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As David O'Brien reports in this morning's Irish Times here, the Irish Flying Fifteen class have confirmed the seven 'automatic qualifiers' for next September's Flying Fifteen World Championships on Dublin Bay. 

After the seasons 4 qualification events, with 3 to count, seven boats have qualified automatically for the World Championships to be held at the NYC are:

1-David Gorman & Chris Doorly (NYC) 174pts
2-Roger Chamberlain & Charlie Horder (SLYC) 165.5pts
3-Andrew McCleery and Colin Dougan (PSC) 164.5pts
4-Andy and Rory Martin (SLYC) 163pts
5-Bryan Willis and John McPeake (CABC) 158pts
6-Ian Mathews and Keith Poole (NYC) 154.5pts
7-Lee Statham and Andy Paul (WHSC) 154pts

Much more news, including the announcement of a title sponsor for the event, in this morning's Irish Times Sailing Column here

Published in Flying Fifteen

After braving the delays due to roadworks on the Motorway heading south, many of the Flying Fifteen fleet assembled for Lough Derg Yacht Club's traditional pre-event supper in the Whiskey Still at Dromineer, followed by some refreshments writes our special correspondent.

Saturday dawned, as expected, damp and very still. Fortunately, the event Race Officer John Leech made the good call to postpone and wait for the breeze and allow late arrivals to rig boats.

Still in the drizzle, the fleet assembled in the race area and racing got underway in a gentle 5-7 knots from the South on a Windward Leeward course. Early leaders were Rory Martin in the back seat with guest crew Dave Muckilveen up front. However, a fresh breeze from 90 degrees right on the second beat promoted Niall Meagher and Nicki Matthews followed by Ian Matthews and Keith Poole around the remaining legs of the course.

"The event brings down the shutter on the qualification series for the 2019 world championships"

Rory & Dave restored their honour in race two as the breeze softened in the continuing drizzle with the ever consistent Ian & Keith second and Alastair Court and Conor O’Leary finishing out the podium, the race featuring some interface with the Squib class sharing the course.

With the wind now completing a full 180 shift from the initial directions, Race 3 started in similar 5-7 knots of breeze, and the fleet separated by only a cigarette paper at the first mark. With the right side favoured, there was a healthy inter-fleet meeting at the left-hand gate at the bottom of leg 2. Avoiding the traffic Neil Colin and Margaret Casey rounded the right gate and stayed left, sailing into pressure and a ladder up to the top mark. They were followed home by Rory and Dave, and the ever consistent Ian and Keith.

Even though the Race Officer had intended to run four races, with the time lost earlier in the day and the sodden crews and mark laying volunteers, he signalled enough for the day, to the relief of everyone on the water.

Back in the club after hot showers in the warmth, a substantial dinner of Lamb or Salmon was presented, followed by swapping stories on the events of the day, and even a nightcap or two.

On Sunday, the sun shone to the relief of everyone, and the Race Officer started on time, as declared at his briefing. The start was comfortably won by Ian and Keith on a Port tack, as there were only two boats present, due to the lack of wind and time lost in re-launching boats.

Much to the relief of the remainder of the fleet, the race was abandoned, as the breeze evaporated leaving a glass flat water surface, and so it remained for the next two hours, when the decision to abandon racing for the day was made, leaving the overnight result to stand.

Thanks to the Derg volunteers, the fleets were towed home and packed their boats in the autumn sunshine.

The event brings down the shutter on the qualification series for the 2019 world championships to be staged in National Yacht Club next September, with the formal confirmation of qualifiers awaited.

Published in Flying Fifteen

Lough Derg Yacht Club is hosting its annual Freshwater Keelboat Championships in Dromineer, County Tipperary this coming weekend with racing for Squibs and Flying Fifteens over two days.

The event is an end of season celebration and competition for sailors who love the autumnal conditions and the challenge of the vagaries of lake sailing.

Currently, the weather forecast indicates gusty, southerly winds on Saturday and Sunday

Competitors are travelling from as far afield as Norfolk, Holyhead, Strangford, Howth, Kinsale and Dun Laoghaire to join the local fleet.

LDYC Commodore John Leech is Race officer for the event.

Published in Flying Fifteen

Fresh from last weekend's national championships on Dublin Bay, the National Yacht Club stages the first race of its Flying Fifteen 2018 Frostbite Series this Saturday.

