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Very few sailors can ever have experienced anything comparable to the elation of discovering that their racing pride-and-joy has been declared “Boat of the Week” from within the 498-boat fleet at Ireland’s biggest regatta.

But this is what happened to David Gorman and Chris Doorly of the National Yacht Club when their clear overall victory in the large Flying Fifteen class was declared the event’s peak of achievement at the marathon prize-giving at the conclusion of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2019, making them unrivalled for the accolade of “Sailors of the Month (Senior)” for July.

Published in Sailor of the Month

It was just as if they had never been away! After a break from major championship racing in the Flying Fifteen, Graham Vials and Chris Turner sealed another UK Championship by winning the last two races on the final day in some style.

The results coming just a couple of months before the World Championships on Dublin Bay in September will be of keen interest to the Irish home fleet, yet only one Irish sailor managed to compete; Alan Green of the National Yacht Club crewing for former World Champion and regular Dublin Bay visitor, Charles Apthorp who finished 12th overall.

For the final days racing, Poole Bay delivered a typical July summer morning with warm sunny skies and a gentle NW offshore breeze that wafted down the racecourse in patches with an abundance of shifts.

The PRO set a 3 lap windward/leeward course with the usual target race time of 50 minutes. After one false start the fleet got underway at around 1230hrs. At the first windward mark it was the familiar blue spinnaker of Vials and Turner representing Derwent Reservoir/Lyme Regis SC, that popped out in front. They were closely followed by another multiple world f15 champion in Steve Goacher and crew Tim Harper from the Lake district. Steve and Tim were back on form today challenging and sometimes leading the champions elect, however they lost both races to Vials and Turner on the final lap.

Richard Lovering and Matt Alvarado (HISC/WYC) pulled through the fleet to take third ahead of Richard Whitworth and Ben Scroggie (Parkstone YC/Hollingworth Lake SC). Richard and Ben were the only team with a chance to usurp Vials and Turner and their 4th meant they had effectively conceded the championship lead.
Notably the first four boats each used different sailmakers!

The final race of the regatta took three attempts to start. Late wind shifts and a couple of recalls later, the final race was started around 1230hrs. This time the Goach popped out in the lead and held it throughout lap 1 but with Vials and Turner breathing down his neck. Behind them the race for the minor placings provided quite a tussle between another returning champion, Greg Wells, now sailing with Andrew Jameson, and Nathan Batchelor from Ovington Boats, sailing with Ricky Rigg and Hamish Mackay crewed by Andrew Lawson.

By lap 3 Vials and Turner had edged into a few boat lengths lead, sufficient to cover their opposition to the finish line. They cruised over the line for their fifth race win of the regatta and a clear margin of 18 points overall.

On the last lap, the Batchelor/Rigg combo pulled through to snatch second place from Wells/Jameson in third pushing Goacher/Harper back to fourth. Meanwhile, the battle for third overall was still in play, David Tabb and Chewey Sherrell (Parkstone YC) maintained top ten consistency all regatta to hold off the sprint finish of the Goach.

Bobby Salmond crewed by Will Morris won the Classic division in his f15 number 627. 

Top 6 overall of 47 boats

1. 4071 Graham Vials / Chris Turner - Derwent Reservoir/Lyme Regis SC - 19pts
2. 4020 Richard Whitworth / Ben Scroggie - Parkstone YC/Hollingworth Lake SC - 37pts
3. 4052 David Tabb / Chewey Sherrell - Parkstone YC - 49pts
4. 4021 Steve Goacher / Tim Harper - RWYC/WLSC - 52pts
5. 4002 Richard Lovering / Matt Alvarado - HISC/WYC - 55pts
6. 4030 Greg Wells / Andrew Jameson - Hayling Is SC - 55pts

Full results here

Published in Flying Fifteen
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Dublin Bay Flying Fifteen sailors at the National Yacht Club are preparing for the annual 'Facet Trophy' races on Dublin Bay next month, the venue for the Class World Championships this September.

Presented by Pat Shannon of Dun Laoghaire's Facet Jewellers, the trophy, first raced for in 2013, is competed for over the two DBSC races on the Bank Holiday weekend of Saturday 3rd August.

