753).

With what appeared to be better breeze on the left-hand side of the course, Mulligan was able to go into the lead at the first rounding of the weather mark. Behind him were Gorman, Mulvin and Murphy, in close company. These four stayed on the right-hand side of the run and then put in late gybes to get round the leeward mark, by which time Mulligan had pulled out by a couple more boat-lengths.

On the second beat, Mulligan followed the recipe from the first, working the middle and left of the beat. The others had twigged to what he was cooking and while the gap didn’t close significantly initially, Gorman, Mulvin, Murphy and latterly, Jill Fleming & Margaret Casey (4028), made sure Mulligan & Bradley didn’t get too comfortable and by the end of the beat Gorman and Mulvin were just that bit closer for Mulligan’s comfort. For all three, the starboard tack run lasted longer before late gybes were again put in to get around the leeward mark.

A slight wind shift came into play as the fleet rounded the leeward mark and Gorman took best advantage to gain the weather slot relative to Mulligan. Mulvin peeled off immediately at the mark to go left but Mulligan and Gorman worked the right-hand side on port tack with Gorman pulling through Mulligan’s weather to go into the lead. As they got further up the course, they went right working the shifts, but Gorman didn’t relent and extended his lead into the weather mark for the third time. Mulvin, too had closed on the lead pair.

With spinnakers set, Gorman had 10 – 15 boat lengths on his chasers, while only a couple of boat lengths separated Mulvin and Mulligan with Mulvin to starboard of Mulligan and also to weather. For Mulligan the challenge was not to let Mulvin past as well. As they approached the leeward mark with a RIB flying an “F” flag and making sound signals – “Go straight to the Finish” - a potential fly in Mulligan’s ointment appeared – a Squib who didn’t quite grasp the significance of the F flag and sound signals. It left Mulligan having to go around the Squib, while Mulvin had the better choice of going to windward. Naturally, he seized the chance with both hands and closed on Mulligan – to within half a boat length. However, Mulvin’s attempts to pass to weather were thwarted each time and at the finish, there may have only been a boat length between the two red-spinnakered boats, in Mulligan’s favour.

DBSC; Saturday 28th May 2022. Flying Fifteens (14 boats)

  1. David Gorman & Michael Huang 4099 
  2. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley 4081 
  3. David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne 4068 3. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley 18pts
  4. Tom Murphy & Carel 4057 4. David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne 20pts
  5. Jill Fleming & Margaret Casey 4028 5. Niall Coleman & crews 33pts.

Saturday Series Overall: 7 Races sailed/5 to count

  1. David Gorman & Michael Huang 8pts
  2. Neil Colin/Jill Fleming & Margaret Casey 15pts
  3. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley 18pts
  4. David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne 20pts
  5. Niall Coleman & crews 33pts.
Published in Flying Fifteen

On a night where winds of 20knots were recorded, as reported elsewhere on this website, 12 Flying Fifteens answered Brian Mathews’ DBSC starting call last night in the robust conditions that caused the cancellation of racing for the Mermaids and Squibs. While the numbers are a bit on the low side, there were justifiable absences as evidenced by departures to a UK regatta and an important family occasion as documented on Facebook.

Initially, a postponement was flown, possibly due to shifting winds as the racecourse selection went from N to P, but when the final course was declared for the evening, it was one where there were a lot of turning marks, eight in total. Some may have fallen foul of the navigation and lost out on the water, but that didn’t detract (I hope) from a very enjoyable session on the water.

PW3 was the course of choice, suggesting a wind direction of NW (292°) and a sequence of marks that read – Harbour-Pier-Poldy-Pier-Poldy-East-Molly-East-Finish.

The fleet was spread along the starting line under a flooding tide and this correspondent found himself at the pin end in the company of Frank Miller & Patrick Kearsey (3845). Both boats were early but Miller peeled away to find another starting slot back towards the committee boat while Mulligan & Bradley started between 5 and 10 seconds too early and had to go round the pin and start. This left them on the left-hand side of the shortish beat to Harbour and marginally behind a line of boats making their way up the port lay-line. An equally sized group of boats came in on the starboard lay-line to make the first mark rounding a bit tighter than might normally be the case. As the fleet headed off to Pier, the majority set spinnakers. The lead group at this stage was David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (4068), Keith Poole & Niall Meagher (4093), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028), Joe Coughlan & Michael McCambridge (3913) and Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary (3753). The leg to Pier was a three-sail reach and over the length of the leg, Mulligan & Bradley took a number of places and closed on Poole, Mulvin and Colin. The next leg to Poldy saw a broader spinnaker leg and a tightening of the distances at the front of the fleet behind Mulvin.

