Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Breeze Returns for Flying Fifteen DBSC Thursday Night Racing!

5th August 2022
Flying Fifteens on Dublin Bay
Flying Fifteens on Dublin Bay

After an extended run of light wind conditions for Thursday night racing, Flying Fifteen Race Officer John McNeilly had some wind to play with on Thursday night (August 4).

The DBSC results sheet for the night suggests we had 10–18 knots on the course, but post-race John made the comment that he had recorded 10 – 16 knots. My sense was that the higher wind strength was at the start of the evening. Fifteen boats made their way out to the start and as the wind was behaving in accordance with the forecast – N-Westerly, a race from the QW suite of races was chosen – QW2. It appears that this caused some confusion later on the course, with one person citing dyslexia pre-start as their excuse for getting the course wrong.

QW2 – Harbour-Island-Pier-Island-Omega-Island-Finish was a course that involved lots of spinnaker and upwind sailing and resulted in one of the longer races we have had on a Thursday night for some time. Another observation of the night was that there was very little tactical sailing on the night and that the only tactical beat was the leg to Harbour. Aside from that comment, most people seemed to have enjoyed a night where we had good breeze throughout the evening and there were incidents aplenty on the course. There was a port/starboard on the first beat with turns having to be taken, there were two boats who decided to go trawling with their spinnakers, there was an emergency gybe to recover a cherished and distinctive piece of headgear that had blown off its owner’s head – a very commendable gesture by the helm, wearing a more secure hat!! The same boat also had the night’s second port/starboard incident. And to finish off the evening an attempt to squeeze over the finish line at the pin end caused the boat in question to loose the boat closest to him and certainly one other place. And as for the racing…………

A brisk NW wind, an ebbing tide, a relatively short first beat, a consideration as to which side the spinnaker would fly on the leg to Island and determining where to start in a fifteen-boat fleet gave everyone food for thought. Mulligan & Bradley (4081) attempted to commandeer the pin and were marginally too early. They sailed through the line, gybed and restarted finding a gap not too far from the pin to wend a way out onto the course side. Others in the area of the pin were Tom Galvin & Keith Poole (4093), Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary (3753) and possibly Peter Murphy & Ciara Mulvey (3774). In close proximity to this bunch could be found Class Captain Jill Fleming sailing with Joe Coughlan (3913). On the opposite side of the start, working a more offshore passage were Alan and Caroline Green, sailing Phoenix (4083) and David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (4068). As the fleet closed out the latter stages of this leg, Mulligan found himself being pushed to the wrong side of Harbour mark by Adrian Cooper & Joe McNamara (3896). A hail to the effect that Harbour was to be rounded to starboard, like all the other marks on the night, had the desired effect. At Harbour, Galvin & Poole had a good lead, with Mulligan and Bradley in second. However, with spinnakers finally set, the chasing pack was spread across the course with Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028), the Greens, Murphy & Mulvey and Court & O’Leary almost in a row from inshore to offshore. Most people put into a number of gybes on the way to Island which Galvin & Poole rounded in first place. Mulligan played greyhound to Galvin’s rabbit while behind Mulligan, Green, Colin, Murphy P and Court played greyhounds to Mulligan’s rabbit.

With the ebbing tide, the universal view was to go inshore with Galvin leading the charge. Mulligan appeared to be closing the gap in straight line terms while he occupied a position slightly to windward of Galvin. An inboard tweak of the genoa caused Mulligan to drop to Galvin’s lee, but Mulligan’s speed was not compromised so that the straight-line distance between the boats continued to reduce. Galvin went offshore first while Mulligan hung on to the inshore route for that bit longer. The wind was now showing some fluctuation so lifts and headers came into the equation to an enhanced extent. Mulligan’s passage to the right-hand side of the beat showed that he had closed considerably on Galvin, because although the latter crossed him on starboard, the gap between the boats was down to a couple of boat-lengths. Behind, Colin, Green, Court and Murphy were still in close company but Mulligan had enhanced his lead over them.

At Pier, Galvin & Poole’s lead was down to a few boat-lengths and they and Mulligan & Bradley sailed the leg to Island in reasonably close company until late on in the leg when the lead pair eked out a few more metres of a lead. Mulligan was requested to execute a rounding that would leave them sitting to windward of Galvin for the start of the leg to Omega. He duly obliged to put some more visual pressure on Galvin. With a lead that allowed Mulligan to concentrate on hauling in Galvin rather than looking over his shoulder at Colin, Green, Murphy and Court, 4081 progressively bit into 4093’s lead and by Omega, Mulligan had taken the lead by an 80m margin. Galvin’s approach to Omega went a little awry which allowed Colin to get to very close quarters and indeed, Colin may have rounded in second place. Behind these two, Court & O’Leary were not too far away and Mulvin and P Murphy were also in striking distance. Omega to Island was executed safely by Mulligan with Galvin, Colin and Court staying in close company. The Greens may still have been here, but Alan advised that they had a hiccup on the water and it may have been on this leg, as I can’t place them at this stage of the race.

The leg to the finish, upwind of Pier, again meant getting out of the tide, now running out at its strongest. So, heading inshore was the best policy which everyone adopted. However, as one sailed towards the shore and the harbour, the numbers on the compass made it obligatory to take the highs and try and mitigate the lows. And so, approximately halfway up the leg, Mulligan as leader, started to play the shifts, encouraged by the crew not to stray too far from a loose cover on the rest of the fleet and wherever possible to occupy a weather slot relative to the chasing pack.

A little bit later, Colin & Casey broke ranks and put in a tack to the offshore side of the beat. Ever wary of Colin’s tactical nous, Mulligan & Bradley decided that he should be given more attention than the others simply because he had done something different to everyone else. They sailed across on a favourable number to make sure there were no “eleventh-hour” surprises as the finish came into view. They were still in the “pound seats”!

Mulligan & Bradley took the gun at the pin-end of the line in close company with a Beneteau 21, while Colin finished closer to the committee boat. Galvin and Court were very close closing in on the pin, and from our perspective Court was slightly to leeward of the pin and in danger of not making the finish line. He then appeared to tack to get over the line on port tack, but extremely close to Gavin who was on starboard. Court may then have clipped the pin so had to go back to the course side and re-finish which cost him a place to Mulvin & Beirne. The excitement never stops!

DBSC Flying Fifteens Thursday Night Series

Thursday 4th August.
1. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley 4081
2. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 4028
3. Tom Galvin & Keith Poole 4093
4. David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne 4068
5. Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary 3753

Thursdays Overall Series B.
1. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 14pts
2. Niall, Susan & Laura Coleman 18pts
3. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley 19pts
4. Peter Murphy & Ciara Mulvey 24pts
5. Adrian Cooper & Joe McNamara 27pts

Thursdays Overall (All season)
1. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 30pts
2. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley 54pts
3. Ian Mathews, Tom Galvin & Keith Poole 56.5pts
4. Niall, Susan & Laura Coleman 70pts
5. Peter Murphy & Ciara Mulvey 78pts.

Published in Flying Fifteen
Cormac Bradley

About The Author

Cormac Bradley

Email The Author

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

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

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

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating