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An impressive 19 Flying Fifteens turned out on Saturday in the DBSC Series on a warm summers day with a light E-NE wind and a raging incoming tide. Many fleets would be glad to have this number at their Nationals! It was a frustrating day for competitors and the committee boat. Just before racing began the wind went more NE as actually forecasted and the race became very one sided with little or no time spent on the starboard tack.

At the start the pin was biased and it was hard with the tide to get over on starboard, some did, some were over the line and one brave man started on port at the pin. We heard later it was the perfect start but on the water Gorman & Doorly went back to play safe but made their way to fifth by the first mark. Colman, Mathews, Mulligan were going well and that was the order at the weather mark, Mathews took the lead at the wing mark which was higher than the weather mark as Colman struggled in the tide. The Meagher’s went to third with Mulligan fourth and Gorman fifth, this is how it finished as nothing changed over the next lap but it did change ashore as Colman was deemed to be OCS.

There was nearly an hour delay as the course was reset, the fleet were obviously restless and there was a general recall. The black flag was introduced and away they went some to the left others to the right. The right which was up tide was looking good for Dumpleton and the Meaghers, O’Sullivan and Gorman were in close proximity and O’Sullivan lead at the mark from Meagher. Gorman did a gybe set to get left and was followed by Mathews. As the fleet approached the gate most were on the right side of the gate, it looked like there would be a bit of a pile up but they spread out as they struggled against the tide, this allowed Gorman to slip into a gap and head up to the weather mark in first place closely followed by O’Sullivan and his crew Ken Ryan. At the weather mark Mulligan had moved into third place but it was Gorman who led the way down to the finish line with the now familiar Mitsubishi yellow leaders spinnaker in full flow with O’Sullivan having a great race in second place and Mulligan third. It was fantastic to see such a great turn out, maybe Annalise’s heroics in the Olympics are inspiring people to get out on the water!

Published in Flying Fifteen
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With the excitement of Olympic sailing in Rio having gripped the sailing community it was always going to be hard to match it but it was also exciting  on Dublin Bay for the Flying Fifteen class who had two races in a moderate but shifty westerly breeze and an outgoing tide. Dave Gorman and Chris Doorly sailing Betty for the first time after recently winning the Championship of Ireland won both races.

Race 1: the pin was favoured by a long way and Gorman got it, he got under Murphy who in turn had to push Mathews up and over the line. Most of the fleet went right but Gorman, Galvin and Colman headed towards the shore. Galvin got to the weather mark first by a boat lenght and kept the lead till the second run down to the finish. Gorman threathened to attack to weather but suddenly gybed over to the right and headed for the pin end of the finish to take the gun by a boat lenght. Tom Murphy had come in fast from the right to take third place with Mathews & Poole fourth. The rest of the fleet were only a few boatlenghts behind- great close racing which is what we all like!

For Race 2 the winds had shifted to the right, more NW and the PRO reset the course. The big question was would it flick back? The majority of the fleet went right including Galvin who had an excellent start and crossed the fleet. Those on the left including Gorman, OSullivan and Coughlin hoped it would. . . and it did! Gorman led and headed down the run with the Yellow Mitshibushi spinnaker in full flow to extend their lead which they held to the gun. Behind places would change, Murphy was up to second with Mathews and Galvin close behind. The excitement was saved for the last run down to the finish line. Mathews luffed Murphy and eventually gybed to the left, Murphy followed which left Galvin on his own out on the right, this was decisive as Galvin got clear wind and nipped in for second, Mathews third and Murphy fourth. Great racing!

Thanks to the PRO and his team who did a great job.

The DBSC series continues This Thursday.

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On route to Dun Laoghaire last night it didn’t look good for sailing as there was a strong westerly breeze and white horses in Seapoint. However it takes a lot to cancel a DBSC race and out went the Flying Fifteens for an exciting evening's sail.

