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Flying Fifteen DBSC Race Officer John McNeilly set an exciting course in the 14-22 knots westerly wind with blue skies giving what can only be described as champagne sailing conditions on Dublin bay last night.

Dumpleton and Hickey led off the favoured pin end before a tack to port and broken kicker meant an early shower.

At the other end, the Colemans battled with Sherry to head right in the freshening conditions and short sea.

After the short beat, it was Murphy and LeRoux who powered in on the port lay line to lead ahead of Poole/Galvin, followed by Mulvin/Beirne and the Colemans.

A seat of the pants fast reach to Omega saw the lead change to Poole/Galvin, with Ben and Mary Jane Mulligan now starting to climb into contention.

The long beat back to Bay saw Murphy regain the lead before again losing it downwind to Poole. The final beat saw the upwind power of the two former rugby back rowers, Murphy/LeRoux, pay off again and for good this time, they passed Poole/Galvin on the line for a hard-earned win.

A fast approaching Mulvin was 3rd with the Mulligans 4th and Shery passing the Colemans for 5th.

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Thirteen Flying Fifteens contested their Southern Championships in the sunny South-East in the company of sixteen 420s when Waterford Harbour sailing Club hosted both fleets over this past weekend.

The host club had three boats on the water and the balance of the fleet was made up of three boats from Northern Ireland, representing Portaferry Sailing Club, Strangford Lough Yacht Club and County Antrim Yacht Club. The National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire had six representatives and Connemara Flying Fifteens had a sole representative.

At the regatta briefing on Saturday morning, Race Officer Michael Conway from Wexford Tennis and Boat Club (hope I have got that right) made his intentions very clear. Despite the limp flags at the clubhouse, he was determined to start on time (11:55) and made it clear that there would be very little leeway with respect to errant starts. After one General Recall there would be a “U-flag” start and thereafter a “Black-Flag” start for all races after a General Recall. We knew who was boss!

Michael’s optimism was rewarded when after launching we found there was breeze on the course. Maybe not a huge amount but enough to get racing in. Indeed, it was relatively steady in direction, approx. 100° and while there would be no sustained hiking out there was enough wind across the course to make racing fair.

Note that I refer to the wind distribution being “fair”, the tide or more correctly, the current, was another matter altogether. To paraphrase John Ford, “You can pick any side of the beat you want, so long as it’s left”. In the first race of the day, Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley (4081) pioneered a course to the weather mark on the right-hand side of the beat, having decided that there was better wind on that side. For the majority of that beat, it looked the way to go. Until the boats that went left tacked onto port to sail to the mark. The distance between the lone boat on the right and the incoming boats on the left evaporated quite quickly and in the end Mulligan & Bradley did well to round in the top five. Leading the charge form the left were the “Boys from the West” Niall and Ronan O’Brien sailing their new charge 4092, recently bought from Nigel Biggs. Also prominent were Peter Kennedy & Peter Chamberlain (3920) and Niall Meagher & Keith Poole (3938), despite their banter the night before as to who was the “form horse” for the regatta. Last year’s Northern Champions, Stuart Harrison & Connor Brennan (3892) also signalled their intentions for the weekend by rounding in the lead bunch.

Down the spinnaker leg of the Windward-Leeward leg there was little place changing, 4092 having a handy lead throughout the race. While there was some place changing during the race, the next significant incident came with the signalling of a shortened course. Onshore there had been some debate about the mode of finishing and it was advised that on the last downwind leg of each race the leeward gate was not a mark of the course and boats were to sail straight to the finish. Neither of the home boats twigged that the first race was being shortened, not finished, as they made their way to the finish rather than the leeward gate. Thus Lee Statham & Andy Paul (4070) and Charlies Boland & Peter Coad (3883) got letters rather than numbers for their efforts. The O’Briens led the fleet home followed by the two Peters, Meagher & Poole, Harrison & Brennan, with fellow northerners Bryan Willis & John McPeake (4074) taking fifth.

Having learned their lesson of the benefits of the currents, not the tides, the fleet restricted itself to the middle and left of the next race and it was only after the tide had turned by the time of the third race that anyone was tempted by the right-hand side of the course…….and paid a heavy penalty for doing so.

Harrison & Brennan upped the ante in Race 2 by taking the win by a comfortable margin. Statham & Paul recovered quickly from their faux pas of the first race to record a second place with Peter Murphy & Ciara Mulvey (3774) scoring a third. The O’Briens (2) and Peters (2) would use this race as their discard, scoring a 4th and a 6th respectively, while 5th place went to Tom Murphy & Carel la Roux (4057).

By Race 3, the wind was starting to fade a little (a relative term) and some of us thought that a change in the tide might make a scouting trip to the right-hand side of the beat a worthwhile venture! Oh! the vanity of it all! The pioneers of this reckless adventure were ultimately rewarded with 9th and 11th place finishes respectively.

At the front to the fleet could be found the O’Briens, the Peters, Meagher & Poole, Boland & Coad and Harrison & Brennan. And this is the order in which they finished, though it wasn’t always the order in which they sailed. If my recall is right, Harrison & Brennan led for a large part of this race and may indeed have been leading at the last weather mark, but I may have to take that under advisement.

Thus, on Saturday evening, with three races in the bag, the situation was a s follows; The O’Briens led with 6 points, followed by the two Peters and Harrison & Brennan tied on 10 points, the Peters ahead by way of a second in the last race of the day versus Harrison’s fifth. Meagher & Poole were fourth on 13 points with Peter Murphy & Ciara Mulvey closing out the top five with 18 points. “Home towners” Lee Statham and Andy Paul had a “Countdown day” ending up with five consonants and a vowel on their score sheet and only one number, admittedly a 2!

