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National Yacht Club's Lavery & Green Continue to Lead Flying Fifteen Championship of Ireland

29th August 2021
Light winds prevail at Strangford Lough Yacht Club
Light winds prevail at Strangford Lough Yacht Club" title="Strangford Lough Yacht Club for the Flying Fifteen Championships

As was feared at the close of business yesterday, the weather on arrival at Strangford Lough Yacht Club was reminiscent of the Flying Fifteen British Championships sailed at the same venue a couple of years ago when we sat ashore for three days under an AP flag. This morning, a combination of inshore mirror-like conditions and a mist that hid the race area from view meant that flying an AP flag was inevitable even though there was insufficient wind to make it flutter. Instead of a scheduled 10:55 Warning Signal, the suggestion was that it might be closer to 14:00 before we would get underway………and so it proved.

Under very light conditions, a la Portaferry of a few weeks back the fleet got away. The majority of the fleet started along the outer half of the start line, but a few pioneered the right-hand side including this correspondent sailing with Ben Mulligan (4081) and Roger Chamberlain, sailing with Paddy Spratt (3962). Chamberlain made his way to the middle of the course first before coming back right again. Mulligan persisted in his right-hand side quest and was rewarded when he crossed the entire fleet to lead into the first weather mark. Chamberlain closed on him in the final approach to the mark but at the mark, there were a few boat-lengths between them.

Initially, both boats led the fleet down the right-hand side of the beat before Mulligan broke away to head left. Regrettably and hopefully understandably, I can't tell you who was following Chamberlain. Ass the fleet made their way downwind, there were increasing indications from the committee boat, conversing with the rib at the weather mark, that they had growing doubts that the race was fair, and ultimately those doubts prompted an abandonment of the race. From a jaundiced perspective (again understandably) I have to question why the race was abandoned where it was when the fleet was sailing back down towards the start area. As we approached the committee boat, the RO admitted there would probably be six boats that would not be happy with the decision. I suggested she might need both hands for that count!

The wind then faded away before a slightly stiffer breeze came in from the south, prompting a move of the weather mark westwards. Under a black flag start, the fleet got away apart from three transgressors of the revised starting protocol – Messrs McCarthy (4085), Chamberlain (3962) and Biggs (4092). This time it was the left side that paid from which exited Bryan Willis and John McPeake (4074), Niall Meagher & Nicki Matthews (3938) 3782. Regatta leaders overnight, Lavery & Green (4083) were at the committee boat end of the start and may have worked middle and left to work their way up the fleet.

This correspondent with his helm had a biblical race – those who had been first were last, etc, etc, well not quite, but you know what I mean.

A shortened race saw Willis & McPeake win with Meagher & Matthews second, 3782 third, Peter Kennedy & Stephen Kane (3920) 4th and Lavery & Green 5th. The previous day's other winners, Mulvin & Beirne had a 13th.

With four races completed, a discard kicks in to leave the regatta as follows;

Racing continues on Sunday

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 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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