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What has now become an established event in the DBSC Flying Fifteen calendar the Facet Jewellers Trophy presented and donated by Pat Shanahan of Facet Jewellers took place over the weekend with a 17– strong fleet and was won by David Gorman & Chris Doorly (NYC).

In warm conditions, a sea breeze kicked in to give great sailing conditions. It generally paid to go right out of the strong incoming tide. Race 1 was a close race with Mathews and Poole just pipping Gorman after a gybing duel downwind. The Meaghers, all three of them, were third with Gerry Ryan fourth.

Race two was won by Gorman and Doorly after going right paid on the first beat to give them a comfortable lead that they kept. McCourt was second to win the Silver fleet prize, Mathews third with Sherry fourth which was good enough to give him the Bronze prize.

Many thanks to the PRO and his team for two great courses and to Frank Burgess for organising the day.

Published in Flying Fifteen

In a four day series dramatically reduced to one day of racing due to lack of wind, former world champion Steve Goacher and Tim Harper were crowned Flying Fifteen Champions of the British Isles at Strangford Lough with a minimum of three races sailed.

Second was former European Champion Greg Wells and Andrew Jameson with Ian Pinnell and Paul Busby third in the 50–boat fleet.

The top Irish boat at the County Down event was Dun Laoghaire's David Gorman and Chris Doorly of the National Yacht Club in fourth overall.

Chris Doorly David gormanChris Doorly (left) and David Gorman celebrate as top Irish boat at the FF British Nationals in Strangford Lough

Download results below.

Published in Flying Fifteen

Flying Fifteen sailors are bearing the brunt of the high-pressure weather system over Ireland.

In what is being described as 'unprecedented' for a Flying Fifteen Championships of the British Isles, the third day of racing was lost on Strangford Lough, County Down today for the 50–boat fleet gathered there. 

The fleet went afloat today but winds did not materialise. Racing is scheduled again for tomorrow.

Published in Flying Fifteen

Up to 100 sailors will take to the water this month, as Strangford Lough Yacht Club hosts boats from all over the UK and Ireland to compete in the Flying Fifteen Championships of the British Isles.

Beginning on 27th June, the four-day event will see helms and crews compete for the Flying Fifteen Association of Ireland’s Northern Championships. This hotly-contested event has attracted previous and current world champion helmsmen, including Charles Apthorp and Steve Goacher.

The championship marks the diamond jubilee of Flying Fifteen Sailing on Strangford Lough, which remains home to many previous winners of this prestigious trophy. Strangford’s flat waters and picturesque scenery make it ideal for water sports, especially sailing.

This year’s event is sponsored by Ireland’s largest bagged salad producer Willowbrook Foods, based in Killinchy on the shores of Strangford Lough. Willowbrook Foods Managing Director, John McCann MBE, is a former National Champion and New Zealand Champion sailor:

“As a County Down based business, we are delighted to be supporting this event and look forward to welcoming competitors, families and old friends back to sail and enjoy our beautiful landscape. As an ex Flying Fifteen sailor, I have enjoyed the boats for years and visited many foreign climes, enjoying the hospitality of other clubs. It is great to be able to ensure the viability of another great championship on our doorstep and support the sport I have enjoyed so well. It is a great honour to host the event here in Northern Ireland,” said John McCann MBE.

The racing can be viewed from several locations around the lough including Whiterock, Kirkubbin, Sketrick and Mahee. A high number of competitors, spectators, volunteers and visitors are expected in the area. In turn tourism revenue for local businesses and accommodation providers will be generated, as event organiser Roger Chamberlain explains:

“The Flying Fifteen is a two-man high-performance planning keelboat with a symmetrical spinnaker which is spectacular to watch. It was the chosen racing boat of Prince Phillip, and still attracts many of the top sailors in the country. These boats take a great deal of skill to sail competitively and with a growing fleet in Ireland and the UK, we can expect some great racing and some fantastic evening entertainment for friends and families alike. 

“We have over 50 entries to date from the UK and are expecting to match that from all corners of Ireland. Most will stay locally and enjoy our great hospitality and produce, which we will showcase in the evening events through partners such as Copeland Gin and Finnebrogue Artisan. 

“Events like this would not be possible without the support of our main sponsors Willowbrook Foods and Ards and North Down Borough Council, as well as the huge number of volunteers who have given up their time to help out.”

Published in Flying Fifteen

On the way to Dun Laoghaire no one knew what to expect as there had been little or no wind all week. Dublin Bay is full of surprise’s and we were greeted with a nice S-SE breeze and dense fog! 

Visibility was safe enough to race and an impressive fleet of 21 Flying Fifteens were on a busy DBSC start line which was fairly square and fair. The fleet soon split in two, Mulligan, Murphy headed towards the shore while Green, Dumpleton, Cahill and newcomer to the fleet Frank Miller headed out before coming back across the incoming tide.

Green & Doorly got to the windward Bullock mark first with Murphy and Mulligan close behind. It was an impressive sight to see 21 boats reaching out to Poldy and down to Pier. It was a long beat back to Island but Green was playing the shifts and adapting to the fluctuating pressure and after rounding Island there was a nice tidal gate under Frequent Flyer that enabled them to increase their lead as the others battled against the tide.

Behind things were a lot closer, Mulligan was second and stayed there to the line, Colin & Casey nipped in ahead of Fleming & Burgess to take third with Tom Murphy fifth. After sailing the fleet gathered for their monthly get together over dinner at the NYC.

Published in Flying Fifteen

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
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