Sunday dawned as hot as Saturday and a sense that there wasn’t quite as much breeze as there had been on the previous day. Again, the RO got the fleet afloat, anxious presumably to make sure he could get racing underway promptly if breeze arrived. It took quite a while and even then, came from the opposite direction to what had been forecast, from a southerly/south-westerly quarter rather than the northerly that XCWeather had suggested.

The first race of the day was a single-lap and in contrast to the previous day the current on the course was probably more evenly spread across the course, at least that was the decision for Mulligan & Bradley as they worked their way right up the shortish beat. It seemed to pay as they rounded the mark in good company with the two Peters, the O’Briens and Harrison & Brennan. However, there was diversity of thought on the run and the two Peters and Mulligan & Bradley went left while the majority stayed right. The two left side boats were slightly more favoured with breeze and ultimately the angle of the line, with the limit mark much closer to them than the committee boat for the others. The first two boats crossed the finish line overlapped, with Kennedy & Chamberlain ahead. Third went to the O’Briens, fourth to Harrison & Brennan and 5th to Murphy & Mulvey.

The final race of the day saw the majority of the fleet working the middle and left of the course with a sole practitioner on the right-hand side for the latter half of the beats. It was enough to keep Mulligan & Bradley in the frame for the first lap and on rounding the weather mark for the second time they had moved up to second behind the O’Briens. However, on the last run, Peter Kennedy and Stuart Harrison worked the inshore side of the run and Harrison got ahead of Mulligan to finish behind the O’Briens and Statham & Paul. Kennedy & Chamberlain finished 5th.

New champions, Ronan (l) and Niall O’Brien (R) Photo by Niall MeagherNew champions, Ronan (l) and Niall O’Brien (R) Photo by Niall Meagher

Thus, after a sojourn out to the west at the end of May where four DL-based boats were regally hosted by the Flying Fifteen Connemara Fleet, they have their first Provincial Flying Fifteen Champions in Niall and Ronan O’Brien. When we met them, they were sailing 3621, which they sailed again in Whitehead. They appeared in Dunmore East with 4092 and have won a debut regatta in their new boat! It doesn’t get much better than that. It was a hugely popular win and well deserved.

 2022 Flying Fifteen Southern Championship Results2022 Flying Fifteen Southern Championship Results

The Bronze Fleet prize went to John O’Sullivan & Pat Kiersey, while the Silver Fleet prize went to Peter Murphy & Ciara Mulvey.

The next Flying Fifteen regatta is the National Championship hosted over the first Friday/Saturday/Sunday of September 2/3/4th. We hope to see a big turnout for that event.
We also offer best wishes to those Flying Fifteen sailors who will be contesting the Fireball Worlds which start on Thursday coming with the Irish Nationals and Pre-Worlds (two days). The Worlds themselves start on Sunday 21st.

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Race Officer Neil Murphy and the Green Fleet had a difficult day on the water for Saturday’s DBSC racing.

Initially, the Race Officer took the fleet well to the west of the bay with the bigger boats and a WAZP regatta dictating the availability of the course area. From an early stage, it was apparent that the wind was not going to play ball as it fluctuated either side of 270°. With the WASZPs finishing their racing, the committee boat moved to their location but Neil’s struggles were not over, and the sight of the big boat fleet beating southwards and eastwards and the leaders running back westwards under spinnaker up the bay must have left him thinking he was operating in a parallel universe. That breeze never materialised for the Green Fleet – SB20s, Dragons, Sportsboats, Flying Fifteens, Mermaids, Ruffians and Beneteau's.

A two-lap Windward-Leeward race was commenced with a breeze that changed so regularly that deciding which end of the line was best to start was also a matter of chance. A committee boat start did not look too bright for 4081 (Mulligan & Bradley) relative to 3955 (Dumpleton & Hickey) and 4057 (Tom Murphy & Matt) who tacked onto port almost immediately and shot ahead of the fleet. I am going to assume that 4099 (Gorman & Casey), 4083 (Lavery & Green) and 4093 (Galvin & Poole) were at the other end of the line because these three boats and the previous two formed the core of the head of the fleet. By the latter half of the first beat, Gorman and Lavery were at the head of the fleet with Dumpleton and Murphy thereabouts. Mulligan had a better 2nd half of the beat to close the gap somewhat but the racing was tight down the spinnaker leg.

Dumpleton’s manoeuvres towards the end of the run were unsuccessful as he got dropped by Messrs Gorman and Lavery, having been in a position to challenge them both. The lead group went left but soon found themselves wallowing in no wind. Mulligan, 3753 (Court & O’Leary [with hat intact]) and 4068 (Mulvin & Beirne) having rounded together with 3896 (Cooper & McNamara) then worked the middle and right of the course. Court & O’Leary could have sailed to Clontarf and turned left when they ran out of water, they were so far removed from the rest of us. Cooper also went right but not to the extremes of Court. Mulligan and Mulvin were the most conservative operating in a tight corridor that never completely ran out of breeze, but never had a huge amount either. After one tack, Mulligan was able to lay the weather mark on a huge starboard lift. But that too evaporated!

Court eventually steamed in on starboard tack, reaching in from afar. However, he rounded the mark behind Cooper and with Mulligan on his transom. Court & Mulligan gybed immediately, Mulligan following Court’s lead and these two stayed within a boat-length of each other down the spinnaker leg. Mulvin & Beirne initially gave chase to Mulligan but the latter managed to squeeze out from the wind shadow Mulvin was trying to create.

The “left wingers” managed to get back in the frame by the weather mark as the breeze started to fill a bit more fruitfully across the course. Thus, we had Court, Mulligan and Mulvin working the left-hand side of the run, utilising the breeze that Court had brought in from the Clontarf side. Gorman, Lavery, Dumpleton, Cooper, the Colemans, Niall & Susan (4008) were on the shore side of the first three.
The lead two finished marginally overlapped, with Court & O’Leary taking the gun. Mulvin & Beirne were rewarded with 3rd place ahead of Gorman & Casey, Dumpleton & Hickey, the Colemans, Lavery & Green and Cooper.