A stiff beat back up to Pier saw the lead group pull away from the rest of the fleet and Mulligan gained another place to get ahead of Poole & Meagher and possibly Colin & Casey. On the next leg to Poldy, for the second time, Colin & Casey went hard left whereas the others kept to a more direct line to the mark. Colin came up smiling by going into second place behind Mulvin, with Mulligan ahead of Poole as the latter had a rounding complicated by keelboats going around the same mark. That caused him to take an unnecessary hitch inshore before tacking back to port for the leg to East. There was an easing of the physicality of the sailing on the leg to Molly as it was more of a two-sail fetch. There had also been a change of leader as Colin took over from Mulvin and Mulligan closed again on the new second-placed boat. By Molly, Mulligan had taken Mulvin, though not by much and on the return leg to East, Mulvin closed back on Mulligan. So, at the last turning mark before the beat to the finish, the order was Colin, Mulligan, Mulvin and Poole.

Mulligan tacked off early due to traffic and on tacking back again found a vein of wind that lifted him on port tack. Having gone to sea initially, Colin then headed inshore while Mulvin also stayed offshore. Mulligan and Mulvin crossed paths twice, the first time by a very short distance with Mulligan clearing Mulvin’s starboard-tacked transom and latterly when Mulligan, on port, crossed about a boat-length ahead of Mulvin. The port tack was still paying! The question was -Would there be the necessary header to get back inside and close in on the finish? The answer was Yes! And, as an added bonus, Mulligan had got away from both Colin and Mulvin who were now in very close company and playing cat and mouse with each other. Poole too had staged a recovery distance wise.

Mulligan crossed the line with a few boat-lengths in credit while Colin and Mulvin finished within a second or two of each other. Even tighter was the finish between Poole & Mulvin as they were credited with the same score and place, equal third. There were three OCSs and one DNF in the results.

Thursday 17th May 2002.

  1. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley,
  2. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey,
  3. David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne and Keith Poole & Niall Meagher (Tied)
  4. Frank Miller & Patrick Kearsey.

Overall (5 races, 4 to count).

  1. Neil Colin (9),
  2. Keith Poole (10),
  3. David Mulvin (15.5),
  4. Ben Mulligan (17),
  5. Frank Miller (20).
Published in Flying Fifteen
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Howth Yacht Club's Nigel Biggs and Peter Evans sailing Checkmate XIX won the Scottish Flying Fifteen Championships at Holy Loch on the Clyde last weekend.

Racing over windward-leeward courses in light to medium airs, Biggs and Evans took the four race championships by a single point from Nigel Tullett's Niffty of Royal Windermere. Third in the 11-boat fleet was Mike Preston's B of the Bang.

The next championship event for the UK Flying Fifteen Class will be the Inland Championship at Grafham Water on the 28th & 29th May incorporating the Classic Nationals.

Results are here and a class report is here

Published in Flying Fifteen
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After last Thursday’s healthy breezes and the “pea-souper” that prevented last Saturday’s racing, fourteen Flying Fifteens answered the DBSC Race Officer’s call last night in conditions that started off as being “robust” with a wind against tide situation generating choppy conditions.

The course for the evening was set at KW2 – Bay, Battery, Zebra, Molly, Zebra, Battery, Molly – Finish. Initially, the first mark of the course, Bay, was hidden, from certain angles, by a moored Irish Naval Vessel, but shortly after the starting signal for the Flying Fifteens she moved off. The fleet was pretty much agreed that the first leg to Bay had to be an inshore leg, the only question seemed to be which end of the line to start that trek from. In reality, there was a reasonably even split of the fleet between the pin end and the committee boat end of the line. At the former were Tom Galvin & Keith Poole (4093) with Tom helming, Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028), Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley (4081) and possibly Frank Miller & Ismail Inan (3845).

However, at Bay, the lead was taken by John Lavery & Alan Green (4083) by a few boat lengths, but there was a tight chasing pack behind them that included the aforementioned “committee boat enders” Tom Murphy & Carel (4057) and Alan Balfe & Patrick Kiersey (3995). The leg to Battery was a two-sail fetch and this stretched the chasing pack to a single file of boats behind Lavery & Green. A spinnaker leg to Zebra followed with a number of gybes necessary to get into a rounding position at this the most seaward mark of the course. Lavery & Green kept a watching brief on the chasing pack with Miller/Inan and Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary (3753) in close company with Mulligan & Bradley, Colin & Casey hovering and Balfe & Kiersey also in the frame. A slightly early drop at Zebra saw Mulligan into a windward berth and he got to the head of the chasing pack for the leg to Molly. However, none of the others were too far away as Galvin/Poole, Colin/Casey, Miller/Inan and Niall & Susan Coleman made sure Mulligan stayed honest.

