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Displaying items by tag: Flying fifteen

Scottish club Royal Northern & Clyde Yacht Club is keen to recruit Irish Flying Fifteen entries for its staging of the UK National Championships from 24th - 27th June 2021.

Ireland has a strong tradition of attending the UK event, particularly when staged in Scotland and convenient for Northern Ireland fleets at Belfast and Strangford Loughs.

Royal Northern & Clyde says the hope is that Covid-19 restrictions will have been relaxed or even lifted by the time of the Nationals that could reasonably expect a fleet of 50 boats or more. 

The Argyll and Bute based club is basing its planning on the assumption that either of the two lowest tiers in Scotland may still apply.

Ireland has past Flying Fifteen success on the Clyde with Dun Laoghaire's Gerry Donleavy from the National Yacht Club sailing 'The Real Thing', the last Irish winner of the UK title in 1988.

Published in Scottish Waters
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The Flying Fifteen Association of Ireland (FFAI) hosted their delayed AGM on the Zoom platform last Wednesday night (13th Jan) with a virtual attendance from Dun Laoghaire, Strangford Lough and Dunmore East and, refreshingly, Galway, where there is a significant fleet of boats. In all, there was an attendance of just over twenty people, including our Middle East Representative (and Treasurer) who was home on a short break from his posting in warmer climes.

Current Class President, Chris Doorly opened the meeting by welcoming everyone and proceeded to give a synopsis of the season, noting at the outset that the impact of Covid 19 had decimated the regatta schedule with the Championship of Ireland, hosted by Waterford Harbour Sailing Club in Dunmore East one of the few to be sailed. This reduced race Championship was won in a heavy weather weekend by John Lavery and Alan Green sailing their new 2020 boat after the Friday and Saturday racing had to be abandoned. We also managed to sail the single-day regatta that commemorated the 150th Anniversary of the National Yacht Club. This regatta had some "fun and games" in determining the overall result due to a varying number of interpretations of the numbers of races to count. All the other regattas for the season were lost.

Full Flying Fifteen fixture list for 2021

A full suite of regattas is scheduled for 2021 with events in Dun Laoghaire, Galway, Strangford and Lough Derg. Additionally, the Class will support the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, split this year over two weekends at the start of July in anticipation of the need to dilute the crowd numbers and to encourage more classes to attend. At this stage, there is no commitment to sail a ranking event as part of VDLR but that may be subject to change. (The regatta schedule has already been published on the Afloat website here and is on the Flying Fifteen website.)

In the past few months, the Class Constitution has been subject to a long-overdue review and a new draft Constitution was circulated before the meeting with a view to having it adopted by the Class. This prompted a lively discussion on membership, in particular, with some concerns expressed on the classes of membership and the rights accumulating to the proposed classes. The mechanism by which Association membership monies are collected also featured in the discussion. Concern was expressed on the implications of not having a quorum at meetings. Chris Doorly acknowledged the value of the discussion and agreed that further consideration of the Constitution would be given.

An update on finances confirmed that the Class is in a healthy position, despite the lack of regatta activity during the season.

New Flying Fifteen Class Officers

Having served a three-year team as Class President, Chris Doorly confirmed that he was standing down and welcomed Andrew (Hammy) Baker as the new President. Hammy sails out of Strangford Lough and he was also congratulated on his new position as High-Performance Coach with RYA Northern Ireland. Other officers confirmed on the night were; Ian Mathews, Treasurer, David Mulvin, Secretary, Ben Mulligan, Fixtures Secretary, Alan Green, FFI Representative and Messrs Martin (Rory) and Bradley appointed to PR and website support.

Classic Flying Fifteen Division

Under AOB, it was proposed that a Classic Division be accommodated at the Galway event and the Galway hosts gave a brief update on their plans for the regatta and the facilities that are available.

A straw poll was taken to determine interest in attending the next Worlds in Freemantle, Australia, postponed by a year to 2022 due to Covid. The early indication is that a container may be required for the Irish contingent.

The Class website is undergoing an overhaul and is expected to be operational by the end of January.

Roger Chamberlain proposed a vote of thanks to Chris Doorly for his term as Class President and the other officers of the Association were likewise thanked. Best wishes were afforded to the incoming President who said he would do his best to follow in the style of his predecessor.

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Dun Laoghaire's buoyant Flying Fifteen class is getting behind the new format Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2021 One Design event scheduled for July

With two boats already entered five months before the event, Class Captain Neil Colin of the DMYC is encouraging the Bay's Flying Fifteen sailors and those in other fleets around the country to put the Dun Laoghaire Harbour event in the diary. 

As regular Afloat readers will know, in order to facilitate social distancing and be Covid-19 compliant, a new regatta format will comprise a One Design Championship (2nd – 4th July 2021) specifically tailored for sailors in the one-design keelboat and dinghy classes. 

Preparations are off to a flying start with nine of the expected 22 racing classes already declaring regional or national championships to be held as part of the biennial sailing festival.

The Flying Fifteens have two entries so far, Neil Colin's own FFuzzy from the Dún Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club and Niall Meagher's Ffantastic Mr Ffox from the National Yacht Club.

Traditionally, the FFers are big supporters of the Dun Laoghaire Regatta with a fleet of 24 boats mustered for the 2019 event and NYC duo David Gorman and Chris Doorly won the overall prize for the best one-design performance of the event.

Published in Flying Fifteen

The Irish Flying Fifteen class AGM will now be held this week on Wednesday, January 13th and not January 14 as previously notified.

As Afloat reported earlier, the 2021 Irish fixtures for one of Ireland's most popular one-designs were published ahead of the class AGM that see the fleet sail in Connemara in May

The main FF fleets are based at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, Strangford Lough and Casla Bay in Connemara with activity also out of Dunmore East.

Flying Fifteen AGM 2020 agenda

  • Minutes of Previous meeting and matters arising.
  • Apologies.
  • FFAI Presidents report
  • World Championship report
  • FFAI Constitution review
  • Finance report
  • Election of Officers to Committee
  • AOB
Published in Flying Fifteen
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The Flying Fifteen class will move to support a growing Gaeltacht-based fleet by staging its 2021 West Coast Championships at Rossaveal in County Galway next May. 

The 2021 Irish fixtures for one of Ireland's most popular one-designs were published ahead of the class AGM to be held next January 14. 

The main fleets are based at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, Strangford Lough and Casla Bay in Connemara with activity also out of Dunmore East.

2021 Irish Flying Fifteen calendar:

  • West Coast Championships, Rossaveal, May 23/24
  • Championships of Ireland, Whiterock, August 27/29
  • East Coasts, National Yacht Club September 18/19
  • South Coasts, Lough Derg Yacht Club October 9/10

There may also be an extra event in the North of Ireland subject to confirmation at a later date.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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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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