It was a day of multiple wind changes and Neil Murphy, visiting the southern portion of the Bay from Howth, had multiple decisions to make to get a race in. A decision to wait until 16:15 to even contemplate a second race was the considered approach and by this deadline there was still no solidity to the wind conditions. The breeze that the big boats enjoyed never materialised on the Green course even though they used a weather mark that was only about one hundred metres away from our start area. The Green Fleet sailed homewards under spinnakers with a breeze that still had a westerly element to it. Inside the harbour the dinghy fleet abandoned their racing.

DBSC Saturday 6th August 2022

Flying Fifteens
1. Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary
2. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley
3. David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne
4. David Gorman & Margaret Casey
5. Ken Dumpleton & Joe Hickey

Saturdays Series B
1. David Gorman & Others 9pts
2. John Lavery & Alan Green 10pts
3. Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary 15pts
4. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley 19pts
5. Ken Dumpleton & Joe Hickey 21pts

Saturdays Overall
1. David Gorman & Others 31pts
2. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley 49pts
3. David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne 72pts
4. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 83pts
5. Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary 96pts

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Sixteen Flying Fifteens made the start of the first race of the two-race programme for the Facet Trophy – an August Bank Holiday weekend fixture for the Dublin Bay class, now in its tenth year.

At 10:00, the signs for a good day’s racing were scarce. Dublin Bay was very calm and the tricolour at the end of the East Pier was wrapped around itself there was so little wind. An hour later the first signs of breeze manifested themselves as the flag began to flutter with a breeze from a westerly direction. My forecast App had suggested we would be sailing in S – Westerlies of about 6 – 8 knots. Others had better forecasts, going as high as 13 knots.

The sail out to the race area, deep in the west of the Bay, suggested the higher wind forecast would be more accurate. Indeed, the sail out was a bit squally.

Race Officer, Barry O’Neill, had his hands full! From an early stage in his pre-race preparation, it was obvious from his conversation with the weather rib that the breeze was moving around between 235 and 270°. Eventually, he settled for a compromise bearing of 250° and a 1500m beat – with prizes at stake we were going to work today!

“Out of the West, be at your best” may be an appropriate philosophy for sailing in the top left-hand corner of Dublin Bay. I recall an international Laser (as it was then) regatta sailing in this area, the boats that went inshore came out roses. We now also have the incinerator to give us a gauge of wind direction and strength and of course clouds gathering over the hills behind Dun Laoghaire with rain in them are a good indicator of what might be coming the sailor’s way. Too many gauges of wind to balance? And then there is the ebbing tide, flowing out of the Bay all Saturday afternoon.

The author and his helm (4081) tried a port-tack, pin end start but bailed out at the last moment, not convinced they could get through the quickly closing gap unscathed. In many ways that cooked their goose for the balance of the race as they took multiple sterns crossing the start line on starboard before getting a gap to sail in a coarse approximation to the direction of the weather mark. The majority of the fleet headed inshore. The podium places on the water were filled at an early stage of this race, but not everything went smoothly for those in these lofted positions. David Gorman & Tom Galvin (4099) may have rounded first but down the run they had a major spinnaker problem that was not resolved for a long period. It may be that on this leg John Lavery & Alan Green (4083) overtook Gorman & Galvin, but from my vantage point I couldn’t be certain. The alternative theory and one that David might endorse is that John rounded first, followed by David because David advised on shore afterwards that his spinnaker troubles didn’t cost him that much on the water. In the last podium place we saw Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028), who needed to keep an eye on Peter Murphy & Ciara Mulvey (3774) and Adrian Cooper & Joe McNamara (3896). Adrian is enjoying enhanced competitiveness since he upgraded from 3198 to 3896 at the start of this season.

The places at the front end of the fleet did not change significantly over the balance of the race and the competitive arena on the water shifted to the chasing pack with the likes of Cooper, Murphy P, Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary (3753) Niall & Laura Coleman (4008), Tom Murphy (4057) and Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley (4081) fighting it out to fill positions 4 – 10.

Race 1: John Lavery, David Gorman, Neil Colin, Peter Murphy and Adrian Cooper.

While the location of the weather mark may have been tweaked for the fluctuating wind, the length of the course was left unchanged, as evidenced by the fact that the second race was of the same duration as the first, two laps of a windward-leeward course. A conspicuous absentee from the first race, Mike Wazowski, sailed by Ian Mathews & Keith Poole (4093), would dominate this race from start to finish, winning by a comfortable margin. Behind them we find the ever-consistent Lavery & Green and Gorman & Galvin. For the first upwind leg of the course, these three had a distance on the rest of the fleet, but the chasing pack closed down the off-wind leg. Included in this group was Ken Dumpleton & Joe Hickey (4026), Colin & Casey, Niall Meagher & Nicki Matthews (3938), Mulligan & Bradley and Court & O’Leary. These five spread themselves the width of the downwind leg and converged in a tight pack on the first leeward mark.

Up the second beat, Dumpleton & Hickey sailed a “Cracker” to get into the mix with the top three. Indeed, Gorman’s transom didn’t seem quite so far away going up the 2nd beat and even the author was encouraged by where we appeared to be on the water. While Mathews and Lavery were secure in first and second respectively, Gorman must have been a little concerned rounding the weather mark for the second time that his podium spot might be in jeopardy. Down the second off-wind leg his comfort levels would have risen as he put some more distance between himself and the chasing pack. The next five boats continued their quest for the minor placings in reasonably close quarters with each needing to be careful of the other four. They finished in a short sequence.

Race 2: Ian Mathews, John Lavery, David Gorman, Ken Dumpleton, Neil Colin.

Frank Burgess as MC opened the prizegiving in the National Yacht Club after racing by thanking all the competitors for turning out for the day’s regatta. As he stated, given that we are still in holiday mode and it is a Bank Holiday weekend, a turnout of 16 boats was an exceptional gesture of support to the sponsor Facet Jewellers. Further, it is a significant birthday for the regatta as this is the tenth anniversary of the first Facet Trophy Regatta. He thanked the sponsor’s representative, Pat Shannon, who had taken time out from his own post-race relaxation to award the prizes. Pat in turn thanked the competitors, Frank Burgess, the National Yacht Club and DBSC for facilitating today’s racing and prizegiving.

In a very generous gesture, prizes were awarded to the first, second and third places in each of the bronze, silver and gold fleets.

In reverse order;

Bronze Fleet
3. John O’Sullivan and Pat Keirsey 3762 31pts
2. Mick Quinn and Mary Jane Mulligan 3960 28pts
1. Adrian Cooper & Joe McNamara 3896 17pts

Silver Fleet
3. Jill Fleming & Frank Burgess 23pts
2. Tom Murphy & Kathy 22pts
1. Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary 14pts

Gold Fleet
3. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 8pts
2. David Gorman & Tom Galvin 5pts
1. John Lavery & Alan Green 3pts

As the winning helm, John Lavery thanked the sponsors for their generosity and support, the competitors for taking part and his crew, Alan Green for keeping them on the straight and narrow on the water.

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The last check on the weather forecast for last evening, before departing work suggested 6/7 knots SE going south and dying as the evening wore on. DBSC Race Officer John McNeilly in his briefing to the fleet on the water advised that he had 6 -6.5 knots at 145° and reminded everyone in the Flying Fifteen fleet that the tide had just turned and would be flooding all evening. Two Thursdays ago, in what we thought were similar conditions, a seaward hike on the first beat had been of enormous benefit in taking the gun, but last night a lesser hike to sea was the initial undoing of this author.

Ian Mathews & Keith Poole (4093) led a “Lake Garda-esque” charge to the shore and led the fleet into the three-mark course – Bulloch-Island Pier-Island-Pier-Finish. Others in this group included Niall & Susan Coleman (4008), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028), Peter Murphy & Ciara Mulvey (3774) and probably Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary (3753).

On the opposite side of the course, shortly after the start could be found Alan Green, back after an extended campaign in the UK, sailing with his daughter Caroline in 4083, Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley (4081), Alan Balfe (3995) and Tom Murphy & Nicki Matthews (4057). The first two were the last to abandon this course, with Green politely goading Mulligan to tack. Having done so, Green, in the weather berth simply sailed off, eventually scoring a podium place on the finish line.

Having traversed the beat, Mulligan joined the rest of the fleet as they rock-hopped along the coast between the 40-foot and Dalkey, trying to duck the tide. At this stage, Mulligan was in the mix with John O’Sullivan and Cas (3792), Hugh & Niall Meagher (3938) and Tom Murphy and rounded in ninth place. The light conditions meant that there was no hiking and most crews were either sitting on the cockpit floor or on the leeward deck.

The leg to Island was a two-sailer, with the fleet sailing high to compensate for the tide and it was only at Island that spinnakers were broken out and a running order, from my perspective, could be determined. First to show was the red and black of Mathews & Poole (4093), followed by the blue of the Colemans (4008), the white of the Greens (4083), the yellow of Colin & Casey (4028), the green and yellow of Court & O’Leary (3753) and another blue of Murphy & Mulvey (3774). In their immediate company Mulligan & Bradley (red) had Murphy & Matthews (two-tone blue), Balfe (sky blue & white) and the Meaghers (pink & blue, I think).

For the leg to Pier, the breeze held its strength, but there was no change in the running order at the head of the fleet that this correspondent was aware of. What I can confirm is that the distances between the boats was quite large so there was no close quarter sailing going on in the leading 1 -7 boats. The second beat saw the fleet sail lemming-like to the shore with the exception of Adrian Cooper (3896) who went to sea in a big way. Later Tom Murphy would also head seawards and neither really lost out by it. Indeed, it could be argued that Cooper re-joined the company as a consequence of this tactic.

Mathews & Poole were very comfortable at Island the second time and would go on to win by a very large margin. The Colemans, the Green and Colin & Casey finished in quick succession and with a semblance of being in a close race. Murphy & Mulvey and Court & O’Leary were next home. The next group of boats – Murphy T, Meaghers, Copper and Mulligan had closed in to form a tighter group as they sailed to Pier for the second time and some divergent downwind sailing took place. Copper was on the inside with Mulligan to his starboard side. Team Meagher went much further right while Murphy T tried to source wind by first gong right and then coming back again. Mulligan held a reasonably steady line but was the first to gybe for the final approach to Pier. And this paid off, allowing him to round Pier as the first of this quartet of boats.
For the short hitch to the finish, Copper and Murphy went to the left, while Mulligan sailed to the right and was able to cross the line ahead of the other two.

DBSC Thursday Series: Flying Fifteens

28th July
1. Ian Mathews & Keith Poole (4093)
2. Niall & Susan Coleman (4008)
3. Alan & Caroline Green (4083)
4. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028)
5. Peter Murphy & Ciara Mulvey (3774)

Thursdays Overall

1. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 28pts
2. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley 52pts
3. Keith Poole/Ian Mathews & Tom Galvin 53.5pts
4. Niall, Susan & Laura Coleman 62pts
5. Peter Murphy & Ciara Mulvey 68pts
Thursdays B Series (5 races) [As posted by DBSC]
1. Niall & Susan & Laura Coleman 10pts
2. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 12pts
3. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley 17pts
4. Peter Murphy & Ciara Mulvey 17pts
5. Adrian Cooper & crews 20pts

The fleet is reminded that it is racing for the Facet Trophy this Saturday, 30th July, with a prize-giving scheduled for 17:15 (approx.) in the National Yacht Club.

