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Flying Fifteens to Contest Eastern Championships at National Yacht Club this Weekend

15th September 2023
This weekend on Dublin Bay, the Flying Fifteens will stage their East Coast Championships hosted by the National Yacht Club
This weekend on Dublin Bay, the Flying Fifteens will stage their East Coast Championships hosted by the National Yacht Club Credit: Afloat

With only two weeks gone since the last Flying Fifteen regatta, the Nationals, hosted in great style by County Antrim Yacht Club in Belfast Lough, the penultimate regatta of the summer season takes place this weekend on Dublin Bay, hosted by the National Yacht Club, the East Coast Championships. As of Tuesday past, the entry was at a modest 20 boats considering the number of Fifteens across the Dun Laoghaire waterfront. The current XCWeather forecast suggests that there will be more wind than at the Nationals, with wind on Saturday at a peak of 17 knots at 10:00 and dropping during the course of the afternoon.

Gusts are forecast at 16/17knots. The forecast is for 12/13knots with gusts in the mid-twenties on Sunday. That should give Race Officer Con Murphy plenty to work with.

The Nationals Title went west for the first time in my memory when the O’Briain cousins, Niall and Ronan, sailed a consistent series with some covering tactics in the last race to ensure there was no late hiccup in their quest for the title. Theirs has been an amazing story, considering they made their class debut at the Connemara Trial Regatta of 2022. Their Nationals win makes them strong contenders for this weekend’s event.

Ian Mathews and Keith Poole were second in Whitehead and will have the advantage of sailing in home waters, assuming Ian is still in the country to sail. They had a spectacular Saturday at the Nationals, and while they came a little unstuck on the Sunday, one can never dismiss them.

Peter Kennedy and Stephen Kane had only one result outside the top five in Whitehead, and Peter will not be put off sailing in Dublin Bay, considering he took away the National Title in 2022 sailing in Dublin Bay with his daughter.

Shane McCarthy & Alan Green didn’t have the best Nationals regatta by their standards and will be keen to regain a place in the upper echelons of the pecking order come Sunday evening. Having said that, most of us would give our eyeteeth for a top-five finish at a Nationals.

Lee Statham and Andy Paul regularly finishing at the upper end of the fleet and took the Gerry Donleavy Trophy home to Dunmore East for the first race win at the Nationals.

Flying Fifteen duo Dave Gorman and Chris Doorly from the National Yacht ClubFlying Fifteen duo Dave Gorman and Chris Doorly from the National Yacht Club

A conspicuous absentee at the Nationals was the combination of Dave Gorman & Chris Doorly, who, one imagines, will be keen to make a go of it this weekend in their home waters. Another absentee from Whitehead was Phil Lawton, so again, if he is entered, he must be regarded as a serious contender.

Phil Lawton (right) and Neil O'Hagan of the Royal St. George Phil Lawton (right) and Neil O'Hagan of the Royal St. George 

Of the potential northern visitors, Andy McCleery & Colin Dougan had a race win in Whitehead, but three big number results undid their challenge. Hammy Baker & Peter Chamberlain also had too many big numbers in their score to be at the top of the pile but were still comfortably inside the top ten. Both these combinations will be looking to make amends from their Whitehead endeavours.

Hammy Baker & Peter ChamberlainHammy Baker & Peter Chamberlain

The home fleet in Dun Laoghaire is well populated with combinations who are likely to have good individual race results, which should ensure that the racing is very competitive this weekend.

I also believe that a Class AGM is planned, but I don’t have the details to hand to highlight the time of the meeting.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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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