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The Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen fleet held their AGM last night, chaired by the outgoing Captain, Jill Fleming and attended by seventeen members with representation from the three Dun Laoghaire clubs which have “Fifteens” on their decks, the National Yacht Club, the Royal St George Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club.

A minute’s silence was observed at the start of the meeting to mark the passing of former members Ciaran Crummey and Ben Mulligan.

A brief report by the Captain, referenced the 69 races sailed in the 2022 season, including DBSC, the Captain’s Prize, the race to Dalkey, involvement in the “Women on the Water Regatta”, and the Frostbites.

She referenced the campaigning in UK waters of John Lavery & Alan Green (4083) and wished them well for the Worlds to be sailed in Fremantle in March 2023.

She also reported that Keith Poole will represent the Class on the 2023 DBSC committee.

The “election” of officers will see the following individuals manage the affairs of the fleet for 2023;

  • Captain: Robin Hilliard.
  • Vice-Captain: Joe Hickey.
  • Secretary: David Mulvin (returning).
  • Treasurer: Peter Sherry (returning).
  • Safety Officer: Adrian Cooper (returning).
  • Recorder: Peter Murphy (returning)
  • Trophy Secretary: Ronan Beirne (returning)
  • Technical Officer: Alan Green (returning).

Peter Sherry, Treasurer, reported on the financial affairs of the fleet for 2022 and advised that the finances are in a healthy condition.

In his absence, Jill Fleming presented the report of the Safety Officer, Adrian Cooper, who raised a number of issues in his report

  • the requirement to have whistles and safety knives on board each boat (per crew member)
  • the requirement to have buoyancy bags inflated inside buoyancy tanks and advised that a small pump for the purpose of inflating the bags was available in the NYC boathouse
  • the protocols for operating the winches in the NYC and,
  • the use of paddles when operating under reduced sail.
  • The meeting also discussed the need for a session on man-overboard recovery and the requirement that crews helm the boat out to and in from the race area so they are competent to helm in an emergency situation.

A discussion on calendar dates took place but is subject to liaison with the FFAI, the national committee.

"particular concern at different DBSC classes converging at leeward marks"

Under any other business, there was a robust discussion on the format of the DBSC races with particular concern at different classes converging at leeward marks at the same time despite having used a separate weather mark.

The meeting closed with a reminder that the DLFF fleet prize-giving is scheduled for Friday night at the same venue – the Royal St George Yacht Club, with a warning signal at 19:00.

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Eleven Flying Fifteens played out the last act of the 2022 sailing season under sunshine conditions on 5th November in good winds from a westerly direction. The early part of the day saw the freshest breezes, but they eased slightly as the day wore on. Another early start, 13:00, was declared to facilitate those who had rugby-watching aspirations and it seems some of the number actually got to the match.

Alan Green (left) and John Lavery – second overall at the Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen Fleet 2022 Frostbites at the National Yacht Club Alan Green (left) and John Lavery – second overall at the Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen Fleet 2022 Frostbites at the National Yacht Club 

Andy Paul (left) and Lee Statham – third overall at the Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen Fleet 2022 Frostbites at the National Yacht Club Andy Paul (left) and Lee Statham – third overall at the Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen Fleet 2022 Frostbites at the National Yacht Club 

Two windward-leeward races were completed under the race management of Keith Poole (4093) who acted as Race Officer for the four Saturdays of the series. Racing on the day was tight at the front of the fleet where the fight for the overall title was concentrated. The south coast visitors Lee Statham and Andrew (Andy) Paul (4070) were in pole position after the conclusion of the three races the previous Saturday, but Alan Green & John Lavery (4083) and Shane McCarthy & Chris Doorly (4085) were snapping at their heels. The latter two each had two DNCs (14pts) whereas Statham & Paul’s worst score was a 5th.

