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Connemara Flying Fifteen Fleet Numbers Hit 27 in the Heart of the Gaeltacht

25th August 2020
The Connemara Flying Fifteens race on Friday evenings The Connemara Flying Fifteens race on Friday evenings

A rejuvenated Flying Fifteen fleet in Connemara, County Galway is boasting one of the largest fleets in the country with up to 27 actively club racing. 

Sailing takes place in clear blue seas and lovely scenery in Casla Bay from Sruthan pier in the heart of the Connemara Gaeltacht. 

Amazingly, there are a few boats still around from when the class originally arrived in Carraroe over 22 years ago. For example, Dun Laoghaire's The Real Thing, the 1988 British Championship winner sailed by Gerry Donleavy, (number 3108) is still an active racer.  3145 Havoc and 3203 Simply Red are both with the same owners. 

Since the mid-noughties, however, fleet numbers dwindled and at one point there was only a handful sailing to pass the time on summer evenings. A few attempts to revive the class over the years were made but it wasn't until the class started a local Facebook page in 2018 that the club grew from eight to 27 Flying Fifteens at present!

Flying Fifteen sailing takes place in Casla Bay from Sruthan pier Flying Fifteen sailing takes place in Casla Bay from Sruthan Pier

The introduction of a number of young people has added to the interest and helped to bring the numbers of boats up.

The current sailors range in age from 14 to around 60 so there is a large span of experience.

The Connemara Flying Fifteen fleet now numbers 27 boatsThe Connemara Flying Fifteen fleet now numbers 27 boats

The boats range from around 15 years old, from numbers in the IRL3600s, to the oldest at over 30 years, IRL1250.

Since the move to promote online, the demand for Flying Fifteens has increased and more local people wanting to join up.

The club has a summer league with two races sailed every Friday evening no matter what conditions they are keen to get out and compete.

The club is still in its infancy but it is ambitious and, according to spokesman Chris Higgins, it is a goal to be able to host an Irish Flying Fifteen West Coast championships – or even national championships – on the West Coast in the future.

The Connemara Flying Fifteens have ambitions to stage the Irish National Championships in the futureThe Connemara Flying Fifteens have ambitions to stage the Irish National Championships in the future 

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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