Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

24 Boats Set to Compete in Irish Flying Fifteen National Championships at County Antrim Yacht Club

31st August 2023
Shane McCarthy and Alan Green of Dun Laoghaire Harbour are favourites for the Irish Flying Fifteen Championship title at County Antrim this weekend
Shane McCarthy and Alan Green of Dun Laoghaire Harbour are favourites for the Irish Flying Fifteen Championship title at County Antrim this weekend Credit: Michael Chester

Entries are in from the North, South, East and West for this weekend's Irish Flying Fifteen National Championships, but where will the title rest after the sailing is over?

On Wednesday, County Antrim Yacht Club advised that 24 entries have been received for the Nationals in the hospitable Belfast Lough venue.

There are two entries from Dunmore East (4070 & 3883), two from Chonamara (4083 & 4092), eight from Dun Laoghaire (4028, 3753, 3938, 4093, 4068, 4085, 3757 & 3747), seven from Strangford (3920, 3454, 3893, 4037, 3756, 3608, & 3962) and five from Belfast Lough (2278, 4074, 3782, 2265 & 2367). One competitor has flown “home” to contest this regatta.

24 boats will contest the Irish Flying Fifteen National Championships at County Antrim Yacht Club24 boats will contest the Irish Flying Fifteen National Championships at County Antrim Yacht Club

XCWeather had been suggesting a light wind on Friday, a big breeze on Saturday and light again on Sunday, but reading XCWeather again in preparation for this article, the winds are now predicted to be light all weekend, particularly on Sunday.

So, where will the title be resting after this weekend?

No matter how accurate it is, it might be a tad too easy to say that any Fifteen with Alan Green on board is bound to contest the regatta. But if one were to suggest that Alan will be crewing for Shane McCarthy in 4085, then the chances that they will be looking at a podium finish are considerably enhanced. In Dublin Bay racing, Shane is comfortably leading the Thursday Series Overall, admittedly using a number of crews, but on Saturday past, sailing Alan’s 4026, they scored a 1,4 in the eighteen-boat fleet. He is scoring a plethora of firsts and seconds in DBSC, with very few glitches along the way.

Peter Kennedy (3920) is the Flying Fifteen title holder Photo: Michael ChesterPeter and Juliette Kennedy (3920) are the Flying Fifteen title holders Photo: Michael Chester

Peter Kennedy (3920) is the title holder, with his daughter, from the 2022 Nationals in Dun Laoghaire, sailing a very consistent series. I am sure he won’t relinquish his title without a fight.

The most recent regatta series for the Dun Laoghaire Fifteens was the Volvo Regatta Volvo Regatta (July), where the top five were McCarthy/Green, Phil Lawton/Neil O’Hagan, Lee Statham/Andy Paul, Tom Galvin/Cormac Bradley and Neil Colin & Margaret Casey. Phil Lawton doesn’t appear on yesterday’s entry list from CAYC, but Colin & Casey (4028) will be buoyed by the prospect of a light weather regatta, although they are no slouches when the wind blows. Galvin/Bradley (3757) was a new combination making their debut at the Volvo, but they might prefer more of the stronger stuff.

Ian Mathews and Keith PooleIan Mathews and Keith Poole

Ian Mathews will be racing with long-term crew Keith Poole (4093), and Ian keeps his competitive edge sharp with warm weather sailing in the Middle East. Another DL combination who are showing form is Alastair Court & Conor O’Leary from the Royal St George (3753).

Out west, a second boat with a sail number in the 4000s will be joining 4092, Niall and Ronan O’Briain, who made such an impact on our regatta scene last year, and they won’t be travelling to Whitehead to be “also-rans”.

Of the northern contingent, there is no shortage of competitive combinations aside from the aforementioned Peter Kennedy. Hammy Baker & Peter Chamberlain enjoyed success out west in May, and they were in the frame in Dun Laoghaire last year.

Another combination to watch out for is Andy McCleery & Colin Dougan (4037) – just when you think they have fallen off the pace, they come roaring back at you. And with hometown advantage, you can’t discount Bryan Willis & John McPeake (4074)

Andy McCleery & Colin DouganAndy McCleery and Colin Dougan

So, with 24 boats and a seven-race programme, who will likely be at the top of the pile come Sunday afternoon?

I will suggest that the top of the fleet will be drawn from the following: McCarthy & Green. Kennedy & crew, O’Briain & O’Briain, Mathews & Poole, Baker & Chamberlain, Colin & Casey, McCleery & Dougan, Statham & Paul and from the home club Bryan Willis & John McPeake. ……… though I am not going to offend anyone by suggesting an order of finishing.

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

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading 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. 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 Webcams

Featured Associations

isora sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo

Featured Blogs

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

Please show your support for Afloat by donating