Jill Fleming and Conor O’Leary were first in the silver fleet at the Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen Fleet 2022 Frostbites at the National Yacht Club Jill Fleming and Conor O’Leary were first in the silver fleet at the Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen Fleet 2022 Frostbites at the National Yacht Club 

McCarthy & Doorly took the first race, with Lavery & Green second. Ken Dumpleton & Joe Hickey (3955) were well placed in this race, scoring a third while Statham & Paul were forced into an on the water spectator role when their main outhaul broke. Niall Meagher & Nicki Matthews (3938) scored fourth while Joe Coughlan & Andrew Marshall (3913) were fifth. The first two finishers were playing “cat and mouse” with each other taking (fair) advantage of Statham’s absence from the course.

Joe Coughlan, the first Helm in the Bronze fleet of the Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen Fleet 2022 Frostbites at the National Yacht Club Joe Coughlan, the first Helm in the Bronze fleet of the Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen Fleet 2022 Frostbites at the National Yacht Club 

However, the south coast pair were back for the second race of the day with everything to play for. And the three white spinnakers of McCarthy, Lavery and Statham hogged the front of the fleet to themselves on the downwind legs.

McCarthy took the win, with Statham second and Lavery third. Dumpleton was fourth, while fifth place went to Meagher.

Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen Fleet 2022 Frostbites Results

Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen Fleet 2022 Frostbites Series at the National Yacht Club: 13 boats, 9 Races, 2 Discards Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen Fleet 2022 Frostbites Series at the National Yacht Club: 13 boats, 9 Races, 2 Discards 

Prizes were awarded to the 1-2-3 Overall plus the 1st placed boats in the Silver and Bronze Fleets and Ken Dumpleton/Joe Hickey got a prize as the best placed boat on the day outside the 1-2-3.

Ken Dumpleton was a daily prize winner at the Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen Fleet 2022 Frostbites at the National Yacht Club Ken Dumpleton was a daily prize winner at the Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen Fleet 2022 Frostbites at the National Yacht Club 

Shane McCarthy thanked the Race Officer, Keith Poole, and his volunteers over the four Saturdays for giving up their time so that the Frostbites could be raced and a thank-you present was presented to Keith.

Flying Fifteen Frostbites Race Officer Keith Poole (left) receives a thank-you gift from Peter Sherry, NYC Vice CommodoreFlying Fifteen Frostbites Race Officer Keith Poole (left) receives a thank-you gift from Peter Sherry, NYC Vice Commodore

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On the eve of the third round of the Flying Fifteen Frostbites, hosted by the National Yacht Club, we were all shocked to hear that our dear friend Ben Mulligan had passed away.

Ben was an integral part of the Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen fleet, having sailed in the class over a long number of years. A poll of his contemporaries had indicated that Ben would have wanted the Frostbites to proceed and, on that basis, it was agreed that a tribute to Ben would be paid by the flying of the B flag (for Ben) for a minute’s silence before the start of racing. Ironically, the B flag is the protest flag, something Ben never used – at least in my time sailing with him.

Article author Cormac Bradley (right) sailing with the late Ben Mulligan in September's Flying Fifteen National Championships on Dublin Bay Photo: AfloatArticle author Cormac Bradley (right) sailing with the late Ben Mulligan in September's Flying Fifteen National Championships on Dublin Bay Photo: Afloat

Six boats gathered at the start area under the control of Race Officer Keith Poole, and at the appropriate time a minute’s silence was observed. A number of others cried off, given the robustness of the wind on shore.

Three races were sailed on a grey drizzly day with winds regularly hitting the mid-twenties at the start of proceedings but dropping off as the afternoon wore on. The first two races were two-lap Windward – Leeward courses with a weather mark and spreader laid in the vicinity of the Outfall Mark to the west of the harbour entrance. The Leeward mark was in transit with the Poolbeg chimneys.
Racing among the six boats was quite tight – in Race 1 one boat trailed the pack, but in Race 2 the pack was much more compact but the off-wind legs saw the fleet split left and right in the lively conditions.

There was a large swell running so there was some excellent surfing opportunities. The third race was a single-lap race to which five boats responded, and it became the tightest race of them all.

