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National Yacht Club Pair Win Flying Fifteen Southern Championships

6th July 2015
Flying Fifteen South Coast winners Chris Doorly (left) and David Gorman of the National Yacht Club

#flyingiffteen – The Flying Fifteen Southern Championships hosted by WHSC in Dunmore East took place in classic Dunmore East conditions with its SW winds and large waves at the weekend and was won by Dave Gorman & Chris Doorly (NYC) , Ben Mulligan & Alan Green (NYC) were in second place with Brian Willis & John McPeake (CASC) in third place. It was a joint event with the 420 Munster Championships and the Fireball Nationals.

Results sheet downloadable below as a jpeg file.

On Saturday PRO Con Murphy postponed racing for two hours as there were winds over twenty knots and a large sea. Eventually we got out and three races were held in 14-22 knots of breeze from the southwest.
In the first race the tide was going out and there was still a big sea, Mulligan was quick out of the blocks and led for the first lap, the racing was very close with Gorman, McKee, Statham and Willis snapping at his heels. On the second lap Gorman took the lead and held it to the finish, second was McKee, third Mulligan and fourth Statham.

Race 2 started shortly after, the tide was now coming in and most of the fleet headed in towards the shoreline on the right, there didn't seem to be a huge difference between those who went out as they had more wind but they did have to battle bigger sea's. Again racing was incredibly close, Gorman lead all the way and McKee was again second, Mulligan third and Statham again fourth.

By race 3 the winds had dropped to only about 15knots, local class captain Charlie Boland & Rob McConnell started on the pin end and crossed the fleet to take the lead, a lead they kept to the end despite the close attention of the other contenders. At the last mark Gorman was second, with Mulligan, Willis and McKee close behind. Downwind to the finish these all sailed different lines hoping to make gains, Willis on the right came in second, Mulligan out on the left inches behind was third and Gorman going down the middle was fourth a further boat length behind, all very close!.

After racing most of the exhausted competitors had badly needed food and refreshments at the club BBQ. As usual the hospitality of this great club was fantastic, many also enjoyed the other local restaurants and bars and with it being the 4th of July there was plenty of entertainment into the small hours. Gorman & Doorly led overnight from Mulligan and McKee who were tied a couple of points behind. All to play for on Sunday and with the racing so close any of the top four could win.

What would Sunday bring? The forecast was for it to be a bit lighter, 10-14knots from the south with rain. As the boats went out there was still a large swell with crashing waves as it was wind against tide. The committee boat had a lot of trouble settling and our hats go off to them as they did a great job in difficult conditions. With the strong tide most of the fleet were over the line and there was a general recall despite the fact that the U flag was up. Racing got going again after the 420 start, it was quiet light now but in the distance the sky was black. On the fleet went, Mulligan, McKee and Gorman went right, the wind was filling in now and the waves were getting bigger, those on the right got lifted. Gorman was going nicely when suddenly disaster struck as he showed his crew a broken tiller extension, they tried to continue but it was impossible with the large crashing waves. It looked like the regatta was literally slipping from their grasp, a decision was made to go ashore and see if they could get another one and get out for the last race, this they managed. Meanwhile racing continued, McKee, Mulligan and Willis were battling away, on the second beat they all went out and this allowed Meagher & Poole (NYC) who went in towards the shore to take the lead before the last weather mark. On the downwind leg they all took different lines, Mulligan went left, out of the tide, and won the race, Willis was second, Local man Boland was third with Meagher slipping to fourth.

One race to go, what would happen? With discards in play Mulligan was one point behind Gorman, with McKee and Willis 2 points behind. The wind from the SE was blowing hard and as the fleet were beating the waves just seemed to get bigger and bigger, it was like a scene from Perfect Storm. Mulligan and McKee started down the line but Gorman started near the committee boat. Gorman sailed the waves really well, both he and crew were sitting so far back in the boat to get over the waves, with their new tiller extension they got to the weather mark first followed by Willis, Mulligan was back in eight. The run was great on the big waves, on the second beat the wind shifted to the right and this helped Gorman who had gone into the right. The wind was now lighter and the sea's more normal, Gorman extended his lead to deservedly take the race and the Championships.
In a further twist all was not confirmed till ashore as the word was that six boats had been disqualified under the U flag, none of the leaders were involved so the results stood.

At the prize giving Club Commodore thanked the sponsors, the many volunteers including the PRO and his team, Dave Gorman did likewise but included his long suffering crew Chris. Niall Meagher & Keith Poole won the Silver Fleet. Those who didn't travel missed out on a great weekends sailing in a fantastic location.

The next event is the Championships of Ireland which will be held at NYC in September..


Published in Flying Fifteen 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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