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Cracking Thursday Night Race for the DBSC Fifteens!

13th May 2022
Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary, were Thursday night DBSC Flying Fifteen race winners
Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary were Thursday night DBSC Flying Fifteen race winners

Fourteen DBSC Flying Fifteens had a cracking night on the water last night on Dublin Bay when the light zephyrs of the past few sessions, Thursdays and Saturdays, were replaced by a robust breeze out of the west. The forecast had been for 12/14 knots with gusts in the low twenties and during the afternoon on site, down the N7, that appeared to be the case. It was also the case on the water.

The racecourse for the night was NW3 – Harbour-Omega-Poldy-Bay-Poldy-East-Finish. Our decision was to start at the committee boat end and enjoy the breeze and avoid the reverse flow of the incoming tide along the Dun Laoghaire shore. Not everyone shared that view as a sizeable number of the fleet did go inshore. In the brisk beat, the “winter avoir dupois” of the crew (singular) of 4081 (Ben Mulligan) was put to good use as they rounded the Harbour mark in first place but closely pursued by Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary (3753) who had taken the inshore route. Others in the frame were Jill Fleming & Alan Green (4026), Frank Miller & Ismail Inan (3845), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028) and Keith Poole & Niall Meagher (4093). The leg to Omega was a spinnaker leg, but it was challenging, especially for the lighter crews and some chose not to fly their coloured sails. Mulligan and Bradley’s lead soon evaporated with spinnaker pole issues (crew) but they stayed in the frame to Omega and onto Poldy. Court & O’Leary powered down the leg to open up a comfortable lead.

The leg from Omega to Poldy was less severe on the crews, but a tight bunch of chasers had gathered behind the lead boat. Green and Miller took the places at the front of this chasing pack as they approached Poldy with Mulligan and Colin also in close company and only a couple of boat lengths astern of the other two. Just astern of this group was Poole & Meagher. The leg to Bay was one for playing the shifts and the chasing group of four went about the task in different ways. The breeze was still healthy so the crews had their work cut out for them. Mulligan pursued a slightly offshore route with Fleming while Colin and Miller went inshore (I think). The sense from this correspondent was that Court’s lead was reduced on this leg, but he and O’Leary were still comfortable relative to the chasing group. In the view of the chasing pack, Court went round Bay the wrong way, as the four chasing boats now reconverged at the mark. Miller got there first, followed by Colin, Mulligan and Fleming. Under spinnaker Court sailed a long starboard tack before gybing out to sea. Miller and Fleming also started off on starboard whereas Colin and Mulligan sailed a short port tack leg before gybing as well. At this stage Mulligan had got ahead of Colin but only by a boat-length but as the quartet sailed towards Poldy they all reconverged and as spinnakers were dropped, Miller had gone into the lead position, followed by Mulligan, Colin and Fleming who ended up slightly to leeward of the other three.

The leg to East was a two-sail fetch, made a bit more interesting as the wind had got up under an oncoming bank of grey cloud. Mulligan managed to sail through Miller’s weather but could not pull away by any distance which meant that Miller came back to try and squeeze him at East. Mulligan rounded in the windward berth and on the beat was able to break free of Miller. At this stage, for the beat to the finish, the breeze was at its strongest and again Mulligan was able to power up with the extra weight on board. Colin also stayed offshore whereas Miller and Fleming headed inshore.

The finish was a tight affair again with Mulligan taking them over the line in second, probably only a boat-length ahead of Colin. Poole & Meagher must also have enjoyed the robust final leg as they finished 4th over the line, not far behind Colin, followed by Miller, Green, Murphy & Mulvey (3774) and Dumpleton & O’Reilly (3955).

Race 3, Thursday Series, 12th May. (Provisional, protest pending.)
1. Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary, 3753.
2. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley, 4081.
3. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey, 4028.
4. Keith Poole & Niall Meagher, 4093.
5. Frank Miller & Ismail Inan, 3845.

Overall Series (3 races sailed)
1. Keith Poole & Crews 9pts.
2. David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne 13pts.
3. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 18pts.

Published in Flying Fifteen, DBSC
Cormac Bradley

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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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