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Dublin Bay Sailing Club is already starting to plan its racing for the 2021 summer season next week and it's racing sub-committee is taking on board suggestions from the 22 different classes it provides racing for every Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday off Dun Laoghaire Harbour.

There have been many plaudits for how the umbrella racing organisation for all Dun Laoghaire's Yacht Clubs handled the massive changes in pandemic and, as it transpires, some of those changes appear to have taken root for 2021.

The Flying Fifteens, the club's biggest one-design class with a 20-boat fleet, has been asked to canvass members to carry forward the 2020 practice of setting courses over windward/leeward instead of traditional club courses.

"These were most enjoyable, simple to "navigate" and great fun", one senior FFer told Afloat.

"The old practice of struggling with course cards, bearings and damp writing materials, whilst at the same time attempting to steer clear of other boats in gusting breezes and choppy conditions are not routines I would look forward to next year having enjoyed the simplicity of this year's format", he added.

It remains to be seen, however, what transpires for DBSC 2021.

Laser dinghy class praise

DBSC's popular single-handed Laser dinghy class have also been quick to praise the club for how it handled this year's curtailed season and recently made a presentation to its DBSC race officer

Published in Flying Fifteen

Just as Ireland's one-design keelboat classes were gearing up for the last blast of the season this weekend, anticipated COVID-19 restriction hikes are threatening the staging of the annual regatta at Dromineer in County Tipperary.

Flying Fifteens, Dragons, Squibs and SB20s are all scheduled to compete.

Organisers of the traditional end of season freshwater regatta at Lough Derg Yacht Club (9-11th October) will be watching out for COVID-19 level announcements today. The much-anticipated hike in restrictions aired on Sunday night (NPHET advice for a countrywide Level Five lockdown) would bring the curtain down on the popular autumn event that typically sees boats travelling from Northern Ireland, Dublin, Cork and other ports for the three-day event.

Some of Dublin's One Design keelboat classes are hoping that current Level 3 restrictions due to expire this Friday will allow travelling out of the county for the last sail of the season. All Dublin club racing has been cancelled over the last three weeks due to the county-wide restrictions.

Lough Derg Yacht Club has posted a Notice of Race with the rider that the 'Club reserves the right to cancel this event with short notice and all fees will be refunded' if it cannot go ahead.

In Kinsale, Squibs were hauled out at the weekend in anticipation of the Squib Inland Championships that are being held as part of the Lough Derg event.

Published in Inland Waterways

With a nice southerly breeze, 19 Flying Fifteens hoisted their sails early morning for the last race of the Connemara league.

As Afloat reported previously, a rejuvenated fleet in County Galway is boasting one of the largest fleets in the country with up to 27 actively club racing. 

The course laid meant plenty of tacking down the bay rounding the cannon rock buoy and head for the finish line in the next neighbouring bay Cuan an fhir Mmhór where the finish line was in front of Caladh Thaidhg pier.

With good upwind sailing out of Casla Bay came a split in the fleet with the western side of the bay paying off. Leading at the Mark was Ronán O Briain (Ffingers crossed IRL 3588) closely followed by his cousin Niall O'Brien (Mind over Matter IRL 275) in third was Martin Griffin (Havoc IRL 3145). Next came the leader of the eastern boats, Christopher Griffin (Fraoch Geal IRL 3383) a couple of boat lengths behind.

With the wind freshening and spinnakers flying the reach to Caladh Thaidhg was swift. There was no change at the top of the leaderboard as they crossed the line in front of several spectators gathered along the shore.

Race 1 results top 6

  1. Ronán O'Briain (Fingers crossed IRL 3588)
  2. Niall O'Brien (Mind over matter IRL3275)
  3. Martin Griffin (Havoc IRL 3145)
  4. Christopher Griffin (Fraoch Geal IRL 3383)
  5. Cian&liam O'Conghaile (user-friendly IRL 3397)
  6. Micheál O'Conghaile (Stork GBR 3403)

The boats gathered again, and the second race was ready for the off for the return journey home. Niall o Brien got off to a great start and was leading at the mouth of the bay, followed closely by Martin Griffen, Ronan o Briain and Clíona ní Bhriain (Simply red IRL 3203) once past the turning mark at cannon rock the spinnakers started to go up, and the standings changed.