Race wins were shared between John Lavery & Alan Green (4083) who took the first two and Shane McCarthy & Chris Doorly (4085) who took the third. However, the first and third races were extremely tight and the difference between 1st and 2nd was no more than a boat length. Lavery & Green were comfortable winners in Race 2. In the third race, Lavery & Green took a penalty on the water, for infringing on David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (4068), but still managed to catch the fleet and score a low points finish.

The Dunmore East pair of Lee Statham and Andy Paul (4070) who have travelled up for each of the Frostbite Saturdays, scored three third places on the day and Mulvin and Beirne day’s result left them a point ahead of Ken Dumpleton and Joe Hickey (3955) with Tom Murphy & Matt (4057) closing out the finishing order on the day.

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The Lough Derg Freshwater One Design regatta last weekend was, for most, a two-day event reduced to one, and for the Northern Ireland sailors who made the long journey to Dromineer somewhat disappointing, especially for the Belfast Lough Flying Fifteen entries, Bryan Willis and Trevor D’Arcy.

But it would seem it was better not to argue with the gale force gusts on the Saturday of the eighteen Flying Fifteens entered, ten actually turned out. Of those, one of the Northern boats, Bryan Willis and David McFarland in Simply Gold had a frightening experience when Bryan was swept overboard while hoisting the spinnaker and got tangled with the spinnaker sheet as the spinnaker was still up. As it was trying to fill, it pulled the sheet tightly around him. The County Antrim Yacht Club helm Bryan said, “ If David moved from the weather side to try to pull me in, the boat threatened to capsize on top of me. It was a relief to be rescued by the Safety Boat”. He continued, “All the boats that went out on Saturday got into trouble at some point, and one was completely upside down”.

Bryan Willis in Simply Gold (4074) neck and neck with Trevor D'Arcy in Don't Look Back (3782) in the lighter winds on Sunday at Lough Derg Yacht Club's Freshwater One Design Regatta Photo Olly KierseBryan Willis in Simply Gold (4074) neck and neck with Trevor D'Arcy in Don't Look Back (3782) in the lighter winds on Sunday at Lough Derg Yacht Club's Freshwater One Design Regatta Photo Olly Kierse

Trevor D'Arcy and Alan McLernon from Carrickfergus, also on Belfast Lough, did finish, though, at second behind Niall and Ronan O’Brien. But they retired from the second race.

As Afloat reported earlier, Sunday’s conditions were the opposite, with light fluky winds, and on that day, D’Arcy scored another second, 6, 5 and 10 to finish fifth overall. Willis and McFarland redeemed themselves with a 2,3, 6 and 8 to finish ninth.

Some of the Northern Ireland Squib fleet, decided not to travel, leaving the Strangford Lough entry, Robert Marshall from Killyleagh, along with Peter Wallace Gordon Patterson, Terry Rowan and Stephen Stewart from Royal North of Ireland YC on Belfast Lough to compete in the 32 strong fleet.

With no racing on Saturday, all of day 2’s four races counted and coming out on top by one point was Royal North’s Toy for the Boys with Peter Wallace and crew Fiona Ward from Kinsale. Peter won the 2018 Squib Nationals at Royal Irish. Runner up was David Stewart in Granat from Royal Irish with the far travelled Dick Batt from Royal Victoria YC on the Isle of Wight in third slot.

The other Northern Ireland Squibs who travelled to Dromineer finished at eighth, 11th 12th and 13th, respectively: Terry Rowan in Dogwatch, Stephen Stewart in Second Chance, Gordon Patterson’s Fagin (last year’s winner), all from Royal North, and Slipstream with Robert Marshall from Killyleagh. Patterson’s crew Ross Nolan said, “ It was great to get back to Dromineer for the annual season closer and catch up with everyone. Challenging racing in light and shifty conditions, especially with shorter races due to the compressed schedule. This was typical close Squib racing and another great regatta”.

Result sheets are downloadable below

Niall O'Brien and Ronan O'Brien won the Irish Flying Fifteen's last regatta of 2022 at the weekend when they claimed the 2022 Freshwater One Design Regatta title on Lough Derg.