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Late Saturday morning signalled a change in the recent weather, with blue skies giving way to overcast conditions and the light winds of the previous Thursday night’s racing disappearing to be replaced by wind that whistled through the rigging on the platform of the National Yacht Club. It generated some debate as to whether there would be racing but that argument was partially undone by the launching of a large number of ILCAs for their Leinster Championships earlier in the morning. XCWeather had predicted southerlies of 12 knots gusting to the low twenties, one voice claimed that the Dublin Bay Buoy was showing 22knots gusting to 28. However, a later check on that source showed 4knots gusting 22!

The ongoing holiday season and one case of ill health continues to create new combinations for racing in the Flying Fifteens and this Saturday there was no shortage of new names sailing together, with some sailing in unusual places. John Lavery helmed David Mulvin’s Ignis Caput Duo (4068), with David in the sharp end. Joe Coughlan crewed for Ian Mathews in Mike Wazowski (4093), Alan Balfe stepped into the sharp end of Thomas Murphy’s Fflagella (4057) and Chris Doorly teamed up with David Gorman (4099). In the absence of any contrary notification from the Race Officer, Barry O’Neill, these four boats and six others launched for the 2-race programme. A busy race agenda with ILCAs sailing Leinsters and Ruffians sailing their Nationals saw the Saturday Green Fleet going deep into the west of the bay to get their racing in.

Mulligan & Bradley en route to the start areaMulligan & Bradley en route to the start area

With low water at 14:30 tide would be a feature of the afternoon and despite the wind whistling in the rigging ashore, the sail out to the start area was quite genteel. On the water, the wind direction was of the order of 145°, not quite the southerly that XCWeather had suggested.

For the first race of the day, the fleet all started on starboard with Mulligan & Bradley closest to the committee boat – by choice. Their decision was influenced by an assessment of tide and wind and while the rest of the fleet belatedly followed them inshore, Mulligan appeared to have stolen a slight march on the fleet. However, the route to the weather mark of the 2-lap Windward-Leeward course meant that those who had taken a starboard hitch initially were better off, though when the fleet converged for the final approach to the weather mark, there wasn’t a great deal of distance between them. Mulligan looked to have cleared those coming in on port tack, but that isn’t how it materialised as Mathews & Coughlan led the fleet around, followed by Lavery & Mulvin, Gorman & Doorly and Mulligan & Bradley. Mathews and Lavery were reasonably close with a gap to Gorman and a further gap to Mulligan who had to watch his windward quarter where Murphy & Balfe lurked with intent.

It was a starboard tack two-sailer all the way to the leeward mark where a gybe was required to round the mark and start the second beat. The leading quartet all went straight inshore with Gorman the furthest boat to windward but behind the front two where Mathews was the leeward boat but still leading. Mulligan eased off to get out from underneath Gorman and “Lake Garda like” the race was on to get to the shore first. These four pulled away from the rest of the fleet and closed on each other to provide a tight rounding of the weather mark for the second time.

Again, the course to the leeward mark was a simple straight-line matter apart from Gorman & Doorly sailing high to try and take the two boats ahead of them. My recall is that this didn’t succeed, but in the short leg to the finish, a decision to try and fly bag cost Lavery & Mulvin, allowing Gorman to take second place.

There was a sense that the breeze got up for the second race and the RO rejigged his course, seeming to make it longer as well as moving the weather mark in a northerly direction. Mulligan again pursued an inshore course and got it right to lead around the first weather mark of the three-lap course. This time the RO had set a course that forced people to make choices as to which route to take downwind. Mulligan favoured a slightly right-hand side biased route and was followed to varying degrees by Lavery and Mathews whereas Gorman sailed a more inshore route. The tactical aspect of the downwind came into play later on in the leg when an early gybe was needed to sail back towards the leeward mark. While an earlier transit has suggested that in straight line terms Gorman and Mulligan would be close, Mulligan’s gybe undid that assessment as he stole a few boat-lengths to get into the mark first. A well-executed spinnaker drop saw him gain another boat-length on Gorman and more importantly the windward slot relative to his pursuer. Mathews and Coughlan’s race came to an end here when they sailed over the spinnaker and Coughlan went overboard trying to resolve the problem.

Compared to the previous trek to the shore, Mulligan & Bradley decided the numbers weren’t good enough and took a hitch to sea. Or at least it started as a hitch and ended as a long solitary passage up the left-hand side of the beat. It was a risk, as none of the chasing pack felt so inclined but with a focus on the compass, they managed to eke out some distance from the chasing pack! As they tacked to come back inshore they were rewarded by being able to comfortably cross the fleet and close out the last metres of the second beat in relative comfort. What followed was another tactical downwind with Messrs Gorman and Lavery in pursuit – never easy and enough to focus the mind very intently. At the very least Mulligan maintained his lead over his pursuers and was able to embark on the third beat with some distance on Gorman who was still ahead of Lavery, but Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary (Ffinisterre 3753) were now in the mix. As Mulligan led the chasers upwind on starboard tack it was apparent that Court & O’Leary were closing on Gorman & Doorly. As Mulligan tacked inshore for his final approach to the upwind finish of a shortened course Court and Gorman hit the left-hand corner with Court in the windward berth and ahead on the water. As they, in turn, tacked onto port to close on the finish, it was Court who was ahead and he took the gun for second place.

DBSC Flying Fifteens: Saturday Series. Saturday 23rd July.

Race 1.
1. Ian Mathews & Joe Coughlan 4093
2. David Gorman & Chris Doorly 4099
3. John Lavery & David Mulvin 4068
4. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley 4081
5. Tom Murphy & Alan Balfe 4057.

Race 2.
1. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley 4081
2. Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary 3753
3. David Gorman & Chris Doorly 4099
4. John Lavery & David Mulvin 4068
5. Tom Murphy & Alan Balfe 4057.

