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Andy & Rory Martin (SLYC) sailed a near perfect series counting four firsts in windy conditions in winning the Flying Fifteen East Coast Championships at Ballyholme Yacht Club on the south shore of Belfast Lough. As this was the first in the qualifying series for next year there was a good turn out of 22 boats from around the country.

There were three races on Saturday, in their eagerness the fleet had a general recall in the first start. The Martins were quick out of the blocks but a number of boats all converged at the weather mark together. On the next lap places changed hands but eventually settled with Martin winning, McKee second and Gorman third.

In race two the Martins led all the way to take the gun, Chamberlain was second with McCleery third and Gorman a close fourth. The wind was still strong from the south for race three with the outgoing tide not really having a big impact. Crews were tiring at this stage but the thoughts of the club BBQ kept them going! A cluster of boats arrived at the weather mark but Gorman nipped inside and took the lead downwind, a lead he extended to the finish to take the gun, Willis & McPeak were second with McKee third. The Martins had gear failure during the race and had to retire.

"The Martins had gear failure during the race and had to retire"

After three races Gorman & Doorly led overnight from McKee and Chamberlain but when the discard kicked in then the Martins would be back in the mix.

A great BBQ was provided by the club and the evening finished with most of the travellers visiting and touring the old RUYC which was founded over 150 years ago.

For Sunday more breeze was forecast, still from the south. It was blowing hard at 23knots with gusts of 28 knots. The PRO put up the AP to delay and see if the winds would settle. It was an interesting scenario if sailing was abandoned Gorman would win, if we went out Martins were likely to win in the big breeze. But we were here to sail and the winds settled to a steady 20knots plus and out we went.

Race 4 was close as usual but the Martins continued their good form and led all the way, Harrison and Green were in contention on the first lap but on lap 2 Gorman was working hard and moved into second place chasing the Martins but that’s how it stayed to the finish line. Green & Bracken (NYC) who were having a great event were third followed very closely by Mathews.

Race 5, the final race! Gorman could still win if the Martins had a poor race and finished below fifth. But it wasn’t to be as the Martins showed their best form in the conditions to win the last race while Gorman had to retire with gear failure at the first windward mark. Gorman finished second overall with McCleery & Dougan third. The Silver Fleet was won by Stuart Harrison & Tim Sheard (LNYC) and the bronze by Alan Balfe & John Whelan (NYC).

It is the class’s first visit in a long time to the club that had a thriving Fifteen fleet in days gone by, it was a successful return with great racing provided by PRO David McMullen and great hospitality.
Also a special word of thanks to coordinator Jimmy McKee and the local diving club members who helped in the launching and retrieving of boats.

The next event is the Championship of Northern Ireland in June at Whiterock in Strangford Lough.

Published in Flying Fifteen

Former Irish Flying Fifteen champions David Gorman and Chris Doorly lead a 20-boat East Coast Championships at Ballyholme Yacht Club today.

The National Yacht Club pairing is two points ahead of Strangford Lough's Roger Chamberlain and Charlie Horder.

Third after three one hour races over triangular courses is another Strangford pair Brian McKee and John Gibson. 

Results are downloadable below.

Published in Flying Fifteen

Excitement is building for the first regional event of the season for the ever popular Flying Fifteen class. With good numbers turning out at club level in Dublin and Strangford Lough in particular they now take to the road and head to Ballyhome Yacht Club on the south shore of Belfast Lough. It is the class’s first visit in a long time to the club that had a thriving Fifteen fleet in days gone by. A strong fleet is expected in what is the also the first qualifying event for next year’s World Championships which take place at the NYC in Dublin.

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. Last yea’rs winner Brian McKee & Ian Smyth (SLYC) hope to regain the trophy but there are a number of boats who will be looking to challenge. Willis & McPeake (CAYC) along with Andy & Rory Martin (SLSC) hope to carry last years excellent sailing through to this year’s events. Others hoping to go well are Andy McCleery & Colin Dougan (KYC), and the National Yacht Clubs Mathews & Poole and Gorman & Doorly amongst others.

Sponsorship is kindly provided by Bryan Willis Paints and Bosun Bobs Marine and Boat Specialists in Bangor. 