It is the second win of the season for the Connemara duo, who claimed the FF Southern Championships at Dunmore East in August and also took third overall at September's National Championships on Dublin Bay in September. 

In a fine turnout on Lough Derg, 19 Flying Fifteens saw strong winds on Saturday with lighter conditions of under ten knots for four races on Sunday.

The National Yacht Club's Tom Galvin and Keith Poole finished second, two points behind the winners on 22 points. 

Third was Waterford Harbour's Charlie Boland and Rob McConnell on 23 points.

 Flying Fifteen Lough Derg Yacht Club 2022 Freshwater One Design Regatta results  Flying Fifteen Lough Derg Yacht Club 2022 Freshwater One Design Regatta results 

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Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteens are preparing for a busy end to the year with a four-week Harbour Frostibe Series beginning this Saturday. 

The biggest one-design keelboat class on Dublin Bay will break its series on October 15th to compete at Lough Derg Yacht Club's freshwater keelboat regatta in County Tipperary.

The full schedule is:

  • October 8th FF15 Frostbite NYC
  • October 15th Lift out RSGYC & NYC NYC/RSGYC
  • October 15th - 16th Keelboat regatta LDYC
  • October 22nd FF15 Frostbite NYC
  • October 29th FF15 Frostbite NYC
  • November 5th FF15 Frostbite NYC
  • November 15th FF15 AGM RStGYC
  • November 18th FF15 2022 Prize Giving Dinner RStGYC

The Class AGM took place this week with plans laid out for Irish participation at the 2023 World Championships in Fremantle, Australia, next March.

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One of the smaller Flying Fifteen fleets of the year, ten boats, turned out for the last DBSC Saturday of 2022.

A number of crews were away sailing Fireballs in Killaloe, and some others are away on holidays, and it is possible that a weather forecast that was suggesting gusts of up to 25 knots from the West might have put others off.

The late morning/early afternoon on the platform at the National Yacht Club was bathed in sunshine and the protection from the West make have created a false impression of what was going on outside the harbour.

The subsequent sight of a J70 pinned to leeward with a flogging spinnaker and an SB20 also struggling under spinnaker as they exited the harbour were two tell-tale signs that there was plenty of wind out on the Bay.

Race Officer Barry O’Neill positioned Freebird in the western corner of the Bay and the sail out to the racecourse was a modestly wet one as the wind fought the incoming tide. There were also some fierce gusts as a rain cloud passed west to south on the fringes of the water. Our wind reading gave us a 265° course to the weather mark and we made a decision to start at the committee boat end with the intention of sailing towards the left-hand side of the course. It seems our plan was not to the satisfaction of the Race Officer who called us back as an OCS. Everyone else had made a clean start and at the outer end of the line we could see Tom Galvin & Keith Poole (4093), Tom Murphy & Conor O’Leary (4057), Peter & Alex Sherry (4056), Peter Murphy & Ciara Mulvey (3774) and Niall Meagher & Nicki Matthews (3938). Ken Dumpleton and Joe Hickey (3955) were on our transom and as our sail number was called over the radio, Ken politely confirmed our status as OCS.

Rounding the committee boat to restart we headed inshore as per the original plan and soon found that boat speed was allowing us to catch some of the lighter crews on the water. However, Galvin, Murphy (T) and Dumpleton were proving to be bigger nuts to crack…….understandably. In the final approach to the weather mark, Murphy & O’Leary were slightly outside the port lay line while Galvin and Dumpleton were on the inside of the port lay line, having come across the course on starboard with Dumpleton seemingly in the controlling position. The order of rounding was Murphy (T), Galvin, Dumpleton and Mulligan. After the spreader mark spinnakers were set on the starboard tack but Mulligan & Bradley chose to gybe away from the other three and in so doing got stronger (!) breeze and much better surfing conditions. The others ultimately followed suit but the early gybe by Mulligan allowed him to close distance on the other three initially and a second gybe in close company with Galvin & Poole, followed by a slightly early spinnaker drop, with a third gybe, allowed Mulligan to stay inside Galvin at the mark and secure the weather berth for the second beat. Dumpleton & Hickey were still in the frame at this stage but to leeward of Galvin & Poole and a boat-length or two behind. Murphy & O’Leary has spinnaker complications that saw them drop out of the lead bunch. Galvin tacked off early to head inshore and Mulligan and Dumpleton kept loose company with each other for another 100m or so. Wind conditions were on the rise at this stage but despite the aggressive conditions Mulligan & Bradley still tried to sail by the numbers. Abandoning Dumpleton they tacked off inshore and worked the middle of the course. There were some severe “rig-rattling” gusts coming through at this stage!