DBSC Flying Fifteens: Saturday Series Overall*
1. David Gorman & Michael Huang/Chris Doorly 22pts
2. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley 34pts
3. David Mulvin/John Lavery & Ronan Beirne 48pts
4. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 64pts
5. Tom Murphy & Carel/Alan Balfe 71pts

*The DBSC website is now showing the Thursday Night and Saturday Series as Thursday A & B and Saturday A & B, but the “Overall” results for the Saturday Series posted in this article is for all the Saturdays to date.

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Last night’s DBSC race for the Flying Fifteens was challenging on Dublin Bay! And post-race, ashore, the Race Officer, John McNeilly, also conceded that it wasn’t an easy night! Of course, it wasn’t his fault, Mother Nature gave us another light wind puzzle to work out.

The scenario! High tide at 19:10. A forecast from XCWeather suggested 4-6 knots from a westerly direction which wasn’t the case on the water. Initially, a committee boat that was moving around, in what has been posted on the results website, as a South-Easterly of 6 knots.

The course for the night – East-Omega-Pier-Omega-Harbour, (all to starboard) – Finish. A clean start saw the fleet having different approaches to the first leg to East. All started on starboard tack but a quintet of boats pioneered an offshore approach to the first leg. Included in this group were Niall & Laura Coleman (4008), Gerry Ryan & crew (4045), Tom Murphy & Carel (4057) Ken Dumpleton & Joe Hickey (4026) and Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley (4081). This group was reduced to two for the latter half of the beat, Ryan and Mulligan. On the inshore side of the beat, boats to the fore included Peter Murphy & Ciara Mulvey (3774), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028), Adrian Cooper & Joe (3896). A mix of inshore and offshore boats made up the first five-six boats for the two-sail leg to Omega. My “call” on the pecking order is Murphy (P), Cooper, Colin, John O’Sullivan (3762) Coleman, Mulligan. The latter had Dumpleton sail through him and Ryan also closed on Mulligan.

The spinnaker leg to Pier saw a similar division of thought as to how to get there. An approximate 50:50 split saw the advantage go to those who pursued an inshore course and Coleman certainly got into the podium places as a consequence. Cooper and Colin maintained their spots at the head of the fleet, but Murphy (P) dropped back. The rounding of Pier saw boats coming in from both sides and there were gentlemanly donations in response to calls for water. At this rounding, Murphy (T) had closed on Mulligan as well. The leaders set off for Omega again with an offshore approach. Mulligan found himself on the inshore track of the beat, in a lifting breeze which was dying and was rewarded by rounding in fourth place, with Cooper, Coleman and Dumpleton ahead (I think). Yet again the fleet split for the downwind to Harbour, but the spread was much more significant with Colin leading a charge (poetic licence) out to the right-hand side. Others followed!! Cooper tried to sail a rhumb-line to the mark but in the fading wind found that he had to deviate from that philosophy.

Coleman, Murphy (T), Mulligan and latterly Niall Meagher & Nicki Mathews (3938) and Dave Mulvin & Chris Doorly (4068) pioneered the inshore route, getting so close to the East Pier that they had to gybe away from the wall. That forced them more towards the middle of the course, but Meagher went back inshore for another bite and made places as a consequence. Meanwhile, better breeze had arrived for those who went hard right and Colin & Casey were making strides (poetic licence) to the leeward mark under a healthy spinnaker set. Others to benefit were Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary (3753), Mick Quinn & Sarah Jane Mulligan (3960) and Dumpleton.

Of the first five boats home, only Cooper hadn’t gone far right on the run. His efforts on the night, staying in the podium places on the water for the longest duration of the fifteen boats racing, was rewarded with a second place behind Colin & Casey. Behind Cooper the order was Court, Dumpleton and Quinn. The early inshore boats were left to close out 8th, 9th and 11th respectively.

DBSC Thursday Nights: Flying Fifteens 21 July.
1. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 4028
2. Adrian Cooper & Joe 3896
3. Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary 3753
4. Ken Dumpleton & Joe Hickey 4026
5. Mick Quinn & Sarah Jane Mulligan 3960

DBSC Thursday Nights: Flying Fifteens Overall.
1. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 25pts
2. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley 46pts
3. Keith Poole/Ian Matthews/Tom Galvin 52.5pts
4. Niall/Susan/Laura Coleman 60pts
5. Peter Murphy & Ciara Mulvey 64pts.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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Last night’s DBSC Thursday Flying Fifteen evening race saw another light wind session on Dublin Bay, but conditions ashore, before the race, suggested, again, that we might not get a race. All the flags within sight of the NYC platform were hanging limp. However, the tricolour at the end of the East Pier was showing some life and launching into the harbour, there was enough wind to get the Fifteens moving quite readily. XCWeather was suggesting winds of 6 – 9 knots fluctuating around the westerly point of the compass, but on the water, the wind was more SSE (150°) and Race Officer was advising that he had 8/9 knots. Accordingly, he set another triangle-sausage course, same as last week, Bulloch-Island-Pier-Island-Pier-Finish. Our reconnaissance suggested that inshore there was less breeze and with a flooding tide all evening, strength of breeze was going to be critical.

On that basis we decided to start at the outer end of the line and were joined at the pin end by Gerry Ryan (4045), Team Sherry (4056), Team Coleman (4008) and Team Murphy (4057). Niall & Susan Coleman were the first to abandon this idea and headed inshore, Peter Sherry & daughter followed suit as did Tom Murphy, leaving Ryan and Mulligan ploughing a lonely offshore furrow relative to the other 12 boats, including Hayling Island returnees, David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (4068). The two offshore boats stayed on the left-hand side of the course for about 75% of the beat before tacking across to the shore, Ryan going first. As they headed inshore it became very apparent that they had both stolen a march on the fleet. Ryan was to leeward of Mulligan and marginally ahead but started pushing upwind and squeezing Mulligan who felt obliged to tack. They were still in close company as they approached Bulloch on starboard but a Sportsboat, also rounding Bulloch hampered Mulligan’s final boat-lengths’ approach.