Race 2 results top 6

  1. Ronán O'Brien (Fingers crossed IRL3588)
  2. Niall O'Brien (Mind over matter IRL 3275)
  3. Micheál O'Conghaile (Stork GBR 3403)
  4. Martin Griffin ( Havoc IRL 3145)
  5. Cian & Liam O Conghaile (User-friendly IRL 3397)
  6. Cliona O'Brien (Simply Red IRL 3203)

The league results and prizes were given on the pier afterwards.

With the 2020 league top six finishers as follows:

Overall winner 2020

  1. Niall o Brien (Mind over matter IRL 3275)
  2. Cian & Liam o Conghaile (User-friendly IRL 3397)
  3. Martin Flaherty (The Real thing IRL 3108)
  4. Martin Griffin. (Havoc IRL 3145)
  5. Ronán o Brien (Fingers crossed IRL 3588)
  6. Cliona o Brien (Simply Red IRL 3203 )
Published in Flying Fifteen
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The Irish Flying Fifteen East Coasts championships scheduled for tomorrow at the National Yacht Club is another Dublin Bay event that has been subject to a last-minute cancellation this evening.

The event, previewed here, was only the second championship of the COVID-hit season for the 20-foot keelboat class. 

NYC hosts were expecting a fleet of 20 boats for the championships that joins three other Dublin sailing events to be scratched this weekend under the new Level Three rules that apply to Dublin city and county from midnight.

Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen fleet's David Mulvin told the class: "Unfortunately Covid 19 has caused the cancellation of the event. With the Level 3 rules Irish Sailing has changed its opinion and has cancelled all sailing series for 3 weeks".

Mulvin also expressed the hope that the class will be in a position to sail by October 10th when the class heads for Lough Derg and the end of season Freshwater Regatta at Dromineer in County Tipperary.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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There is always a danger with putting together an article of this sort! People who are omitted from the assessment could be offended! Assumptions that people will be in attendance may be unfounded! So, in the best interests of putting together an assessment that enhances the reputation of a very competitive class and therefore promotes the class, I apologise in advance to those who might feel they have been left out of this runners and riders of this weekend's Flying Fifteen East Coast Championships at the National Yacht Club.

One person (singular) who can't be offended by being left out is Ian Mathews, who has returned to his place of work and will not be sailing………but that is not to suggest that "The Gruffalo", 3864 will not be on the water with Keith Poole.

"The Gruffalo", 3864 will on the water with Keith Poole but Ian Mathews is away"The Gruffalo", 3864 will on the water with Keith Poole but Ian Mathews (left) is away

From a Dun Laoghaire perspective, there is always the sense that because we have a large fleet of Fifteens "in-situ" we should be better prepared for fleet racing when the regattas come around. Our "out of town cousins" are quite happy to undo that sense of preparedness by upsetting our applecart on our home waters of Dublin Bay. However, with new boats in the fleet and one new combination on the water this weekend, maybe the DL fleet is the best place to start.

Over the past two weekends we have had the Captain's Prize (12th Sept)) and the NYC's 150th Anniversary Race Day (5th Sept) which both had good turnouts. So, these would be a good starting point!

For the Captain's Prize, the clear winners were Shane McCarthy & Chris Doorly (Frequent Flyer, 3970) with two race wins, the first by a comfortable margin and the second with a small element of Sir Alex Ferguson's "squeaky-bum" time when the chasing boats got close to them at the second weather mark. Saturday's weather looks similar to what we enjoyed last weekend, so I am going to state that I expect this combination to be knocking at the podium's door. Not too far behind them in the queue to gain access to the podium are John Lavery and Alan Green (Phoenix, 4083). They were 3rd overall in the Captain's Prize and won the NYC 150th Race Day after the fourth iteration of the results was declared as the final result! Add in the fact that they won the 4-race Nationals in Dunmore East and their collective pedigrees in Fifteens and they must be in the frame. However, they have not had everything their own way in the Dublin Bay "skirmishes". Still, class will always out! Another consistent contender over the past two Saturdays in conditions that heretofore they would not consider to be their favourite is the combination of Neil Colin and Margaret Casey (Ffuzzy, 4028). They were second overall on both Saturdays, so can't be discounted in the DL pecking order. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley will enjoy the more robust winds and over the past two weekends found themselves occupying larger proportions of their race time and the sharp end of the fleet in the new boat, Enfant de Marie, 4081. The new boat is so well set up (by Phil Evans) that they have quickly got into their stride and were in good company these past two Saturdays. Another combination who have been sailing well and seem to have found consistent boat speed is David Mulvin and Ronan Beirne (Ignus Caput Duo, 4068). Their results in DBSC Thursdays have seen them finish third overall.