After the second rounding of Zebra, there was a long leg back to Battery. Here the fleet split with Colin, in particular, going inshore early. Lavery and Mulligan played the middle and left of this beat initially, before Lavery decided to head inshore as well. Meanwhile, Galvin & Poole played the offshore aspect of this leg as did Miller & Inan. Court & O’Leary also went inshore for the latter stages of the leg, resulting in them coming up the starboard layline for the mark. Not sure how the Colemans played this one, but it worked as the rounded behind Mulligan and Court, in quick succession. Having thought they had caught some distance on Lavery & Green, Mulligan & Bradley found that the reverse had happened as both Galvin & Poole, from the left and Colin & Casey from the right steamed in to place themselves ahead of Mulligan. Mulligan had the misfortune to sail into a hole as the brisk breeze faded and became quite tricky. Thus, the revised order at Battery was Lavery, Galvin, Colin, Mulligan, Court and Coleman.

On the leg to Molly, the Colemans sailed low and steamed (a poetic licence term in the conditions) through Mulligan’s lee, while Court went to windward of Mulligan and through him. No further place changes occurred on the leg to Molly. Enough is enough!

The hitch to the finish seemed to be academic – initially, everyone headed inshore. But then to varying degrees, the fleet tacked off. The first three were comfortable at this stage but there was a sneaking suspicion that some late changes might be possible between the latter three boats. In the final approach to the finish line, both the Colemans and Court/O’Leary were outside of Mulligan/Bradley with the latter on starboard on a final approach to the finish. The Colemans got that little bit extra to put daylight between themselves and the other two, but it was very close on the finish line with Court getting the decision over Mulligan, but there was only a second between the finishing “hoots” for these two.

Thursday 19th May 2002 results

  1. John Lavery & Alan Green (4083)
  2. Tom Galvin & Keith Poole (4093)
  3.  Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028)
  4. Niall & Susan Coleman (4008)
  5. Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary (3753)

Overall: Keith Poole & Others (7), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (7), David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (12), Frank Miller & Others (15), Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley (16).

Published in Flying Fifteen
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Fourteen DBSC Flying Fifteens had a cracking night on the water last night on Dublin Bay when the light zephyrs of the past few sessions, Thursdays and Saturdays, were replaced by a robust breeze out of the west. The forecast had been for 12/14 knots with gusts in the low twenties and during the afternoon on site, down the N7, that appeared to be the case. It was also the case on the water.

The racecourse for the night was NW3 – Harbour-Omega-Poldy-Bay-Poldy-East-Finish. Our decision was to start at the committee boat end and enjoy the breeze and avoid the reverse flow of the incoming tide along the Dun Laoghaire shore. Not everyone shared that view as a sizeable number of the fleet did go inshore. In the brisk beat, the “winter avoir dupois” of the crew (singular) of 4081 (Ben Mulligan) was put to good use as they rounded the Harbour mark in first place but closely pursued by Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary (3753) who had taken the inshore route. Others in the frame were Jill Fleming & Alan Green (4026), Frank Miller & Ismail Inan (3845), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028) and Keith Poole & Niall Meagher (4093). The leg to Omega was a spinnaker leg, but it was challenging, especially for the lighter crews and some chose not to fly their coloured sails. Mulligan and Bradley’s lead soon evaporated with spinnaker pole issues (crew) but they stayed in the frame to Omega and onto Poldy. Court & O’Leary powered down the leg to open up a comfortable lead.

The leg from Omega to Poldy was less severe on the crews, but a tight bunch of chasers had gathered behind the lead boat. Green and Miller took the places at the front of this chasing pack as they approached Poldy with Mulligan and Colin also in close company and only a couple of boat lengths astern of the other two. Just astern of this group was Poole & Meagher. The leg to Bay was one for playing the shifts and the chasing group of four went about the task in different ways. The breeze was still healthy so the crews had their work cut out for them. Mulligan pursued a slightly offshore route with Fleming while Colin and Miller went inshore (I think). The sense from this correspondent was that Court’s lead was reduced on this leg, but he and O’Leary were still comfortable relative to the chasing group. In the view of the chasing pack, Court went round Bay the wrong way, as the four chasing boats now reconverged at the mark. Miller got there first, followed by Colin, Mulligan and Fleming. Under spinnaker Court sailed a long starboard tack before gybing out to sea. Miller and Fleming also started off on starboard whereas Colin and Mulligan sailed a short port tack leg before gybing as well. At this stage Mulligan had got ahead of Colin but only by a boat-length but as the quartet sailed towards Poldy they all reconverged and as spinnakers were dropped, Miller had gone into the lead position, followed by Mulligan, Colin and Fleming who ended up slightly to leeward of the other three.

The leg to East was a two-sail fetch, made a bit more interesting as the wind had got up under an oncoming bank of grey cloud. Mulligan managed to sail through Miller’s weather but could not pull away by any distance which meant that Miller came back to try and squeeze him at East. Mulligan rounded in the windward berth and on the beat was able to break free of Miller. At this stage, for the beat to the finish, the breeze was at its strongest and again Mulligan was able to power up with the extra weight on board. Colin also stayed offshore whereas Miller and Fleming headed inshore.