The leg to Island was a two-sailer with compensation for the flooding tide. Ryan went marginally low allowing Mulligan to close on him, but Ryan held on to round Island first and went for a conventional spinnaker hoist and the right-hand side of the run. Mulligan hoisted spinnaker and gybed immediately and got the dividend of better inshore breeze. If a line at 90°to Mulligan hull had been drawn, it would have shown that he was ahead on the water, but Ryan was a good distance offshore in comparison and Mulligan had Pier just off his port bow.

Mulligan went round Pier with a comfortable margin on the fleet while Ryan lost at least two, if not three places. The pecking order behind Mulligan was now Niall & Susan Coleman, followed by Ian Mathews & Tom Galvin (4093). For the early part of the beat to Island, Mulligan was comfortable, but then the breeze began to fade and playing the shifts and keeping the boat moving became more important. Initially the Colemans closed and then overtook Mulligan. However, by going separate ways shortly thereafter, Mulligan regained the lead and distance on Coleman but found that Mathews was also in close proximity. At the leg progressed towards its latter stages, Mulligan and Mathews were out on the left with Coleman inshore. And when Mathews and Coleman crossed, Mathews had gone into second place, by a boat-length. Mulligan managed to put some distance between the chasing boats and after some short tacking got around Island at which there was a river of tide. While a spinnaker went up, it was doing nothing useful, but with the tide underneath them, Mulligan & Bradley streaked away from their chasers who were still fighting the tide to get to Island. On the sea-side of East Pier, we could see Ruffians and Shipmans flying spinnaker as they sailed away from the harbour, a westerly breeze was coming in! As Mulligan & Bradley readied themselves for a beat, the Colemans and Mathews & Galvin and the balance of the Fifteen fleet were flying spinnakers into Island.

Mulligan’s lead at this stage extended to 75% of the leg between Island and Pier, a very comfortable margin. A short spinnaker leg to the finish closed the account for the evening. Behind them the finishing order was Colemans, Mathews & Galvin, Murphy (P) & Ciara Mulvey (3774) and Murphy (T) & crew (4057).

DBSC Thursday 14th July: Flying Fifteens
1. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley (4081)
2. Niall & Susan Coleman (4008)
3. Ian Mathews & Tom Galvin (4093)
4. Peter Murphy & Ciara Mulvey (3774)
5. Tom Murphy & Crew (4057)

Flying Fifteens Overall
1. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028) 24pts
2. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley (4081) 37pts
3. Keith Poole, Ian Mathews & Tom Galvin) (4093) 39.5pts
4. Niall & Susan Coleman (4008) 52pts
5. David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (4068) 52.5pts

Published in Flying Fifteen
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By way of a straw pole on their WhatsApp Group the Flying Fifteen fleet signed up to a three-race DBSC programme offered by designated Race Officer for the day, Barry O’Neil.

On arrival at the waterfront, the prospect of three races seemed to be a bit optimistic given the wind conditions and the forecast. XCWeather was only promising 4-6knots from a northerly direction moving eastwards as the afternoon wore on. Overhead, the clouds weren’t doing much to suggest there was breeze either. And yet, the Irish tricolour flying at the end of the East Pier suggested that there was something in the bay.

Over the radio, our Race Officer indicated that he was in mobile mode to accommodate MacLir doing the big boat race but latterly his problem was a wind from a Southeast/SSE direction that wouldn’t settle and later again there were problems when he sought to relay the weather mark. However, the best efforts of the committee boat and the mark-layers allowed a three-race programme to be completed, with a short final race being squeezed in before the afternoon was out.

It would be impossible to give a detailed account of three races from memory, so this piece will instead concentrate on some of the aspects of the day!

The “Performance of the Afternoon” Award has to go to Peter Murphy & Ciara Mulvey (3774, Hera) who won the first and last races of the day. In the first race they were well placed throughout the race rounding the first weather mark of a windward-leeward course of two laps in 3rd place behind Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley (4081, Enfant de Marie) and Conor O’Leary & Margaret Casey (4028, Ffuzzy). These positions stayed intact for the downwind leg, but on the second beat, first Fuzzy and then Hera got past Enfant de Marie and on the second downwind leg, Hera took the lead and the winning gun on the short hitch to the finish.

The “Most Astute Start of the Day” Award goes to Ian Mathews & Chris Doorly (4093, Mike Wazowski) who executed a perfect port-tacked, pin end start and were never headed thereafter. Mulligan & Bradley were closest to them on starboard tack and took the same inshore route approach to the beat. As with the first race, these two were never headed, but behind them the chasing pack was having a good competition. In the end Niall Meagher & Nicki Matthews (3938, Ffantastic Mr Fox) won through to 3rd place with Murphy & Mulvey coming home fourth. On this basis, three boats were tied on five points each (if it had been a day regatta) – Murphy & Mulvey (1,4), Mathews & Doorly (4, 1) and Mulligan & Bradley (3,2). While one boat had departed after Race 1, a number of others departed after Race 2, leaving a slightly depleted fleet for the third race, a single lap race to the inner weather mark (used previously by Squibs and Mermaids), with the promise of an upwind finish.

The “Symmetry of the day” Award goes to the aforementioned Peter Murphy and Tom Murphy, crewed by Carel (4057, Fflagella) who finished first and second in this race. Mathews & Doorly had departed the scene after their first place so the day’s overall honours should have been a call between Murphy P and Mulligan. However, the least effective start of the day in this race gave Mulligan some work to do and the fading breeze didn’t help his cause either. Murphy & Mulvey led a charge into the weather mark from the left-hand side of the course with Mulligan working the right-hand side in isolation. That basically sealed the outcome of the theoretical “winners of the day” chase.

