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A Challenging DBSC Night for Flying Fifteens on Dublin Bay

22nd July 2022
A file photo of Flying Fifteen racing on Dublin Bay
A file photo of Flying Fifteen racing on Dublin Bay Credit: Afloat

Last night’s DBSC race for the Flying Fifteens was challenging on Dublin Bay! And post-race, ashore, the Race Officer, John McNeilly, also conceded that it wasn’t an easy night! Of course, it wasn’t his fault, Mother Nature gave us another light wind puzzle to work out.

The scenario! High tide at 19:10. A forecast from XCWeather suggested 4-6 knots from a westerly direction which wasn’t the case on the water. Initially, a committee boat that was moving around, in what has been posted on the results website, as a South-Easterly of 6 knots.

The course for the night – East-Omega-Pier-Omega-Harbour, (all to starboard) – Finish. A clean start saw the fleet having different approaches to the first leg to East. All started on starboard tack but a quintet of boats pioneered an offshore approach to the first leg. Included in this group were Niall & Laura Coleman (4008), Gerry Ryan & crew (4045), Tom Murphy & Carel (4057) Ken Dumpleton & Joe Hickey (4026) and Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley (4081). This group was reduced to two for the latter half of the beat, Ryan and Mulligan. On the inshore side of the beat, boats to the fore included Peter Murphy & Ciara Mulvey (3774), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028), Adrian Cooper & Joe (3896). A mix of inshore and offshore boats made up the first five-six boats for the two-sail leg to Omega. My “call” on the pecking order is Murphy (P), Cooper, Colin, John O’Sullivan (3762) Coleman, Mulligan. The latter had Dumpleton sail through him and Ryan also closed on Mulligan.

The spinnaker leg to Pier saw a similar division of thought as to how to get there. An approximate 50:50 split saw the advantage go to those who pursued an inshore course and Coleman certainly got into the podium places as a consequence. Cooper and Colin maintained their spots at the head of the fleet, but Murphy (P) dropped back. The rounding of Pier saw boats coming in from both sides and there were gentlemanly donations in response to calls for water. At this rounding, Murphy (T) had closed on Mulligan as well. The leaders set off for Omega again with an offshore approach. Mulligan found himself on the inshore track of the beat, in a lifting breeze which was dying and was rewarded by rounding in fourth place, with Cooper, Coleman and Dumpleton ahead (I think). Yet again the fleet split for the downwind to Harbour, but the spread was much more significant with Colin leading a charge (poetic licence) out to the right-hand side. Others followed!! Cooper tried to sail a rhumb-line to the mark but in the fading wind found that he had to deviate from that philosophy.

Coleman, Murphy (T), Mulligan and latterly Niall Meagher & Nicki Mathews (3938) and Dave Mulvin & Chris Doorly (4068) pioneered the inshore route, getting so close to the East Pier that they had to gybe away from the wall. That forced them more towards the middle of the course, but Meagher went back inshore for another bite and made places as a consequence. Meanwhile, better breeze had arrived for those who went hard right and Colin & Casey were making strides (poetic licence) to the leeward mark under a healthy spinnaker set. Others to benefit were Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary (3753), Mick Quinn & Sarah Jane Mulligan (3960) and Dumpleton.

Of the first five boats home, only Cooper hadn’t gone far right on the run. His efforts on the night, staying in the podium places on the water for the longest duration of the fifteen boats racing, was rewarded with a second place behind Colin & Casey. Behind Cooper the order was Court, Dumpleton and Quinn. The early inshore boats were left to close out 8th, 9th and 11th respectively.

DBSC Thursday Nights: Flying Fifteens 21 July.
1. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 4028
2. Adrian Cooper & Joe 3896
3. Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary 3753
4. Ken Dumpleton & Joe Hickey 4026
5. Mick Quinn & Sarah Jane Mulligan 3960

DBSC Thursday Nights: Flying Fifteens Overall.
1. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 25pts
2. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley 46pts
3. Keith Poole/Ian Matthews/Tom Galvin 52.5pts
4. Niall/Susan/Laura Coleman 60pts
5. Peter Murphy & Ciara Mulvey 64pts.

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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