Shannon, who is also Vice Commodore of the Royal Irish Yacht Club, will present the prizes for second and third in the Flying Fifteen gold fleet too.

The Flying Fifteens boasted one of the biggest one-design classes of this month's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta. With 24-boats competing, the regatta winners, David Gorman and Chris Doorly also won the Volvo Boat of the Week trophy for their top performance. It was a great fillip for the Class in their World-Championship hosting year and a fitting acknowledgement of David and Chris’s domination of the fleet.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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In advance of the Subaru sponsored Flying Fifteen World Championships in Dun Laoghaire in September, the local fleet had the small matter of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta to attend to writes Cormac Bradley

Except, that in 2019, the event was no small matter with two short of five hundred boats entered across a wide range of Classes, from Zero all the way down to the Myths from Wales. In between there were, GP14s, sailing a Leinster Championship, Lasers, IDRA 14s, Wayfarers, Dragons, RS Elites, sailing a UK Nationals and twenty-four Flying Fifteens sailing on the waters that will host a Worlds that to date has an entry list in the high seventies.

A ten-race programme was on offer for the Fifteens over the four days of Thursday to Sunday with all but two of the races under the management of an International Race Officer and the other two under the management of a very popular National Race Officer who probably had the most challenging wind conditions of the entire four days. The Fifteens sailed on a different course each day, sharing Friday’s course with the 30+ fleet of RS Elites in which there were two Olympic medallists from the UK.

Thursday’s proceedings opened on a light winded Salthill course and a trapezoid course and the first bullet of the day went to a new combination of John O’Sullivan (Rhubarb, 3762), a former DLFF Class Captain, crewed by Adrian Cooper (Gulfstream, 3198). Second went to our second-youngest boat in the fleet, Tom Murphy’s “Fflagella”, 4057, crewed by Carel la Roux, and in third was David Gorman & Chris Doorly in “Betty” 3920.

If Race 1 was difficult for the fleet and the Race Officer alike, Race 2 was, even more, trying as the wind faded and came in from the completely opposite direction. The race winner was Peter Murphy, sailing “Hera”, 3774 and his win was not down to the vagaries of the wind. Gorman & Doorly finished second while third went to another combination who have come in from the Fireball Class, Frank Miller and Ed Butler, sailing “Glass Half Full”, 3845.

Thus, at the end of a difficult session, two boats were tied at the top of the table, Gorman and O’Sullivan, each carrying five points. Murphy slotted into third on nine points, just one ahead of Ben Mulligan and Cormac Bradley, “As Good as it Gets” 3688 carrying ten points, courtesy of 2 x 5th. Miller & Butler closed out the top five with thirteen points. O’Sullivan & Cooper took the prize of the day!

Friday saw the fleet sharing the course with the RS Elites with a programme of three Windward-Leeward races. The wind strength was much stronger than any of the forecasts suggested and a healthy day of racing ensued, with tired bodies hitting the shore later in the day. An error by the Race Management Team saw the first race extend to three laps of the course in an area just to the west of the approaches to the Liffey River and Dublin Port and while the RS Elites would seek redress for the error, the Flying Fifteens stoically sailed the three laps and let the results stand. Gorman & Doorly and Mulligan & Bradley hit the highs, with the former pair scoring 3 x 1st and the latter pair scoring 3,3,2, only losing to the former combination late on in the last race. Elsewhere, a good position for Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (“No Name” 4028) in Race 1 evaporated when the “soft shackle” on their jib sheets gave way, dropping them from a single digit position to 20th. They recovered later with a 6,4. Murphy & la Roux enjoyed a 4,2 in the latter two races but a 14th in Race 1 would have taken the shine off their day. Others who had to take the rough with the smooth included Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (“ffinisterre, 3753), scoring 2,7,10 while Niall Meagher & Nicki Matthews (ffantastic Mr Fox, 3912) put together a useful 9,5,9. Bodies were tired by the close of play on Friday afternoon. Gorman & Doorly took the day’s prize.