There will be back-to-back races on each day of the series that runs until November 17 with two breaks for the Lough Derg end of season event and the October Bank Holiday. 

Six short races are scheduled as a two-race mini-series.

The combined results for the first three consecutive short races on the day will score as 1 race in the overall series. The combined results for the next 1-3 consecutive short races on the day will score as 1 race in the overall series. All races to count within each mini-series.

Published in Flying Fifteen

The Deloitte sponsored Championship of Ireland for the Flying Fifteen class ended on Sunday with a sinew- stretching, gut busting race in the strongest wind of the weekend with thrills and spills on the top reach of the triangle!

However, by the time the last race started, the new National Champions had exited “stage left”. The speculation on Saturday night was that a 6th place in either of the two races on Sunday would be enough to see the host club’s Dave Gorman and Chris Doorly crowned National Champions. They duly made sure of their title by finishing in second place in the first race which was won by Charles Apthorp and Alan Green, their closest rivals. That meant they could retire to shore early, derig and enjoy an early shower before the balance of the fleet came in. Talking to Dave Gorman after the prize-giving, he admitted to being a bit nervous going out as they had to drop their rig on the Saturday night when the jib halyard was seen to be unravelling. Not the best of preparations for the last day of a regatta. Fortunately a spare was offered by Bryan Willis, but even then some modifications were required to get it all back in place.

Flying Fifteen 3718Andy and Rory Martin (SLYC) Photo: Afloat.ie

Sunday morning had brought a distinct change in the weather, cloudy conditions, a cooler temperature and a stiffer breeze, but still out of the western quadrant of the compass. Another new phenomenon was a short rain shower which on approach seemed to ramp up the wind strength, but on passing the wind dropped marginally again. Race Officer Jack Roy got proceedings started promptly but found himself having to use the General Recall for the first attempt at a start. That prompted the “shaking out” of the “U” Flag which trawled five boats out of the race.

It was a brisk race with great downwind conditions on the sausage and a preference for the left-hand side on the beats. It also brought a new combination to the individual race podium with a third place for Hammy Baker & Peter Chambers out of Strangford Lough. They were fast downwind! Bryan Willis & John McPeake were also having a much better half of the regatta, following a first place in the last race of the Saturday they would score a 5th and a 2nd on Sunday.

Having set six windward-leeward courses thus far, the “T” flag was broken out for the last race of the regatta – maybe as a reward for our perseverance! The breeze also came to the party with probably the hardest beats of the regatta. Charles Apthorp & Alan Green dominated the race to win by a country mile and all this with Charles wearing an orthopaedic boot and walking around the club with a single crutch – how determined is that! The top reach of the second lap triangle was exhilarating, provided you could keep the boat upright. There were quite a few spills on the leg with some very distinguished combinations showing their keels for all the world to see………….but what happens on the water, stays on the water, so no names will be divulged.

Flying Fifteen 3718(Above and below) Ian Matthews and Keith Poole of the host club, the NYC pair were European Race winners on Lake Garda a month ago. Photo: Afloat.ie 

Flying Fifteen 3718

One of the better stories saw a crew slide out on the foredeck to recover a broken spinnaker sheet so that it could be retired to the sail after the gybe mark for the second reach. The last beat of the regatta really was a battle with the wind getting up as forecast. It made for some very hard but exciting sailing.

So, after a seven-race series, the Class has new National Champions and we were treated to exceptionally good race management by Jack Roy and his team. We had three different days of weather and the adage “there was something for everyone” rang true in this instance. We were also very grateful for the sponsorship of Deloitte and Dave Dalton of the sponsoring company was in attendance to hand over the prizes together with National Yacht Club Commodore, Ronan Beirne, a Flying Fifteen crew himself, Mick Quinn, Dun Laoghaire Class Captain and Frank Burgess who co-ordinated the award of the right prize to the right combination. Due thanks were recorded to the various volunteers who made the regatta possible.

The various winners in the different fleets and the top ten are listed below.