Alistair Court & Conor O'Leary (Ffinisterre, 3753)Alistair Court & Conor O'Leary (Ffinisterre, 3753)

Other boats who may be just a little bit off the podium places include Alistair Court & Conor O'Leary (Ffinisterre, 3753) and Tom Murphy with Karl (Fflagella, 4057). On their day, either of these two could upset the "perceived" pecking order. Sunday looks a bit lighter which means the likes of Niall Meagher & Nicki Mathews (The Ffantastic Mr Fox, 3938) have a distinct advantage over some of the heavier crews. And it would never do to discount Niall Colman (Flyer, 4008) or Ken Dumpleton (Rodriques, 3955).

Ken Dumpleton and John McNeily (Rodriques, 3955)Ken Dumpleton (left) and John McNeilly (Rodriques, 3955)

From outside the "pale" there are serious contenders from both Northern Ireland and the SE corner of Ireland.

Stephen Kane (left) and Peter KennedyStephen Kane (left) and Peter Kennedy

Taking the "northerners" first, a number of names come to mind – Rory & Andy Martin (Feckin Hallion, 3974), Peter Kennedy (3920), Bryan Willis & John McPeake (Simply Gold, 4074), Roger Chamberlain (Final Resort, 3962) and Andy McCleary & Colin Dougan (4013).

Andy McCleary & Colin Dougan (4013)Andy McCleary & Colin Dougan (4013)

Roger ChamberlainRoger Chamberlain (Final Resort, 3962)

Peter Kennedy bought 3920 after a hugely successful 2019 in the hands of Dave Gorman & Chris Doorly, when among other Class successes, they won the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Boat of the Regatta. Kennedy's Olympic reputation (Seoul 1988 and Barcelona 1992) makes him a podium candidate every time he takes to the water and add to that a third at the Dunmore East Nationals. The Martin Brothers are perpetually at the front end of the fleet and were the first Irish boat overall at the Worlds in DL in September. Andy & Bryan will also make a point of mixing it with the front end of the fleet so they can't be discounted.

From the SE, we have to look at Lee Statham and Andy Paul (Trigger's Brush, 3896) who finished second at the Nationals in home waters.

Rory & Andy Martin (Feckin Hallion, 3974)Rory & Andy Martin (Feckin Hallion, 3974)

So, the most dangerous paragraph is the penultimate one – a declaration of the likely favourites. With apologies to those who don't get into this paragraph, I am going with a top-five (not in order) of; McCarthy & Doorly, Lavery & Green, Kennedy, Martin Brothers, Statham & Paul. Others who will get in the mix in individual races are; Colin, Mulligan, Mulvin, Chamberlain, McCleary and Murphy.

What must be borne in mind this is based on DL racing, a reduced Nationals fleet and the fact that this is only the second regatta of the season.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen Class Captain, Neil Colin of the DMYC, declared that his Captain's Prize would be contested on Saturday (past) with both races to count and no discards applying. In the case of a tie, the second race result would be used. 

A new combination, in 3970, was on the water as a preamble to next weekend's East Coast Championships, due to be hosted by the National Yacht Club. Shane MacCarthy is more closely associated with the GP14 Class in summer, the Solo in winter and the Solo in evening sessions on the water by himself. For Saturday's racing, he was crewed by Chris Doorly who needs no introduction to those who follow the Flying Fifteen Class. He is the current Irish Class President and like Shane & GP14s, Chris is synonymous with Flying Fifteens.