Published in Flying Fifteen

In what started as a drifter for the DBSC  Flying Fifteens and the PRO Jack Roy considering cancelling the racing for the evening a fresh breeze filled in from the SW and provided perhaps the most exciting conditions for racing so far this season.

An impressive fleet of 20 Flying Fifteens were on the start line including Tom Murphy in a new boat. (IRL 4057). The bias was clearly at the committee boat end and there was the usual eagerness for the favoured spot resulting in a couple of boats OCS. Mulligan & Bradley along with Gorman & Doorly were quick out of the blocks and we were to find out later why! As the boats headed in towards the shore to Battery mark Mulligan led the way followed closely by Gorman, McCourt and Green. A reach out to East mark saw Mulligan extend his lead but on the next exciting two sail reach Gorman and McCourt closed the gap. Gorman took the lead but inadvertently went through the start line where other boats were still starting to be later disqualified, McCourt moved into second .As the leaders headed to the finish line Gorman crossed but there was no hooter, McCourt was next and got his victory, Mulligan was next but no hooter allowing Green & Murphy to claim second spot with Colman & Quinn in third place. It was a great race and nice to see one of the new boats in the Royal St George take line honours.

Thanks to Jack and his team on Freebird for perservering and providing a great course.

This promises to be an exciting year for the class on the bay as there are now about 30 boats across the waterfront in the DMYC, RStGYC and the NYC.

Published in Flying Fifteen

In the first DBSC race of the season there was an impressive turnout of fifteen Flying Fifteens on the start line last night. The first race is usually a mix of trepidation and excitement, there were some new boats out, new crew combinations and new members to the fleet. 

On a wintery night PRO Jack Roy warned the fleets that it was going to be a tricky unpredictable evening as the wind was flicking around and was forecast to drop off during the evening.

The wind held and being the first race the majority of the fleet were very eager to start at the biased committee boat end particularly as it was a fetch to the first mark.

Some boats got squeezed out, others were over the line but Dave Gorman & Chris Doorly started a few lengths down and were out of the starting blocks quickly and with clear wind soon took a lead that they were able to hold to the first weather mark at Bay and on till the finish.

Behind at the weather mark there was a scramble but Mulvin & Beirne were second followed by Green & Mulligan. Downwind to Omega there was plenty of action with lots of luffing duals. Niall Colman & class captain Mick Quinn along with Ryan & McAree made good gains after poor starts but there was to be no change in the first three.

Thanks to Jack and his team on Freebird and to the wind Gods for being kind.

This promises to be an exciting year for the class on the bay as there are now about 30 boats across the waterfront in the DMYC, RStGYC and the NYC.

Published in Flying Fifteen

Sailors at the Dublin Bay Flying Fifteen pre–season reception at the National Yacht Club this evening will be briefed of the 2018 season on the Bay but will also hear news of the qualification rules for the world championships on the capital's waters in 2019.

Tonight's gathering is one week ahead of the first DBSC race next Thursday, April 24th. The 30–boat class is the biggest one design keelboat on the bay.

A short briefing on the season ahead will be given by class Captain Mick Quinn, followed by a 'DBSC Update' from fleet rep Joe Hickey.

Chairperson of the 2019 Flying Fifteen Worlds at the NYC, Niall Meagher, will set out plans for the championships for September 2019.

Finally FFAI President Chris Doorly will brief on the FFAI qualifying events for 2018 and rules for qualification for the 2019 Worlds.

Details of the 2018 DBSC season were detailed recently by Afloat's WM Nixon here.

Published in Flying Fifteen

Dublin Bay Sailing Club has saluted its largest one design keelboat and dinghy fleets on the eve of the 2018 season. 

Boat entries everywhere are a perennial problem for organisers but that's not the case for either the Water Wag or Flying Fifteen fleets on Dublin Bay this season.

'Bravo the Water Wags and the Flying 15s who have - very conscientiously – heeded our previous appeals to get their entries to the secretariat in good time', DBSC Commodore Chris Moore told a meeting of DBSC's 22 classes this week. 

Currently – at just a fortnight from the first race – Moore reported that only slightly more than 'half of the 320 boats who race with DBSC have registered'. 'The situation of IRC certs is infinitely worse', he added. 

The oldest dinghy class in the world, the clinker–built Water Wag, with a history dating back to 1899, boasts 32–boats for the 2018 season to outstrip any other dinghy class on the Bay.  Seymour Creswell is this year's DBSC Wag Class Captain.

