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Royal St. George Regatta Completes Flying Fifteen 'Grand Slam' for Gorman & Doorly

7th July 2014
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#flyingfifteen – The last of the waterfront clubs summer regatta's took place at the RStGYC on Saturday and the Flying Fifteen class was won by Dave Gorman & Chris Doorly in Betty in testing conditions as the winds were all over the bay. This gives them the 'grand slam' as they won all four waterfront regattas. Second was Ian Mathews with Jonathan O'Rourke helming on the same points as Adrian Cooper & Joe in Gulfstream in a well deserved third place.

It was forecast to be windy from the west, something we havnt had for a while but during racing the prevailing wind was fighting with the sea breeze and the usual hole appeared in the Bay giving a testing time to the competitors and the Race Officers.

In race 1 there was a bias to the pin and there were about 12knots under the big dirty cloud above so full hiking was the order of the day . . for a while at least! O'Rourke/Mathews led the way after a good start at the pin, as the boats tacked onto port there was a shift and a change in wind strength, those on the left were knocked and the two boats that had gone right were coming in full steam with Ken & Maryjane leading at the weather mark from O'Rourke, Justin Maguire and Adrian Cooper, Gorman was fifth to the weather mark. On the reach Gorman sailed low to try and get some place by getting water at the next mark, this worked well and at the gybe mark was second. The wind was holding, O'Rourke went to the right of the second beat along with Adraian while Gorman and Maguire went left, by now the wind was getting lighter and flukier. Maguire & Burgess made big gains and tacked in under O'Rourke at the weather mark but were sailed over, Gorman was fifth. Downwind Gorman went right hoping for that sea breeze and the help of the incoming tide, it looked good for a while as those on the left had no wind Then the wind gods gave those on the left wind and took it from the right! As the boats neared the leeward mark the wind picked up for a few minutes. As Gorman went left on starboard he got tangled with a port Fireball, for the last lap the positions didn't change so O'Rourke won from Justin & Frank with Gorman third and Adrian & Joe fourth.

There was a very long break between races as all classes were given 3 laps, this is preventable if the first couple of classes are given an extra lap. With the winds now more easterly the PRO reset the course, due to the uncertainty it was to be a shorter two lap course- this proved to be an inspired decision!

To have any chance of winning the regatta Gorman had to win and hope O'Rourke and Maguire have a poor race, this was unlikely but you would never know. The Meagher's were also out to add to the mix for the second race after having a lie in! In race 2 the wind was up and the pin end was biased, O'Rourke got the pin, with Colman to his weather, Gorman started away from the pin and managed to trap the two boat below, as in last week regatta there was actually very little time to be on starboard ,Gorman went a little beyond the lay line and O'Rourke and Colman had now overstood the mark and were in Gorman's dirt. As he approached the weather mark the boats from the right were coming in on starboard, Gorman got in about two boat lenghts in front of Alan Dooley and Adrian Cooper with the Cahills close behind. There was a bit of heavy traffic at the weather mark and O'Rourke and Maguire got caught up in it as Gorman increased his lead. On the second beat Dooley was sailing well on the right, the wind had now dropped and anything could happen, Gorman was in the middle but headed slightly right and was relieved to get around the weather mark intact- the rest were not so lucky. It was a beat now on the run, Gorman went left to the forecasted wind from the west and kept moving in the light winds, the beat to the finish was a run. Dooley stayed second with Adrian third, the Cahills fourth and the Meagher's fifth with O'Rourke in sixth place and Maguire behind them. So the regatta was won in difficult conditions where anything could happen and anything did happen.

Once ashore it was down to the RStGYC for the usual regatta festivities and prize giving, the club had a great bbq with super food and live music. Next week its back to the DBSC series.

Published in Flying Fifteen
Afloat.ie Team

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Flying Fifteen - At A Glance

Overall Length 20 ft6.1 m

Waterline Length 15 ft4.6 m

Mast Height 22 ft 6 in6.86 m

Sail Area 150 sq ft14 sqm

Spinnaker Area 140 sq ft13 sqm

Hull Weight 300 lb136 kg

Keel Weight 400 lb169 kg

Minimum Weight 685 lb305 kg

Racing Crew Two

Ideal Crew Range 18 - 28 st145 - 185 kg

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