Saturday saw another course and another mix of classes on the start line. This time we were under the management of Volvo (Round the World) Race Officer, Bill O’Hara and a course area to the north of Dun Laoghaire harbour. Having got “their groove”, Gorman & Doorly saw a “perfect score day” slip away when they were beaten in the middle race of the day by Mulligan & Bradley who led from start to finish on another Windward-Leeward course. This result appeared to get them the day’s prize. To this, they added a 9,5 to consolidate second place overall after the day’s “close of play”. Needless to say; Gorman & Doorly were “untouchable” in 1st place overall. However, the attention now was all on 3rd place overall

Meagher & Matthews were in the “hot seat” with 45 points, followed by Court & the returning Conor O’Leary on 45.5, Colin & Casey on 46 and Miller & Butler on 47.5! All to play for!! With two races scheduled for the Sunday, the fleet were a bit more relaxed and ready to socialise on Saturday night.

Sunday saw the Fifteens move further north and a very busy race area where there were three starts ahead of them, two cruiser classes and “mixed sports-boats”. However, conditions were light, and this was the area closest to the ebb tide sweep out of the Liffey River. While the pre-race deliberations between some boats was that the tide would be even across the course this did not manifest itself in the racing. Two “sorties” up the right-hand side of the beat left Mulligan & Bradley with their worst score of the week, 12th, while others took advantage to post their best scores. David Mulvin and Ronan Bierne (Ignis Caput Duo, 4068) counted a 4,2 to jump up the rankings, Court & O’Leary counted an 8,3, Gerry Ryan & Peter Dolan (“No Name, 4045) scored a 3,7 and Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (Fandango, 3697) saved their best to last with a 5th in the lightest wind race of the entire regatta. After a poor third day, Murphy & la Roux redeemed themselves with a 2,9. Gorman & Doorly won the first one with some ease but had to come from behind to seal the race win in the second. Mulligan & Bradley also scored better in the last race with a 6th, to get back on track in consolidating 2nd overall. Others would be less satisfied – Meagher & Matthews scored a 9,12, Colin & Casey a 13,14 and Miller & Butler a 5,15. This combination of results across the four boats contesting 3rd place overall saw Court and O’Leary take the last podium spot.

Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2019

Co-hosted by DMYC, NYC, RIYC & RStGYC.

Flying Fifteens













David Gorman & Chris Doorly















Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley

As Good as it Gets














Alistair Court & Gordon Syme/Conor O’Leary















David Mulvin & Ronan Bierne

Ignus Caput Duo














Frank Miller & Ed Butler

Glass Half Full













At the formal prize-giving Tipperary Crystal prizes were awarded to the 1-2-3 and David Gorman and Chris Doorly won the “Best Boat of the Regatta” prize – a great fillip for the Class in their World-Championship hosting year and a fitting acknowledgement of David and Chris’ domination of a very competitive 24 -boat class. In David’s own words, “the points don’t reflect the tightness of the racing”.

To the organisers and our four-race officers; Harry Gallagher, Peter Crowley, Bill O’Hara and David Lovegrove – our thanks for a great four days!

Published in Flying Fifteen
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After five races sailed at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, Flying Fifteen National Champions David Gorman and Chris Doorly clearly broke the overnight points tie in their favour today when they won all three races to stamp their authority on the 24-boat fleet.

The National Yacht Club duo now lead the regatta by a cool 10-point margin at the halfway stage. 

Second overall is the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club's Ben Mulligan sailing with Cormac Bradley. Third is Fflagella, Tom Murphy and Carel La Roux also of the National Yacht Club.

Racing continues tomorrow.

Ben Mulligan 0881Ben Mulligan and Cormac Bradley are second overall

Tom Murphy 0900Tom Murphy and Carel La Roux are third

Published in Flying Fifteen

In one of the biggest one design fleets of the massive 500-boat of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, John O'Sullivan's Rhubarb leads the Flying Fifteens after two races.

In some neat sailing on the Salthill Course, O'Sullivan of the National Yacht Club scored a 1 and a 4 to lead club mates and FF National Champions David Gorman and Chris Doorly but they are tied on the same 5 points in the 24-boat fleet. Third is Peter Murphy in Hera, also from the NYC.