Fourteen boats were on the start line with the "who's who" of the DL fleet in attendance – both new boats in the fleet, 4081 & 4083, with Messrs Mulligan and Lavery on the respective helms, 4068 (Mulvin), 4057 (Murphy), 4028 (Colin), 4008 (Colman), 3995 (Balfe), 3955 (Dumpelton) 3938 (Meagher), 3927, 3913 (Coughlan), 3753 (Court), 3621 (Mulvin)

The weather forecast was favourable with high winds from early morning scheduled to die off a bit during the early afternoon before rising again, but only after racing was finished. On the way out to the course, the wind was in the south-west, but one got the sense that there was the odd flick southwards. That suggested, with an incoming tide, that going shore-wards, would be the way to go, especially if a southwards shift in the breeze prompted a port tack lift into the mark. And so; the author and his helm found themselves at the committee boat end of the start line going to the right-hand side of the course and like Thursday night past, the header that became ever more critical to get out of gaol, simply never arrived.

They weren't the only ones to go to the right! Joe Coughlan and Andrew (3913) went so far right they nearly needed to re-engage passport control at the harbour mouth and were rewarded by steaming in ahead of Mulligan, though both were well down the pecking order. MacCarthy & Doorly (3970) stole a march on the fleet by working the middle of the course and by the weather mark, off the Martello Tower at the forty-foot, had carved out a comfortable lead that was never threatened! Behind them, there was a tight race in the favourable winds with some gusts presenting a few challenges. The majority of the chasing bunch came from the left or left-middle and consisted of Niall Meagher & Nicki Mathews (3938), John Lavery & Alan Green (4083), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028) and David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (4068). The leaders and majority of the chasing bunch went down the RHS of the run but some of the chasing boats behind them went left and that allowed them to close. All boats had at least two gybes to get to the leeward mark, but all were completed safely and there was no place changing. Mulligan improved his position on the down-wind leg allowing him to close on those ahead of him, but no places were gained. Nobody did anything too radical for the remainder of the race, that I can recall, so the finishing order became; MacCarthy, Meagher, Colin, Mulvin (D), Colman, Dumpelton, Mulligan, Court, and Coughlan.

 

There was no obvious change to the course for Race 2. Yet again, MacCarthy/Doorly were the first to show up the beat, but their advantage over the rest of the fleet wasn't as comfortable. More people twigged that the way to sail the beat was left to middle, including Mulligan and Coughlan! However, that also meant that the racing at the front end of the fleet was tighter with Lavery, Mulligan, Colin and Court well up and pushing each other. Now there was a little more inconsistency in the breeze and a bit more movement. The new boats were in close company for a large percentage of the race and both Colin and Court were close enough to take advantage of any slip-ups they made. Again, there was a difference of opinion on how to play the runs and this would make for the biggest place change in the race. Up the second beat and suddenly MacCarthy looked catchable – Lavery and Mulligan were getting closer, particularly as they came in from the RHS at the latter end of the beat and MacCarthy seemed to be struggling to get back right. They did get out of gaol however and led the fleet down the second run. Lavery and Mulligan gybed on the spreader mark to stay on the LHS of the run and were in close enough company to warrant each keeping an eye on the other. Colin & Casey, however, did a conventional rounding and stayed hard right…………to leave Lavery and Mulligan far behind in their wake, the latter two never getting close to Colin.

It left the finishing order as; MacCarthy, Colin, Lavery, Mulligan, Court, Meagher, Mulvin (D), Coughlan, Dumpelton and Colman. As this was a two-race series, an overall result is offered, as follows;

Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteens Captain's Prize

A short socially distanced prize-giving was held at the National Yacht Club where the leading three boats were awarded their prizes.

The action moves more completely to the National Yacht Club next weekend (19th/20th) as they host the two-day East Coast Championships with a five-race schedule. Also scheduled for the Saturday evening is the Class AGM. In addition to the Dun Laoghaire fleet, visitors are expected from Northern Ireland, (Belfast Lough and Strangford Lough) and Dunmore East in the SE corner of Ireland.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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On the last midweek night of the DBSC season – truncated by a delayed start but extended by two weeks, both due to the understandable restrictions imposed by Covid-19, thirteen Flying Fifteens enjoyed a genteel night on Dublin Bay.