Flying Fifteen 3718Portaferry's Andy McCleery and Colin Dougan Photo: Afloat.ieFlying Fifteen 3718Former World FF Champion Charles Apthorp of Hayling Island Sailing Club (and the National Yacht Club) with Dublin Bay's Alan Green Photo: Afloat.ie

Flying Fifteen 3718(Above) Waterford Harbour's Lee Statham and Andy Paul (red spinnaker) are overtaken (below) by Strangford's Roger Chamberlain and Charlie Horder on a breezy reach in the last race Photo: Afloat.ieFlying Fifteen 3718Flying Fifteen 3718(Above and below) Strangford Lough's Hamish Baker and Peter Chambers Photo: Afloat.ie

Andrew Baker FF 2897

Flying Fifteen 3404Ken Dumpleton and John McNeilly Photo: Afloat.ie

Flying Fifteen 3239Roger Chamberlain and Charlie Horder (IRL 3962) lead a bunch downwind Photo: Afloat.ie

Flying Fifteen 3239Flying Fifteen 3239Ben Mulligan and Cormac BradleyDMYC's Ben Mulligan and article author Cormac Bradley Photo: Afloat.ie

Deloitte Flying Fifteen Championship of Ireland

National Yacht Club, 28 – 30 September 2018

Sail No.

R1

R2

R3

R4

R5

R6

R7

 

Bronze Fleet

 

1

Ken Dumpleton & John McNally

NYC

3955

16

RET

6

11

22

12

15

 

2

Gerry Ryan & Peter Dolan

NYC

4045

14

12

12

27

16

UFD

DNF

 

3

Alan Balfe & John Whelan

NYC

3995

26

15

16

24

19

18

20

 
                       
 

Silver Fleet

 

1

Gavin Doyle & Dave Sweeney

NYC

3707

6

14

13

5

8

10

7

 

2

Jeff Harrison & Rory Hickland

ABC

3648

13

9

18

17

13

UFD

DNF

 

3

Charlie Boland & Fintan Stanley

WHSC

3682

12

4

17

19

21

RET

RET

 
                       
 

Gold Fleet (Top Ten)

 

1

Dave Gorman & Chris Doorly

NYC

3902

3

2

2

1

3

2

DNC

 

2

Charles Apthorp & Alan Green

Hayling Island

3957

4

10

1

UFD

5

1

1

 

3

Roger Chamberlain & Charlie Horder

SLYC

3962

1

3

5

7

11

11

3

 

4

Andrew McCleery & Colin Dougan

Portaferry

4037

2

5

7

18

6

7

9

 

5

Lee Statham & Andrew Paul

WHSC

3896

7

1

9

2

RET

9

5

 

6

Hammy Baker & Peter Chambers

SLYC

3756

8

13

3

9

14

3

10

 

7

Gavin Doyle & Dave Sweeney

NYC

3707

6

14

13

5

8

10

7

 

8

Bryan Willis & John McPeake

Co. Antrim

3729

18

23

14

6

1

5

2

 

9

Alastair Court & Conor O’Leary

RStGYC

3753

23

8

8

3

12

13

8

 

10

Ian Matthews & Keith Poole

NYC

3864

5

16

OCS

16

9

4

6

 
                         

In the preview to this regatta, the author speculated that the winners should come from the following boats. The figure, in brackets after each name is where they finished overall;

ff Gorman(L – R) Mick Quinn, DL Flying Fifteen Class Captain, Dave Dalton, Deloitte, Dave Gorman, winning helm & Chris Doorly, winning crew Photo: Cormac Bradley

Dave Gorman & Chris Doorly (1), Charlie Apthorp & Alan Green (2), Ian Matthews & Keith Poole (10), Andy & Rory Martin (11), Andy McCleery & Colin Dougan (4). This is not meant as a “clever-clogs” close but just a modest justification for my original selection.

The Flying Fifteen regatta season wraps up in Lough Derg Yacht Club over the weekend of 13/14 October with the final regatta in the Worlds selection series………of which further anon!

Published in Flying Fifteen

Day 2 of the Flying Fifteen Championships of Ireland at the National Yacht Club saw Race Officer Jack Roy having to deal with westerly winds that were a lot stronger than the forecast for the day. With this being the last day of Dublin Bay Sailing Club racing for 2018, the race area was to the west of the harbour.

With a wind that fluctuated around the 270° direction, the fleet enjoyed excellent racing conditions and three races were completed.

Race wins were shared between Charles Apthorp & Alan Green who took the first race comfortably, leading from start to finish, Dave Gorman & Chris Doorly, and Bryan Willis & John McPeake. The latter combination who had struggled badly yesterday but made amends today with a 14, 6, 1 return for the day.