The One Design keelboat class is in warm-up mode for its Subaru-sponsored World Championships that will be staged on Dublin Bay in two months time.

Racing continues on Friday.

Tom Galvin 0866Tom and Eamonn Galvin lead at the first mark of Race Two Photo: Afloat

Flying Fifteen 0899Tom Murphy and Carel La Roux lead a bunch of boats at the weather mark Photo: Afloat

Ben Mulligan and Cormac BradleyBen Mulligan and Cormac Bradley set the pole Photo: Afloat

Neil Colin FF 0990DMYC's Neil Colin at the front of a pack of FFs downwind Photo: Afloat

Published in Flying Fifteen

County Antrim Yacht Club welcomed the return of the Flying Fifteen class on 22 and 23 June 2019 for their East Coast Championships.

21 boats with their crews arrived on Saturday morning to promising weather conditions. Race Officer Ruan O'Tiarnaigh, from Ballyholme Yacht Club, set a windward/leeward course in Whitehead Bay.

With steady SE winds averaging 12 knots, the three scheduled races were completed on Saturday afternoon. Results were tight at the end of the day, but with races one and two seeing multiple black flag recipients, competitors were anxious to put in the remaining races for the discard to kick in.

The Club put on a great meal and entertainment for competitors and members on Saturday evening.

Sunday afternoon's anticipated breeze only achieved 5 - 8 knots, dropping as the day went on. Two longer windward/leeward races were run, completing the series. Competitors returned to shore to be welcomed with refreshments while packing up and awaiting prizegiving.

As Afloat previously reported, in the Gold fleet, Andrew McCleery and Colin Dougan from Killyleagh Yacht Club took top honours in Ffantastic. Representing the National Yacht Club, David Gorman and Chris Doorly took second place with Hammy Baker and Peter Chamberland from Strangford Lough Yacht Club.

Ben Mulligan and Cormac Bradley from Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club took first place in the Silver fleet in As Good as it Gets. Second went to Alan Green and Keith Poole from the National Yacht Club, followed by Charlie Boland and Rob McConnell from Waterford Harbour Sailing Club in third.

A strong local presence in the Classic fleet saw very tight competition with only 2 points separating the top three boats, all of which represented County Antrim Yacht Club. Feeling Frisky took first place, sailed by Andrew Mitchell and Ben Ferris. Second went to Sheela and John Lewis, with third going to Rory McKenna and David McFarland.

All in all, it was a fantastic event, which received many compliments from competitors. County Antrim Yacht Club would like to thank Kingfisher Building and Bespoke Joinery for their generous sponsorship, Race Officer Ruan O'Tiarnaigh, Event Organiser Rory McKenna, Catering Organiser Marion Graham, and the large team of volunteers who contributed to the success of the event.

Download results below

Published in Flying Fifteen
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Northern Ireland's Andy McCleery and Colin Dougan were the winners of Sunday's East Coast Flying Fifteen Championships at County Antrim Yacht Club.

The NI pair tied with National Champions Dave Gorman and Chris Doorly of Dublin Bay going into the last race but McCleery and Dougan prevailed to win in very light airs.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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A 16-boat Flying Fifteen fleet had an interesting course that made use of the temporary replacement of Harbour mark and took us to a new mark that we haven’t visited for quite some time: Island.

The race proceeding commences in a lively wind that came out of the north-west and with the wind fighting the tide, there was the prospect of playing some nice waves under spinnaker.

At the outset, let me say that there will be several names missing from this report — three Fifteeners were on the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race but by the time of the DBSC start one of those had been forced into retirement.

Messrs Colin, Green and O’Leary had been riding bigger boats since 18:00 the previous evening but Colin’s steed had to pull in to Kilmore Quay with steering difficulties.

On our race course there were some new combinations out, or rather the usual combinations weren’t out. So, for example, Keith Poole helmed The Gruffalo, rather than crewing it. Niall Coleman (Flyer) had a new crew because Mick Quin is still on the injury list; Alan Balfe and Ken Dumpleton seemed to have changed crews; and Ben Mulligan took the evening off and was replaced by Glenn Fisher, making his Flying Fifteen helming debut. So, if in the course of this report, you aren’t named, it’s because I don’t have the names.