At the second weather mark, Mulligan had taken over the lead with a 50-60m gap between him and Galvin. Gybing early to facilitate the fact that the spinnaker was stowed in the starboard bag, Mulligan sailed down the run on port tack till late on when a second gybe was required to round the leeward mark. Galvin followed suit as did Dumpleton. By way of attrition and having the benefit of more weight on board, Joe Coughlan & Andrew Marshall (3913) had worked their way up to fourth place.

With a short two-sail leg from the leeward mark to the finish line, the finishing sequence saw Mulligan & Bradley win, followed by Galvin & Poole and Dumpleton & Hickey, with Coughlan & Marshall 4th and Tom Murphy & Conor O’Leary 5th. Breakages also claimed a number of retirements (3) but I should acknowledge the two lady crews who finished the race in very physical conditions – Mary Jane Mulligan, sailing with Mick Quinn (6th) and Alex Sherry, sailing with dad, Peter, (7th).
Given the conditions, the second race was abandoned. And ashore we heard that it wasn’t just wind strength that had prompted that decision. I'm not sure anyone was complaining!

Ben Mulligan and Cormac Bradley were the winners of the final DBSC Saturday Flying Fifteen Race Ben Mulligan and Cormac Bradley were the winners of the final DBSC Saturday Flying Fifteen Race Photo: Afloat

DBSC – Saturday 1st October, Flying Fifteens
1. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley, 4081
2. Tom Galvin & Keith Poole, 4093
3. Ken Dumpleton & Joe Hickey, 3955
4. Joe Coughlan & Andrew Marshall, 3913
5. Tom Murphy & Conor O’Leary, 4057.

DBSC – Saturday Series B (as designated by DBSC)
1. David Gorman & Michael Huang/Chris Doorly – 28pts
2. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley – 42pts
3. Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary – 53pts
4. Ian Mathews/Tom Galvin & Keith Poole – 55pts
5. John Lavery & Alan Green – 57pts.

DBSC Saturdays (All Season)
1. David Gorman & Michael Huang/Chris Doorly – 49pts
2. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley – 72pts
3. David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne – 111pts
4. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey – 122pts
5. Ian Mathews/Tom Galvin & Keith Poole – 127pts.

On behalf of the Flying Fifteen fleet, may I thank the DBSC Race Management Teams for their time and effort on the water to bring us what has been a very full season. The first Saturday of DBSC 2022 was blown out back in April and I can recall one Thursday when we didn’t get the boats wet because there was so little wind that racing was abandoned before we even went afloat. We have had everything in between and the class has enjoyed the courses set by Barry O’Neill (Saturdays) and John Mc Neilly (Thursdays) with some guest appearances by Neil Murphy (Howth).

Flying Fifteen Frostbites

The Class will now embark on a four Saturday race-day Frostbite Series starting next Saturday (8th October), with the intention of sailing two races a day (I think) with the freshwater regatta in Lough Derg the following weekend (15/16th).

Flying Fifteen agm

The Class AGM takes place this evening (3rd October) on Zoom, starting at 7pm – https://us06web.zoom.us/j/8830331260?pwd=bHZUa0IycmlNTmN1MU9PSU50NE9xQT09
Meeting ID: 883 033 1260
Passcode: spinnaker

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After three days of challenging racing and race management, the Flying Fifteen Championship of Ireland concluded on Sunday 4th September, with a well-deserved victory by father and daughter combination Peter and Juliette Kennedy (3920), flying the burgees of Strangford Lough Yacht Club and Royal North of Ireland Yacht Club. Additionally, they took home the Dun Laoghaire fleet-donated Gerry Donleavy Memorial Trophy for winning the first race of the Nationals.