The finish was a tight affair again with Mulligan taking them over the line in second, probably only a boat-length ahead of Colin. Poole & Meagher must also have enjoyed the robust final leg as they finished 4th over the line, not far behind Colin, followed by Miller, Green, Murphy & Mulvey (3774) and Dumpleton & O’Reilly (3955).

Race 3, Thursday Series, 12th May. (Provisional, protest pending.)
1. Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary, 3753.
2. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley, 4081.
3. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey, 4028.
4. Keith Poole & Niall Meagher, 4093.
5. Frank Miller & Ismail Inan, 3845.

Overall Series (3 races sailed)
1. Keith Poole & Crews 9pts.
2. David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne 13pts.
3. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 18pts.

Published in Flying Fifteen
Tagged under

On arrival at the sea-front late on Saturday morning, one might have been forgiven for thinking that Keat’s Ode to Autumn was in vogue as a mist had descended on Dun Laoghaire to the extent that there was shore-side speculation as to whether we would get to race at all. Curiously though, there was sense that there was some breeze on the water. In the absence of any sound signals or flags to the contrary, the fleets went afloat………..and were rewarded with a glorious afternoon of sunshine with and a breeze that the weather mark rib recorded as 4.5knots early in the afternoon. The Flying Fifteen fleet mustered 18 boats on the water, including Dunmore East visitors Lee Statham and Andy Paul, in their upgraded Fifteen, 4070. Their previous boat, 3896 (I think) is also in Dun Laoghaire in the ownership of Adrian Cooper.

XCWeather was suggesting a SE breeze that would go ESE as the afternoon wore on, but in the light conditions, it was also a day for watching what was happening on other parts of the Bay. Is it ever otherwise? The Race Officer took the Green Fleet west of the harbour and set up a 2-lap Windward-Leeward course for the first race of the day. At one stage the conversation between RO and Rib driver suggested a beat of 1900m, with the weather mark in the direction of the harbour.

Initially, there was a suggestion that there was more breeze out the left-hand side, but then there was the question of where the tide could be used to best advantage, given that at 14:00 it was approaching the fastest rate of flow, with high water at approx. 17:00. My recall is that the lead boats came in from the left-hand side at the top mark and on rounding the spreader mark most boats went right initially, before taking an inshore hitch. On this first downwind leg there was no sense of the leading group pulling away from the rest of the fleet, but rather there was a steady stream of boats rounding the mark. To the fore though were John Lavery & Alan Green (4083), Ian Mathews & Keith Poole (4093), David Gorman (4099), David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (4068) and Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028).

Bearing in mind that there had been a promise of the wind going slightly further east, this correspondent and helm, Ben Mulligan (4081) stayed on the left-hand side of the second beat and were rewarded by catching up to Messrs Mulvin & Beirne and a low single digit placing. These two crossed each other’s paths on the downwind leg, in gentlemanly fashion and by the leeward mark, Mulligan had eked out a “short-head lead”. In the two-sail fetch to the finish, Mulligan held on to finish ahead of Mulvin.

For the second race, the Race Officer set a four-lap Windward – Leeward course with a proposal that the race might be shortened at the weather mark. Again, there was some debate as to which was the best way to tackle the beats, but for a substantial part of the race, the lead group was made up of Statham/Paul, Lavery/Green, Gorman, Mulvin/Beirne, Colin/Casey. Others who flirted with a top ten position included Niall Coleman, sailing with his daughter (4008), Tom Murphy & Carel (4057), John O’Sullivan & Cas (3762) and Peter Sherry, sailing with his daughter (4056).

While there was a bit more “oomph” for this second race, the wisdom of checking what was happening elsewhere came to the rescue of 4081. Rounding the leeward mark of a shortened three-lap race in the low teens, we observed other classes enjoying breeze beyond the top right-hand corner of our course. While the majority of the boats ahead of us had gone to sea, we ploughed an inshore furrow and found ourselves being lifted on the port tack as we moved up the course. A timely header allowed us to put in a starboard tack for the finish line and while three boats went past us, we were able a to sneak a fourth place.

Race 1: Lavery & Green, Mathews & Poole, Gorman, Colin & Casey, Mulligan & Bradley.

Race 2: Statham & Paul, Lavery & Green, Gorman, Mulligan & Bradley, Mulvin & Beirne.

Saturdays Overall (after 4 races & 1 discard)

1. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 6pts
2. David Gorman 8pts
3. John Lavery & Alan Green 11pts
4. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley 11pts
5. Lee Statham & Andy Paul 13pts.

Published in Flying Fifteen
Tagged under
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