Meanwhile, the evergreen Flying Fifteen class, based at the National Yacht Club, has 29 boats entered, according to the just published 2018 DBSC Yearbook. The keelboat class has recently launched a new website for its hosting of the 2019 World Championships on the Bay and celebrates its season start under FF Class Captain Mick Quinn at a pre–season reception at the East Pier Club on April 19th.

Published in DBSC

The National Yacht Club has launched a website and is ramping up preparations for its staging of the 2019  Flying Fifteen World Championships at Dun Laoghaire.

As Afloat.ie previously reported here, the 2019 Championships will run from 2nd -13th September on the waters of Dublin Bay.

85 boats will compete with entries from as near as the UK, Europe and as far away as Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand where the most recent World Championships were held.

As well as being a boost to the local Dun Laoghaire economy, it is hoped the event will increase interest in this exciting two–man boat. The event will showcase Dublin Bay as a premier racing venue as it follows on from other European and World Championships events in the Bay in 2018, such as the Laser Master World Championships.

The Event Chairman is the club's Niall Meagher who has sailed in the FF fleet since 1996, first participating in a world Championship in the 50th anniversary event in Cowes ; since then Niall has taken on the role of Class Captain of the Dunlaoghaire Fleet (1999) and President of the Flying Fifteen Association of Ireland (2000-02).

The new event website is here

Published in Flying Fifteen

Coweslip, is now on display alongside the Royal Yacht Britannia in Edinburgh.

The 15 foot (on the waterline), two-person keelboat is on loan to the Royal Yacht Britannia Trust and is now on display in Edinburgh for visitors to enjoy. Designed and built by legendary sailor Uffa Fox, the Flying Fifteen was launched in June 1949 and, in the words of Uffa, it was "a sensible, safe boat, that was fun to sail as well, for the rough and tumble of tidal waters around the UK".

In Ireland, the Flying Fifteen remians ons of the strongest one design keelboat fleets with bases in Waterford, Dublin and Down.

Historic yacht Coweslip is the most famous of the Flying Fifteen keelboats, having been presented to Her Majesty The Queen and Prince Philip as a wedding present in 1949. Prince Philip frequently sailed on Coweslip with Uffa Fox and, together, they had great success sailing competitively, including winning the Britannia Cup in 1952 and in fact, in 1962 at Cowes, Coweslip nearly sank when she was hit by a gust of wind and capsized, throwing both Uffa and The Duke into the water.

Uffa Fox was born on the Isle of Wight and raised in East Cowes and was responsible for many of the developments which have contributed to the modern popularity of dinghy sailing.

Published in Flying Fifteen

The Flying Fifteen Frostbite Series supported by Mitsubishi came to a conclusion at the National Yacht Club weekend with four races in a light west –nw wind and a strong outgoing tide. The new format introduced two weeks ago with multiple short races was introduced for this final day. An impressive 18 boats were entered in the series, going into the last day there were three boats in contention with Green & Doorly leading Niall & Nikki Meagher by three points and Neil Colman & Mick Quinn in third.

Alan Green with Ben Mulligan crewing had an impressive day winning three of the four races and had a third in race three, a race won by David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne with Stuart Harrison visiting from Lough Neagh in second place.

With the short races there was no room for error and Alan and Ben got it right each time to win the day and the Series. Ken Dumpleton also had a good day recording two seconds. Alan of course is more known for his crewing exploits so to win as a helm was particularly satisfying, with a few crew changes along the way he managed the series well and was a deserving winner.

Niall & Nikki Meagher were second with Niall Colman & Mick Quinn third overall. The Silver fleet was won by Alan Dooley & Joe Hickey.

Thanks to Ian Mathews and all his assistants over the weeks on the committee boat, in particular John Gorman the boat owner, also to all in the ribs, we couldn’t race without them! Thanks also to those who sponsored and contributed towards the prizes.

That’s the end of an exciting summer, special thanks also to Dun Laoghaire Class Captain John O’Sulllivan who put in a lot of work behind the scenes to make things happen. Next week see’s the annual Class dinner and prize giving which will have a twist to it as there will be a special edition of Mr &Mrs (helm & crew) to spice up the evening’s entertainment!

Published in Flying Fifteen
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