Gorman & Doorly were even better with a 2, 1, 3 return that sees them take the lead of the regatta by a margin of eight points. Overnight leaders Andy McCleery & Colin Dougan had a more difficult day as they scored a 7, 18, 6. One of those to have a particularly good day were Alistair Court & Conor O'Leary who scored a 8, 3, 12 to secure a place in the top ten overnight.

Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley would have enjoyed three top ten finishes but their first race of the day was downgraded to an OCS. They weren't the only ones to embrace letters on their score cards!

After five races the overall situation is as follows;

1. Dave Gorman & Chris Doorly 8pts.
2. Roger Chamberlain & Charlie Horder 16pts
3. Lee Statham & Andrew Paul 18pts
4. Charles Apthorp & Alan Green 20pts
5. Andy McCleery & Colin Dougan 20pts.

Racing recommences at 10:55 Sunday morning

Download full results below.

Published in Flying Fifteen

33-boats registered fleet of Flying Fifteens enjoyed balmy conditions for September on the opening day of their Deloitte sponsored Championship of Ireland writes Cormac Bradley.

Two windward-leeward courses were set by International Race Officer Jack Roy and the fleet enjoyed a clean start for the first race. A number of the fleet went right initially and that didn't seem to be a bad option until the leaders came from the left-hand side of the course led by Andy McCleery & Colin Dougan from Portaferry. They led the first lap and were chased by the host fleet's Dave Gorman & Chris Doorly and visitors Roger Chamberlain & Charlie Horder.

On the second beat, this latter combination took the lead and held it down the run and on to the finish. McCleery finished second and Gorman third.

After a short break to rejig the course due to a fickle and changing breeze, the second start was subject to a General Recall but got away at the second time of asking under a U flag.

At the first weather mark, the leaders were Lee Statham and Andrew Paul out of Waterford with Gorman/Doorly again in the chasing pack. The leaders enjoyed this status for the entire race with the second and third places going to Gorman and Chamberlain respectively.

Thus with two races down the pecking order is; Chamberlain/ Horder (1,3) Gorman/Doorly (3,2) McCleery/Dougan (2,5) Statham/Paul (7,1) and Apthorp/Green (4,10).

A number of fancied crews are carrying at least one big number from today, others who might fancy their chances are carrying two!

While it was a pleasant day on the water, the conditions were challenging which is code for saying that the author of this report didn't have a good day! Onward and upward.

The Class AGM was held this evening and the fleet is now gathered for dinner.

Published in Flying Fifteen

Puerto Pollenca served up the whole gamut of weather conditions including, sunshine, humidity, thunder, lightning and torrential rain at the 2018 Flying Fifteen Spanish (Balearic) Championships held in the Bay of Pollenca at Mallorca between Friday 14th and Sunday 16th September.

The venue is the jewel of the Balearic Islands with a large protected bay surrounded by mountains but this late summer long weekend regatta turned out to be one to remember. The host club Real Club Nautico Puerto Pollenca, organised a mixture of windward/leeward and w/l, triangle courses over the three days. A compact but competitive fleet included sailors from Spain, Great Britain, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands and South Africa, most residing on the island of Mallorca.

Friday was a typical humid sunny morning with a light and shifty breeze from the N/NE. By the time racing started at 1445hrs, a 6 - 10 knot sea-breeze had filled but the shifts were very irregular. After a packed start the two seasoned Flying Fifteen sailors who know the waters best, set off inshore, (left) up the first beat. Paco Palmer and his long time crew Jaume Pujades, returned to the fleet after a long break and Michael Clough, who has won the championship many times, teamed up with Jonny Fullerton for the regatta. Paco and Jaume sailing (Spanish Fly) chose to bang the corner but Michael Clough (Speedy Gonzales) worked the left hand side of the course best, working the shifts to take a handsome lead at the first mark. The majority of the fleet chose to go offshore (right) and came to the mark in a bunch.

Places changed mid fleet on the downwind legs with David and Corinne Miles (Stormtrooper IV) skilfully working their way up into second place on the second lap. Michael Clough held on for the race win followed by David and Corinne Miles with third going to James Waugh and Neil Botha (Puff), who are new to the fleet and showing good pace around the course.

The second race of the day was held in a fading late afternoon breeze in warm sunshine and clear blue skies for which the bay of Pollenca is renowned. Another clear start and a shifty upwind saw the same boats trading for the lead but it was the young guys in Puff showing a clean pair of heels to the rest of the fleet. On lap 2 (the triangle), there was a tussle for places with crowded mark rounding’s. Paco Palmer and Jaume Pujades slipped through to second place leaving a three way fight for third between Michael Clough, David & Corinne Miles and Scott Walker and Andrew Harvey sailing (Ffiel Good). On the last downwind leg Clough’y used all his guile to narrowly cross in third. After a late finish the RCNPP held a gourmet dinner at the salubrious club on the water front of the harbour.

