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Mulligan by a Large Margin in DBSC Flying Fifteen Thursday Race

15th July 2022
Flying Fifteen duo Ben Mulligan and Cormac Bradley
Flying Fifteen duo Ben Mulligan and Cormac Bradley Credit: Afloat

Last night’s DBSC Thursday Flying Fifteen evening race saw another light wind session on Dublin Bay, but conditions ashore, before the race, suggested, again, that we might not get a race. All the flags within sight of the NYC platform were hanging limp. However, the tricolour at the end of the East Pier was showing some life and launching into the harbour, there was enough wind to get the Fifteens moving quite readily. XCWeather was suggesting winds of 6 – 9 knots fluctuating around the westerly point of the compass, but on the water, the wind was more SSE (150°) and Race Officer was advising that he had 8/9 knots. Accordingly, he set another triangle-sausage course, same as last week, Bulloch-Island-Pier-Island-Pier-Finish. Our reconnaissance suggested that inshore there was less breeze and with a flooding tide all evening, strength of breeze was going to be critical.

On that basis we decided to start at the outer end of the line and were joined at the pin end by Gerry Ryan (4045), Team Sherry (4056), Team Coleman (4008) and Team Murphy (4057). Niall & Susan Coleman were the first to abandon this idea and headed inshore, Peter Sherry & daughter followed suit as did Tom Murphy, leaving Ryan and Mulligan ploughing a lonely offshore furrow relative to the other 12 boats, including Hayling Island returnees, David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (4068). The two offshore boats stayed on the left-hand side of the course for about 75% of the beat before tacking across to the shore, Ryan going first. As they headed inshore it became very apparent that they had both stolen a march on the fleet. Ryan was to leeward of Mulligan and marginally ahead but started pushing upwind and squeezing Mulligan who felt obliged to tack. They were still in close company as they approached Bulloch on starboard but a Sportsboat, also rounding Bulloch hampered Mulligan’s final boat-lengths’ approach.

The leg to Island was a two-sailer with compensation for the flooding tide. Ryan went marginally low allowing Mulligan to close on him, but Ryan held on to round Island first and went for a conventional spinnaker hoist and the right-hand side of the run. Mulligan hoisted spinnaker and gybed immediately and got the dividend of better inshore breeze. If a line at 90°to Mulligan hull had been drawn, it would have shown that he was ahead on the water, but Ryan was a good distance offshore in comparison and Mulligan had Pier just off his port bow.

Mulligan went round Pier with a comfortable margin on the fleet while Ryan lost at least two, if not three places. The pecking order behind Mulligan was now Niall & Susan Coleman, followed by Ian Mathews & Tom Galvin (4093). For the early part of the beat to Island, Mulligan was comfortable, but then the breeze began to fade and playing the shifts and keeping the boat moving became more important. Initially the Colemans closed and then overtook Mulligan. However, by going separate ways shortly thereafter, Mulligan regained the lead and distance on Coleman but found that Mathews was also in close proximity. At the leg progressed towards its latter stages, Mulligan and Mathews were out on the left with Coleman inshore. And when Mathews and Coleman crossed, Mathews had gone into second place, by a boat-length. Mulligan managed to put some distance between the chasing boats and after some short tacking got around Island at which there was a river of tide. While a spinnaker went up, it was doing nothing useful, but with the tide underneath them, Mulligan & Bradley streaked away from their chasers who were still fighting the tide to get to Island. On the sea-side of East Pier, we could see Ruffians and Shipmans flying spinnaker as they sailed away from the harbour, a westerly breeze was coming in! As Mulligan & Bradley readied themselves for a beat, the Colemans and Mathews & Galvin and the balance of the Fifteen fleet were flying spinnakers into Island.

Mulligan’s lead at this stage extended to 75% of the leg between Island and Pier, a very comfortable margin. A short spinnaker leg to the finish closed the account for the evening. Behind them the finishing order was Colemans, Mathews & Galvin, Murphy (P) & Ciara Mulvey (3774) and Murphy (T) & crew (4057).

DBSC Thursday 14th July: Flying Fifteens
1. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley (4081)
2. Niall & Susan Coleman (4008)
3. Ian Mathews & Tom Galvin (4093)
4. Peter Murphy & Ciara Mulvey (3774)
5. Tom Murphy & Crew (4057)

Flying Fifteens Overall
1. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028) 24pts
2. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley (4081) 37pts
3. Keith Poole, Ian Mathews & Tom Galvin) (4093) 39.5pts
4. Niall & Susan Coleman (4008) 52pts
5. David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (4068) 52.5pts

Published in Flying Fifteen, DBSC
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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