The first start was abandoned due to a General Recall with IRO Con Murphy adjusting the pin to allow the fleet away at the second time of asking. A variety of approaches were adopted for the first beat, Mulligan & Bradley (4081), Murphy (4057), Dumpelton (3955), Mulvin & Beirne (4068) and Mr & Mrs Colman (4008) all favouring a RHS approach. Colin & Casey (4028), Green & Mathews (3970) working the middle and the balance working the LHS. Hugh Meagher with dad Niall (3938) crewing was also giving it a go on the LHS.

Mulligan & Bradley were struggling a little bit on the RHS, but some judicious tacks and a couple of lifts got them out of trouble and into a favourable position in the RHS bunch. However, the first to round the weather mark, an inflatable located in the approximate location of Bay was Colin & Casey. They had a few boat-lengths to spare over the chasing bunch of Green, Dumpelton, Ryan (4045) Mulligan and Mulvin. Ryan and Dumpelton had a difference of opinion on how the former rounded the weather mark and they went right to get that resolved!

After spinnakers were hoisted for the downwind led to Molly, the breadth of the fleet was quite significant. Spotting Colin gybing ahead, Mulligan did the same and held the port-tack course to deep down the down-wind leg. It paid dividends as they closed on Colin in terms of distance to the mark even if they were on opposite sides of the rhumb line. Green and Murphy were lurking with intent behind these two but there was a bit of distance between the lead two and the others. By the leeward mark, Mulligan was able to claim the lead and went right up the second beat. Colin tacked off and favoured a middle and left approach. The further right he went the more Mulligan got lifted and the closer Colin got. By the weather mark, Colin had restored a healthy lead and while Mulligan was still comfortable in second, he now had to watch Green/Mathews and Fraser/Gabriel (3790) either side of him. Mulligan again gybed out to the left-hand side of the run, but the dividends weren't as generous this time round.

Colin rounded the leeward mark in a comfortable and clear position while Mulligan had to be wary of SB20s (Smoke on the Water) and Glens – a hail of water being used to confirm his right to be where he was relative to a Glen. For Mulligan the challenge was now to keep Green/Mathews behind him; and a slightly late spinnaker drop by Green helped in that regard. Mulligan went left after a short port tack hitch away from the leeward mark. Green worked the RHS but was unable to close the gap.

  1. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey; 4028 Ffuzzy, DMYC
  2. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley; 4081 Enfant de Marie, DMYC
  3. Alan Green & Nicki Mathews; 3970 Frequent Flyer, NYC
  4. Niall & Susan Colman; 4008 Flyer, NYC
  5. Fraser & Gabriel; 3790, NYC

DBSC has posted the series results with the conclusion of tonight's race.

  1. Alan Green & Chris Doorly/Nicki Mathews; 3970 Frequent Flyer, 11pts
  2. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey; 4028 Ffuzzy, 17pts
  3. David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne; 4068 Ignis Caput Duo, 22pts
  4. Niall & Susan Colman; 4008 Flyer, 25pts
  5. Alistair Court & Conor O'Leary; Ffinisterre, 28pts.

"Fifteeners" are reminded that the National Yacht Club will host the East Coast Championships on the weekend of 19th/20th September and Neil Colin's Captain's Prize will be contested this Saturday – both races to count, no discard, tie-break on the outcome of the second race.

Published in Flying Fifteen

For a Class that has been synonymous with the National Yacht Club, for a significant period of time, – there are seventeen Flying Fifteens parked on the deck – it was entirely appropriate that there should be a good turnout for the celebration of the 150th Anniversary of the Club. Thirteen boats from the host club were joined by two from the DMYC and one from the RStGYC for the three-race event on Saturday past.
XCWeather was forecasting 12- 15 knots with gusts in the 18/19 range and that was an accurate assessment of what was enjoyed on the water. Wind direction was slightly north of west and that wasn't too far of the mark either.

International Race Officer Con Murphy and his team were able to give his charges – SB20s, Sportsboats, Dragons, Fifteens, Ruffians and Shipmans a good-length beat with two laps for each race.