In second place, representing Killyleagh Yacht Club were Andrew McCleery and Colin Dougan (4037) and shutting the door to the podium for any of the home-based fleet, were Niall and Ronan O’Brien (4092) from the Chonamara Flying Fifteen Fleet.

The start of race four on Sunday morning under the U Flag Photo: Afloat(Above and below) The start of race four on Sunday morning under the U Flag Photo: Afloat

The start of race four on Sunday morning under the U Flag Photo: Afloat

So why was the Kennedy victory so well deserved? On Friday, we sailed two light wind races and Team Ridgeway sailed by Peter and his daughter won both of them.

Peter and Juliette Kennedy (3920)Peter and Juliette Kennedy (3920) 

Now you might say that what’s unusual about that? Well, the fact is that the nearest competitor to them after Day 1 was Bryan Willis & John McPeake (4074), counting eleven points with Phil Lawton & Neil O’Hagan (3803) in third on fourteen points. I think it would be safe to say that many would have believed that as one of the seemingly lighter crews, the Kennedys were well suited to Friday’s conditions. Saturday and Sunday would bring stiffer challenges, but the Kennedys took it all in their stride, counting a 6th, a 4th, a 5th and a 10th, their discard, in the subsequent races. These latter four races were sailed in conditions that started light on Saturday and got up to in excess of 20knots with some recordings of gusts in excess of 30knots. On Sunday, in sunshine conditions we sailed another three races that probably started in the high teens and certainly got above 20knots. Thus, when the heavier crews might have considered they had a physical advantage, this team were able to compete with aplomb and consistency.

The championship turnout of 31 boats was one of the biggest of the season Photo: AfloatThe championship turnout of 31 boats was one of the biggest one design keelboat fleets of the season Photo: Afloat

On Friday evening, some well known combinations were carrying a big score: - a past National Championship winning crew had a 22nd, a well-known combination who have been around the block a few times were carrying a 21st, one successful DBSC crew from 2022 were carrying a 26th, another were carrying a 27th and a 20th and this commentator was carrying a 24th.

Saturday dawned grey and drizzly with no real sign of wind ashore. Maybe the flags were too wet to fly on Saturday morning, but the more likely story was that there wasn’t a great deal of wind. Race Officer Eddie Totterdell decided we would go afloat, obviously of the view that if wind arrived he wanted to avail of it immediately. It took over an hour for any tangibly steady wind to arrive! Instead, we could hear reports of less that 5knots radioed in from the weather mark in the drizzly haze. Eventually wind did come in and how!

A first race got underway shortly around 13:30 (ish) when the wind was of the order of 8knots. It continued to build giving a boisterous windward-leeward two-lapper. Former National Champions, David Gorman & Chris Doorly (4099) duly wrapped up the race with a comfortable win. Behind them the finishing order was the Chonamarans, Niall & Ronan O’Brien (4092), Phil Lawton & Neil O’Hagan (3803), in their debut regatta, Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley (4081), followed by the Galvin brothers, Tom & Eamonn (3757). David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne scored an eighth in this one. The trick on this race was to stay on the right-hand side of the beat and subsequently, the left-hand side of the run. However, the run required a number of gybes to get to the leeward gate and some of those were under fast planing conditions.

