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Tight at the front of the DBSC Flying Fifteens

9th August 2019
There was a 16-boat turnout for Thursday's DBSC race There was a 16-boat turnout for Thursday's DBSC race Photo: Afloat

Sixteen Flying Fifteens had a great night’s DBSC racing on Thursday 8th August with a five-boat group at the front setting the pace for everyone else. The sunny conditions of earlier in the day gave way to overcast conditions but the evening wasn’t unpleasant and more importantly, there was breeze. Race Officer Jack Roy was determined to take advantage of Mother Nature and gave a course that had lots of reaching in it.

Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley (As Good as it Gets, 3688) had a nearly-perfect pin end start but their timing was out by two seconds and looking back along the line there was nowhere to hide. A bear-off and a gybe saw them take a few transoms on the way to pioneering a course on the right-hand side of the beat. A bigger group had gone out to sea first before taking a long port-tach approach to the first mark of the evening, East.

At this stage the lead was in the hands of Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary (Ffinnisterre, 3753) but immediately behind them were David Gorman & Chris Doorly (Betty, 3920), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (No Name ,4028), Tom Murphy & Karel la Roux, (Fflagella, 4057), David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (Ignus Caput Duo, 4068), Niall Coleman & Mick Quinn (Flyer, 4008) and, despite their having to go back at the start, just a short distance off the lead group, Mulligan & Bradley.

The spinnaker leg to Bay was exceptional, with surfing conditions and a glorious opportunity for crews to work their spinnaker magic! Colin & Murphy went higher than needs and found themselves needing to gybe to get across to the better side of the leg. Mulligan closed onto Coleman’s transom but couldn’t work beyond that. At Bay, Court led from Gorman and Mulvin while Coleman, Mulligan, Colin and Murphy converged in close company. Murphy’s spinnaker drop went skewwhiff, putting him out of the hunt and Colin tried to squeeze the other two but didn’t get it completely right. That left Mulligan astern of Coleman but to windward of Colin. Mulligan took a hitch to get out of Coleman’s “dirties” but soon tacked back again to see all six boats sailing a parallel course to the next mark, Island.

Colin was the first to tack out to sea, crossing behind Mulligan’s transom, but thereafter all six boats seemed to be confused as to which mark was Island. Having located Island first, Court stayed ahead of Gorman and Mulvin as all three “hared off” on a three-sail reach to Molly. Colin & Casey decided not to fly bag and stayed high but weren’t really rewarded for their choice. Mulligan chased Coleman all the way without really closing significantly. The return visit to East confused the fleet and Court appeared to over-stand allowing Gorman to get his nose into the lead. Another great leg from East to Omega saw more exceptional three-sail racing followed by a gybe at Omega for another “cracker of a leg” to Harbour. All of the front six flew spinnakers down both legs but no place changes developed.

The final leg of the course was a short hitch from Harbour to the finish line and this saw the final move of the night when Colin only just “pipped” Coleman for 4th place.

1. David Gorman and Chris Doorly; “Betty” 3920
2. Alistair Court and Conor O’Leary; “Ffinnisterre”, 3753
3. David Mulvin and Ronan Beirne; “Ignus Caput Duo, 4068
4. Neil Colin and Margaret Casey; “No Name”, 4028
5. Niall Coleman and Mick Quinn; “Flyer”, 4008

This weekend sees the Southern Championships being hosted by the Royal St George Yacht Club as the clock ticks down to the Subaru-sponsored Flying Fifteen World Championships 2019 at the end of the month, hosted by the National Yacht Club.

Published in Flying Fifteen
Cormac Bradley

About The Author

Cormac Bradley

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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

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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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