The consensus view as to go left off the first start line towards the shore and by halfway up the beat it was apparent that Ian Mathews and Keith Poole (3864, The Gruffalo) were going to be the boat to catch. By the rounding of the first weather mark they had a comfortable lead and could watch the peloton chasing them with some comfort. The peloton consisted of John Lavery & Alan Green (4803, Phoenix), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028, Ffuzzy), Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley (4801, Enfant de Marie), and Alistair Court & Conor O'Leary (3753, Ffinnisterre). While Mathews & Poole were undisturbed after the first weather mark, Lavery, Colin and Mulligan found themselves in reasonably close company for the balance of the race, before finishing in the order, Lavery, Colin, Mulligan, Court, behind Mathews.

Mulligan & Bradley led the second race to the first weather mark and enjoyed the same position down the first downwind leg. However, Lavery & Green were lurking and towards the last third of the second beat, they took the lead and applied a loose cover on Mulligan to the second weather mark. Behind these two Colin & Casey were having an excellent day sitting in third place with Niall Meagher & Nicki Mathews (3938, The Ffantastic Mr Fox) appearing well up the pecking order. Tom Murphy & Karl (4057, Fflagella) were also part of the peloton chasing the lead pair. Mathews & Poole were conspicuous by their absence and they would eventually finish in 9th place. Ahead of them, the finishing order was Lavery, Mulligan, Colin, Meagher and Murphy.

For the final race of the day, Mathews & Poole got the "bit between their teeth" to quote my helm and repeated the performance of the first race, storming into a first-leg lead that they never relinquished. Colin & Casey were also well up the order in a podium place, enjoying the fresh conditions. Murphy too had an excellent star and first beat to establish a place at the head of the fleet. Lavery found himself having to chase the lead boats to get into the race and he and Mulligan joined the bunch chasing Mathews. Throughout the race, the two new boats were either crossing tacks or watching each other down the offwind legs and in the second run down to the leeward mark a poor gybe by Bradley saw Lavery park his bow very close to Mulligan's transom. This was enough to give Lavery an incentive to chase Mulligan into the finish-line upwind of the committee boat and with the boats overlapped on the finish line, Lavery got the nod to finish fourth, behind Mathews, Colin and Murphy.

With no formal prize-giving for the day, the DMYC boats, Colin and Mulligan headed westwards and tried to work out the overall results for the day – the debate being – Was a discard applicable or not? The first iteration of an overall result had an incorrect result for Lavery and a discard applying. That gave the regatta win to Mathews & Poole (1, 1) versus 1,4 for Lavery, 2,3 for Colin and 2,4 for Mulligan.

Then the correction was applied to Lavery's first race result giving him back his second place. With a discard applying Mathews was still in pole position, but Lavery jumped to second, with Colin down to third.

But if all races were to count, the result changed again with Lavery taking pole position (2, 1, 4), Colin second (3,3,2), Mathews third (1,9,1) and Mulligan fourth (4,2,5).

It appears the NoR may have specified the discard rule for "less than three races" and "more than three races", but not for the actual three races sailed.

But for the purposes of this report the results (of the races) are;

  1. John Lavery & Alan Green, NYC; 4083, Phoenix: 2, 1, 4
  2. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey, DMYC; 4028, Ffuzzy: 3, 3, 2
  3. Ian Mathews & Keith Poole, NYC; 3864, The Gruffalo: 1, 9, 1
  4. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley, DMYC; 4081, Enfant de Marie: 4, 2, 5
  5. Tom Murphy & Karl, NYC: 4057, Fflagella: 9, 5, 3

IRO Con Murphy gave us an excellent day's racing and post the event many people noted how physical the day had been – but in a very pleasurable way!

Published in Flying Fifteen

Flying Fifteen International has announced Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy in the UK, has been selected as the venue for the 2023 FFI World Championship to be sailed between 12 - 25 August 2023.

The Weymouth and Portland National Sailing Academy is a world-class sailing venue based on the Isle of Portland in Dorset, UK. The location provides easy access to Portland Harbour and Weymouth Bay, arguably some of the best sailing waters in the world.