Saturday looked much more menacing. Another afternoon start with two more races planned, but the skies were already looking very threatening by lunchtime. Race 3 began in a similar light to moderate shifty sea breeze from the NE/E sector.

A clean start but a very tricky first leg with constant shifts and changes in pressure. Again it was the stalwart of the class, Michael Clough (Speedy Gonzales) who read the race track best, leading by some distance on lap 1 (w/l). Following the pack shuffled but it was Paco/Jaume (Spanish Fly) and James/Neil (Puff) who worked their way to the podium spots on lap 2 (triangle). By the final (w/l) leg the sky was turning black and the thunder was groaning over the mountains at nearby Alcudia. To make matters worse the wind shut down at various locations on course. Frustrating, this left Michael/Jonny (Speedy Gonzales) parked up at the top mark in no wind. The fleet closed up but as Speedy Gonzales crawled towards the finish line with collapsed kite and with Puff and Spanish Fly inching along to close the gap, the heaven’s opened with torrential rain, brutal lightning and ear bursting thunder. The faint breeze turned 180 degrees leaving Michael/Jonny (Speedy Gonzales) to creep over the line. Paco/Jaume (Spanish Fly) managed to locate the line to finish second but James/Neil (Spanish Fly) were left on the wrong side of the course and had to work hard to finish before Hamish Goddard and Hugh Birley (Gecko) taking a well earned 4th.

The summer storm was so severe that racing had to be curtailed for the day, several boats filled up with water from the ‘golf ball’ size rain drops and sailors complained that their compasses were rotating, causing it to be very hard to locate the shore! All however made their way home looking like drowned rats.

Having dried out overnight the final day had a similar forecast for light to moderate winds from E/SE and possible thunder storms. Race 4 got underway at 1430hrs with another angry looking thunder storm forming over Alcudia.

With no discard Paco and Jaume had to count a 7th in race 1 meaning they were almost out of contention for the championship. So it would be decided between Michael/Jonny (Speedy Gonzales) and James/Neil (Puff) unless either bombed in the final race.

The first upwind was yet another tricky leg to test the best of tacticians. The lead appeared to change hands several times in the shifts but no surprises for who managed to lead on lap 1 of the longer (sausage, triangle, sausage) course. It was Michael Clough using all his experience to lead a tight bunch including Scott/Andrew (Ffiel Good), James/Neil (Puff) and David/Corinne (Stormtrooper IV). Paco/Jaume led the race on all legs throughout the triangle and set off up the final sausage leg when the thunder storm again started to roar. Michael/Jonny (Speedy Gonzales) just had to cover their main opposition to win the regatta. As the rain pounded down and the lightning struck again the race committee halted the race abruptly at the windward mark.

Speedy Gonzales made a last ditch attempt tacking on a rather lucky shift to cross Paco/Jaume and Scott/Andrew just before the finish to close out the championship with three wins and a third. The thunderstorm was a repeat of the previous days drama with the whole fleet limping ashore in the monsoon conditions. 

Overall Results (Top 6)

1 ESP 3804 Michael Clough/Jonny Fullerton - 1,3,1,1 = 6pts
2 ESP 3724 James Waugh/Neil Botha - 3,1,3,4 = 11pts
3 ESP 3825 Paco Palmer/Jaume Pujades - 7,2,2,3 = 14pts
4 ESP 3763 Scott Walker/Andrew Harvey - 4,5,5,2 = 16pts
5 ESP 3728 Stephen Parry/Theresa Parry - 5, RDG/5,6,5 = 21pts
6 ESP 4058 David Miles/Corinne Miles - 2,4,DNF,7 = 23pts

Published in Flying Fifteen

With the Deloitte sponsored Irish Flying Fifteen National Championships only ten days away Cormac Bradley speculates on the runners and riders in what will double up as the third leg of a selection process for the host fleet of the 2019 World Championships which are scheduled for late summer 2019 at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire.

