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Gorman & Doorly Dominate Flying Fifteen's Biggest Domestic Regatta of the Season

15th July 2019
Dave Gorman (left) and Chris Doorly with the Boat of the Week 'Dubarry Boot' Trophy and Flying Fifteen Cup Dave Gorman (left) and Chris Doorly with the Boat of the Week 'Dubarry Boot' Trophy and Flying Fifteen Cup

In advance of the Subaru sponsored Flying Fifteen World Championships in Dun Laoghaire in September, the local fleet had the small matter of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta to attend to writes Cormac Bradley

Except, that in 2019, the event was no small matter with two short of five hundred boats entered across a wide range of Classes, from Zero all the way down to the Myths from Wales. In between there were, GP14s, sailing a Leinster Championship, Lasers, IDRA 14s, Wayfarers, Dragons, RS Elites, sailing a UK Nationals and twenty-four Flying Fifteens sailing on the waters that will host a Worlds that to date has an entry list in the high seventies.

A ten-race programme was on offer for the Fifteens over the four days of Thursday to Sunday with all but two of the races under the management of an International Race Officer and the other two under the management of a very popular National Race Officer who probably had the most challenging wind conditions of the entire four days. The Fifteens sailed on a different course each day, sharing Friday’s course with the 30+ fleet of RS Elites in which there were two Olympic medallists from the UK.

Thursday’s proceedings opened on a light winded Salthill course and a trapezoid course and the first bullet of the day went to a new combination of John O’Sullivan (Rhubarb, 3762), a former DLFF Class Captain, crewed by Adrian Cooper (Gulfstream, 3198). Second went to our second-youngest boat in the fleet, Tom Murphy’s “Fflagella”, 4057, crewed by Carel la Roux, and in third was David Gorman & Chris Doorly in “Betty” 3920.

If Race 1 was difficult for the fleet and the Race Officer alike, Race 2 was, even more, trying as the wind faded and came in from the completely opposite direction. The race winner was Peter Murphy, sailing “Hera”, 3774 and his win was not down to the vagaries of the wind. Gorman & Doorly finished second while third went to another combination who have come in from the Fireball Class, Frank Miller and Ed Butler, sailing “Glass Half Full”, 3845.

Thus, at the end of a difficult session, two boats were tied at the top of the table, Gorman and O’Sullivan, each carrying five points. Murphy slotted into third on nine points, just one ahead of Ben Mulligan and Cormac Bradley, “As Good as it Gets” 3688 carrying ten points, courtesy of 2 x 5th. Miller & Butler closed out the top five with thirteen points. O’Sullivan & Cooper took the prize of the day!

Friday saw the fleet sharing the course with the RS Elites with a programme of three Windward-Leeward races. The wind strength was much stronger than any of the forecasts suggested and a healthy day of racing ensued, with tired bodies hitting the shore later in the day. An error by the Race Management Team saw the first race extend to three laps of the course in an area just to the west of the approaches to the Liffey River and Dublin Port and while the RS Elites would seek redress for the error, the Flying Fifteens stoically sailed the three laps and let the results stand. Gorman & Doorly and Mulligan & Bradley hit the highs, with the former pair scoring 3 x 1st and the latter pair scoring 3,3,2, only losing to the former combination late on in the last race. Elsewhere, a good position for Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (“No Name” 4028) in Race 1 evaporated when the “soft shackle” on their jib sheets gave way, dropping them from a single digit position to 20th. They recovered later with a 6,4. Murphy & la Roux enjoyed a 4,2 in the latter two races but a 14th in Race 1 would have taken the shine off their day. Others who had to take the rough with the smooth included Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (“ffinisterre, 3753), scoring 2,7,10 while Niall Meagher & Nicki Matthews (ffantastic Mr Fox, 3912) put together a useful 9,5,9. Bodies were tired by the close of play on Friday afternoon. Gorman & Doorly took the day’s prize.

Saturday saw another course and another mix of classes on the start line. This time we were under the management of Volvo (Round the World) Race Officer, Bill O’Hara and a course area to the north of Dun Laoghaire harbour. Having got “their groove”, Gorman & Doorly saw a “perfect score day” slip away when they were beaten in the middle race of the day by Mulligan & Bradley who led from start to finish on another Windward-Leeward course. This result appeared to get them the day’s prize. To this, they added a 9,5 to consolidate second place overall after the day’s “close of play”. Needless to say; Gorman & Doorly were “untouchable” in 1st place overall. However, the attention now was all on 3rd place overall

Meagher & Matthews were in the “hot seat” with 45 points, followed by Court & the returning Conor O’Leary on 45.5, Colin & Casey on 46 and Miller & Butler on 47.5! All to play for!! With two races scheduled for the Sunday, the fleet were a bit more relaxed and ready to socialise on Saturday night.

Sunday saw the Fifteens move further north and a very busy race area where there were three starts ahead of them, two cruiser classes and “mixed sports-boats”. However, conditions were light, and this was the area closest to the ebb tide sweep out of the Liffey River. While the pre-race deliberations between some boats was that the tide would be even across the course this did not manifest itself in the racing. Two “sorties” up the right-hand side of the beat left Mulligan & Bradley with their worst score of the week, 12th, while others took advantage to post their best scores. David Mulvin and Ronan Bierne (Ignis Caput Duo, 4068) counted a 4,2 to jump up the rankings, Court & O’Leary counted an 8,3, Gerry Ryan & Peter Dolan (“No Name, 4045) scored a 3,7 and Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (Fandango, 3697) saved their best to last with a 5th in the lightest wind race of the entire regatta. After a poor third day, Murphy & la Roux redeemed themselves with a 2,9. Gorman & Doorly won the first one with some ease but had to come from behind to seal the race win in the second. Mulligan & Bradley also scored better in the last race with a 6th, to get back on track in consolidating 2nd overall. Others would be less satisfied – Meagher & Matthews scored a 9,12, Colin & Casey a 13,14 and Miller & Butler a 5,15. This combination of results across the four boats contesting 3rd place overall saw Court and O’Leary take the last podium spot.

Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2019

Co-hosted by DMYC, NYC, RIYC & RStGYC.

Flying Fifteens

R1

R2

R3

R4

R5

R6

R7

R8

R9

R10

Nett

1

David Gorman & Chris Doorly

Betty

3920

3

2

1

1

1

1

2

1

1

1

9

2

Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley

As Good as it Gets

3688

5

5

3

3

2

9

1

5

12

6

30

3

Alistair Court & Gordon Syme/Conor O’Leary

Ffinisterre

3753

4

18

2

7

10

7.5

4

11

8

3

45.5

4

David Mulvin & Ronan Bierne

Ignus Caput Duo

4068

6

8

8

11

5

11

11

8

4

2

52

5

Frank Miller & Ed Butler

Glass Half Full

3845

10

3

6

10

8

7.5

25

3

5

15

52.5


At the formal prize-giving Tipperary Crystal prizes were awarded to the 1-2-3 and David Gorman and Chris Doorly won the “Best Boat of the Regatta” prize – a great fillip for the Class in their World-Championship hosting year and a fitting acknowledgement of David and Chris’ domination of a very competitive 24 -boat class. In David’s own words, “the points don’t reflect the tightness of the racing”.

To the organisers and our four-race officers; Harry Gallagher, Peter Crowley, Bill O’Hara and David Lovegrove – our thanks for a great four days!

Published in Flying Fifteen
Cormac Bradley

About The Author

Cormac Bradley

Email The Author

Dublin Bay Fireballer Cormac Bradley was appointed Rear Commodore of the International Fireball Class in 2017. He is a regular dinghy and one design correspondent on Afloat.ie

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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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