Peter Allam of WPNSA commented,  "We are delighted to have been awarded the opportunity to host the 2023 Flying Fifteen World Championship. We hope that our facilities, with access to some of the best sailing waters in the world and all situated on the World Heritage status Jurassic Coastline, will encourage record numbers to participate.  Our aim is to run an international regatta in tandem with the world championship where we hope to see fleets of Silver & Classic Flying Fifteens participate, making the occasion inclusive for as many members of the global Flying Fifteen community who would like to attend. We very much look forward to welcoming you in 2023!"

WPNSA has operated on the waters of Portland Harbour and Weymouth Bay for over 20 years and has been privileged to host multiple major international and national championships, for a wide variety of classes. The hosting of the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic sailing events were a significant milestone, the legacy from which has created a pool of highly experienced volunteers supported by the equally experienced professional staff of WPNSA.

As a venue WPNSA has access to multiple racecourses enabling the centre to offer more Flying Fifteen sailors the opportunity to compete at the event. The location of WPNSA provides quick access to the sheltered waters of Portland Harbour. This racecourse is ideal for the Classic Fleet World Championship races and also for the International Championship, enabling Flying Fifteen sailors with older boats and those that have not qualified for the World Championship, an opportunity to be involved. This provides a chance for club sailors to compete at a first class sailing venue and socialise with the best Flying Fifteen sailors in the world.

The revised schedule of European and World Championships is as follows:

  • The deferred 2020 European Championship will be sailed at École Navale, Lanvéoc-Poulmic, Brest, France between 13 -15 May 2021.
  • The 2022 Flying Fifteen World Championship to be sailed at Fremantle, Western Australia in February 2022, deferred from 2021 due to Covid-19. 
  • 2022 also sees the 75th Anniversary of the Flying Fifteen Class and will be celebrated between 20 - 26 August 2022 at Cowes Corinthian YC, Isle of Wight, UK. This regatta will also be a European Championship.
  • The 2023 Flying Fifteen World Championship to be sailed at Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy in the UK, from 12 - 25 August 2023.
Published in Flying Fifteen
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A rejuvenated Flying Fifteen fleet in Connemara, County Galway is boasting one of the largest fleets in the country with up to 27 actively club racing. 

Sailing takes place in clear blue seas and lovely scenery in Casla Bay from Sruthan pier in the heart of the Connemara Gaeltacht. 

Amazingly, there are a few boats still around from when the class originally arrived in Carraroe over 22 years ago. For example, Dun Laoghaire's The Real Thing, the 1988 British Championship winner sailed by Gerry Donleavy, (number 3108) is still an active racer.  3145 Havoc and 3203 Simply Red are both with the same owners. 

Since the mid-noughties, however, fleet numbers dwindled and at one point there was only a handful sailing to pass the time on summer evenings. A few attempts to revive the class over the years were made but it wasn't until the class started a local Facebook page in 2018 that the club grew from eight to 27 Flying Fifteens at present!

Flying Fifteen sailing takes place in Casla Bay from Sruthan pier Flying Fifteen sailing takes place in Casla Bay from Sruthan Pier

The introduction of a number of young people has added to the interest and helped to bring the numbers of boats up.

The current sailors range in age from 14 to around 60 so there is a large span of experience.

The Connemara Flying Fifteen fleet now numbers 27 boatsThe Connemara Flying Fifteen fleet now numbers 27 boats

The boats range from around 15 years old, from numbers in the IRL3600s, to the oldest at over 30 years, IRL1250.

Since the move to promote online, the demand for Flying Fifteens has increased and more local people wanting to join up.

The club has a summer league with two races sailed every Friday evening no matter what conditions they are keen to get out and compete.

The club is still in its infancy but it is ambitious and, according to spokesman Chris Higgins, it is a goal to be able to host an Irish Flying Fifteen West Coast championships – or even national championships – on the West Coast in the future.

The Connemara Flying Fifteens have ambitions to stage the Irish National Championships in the futureThe Connemara Flying Fifteens have ambitions to stage the Irish National Championships in the future 

Published in Flying Fifteen
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