Dave Gorman and Chris Doorly (3920, Betty) made their initial break from the fleet off the start line where virtually everyone went inshore. They were the first to break onto port to make a bee-line for Harbour, broke away by a short distance, rounded Harbour first and were never headed again.

Behind them there was a reasonably tight cluster of Dave Mulvin and Ronan Bierne (4068, Ignis Caput Duo), Ken Dumpleton (3955, Rodriguez), Niall Coleman (4008, Flyer) Tom Murphy (4057, Fflagella) and Keith Poole (3864, The Gruffalo).

The leg from Harbour to East was the best of the night — good waves for the downwind spinnaker leg, good breeze and virtually everyone was in the company of an adjacent Fifteen to make sure there was competition down through the fleet.

The gybe at East to go inshore to Bulloch was deceptive and to a certain extent we all played ‘follow my leader’. As the blue spinnaker of Gorman and Doorly dropped, we all assumed it was too tight to hold the spinnaker to Bulloch — it wasn’t and about halfway down this leg the colours were broken out again.

Indeed, the middle of the fleet had more courage, and Hugh and Michael Cahill (3606, Frenetic) made huge gains by flying spinnaker from the off. Others who closed the gap included Frank Miller and Ed Butler (3845, Glass Half Full) with Brian O’Hare (4045, No Name) sticking with two sails to get himself back into the game.

From Bulloch, the fleet had a beat back up to Bay and it appeared that the inshore route to the mark was best. Having lost places in the rounding of Bulloch, Fisher and Bradley (3688, As Good as It Gets) hauled themselves back into the middle of the fleet again by working a slightly more offshore course, but a bit of conservatism at Bay allowed Ross Doyle & Cas (3737, Eleni) to sneak in ahead of them.

By now the wind was starting to ease and the leg to East and on again to Island were softer with much less dynamism. With a flooding tide, the choice should have been to stay low to Island, knowing that the tide would push you from left to right, but it was amazing to see so many boats upwind of the rhumb line to Island which made for a much slower approach to the mark.

From their comfort position at the head of the fleet, all that Gorman and Doorly needed to do was keep an eye on what the others were doing and there was a wide range of choice.

The majority of the fleet worked middle and left of the beat but by my reckoning, the boat with the name ‘Flyer’ took a flyer and went very hard right. It didn’t seem to pay as much as he might have liked. The beat to the finish was not easy as the wind was running out of puff, but there was still a slightly bumpy sea to negotiate.

Thursday 13th June – DBSC Thursdays 1

  1. Dave Gorman & Chris Doorly, 3920, Betty
  2. Ken Dumpleton & Crew, 3955, Rodriguez
  3. Dave Mulvin & Ronan Bierne, 4068, Ignis Caput Duo
  4. Tom Murphy & Crew, 4057, Fflagella
  5. Keith Poole & Crew, 3864, The Gruffalo
Published in DBSC
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The excitement is building for the first regional event of the year with the Flying Fifteen Northern Championships being hosted this weekend by Strangford Sailing Club. It is one of the first events to be held since the rebuilding of the clubhouse after a fire destroyed the premises last year and the class are delighted to have this event there where there has been an active and vibrant fleet of Fifteens since racing started on the Lough.

There is also a vibrant fleet within Strangford Lough and also along the northeast coast and with good numbers turning out at club racing a fleet of over 20 boats are expected. It is an important year for the class with the Subaru World Championships taking place in September so getting good racing in is a priority for this season.

As usual in this fleet, it is very hard to call the winner as the racing is always close and exciting and any of a number of boats could win. Locals Andy McCleery & Colin Dougan (PSC) will be one of the favourites knowing this patch of water so well along with other Strangford Lough crews including Roger Chamberlain & Charlie Horder (SLSC) along with Andy & Rory Martin (SLSC). A strong contingent is also travelling up from Dublin including current National Champions Dave Gorman & Chris Doorly (NYC) and Ian Mathews & Keith Poole (NYC). Tom Murphy and David Mulvin in their new boats will also be hoping to make an impression.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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