David Gorman & Chris Doorly (4099)David Gorman & Chris Doorly (4099) Photo: Afloat

The wind continued to build and by now we were sailing in wind strengths in the upper teens and low twenties in terms of knots of wind speed with gusts getting even stronger. This was taking its toll on the fleet. We had one crew member go overboard going down the run. Another Fifteen did a double broach, ended up capsized and then flooded its forward buoyancy tank, resulting in it being towed home partially submerged. A broken spinnaker halyard in another boat seemed minor in comparison. Unaware that the Race Officer had cancelled all racing, the front end of the fleet comprising the likes of the O’Briens, Lavery & Green (4083), Mathews & Poole (4093), Shane McCarthy with debutant Flying Fifteen crew Damien Bracken (4085), Mulligan & Bradley and Gorman & Doorly continued, oblivious to the decision until they went through the finishing line en route to the leeward gate the second time. Race Officer Eddie Totterdell pointed to his “N over A” as each boat sailed past him. They all went on to the leeward gate and sailed to an upwind finish and silence from the committee boat. As we made our way back to the harbour, still sailing in these high wind conditions, we were perplexed as to the decision. It wasn’t immediately obvious that the fleet was being decimated! Ashore, the explanation was that rescue resources had been stretched to the limit and the decision to fly “N over A” was based on safety. DLH wind readings suggested that gusts of the order of 32 knots had been recorded.

A regatta dinner in the National Yacht Club saw the war stories emerge from the day’s proceedings and tired and sore bodies unwound from the efforts of the day. Still leading with a 6th in race 3, Peter and Juliette had the huge score of eight points in the kitty. Phil Lawton & Neil O’Hagan were in second with 10pts, and John Lavery & Alan Green were in third with 26pts. These were followed by Willis & McPeake (27), Mathews & Poole (30), the Galvins (31), McCleery & Dougan (32), the O’Briens (33), Hammy Baker & Peter Chamberlain (3756) (33) and Gorman & Doorly (37). A revised race schedule for Sunday with three races and a 10:25 start was advised to the fleet.

Hammy Baker & Peter Chamberlain (3756)Hammy Baker & Peter Chamberlain (3756) Photo: Afloat

On Sunday the sun had come back out to play but the wind was still very healthy. XCWeather had suggested southerlies of the order or 11 – 18knots building as the day wore on…...and so it was. However, the sunshine made a huge difference!

Andrew McCleery and Colin Dougan (4037)Andrew McCleery and Colin Dougan (4037) Photo: Afloat

Race 4 (of the regatta) went to the northern combination of Hammy Baker & Peter Chamberlain, followed by the O’Briens, McCleery & Dougan, the Kennedys, the Galvins, Mulligan & Bradley, Lavery & Green, Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028), Peter Lawson & Chris Hannon (3893) and Peter Murphy & Ciara Mulvey (3774). Again, working the right-hand side seemed to pay dividends, certainly from this commentator’s perspective. So, the Kennedys were still secure, managing the conditions and making sure they didn’t loose the leading pack. It was an interesting watch as this light(ish) crew managed the growing wind strength.

Waterford Harbour SC's Lee Statham and Andy Paul (IRL 4070)Waterford Harbour SC's Lee Statham and Andy Paul (IRL 4070)

Race 5 saw the O’Briens win in style! Now it was getting crowded at the top of the leader board. Mulligan & Bradley rounded in a podium place at the first windward mark but lost places on the downwind leg – a new phenomenon for them. However, they stayed inside the top ten, using Bradley’s “avoir du pois” to help them go upwind more easily in the breeze.

John Lavery & Alan Green (4083) Photo: AfloatJohn Lavery & Alan Green (4083) Photo: Afloat

McCleery & Dougan matched the westerners upward trend by posting a second place with Lavery & Green posting their best result of the regatta in third. Mathews & Poole also kept to the low numbers with a 4th, the Kennedys took 5th, Willis & McPeake 6th, Mulligan & Bradley 7th, Baker & Chamberlain 8th, Lawson & Hannon 9th and Tom Murphy & Carel La Roux (4057) 10th.

Flying Fifteens go downwind Tightly bunched Flying Fifteens on a downwind leg of race four at the Irish Nationals  Photo: Afloat

Race 6 saw the breeze go up another notch. The upwinds were hard work and the downwinds exhilarating! A number of boats pioneered the right-hand side of the beat and looked good until the very end when a few boats, not too many, piled in from the left. Yet again, the westerners were at the front, with Lavery, Mulligan, Mathews, McCleery and Willis and Lee Statham & Andy Paul (4070) in the immediate chasing pack. Up the second beat this leading group dropped Willis as they chased the O’Briens. Racing was close as the six boats chose slightly different routes to the leeward gate. The O’Briens went left, had a difficult gybe, wrapping the genoa around itself. Ronan ended up “tap-dancing” on the foredeck trying to get it unravelled before going overboard. That dropped them back to 6th, giving the other five boats a late one-place bonus.