In order to review the status of the fleet, this review will go back to 12 months ago and the 2017 National Championship in Whitehead, Co. Antrim where the title was won comfortably by Steve Goacher & Alan Green (4021), by a margin of 8 points, with the pecking order behind them being Andy McCleery & Colin Dougan (4037), Andy & Rory Martin (3974), Brian McKee & Ian Smith and closing out the top five, Lee Statham & Andrew Paul (3896). So while the Dun Laoghaire fleet may boast significant fleet numbers, three of the top five at the National Championship of Ireland from 12 months ago came from outside Dun Laoghaire and half of the winning crew was also not resident in the borough even if he is a popular and regular visitor to these parts. The fifth-placed crew came from a club which has only two boats – Waterford Harbour Sailing Club! However, it should be noted that as the last day of the 2017 Championship was a breezy one, a significant number of boats decided not to race and this did influence the final finishing order. But, the suggested advantage of sailing in the large and competitive fleet in Dun Laoghaire on Thursday evening s and Saturdays was not translating to significant results on the regatta circuit.

1878143ddfeb51325c2f76cd4b1eb069 L2017 winners Steve Goacher and Alan Green

At the first election event of the 2018 season, in Ballyholme, two of the top three in the final pecking order were again outside the Dun Laoghaire fraternity with Dave Gorman & Chris Doorly finishing second to the Martin brothers and ahead of McCleery & Dougan. Messrs Gorman & Doorly were leading overnight in Ballyholme but that was due to an unfortunate breakage for the Martin brothers in one race on Saturday – a situation that was attested to in the report on Afloat on the Saturday evening.

Since the Ballyholme event, there have been two significant regattas that may give a “heads-up” to the National Championship of Ireland – The Flying Fifteen British Isles Championships & Northerns in Whiterock, Strangford Lough, the second 2019 selection event for the Irish fleet and the European Championships in Lake Garda. But the results at both events are nominally skewed for reasons unique to each event.

In Strangford, an event that was due to run from Wednesday to Saturday was devoid of any meaningful wind for three days and the regatta was shoe-horned into a three-race series on the Saturday morning. That meant a “no-discard regatta”, doubly hard on indiscretions on the water.

Gorman Doorly 3534Dave Gorman and Chris Doorly were best of the Irish in fourth place at this year's British Nationals Photo: Afloat.ie

Dave Gorman & Chris Doorly were the best of the Irish in 4th place, with a score-line of 3, 6, 13 to finish fourth overall, with the winners, Steve Goacher & Tim Harper accumulating 4 points. Second of the Irish in 10th overall and a scorecard of 17, 22, 11 were Roger Chamberlain & Charlie Horder (3962), with Irish boats finishing 11th and 12th overall, Jeff Harrison & Rory Hickland (3648) (11, 12, 29) from Lough Neagh followed by the Martin brothers (7, 40, 9) respectively. McCleery & Dougan were 14th, with Neil and Colin & Margaret Casey 15th. Despite carrying a 50-point penalty for a DSQ, Ian Mathews & Keith Poole (3864) were 20th as their other scores were 7th & 8th and the DSQ was a good result on the water.

Thus, after two selection events, the FFAI posted the following “provisional” status of the selection process. The emphasis on provisional by the author is not to challenge the validity of the document but simply to afford it the status given to it by the Association.

Provisional Ranking – Selection Series

World Championships 2019*

East Coast Championships Ballyholme

Northern Championships Strangford

Total

Dave Gorman & Chris Doorly

49

50

99

Andy & Rory Martin

50

47

97

Andy McCleery & Colin Dougan

48

46

94

Roger Chamberlain & Charlie Horder

42

49

91

Ian Mathews & Keith Poole

44

43

87

Brian McKee & Ian Smith

47

40

87

Stewart Harrison & Tim Sheard

39

44

83

Jeff Harrison & Rory Hickland

33

48

81

Neil Colin & Margaret Casey

36

45

81

Lee Statham & Andrew Paul

38

42

80

Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley

43

37

80

*As posted to the What’s App Flying Fifteen Group.

The highlighted boxes indicate those who are in qualifying places as of early July and again are a provisional declaration by the Association.

"it is difficult to see where a winner for the National Championship of Ireland will come from"

Lake Garda in mid-September is the final regatta indicator that will be referenced in this preview and saw six Irish boats in a 35-boat fleet made up of British, Irish and a solitary Hong Kong entry, at least in terms of sail number declarations. Of the highlighted names in the table above, only one regular pairing was in Garda, Ian Mathews & Keith Poole who scored a race win (4th race of 10) and finished 14th overall, with a big points gap behind the winners, Hamish Mackay & Andrew Lawson of GBR who were tied overall with Steve Goacher (that name again!) & Tim Harper on 29 points! Other notable results from the Irish contingent were a 2nd (Race 6) and 18th overall for Alan Green & Ben Mulligan (3970) and a 4th in the same race for Niall Meagher & Nicki Matthews (3938), in 23rd overall.

Mathews Poole 3639Ian Mathews and Keith Poole were race winners on Lake Garda Photo: Afloat.ie

So that’s the regatta form and on that basis, it is difficult to see where a winner for the National Championship of Ireland will come from. It might just be that from a Dun Laoghaire only perspective, the likely candidates for a regatta win might be limited to the pairings of Dave Gorman & Chris Doorly and Ian Mathews & Keith Poole. From a northern perspective, and without knowing the entries, the speculation will be on the Martin brothers, McCleery & Dougan and Chamberlain & Hodder.

However, that is to discount the other significant factors in the Dublin Bay sailing scene of the past two years – the additional competitiveness that the introduction of Fireball combinations and a number of new boats into Dun Laoghaire that have “upped the ante” in the local racing scene. In terms of Fireball personnel sailing in the class, we have Neil Colin and Margaret Casey (3655), winners of the Thursday Series overall (and each individual series) in 2017, Cormac Bradley, sailing with FF stalwart Ben Mulligan (3688) who took the Saturday Series and DBSC’s Best One–Design performance in 2017, Alistair Court, sailing with Conor O’Leary (Laser/Squib) (3753) who looks to be heading towards the DBSC winners’ circle for 2018, Frank Miller & Ed Butler (3845), Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keefe (3697) who have all scored single digit results at the top end of the fleet racing in DBSC on Thursdays and Saturdays. This injection of new competition has enhanced the racing for other DL stalwarts of the class, among them the likes of Dave Mulvin & Ronan Bierne (4028), who have been shoreside recently, Niall Coleman & Mick Quinn (4008), who recently scored a double win on a DBSC Saturday and Ken Dumpleton (3955) who has on occasion been crewed by another Fireball connection, Glen Fisher, and was winning a Saturday race two weeks ago. Colin & Casey have upgraded from 3655 to 4028 and were getting to grips with it on a challenging Sunday last week (16th). A number of former Fireball crews have also been making guest appearances for the fleet during the summer of 2018.

The DL fleet also boasts new boats in Tom Murphy’s 4057, only three off the highest sail number world-wide I have seen in regatta reports thus far and two other new boats (to the fleet) with numbers in the 4040 – 50 age-group.

From Dunmore East, Statham & Paul and Charlie Boland & Robb McConnell (3682) won’t be making a trip to Dun Laoghaire just to make up numbers and another boat that will have particular aspirations for a low scoring series will be Gavin Doyle & Dave Sweeney (3707).

Charles ApthorpCharles Apthorp and Alan Green racing on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat.ie

Which leaves only one obvious candidate not yet specifically referenced in this piece for overall honours – Dun Laoghaire’s Alan Green? Alan, by way of his enormous racing pedigree, attracts high calibre helmsmen to steer him round the course and the speculation this time is that Mr Apthorp will be the helm for the National Yacht Club hosted regatta.

So time to make a declaration for the regatta!

Based on the combinations of current form, local knowledge and reputation, the suggestion is to look to the following in no particular order; Apthorp & Green, Gorman & Doorly, Mathews & Poole, Martin & Martin, McCleery & Dougan;

But there are a large number of combinations who will need a good result to move up the pecking order for the 2019 Worlds, so expect to see good results shared across a wide group of entrants.

No offence is intended to those not specifically mentioned and this article is just an educated guess. We all know the vagaries of Mother Nature and that racing/sailing is by its very nature, unpredictable. Hope you have a great regatta!!

Published in Flying Fifteen

The National Yacht Club's Ian Mathews and Keith Poole won race four of the Flying Fifteen European Championships on Lake Garda today.

It moves the top Irish boat in the six–boat team to 11th overall in the 35-boat fleet. 

British boats fill the top ten places with Hamish Mackay and Andrew Lawson leading overall on 19 points from Steve Goacher and Tim Harper on 25 points.

Next best Irish is Alan Green in 16th overall.

Full results downloadable below.

Published in Flying Fifteen
Page 1 of 22

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