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National Yacht Club's Gorman and Doorly Go Left to Win DBSC Thursday Flying Fifteen Race

12th May 2023
The DMYC's Neil Colin and Margaret Casey from the DMYC lead overall after two races sailed in the DBSC Thursday Flying Fifteen Race
The DMYC's Neil Colin and Margaret Casey from the DMYC lead overall after two races sailed in the DBSC Thursday Flying Fifteen Race Credit: Afloat

On a day that started with grey skies and torrential rain showers in my part of the world, the latter part of the day presented an evening of sunshine and light winds for a fifteen-boat fleet of Flying Fifteens in the third DBSC Thursday of 2023. In that regard, it was also in stark contrast to the previous Thursday when huge seas from the Easterly that had blown hard all day caused racing to be cancelled.

There was some doubt ashore as to whether a race would take place so genteel were the conditions ashore, but once outside the harbour, it was apparent that there was a nice breeze for this early part of the season – a NE of around 10 knots at its strongest. With high tide at approximately 17:00, relative to an 18:40 start this was also going to be a factor in the prevailing conditions.

A group of Fifteens decided that the best way to get underway was to start on port at the pin. Included in this group were David Gorman & Chris Doorly (4099), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028) and Shane McCarthy & Cormac Bradley (4085). Alan Green & daughter Caroline (4026) were close to this group but on the opposite tack. An early exchange of hails characterised the start between Gorman & McCarthy right on the pin, and given the wind strength, the fleet also found themselves having to negotiate a course populated by Dragons (3) and Sportsboats. An interesting interpretation of a port on starboard situation also manifested itself on this first beat to an “installed” Zebra mark.

At the first weather mark, Zebra, an inflatable, the lead group was Gorman, Green and McCarthy, with Colin and Ken Dumpleton & Joe Hickey (3955) a little further behind. McCarthy came up the port lay-line, found a spot in the train of boats coming in on the starboard lay-line and then kissed the weather mark, prompting a penalty turn. That allowed Dumpleton & Colin to take advantage on the water.

The spinnaker leg to Bay was a challenging leg in the still fickle conditions, with both wind and tide having to be managed. Alan Green led the fleet around Bay with Gorman and McCarthy in close pursuit, and my sense was that Dumpleton and Colin occupied the next two places. The leg to Battery was a no-tack beat, resulting in no place changing. The first three went right initially for the long beat to East with Green ahead and to leeward of Gorman and McCarthy about five boat-lengths behind Gorman but to weather of him. McCarthy started closing the straight-line distance between them while maintaining his height, but Gorman tacked off, earlier than the other two, before McCarthy also went left. This leg was the making of the race for the winner. Gorman went hard left and came up the left-hand side of the beat smelling of roses – and in reality, was never threatened thereafter. Later, he would claim they were “just lucky”, but that claim has been made too many times in conditions like these.

Dumpleton and McCarthy also went left, but while the former enjoyed a good dividend from the investment, McCarthy wasn’t as fortunate and at times, the likes of Frank Miller & Suzie Mulligan (3845), Adrian Cooper and Joe (3896) and Phil Lawton (3803) were a lot closer than had been the case earlier in the race.

By the rounding of East, on the way to Bay for the second time, there was an established order with Gorman and Dumpleton comfortable in 1st and 2nd, Green and Colin 3rd and 4th but still in “close-ish” company relative to each other. McCarthy rounded fourth with Gill Fleming (3747) close on his transom. There was more wind for the second spinnaker leg to Bay, and at this stage, the majority of the boats ahead of the Flying Fifteens were SB20s. Green caused a flurry of excitement at Bay by a very late realisation that he was rounding the mark the wrong way, resulting in a very late adjustment of course and a flogging spinnaker that became a hindrance to upwind progress.

Having gone left once, Gorman paid his dues by going left again, safe in the knowledge that he had ample distance on the next boat. Dumpleton did likewise, while the next three worked a middle and left approach to the early part of the beat to the finish before coming in from the right-hand side of the course to finish.

DBSC: Flying Fifteens; Thursday 11th May.
1. David Gorman and Chris Doorly, 4099
2. Ken Dumpleton and Joe Hickey, 3955
3. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey, 4028
4. Alan and Caroline Green, 4026
5. Shane McCarthy & Cormac Bradley, 4085.

Overall (after two races sailed).
1. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 5pts
2. Niall & Laura Coleman, 9pts
3. Phil Lawton & crew, 10pts
4. Alan & Caroline Green, 11pts
5. David Gorman & Chris Doorly, 14pts.

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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