Ian Mathews & Keith Poole (4093)Ian Mathews & Keith Poole (4093) Photo: Afloat

The finishing order was McCleery & Dougan, Mathews & Poole, Statham & Poole, Lavery & Green, Mulligan & Bradley, the O’Briens, Willis & McPeake, Gorman & Doorly, Lawson & Hannon, the Kennedys.

Regatta organiser Keith Poole presided at the prize-giving where due thanks were given to all who had made the regatta possible. Club Commodore Conor O’Regan also spoke welcoming all the visitors and thanking the volunteers and members of the National Yacht Club for their support of the regatta.

The Flying Fifteen Championship of Ireland 2022

Gold Fleet
1st Peter & Juliette Kennedy, 3920, SLYC & RNIYC; 17pts
2nd Andrew McCleery & Colin Dougan, 4037, KYC; 22pts
3rd Niall O’Brien & Ronan O’Brien, 4092, FFFC, 25pts
4th Ian Mathews & Keith Poole, 4093, NYC 26pts
5th John Lavery & Alan Green, 4083, NYC, 29pts.

The Jack Roy Memorial Trophy, presented by the Roy Family – 1st placed NYC Boat at the Nationals; Ian Mathews & Keith Poole.

The Gerry Donleavy Memorial Cup, presented by the Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen Fleet – Winner of the first race at the Championship of Ireland; Peter & Juliette Kennedy.

Silver Fleet
1st Peter Lawson & Chris Hannon, 3893, PYC; 50pts 10th Overall
2nd Tom & Eamonn Galvin, 3757, NYC; 51pts 11th Overall
3rd Tom Murphy & Carel La Roux, 4057, NYC; 55pts 14th Overall

Bronze Fleet
1st Mairtin O’Flatharta & Mike Hopkins, 393, FFFC; 93pts 20th Overall
2nd Joe Coughlan & Andrew Marshall, 3913, NYC; 115pts 23rd Overall
3rd Alan Balfe & Patrick Frison Roche, 3995, NYC; 119pts 24th Overall.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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Peter and Juliette Kennedy from Strangford Lough Yacht Club were crowned Irish Flying Fifteen National Champions after six races sailed at the National Yacht Club on Sunday. 

The father and daughter pairing led the three-day Dun Laoghaire championships from start to finish in a contest that featured light, medium and heavy wind conditions.

In a one-two for Northern Ireland Flying Fifteen interests, another Strangford crew took second place overall in the 31-boat fleet. Killyleagh Yacht Club's Andrew McCleery and Colin Dougan finished on 22 points, five points behind the Kennedys.

In a significant podium result for the emerging West Coast fleet, the recent winners of the Southern Championships, Niall O'Brien and Ronan O'Brien from Connemara, were third on 25 points sailing their new boat Checkmate.

The top Dublin Bay boat was the host club's Ian Mathews and Keith Poole in fourth place on 26 points.

Read Cormac Bradley's full championship report here

Published in Flying Fifteen
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Peter and Juliette Kennedy continue to lead the Flying Fifteen National Championships of Ireland after three races sailed at the National Yacht Club.

Leaders since Friday, the consistent Strangford Lough father and daughter combination are on eight points. They have a nine-point margin over Royal St George YC's Phil Lawton and Neil O'Hagan after just one championship race was sailed on Saturday in a blustery 20-knots on Dublin Bay. 

Third, are defending champions John Lavery and Alan Green of the host club on 26.

To make up for lost races, Race Officer Eddie Totterdell has amended the schedule for the final day.

Sunday, 4th September, will have a new first warning signal of 10.25 am with subsequent races following. The intention is to run three races if possible.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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