If it were a “day regatta”, the results might read as follows, all races to count;

1. Peter Murphy & Ciara Mulvey – 1, 4, 1 = 6pts
2. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley – 3, 2, 5 = 10pts
3. Niall Meagher & Nicki Matthews – 6, 3, 4 = 13pts
4. Ian Mathews & Chris Doorly – 4, 1, DNC = 15pts
5. Tom Murphy & Carel – 9, 11, 2 = 20pts.

In overall terms, DBSC has the series recorded as follows,

1. David Gorman & Michael Huang, 4099, 14pts
2. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley, 4081, 23pts
3. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey, 4028, 24pts.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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Sixteen Flying Fifteens took to the water for the first July Thursday race of DBSC and needed a second attempt at starting to get the race underway. Race Officer John McNeilly set a simple “triangle – sausage course” using Bulloch, Island and Pier, with the “sausage” being between Pier and Island. There was then a short upwind leg from Pier to the finish. Despite John’s warning of the consequences of an ebbing tide a General Recall was signalled for the first start and thereafter the fleet got underway under a “U” Flag. It is only on review of the results for this report that I see that one boat fell foul of the “U” flag.

The wind was not in accordance with the forecast I use, coming from a SE direction, hence the use of Bulloch as the windward mark. With an ebbing tide all evening, the question was, “Where was the better wind”, which wasn’t in huge supply in the first place. The first beat had crews sitting on the windward deck but that was about as good as it got. At the pin end of the start that got away, we had two boats attempting a port-tack start. One was more successful than the other, Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028) clearing the entire fleet off the line. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley (4081) didn’t quite achieve that and had to wend their way through the starboard tack boats to get clear air. Others at the pin end, coming from the committee boat end included Adrian Cooper & Joe McNamara (3896) and Ken Dumpleton & Joe Hickey (3955). These two would dominate the front end of the fleet for the whole night with Adrian & Joe McNamara leading the race around every mark bar the last one, when Ken & Joe took over that mantle.
Having worked their way to the inshore side of the course Colin and Mulligan found that others who had started off inshore were in slightly better shape. In this latter bunch we would find Gerry Ryan & crew (4045) Niall & Susan Coleman (4008), Niall Meagher & Nicki Matthews (3938) and Peter Murphy & Ciara Mulvey (3774). At the rounding of Bulloch the order was Cooper, Dumpleton, Ryan, Colin & Mulligan with Meagher, Coleman, Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary (3753) and Murphy & Mulvey breathing down Mulligan’s neck.

The long spinnaker leg to Pier saw the fleet spread across the course and initially those who went off to sea fared better, but further down the leg, having transitioned from inshore to offshore, Mulligan looked to have gained places, until breeze came in from the inshore side to see, Meagher, Court, Murphy (P) and Coleman squeeze him wide of the mark. Ahead of this group were Cooper, Dumpleton and Colin.
Mulligan stayed “out of step” from the rest of the fleet and worked the inshore side of the second beat to Island. At times it looked very good, but it didn’t last long enough and with the ebbing tide taking him up to the mark, an easing of sheets marked the final approach to Island. With the fading breeze, the leg to Pier seemed even longer than the first time and the spread of the fleet was even more significant. Cooper and Dumpleton initially took as slightly offshore route which got progressively more offshore as the leg proceeded. At on stage they looked as though they were making a beeline for Clontarf. Between them and Mulligan on the inshore side of the run could be found – Colin, Coleman, Meagher, Murphy (P) with Court marginally further inshore. From this initial position there was a lot of changes with Colin and Coleman gybing to come inshore. Court went offshore and then came back, while Murphy (P) stayed out longer before he too came back inside. Meanwhile Cooper and Dumpleton were still ploughing an offshore furrow. All this in fading breeze.

Colin’s gybe brought him much closer to Mulligan and Coleman followed suit, with both sitting inshore of Mulligan. Slightly later Murphy was in the same position. Mulligan got one or two zephyrs that the others didn’t get and sailed away from them. By this stage we were in the final run in to Pier. Dumpleton had taken Cooper’s place at the head of the fleet and these two arrived at Pier before two Ruffians and two Shipmans that would impact on the rounding of Pier for Mulligan, Coleman, Colin, Murphy (P) and Court. The latter four boats found themselves inside a red-hulled Ruffian who seemed determine to give away the least amount of room possible. Mulligan sailed around the outside of both Ruffians, red-hulled and white-hulled, and a Shipman and holding onto spinnaker till the last possible moment squeezed through a gap that opened up behind the first Shipman. This was enough to get him away from Pier on port tack, in clear air. A subsequent tack to occupy the weather slot relative to Coleman on the starboard tack to the finish, allowed Mulligan to steal third place – an unlikely result give the way the race had gone earlier.

Dumpleton and Copper led the fleet home, in that order and behind Mulligan the finishers, in sequence, were Coleman, Murphy (P), Court and Colin.

Flying Fifteens DBSC, Thursday 7th July.
1. Ken Dumpleton & Joe Hickey 3995
2. Adrian Cooper & Joe McNamara 3896
3. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley 4081
4. Niall & Susan Coleman 4008
5. Peter Murphy & Ciara Mulvey 3774

Flying Fifteens DBSC Overall.
1. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (24)
2. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley (45)
3. Keith Poole & Others (49.5)
4. David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (59.5)
5. Ken Dumpleton & Joe Hickey (60)

In Hayling Island starting today (Friday), the UK Flying Fifteen fleet has their Nationals and there is Irish representation in the form of John Lavery & Alan Green (4083), David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (4068) and I assume (but am not certain) Shane McCarthy (4085). The latter has just won the Irish GP14 Nationals as a run-up to the GP14 Worlds, scheduled for August in Skerries. We wish them all fair winds.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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