Doorly & Green in Frequent Flyer won comfortably in the end but they didn’t have it all their own way as it was neck and neck with David Mulvin & Ian Mathews in the early part of the race, Ben and Jonathon Mulligan finished third.

After a clean start it was a beat to Harbour mark in choppy waters where Doorly was just ahead of Mathews and Colman. It was an exciting reach down to Omega. Mathews got inside and as he called for water he got more than he bargained for as suddenly he broached. Conditions were difficult for spinnaker work and the Cronins took advantage to get ahead of O’Sullivan.

It was still close going around Poldy but it was the next beat that was to be decisive as Doorly went out to the breeze and increased the lead which they held till the gun.

Thanks to PRO Jack Roy and his team for a great race.

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Wind made a welcome return to Dublin Bay yesterday, with a lovely 10 to 11 knots of breeze materialising just in time for racing for the Flying fifteen Facet Jewellers Holiday Cup. The new perpetual trophy did its job in boosting numbers turning out on the bank holiday weekend, with 10 boats rewarded with two-up, easy-hiking sailing.

A novel Frequent Flyer pairing of Ian Mathews (helm), just back from his second place at the Championship of Ireland, and Alan Green had it their own way in both races, leading for the most part while the rest fought it out in tight quarters behind them.

In Race 1, Alan Dooley and Joe Hickey, sporting the Mitsubishi yellow spinnaker in Fflogger, put in a storming first run, staying high for pressure while others dawdled conservatively downwind, and overtaking the pack to deny John O’Sullivan and Ken Ryan’s Rhubarb second place.

PRO Brian Mathews moved the race course further out in the bay for Race 2. Mathews and Green again sailed to perfection, well in front if not quite out of sight. Alan Balfe and John Whelan in Perfect Ten kept their noses clean too, sailing fast downwind, happy to allow others to engage in counter-productive ‘tactical’ sparring far out to the right, and claiming second.

Tom Murphy and Carel Leroux played the shifts to take third in Rollercoaster, with hairline-tight finishes as places changed dramatically over the beat to the line in the group behind.

Back on the balcony at the National YC, former DBSC Commodore Pat Shannon of Facet Jewellers, who had guest helmed on Frank Burgess’s Snow White, presented the new Cup to Mathews and Green, expressing his admiration for the Flying Fifteen design and praising the fleet for its stalwart contribution to the Dublin Bay scene in recent years. The Flying Fifteen for several years has had the biggest one-design fleet sailing in the bay, its continued growth giving the lie to the cliché of the general decline of the sport.

Then a rogue squall reminded us that we were having far too much fun for an Irish summer’s day, and everyone dashed indoors. Debates over the rules soon moved to consideration of whether Bony M, playing in the harbour later, were cool or not, the majority, in spite of hipster protestations, firmly in favour of not.

Another perfect day on Dublin Bay.

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The National Yacht Club's David Gorman & Chris Doorly successfuly defended their Irish Flying Fifteen Title after three days of competition at Cushendall SC in County Antrim. Three race wins from six sailed gave the Dun Laoghaire pair a clear lead in a fleet of 21. Second were club mates Ian Mathews and Keith Poole with Strangford Lough's Hammy Baker and Charlie Horder third. Full results downloadable below.

It was a weekend full of drama and contrast, contrasting weather conditions, contrasting results and emotions for those involved at the Flying Fifteen Championships of Ireland hosted brilliantly by Cushendall Sailing & Boating Club. Going up on Friday we had no idea who was going to win, experienced sailors such as Sean Craig, Roy Darrer as well as Mathews, Gorman and McCleery were all looking to make their mark but it was David Gorman & Chris Doorly (NYC) who came out on top with what was in the end a convincing win by 12 points to retain the trophy they won last season. In the history of this championship this is the first time the holders have retained the trophy.

Considering it is the holiday season there was a good turnout of 21 boats who experienced a variety of conditions, some of which was real head wrecking stuff with shifty winds from the Glens of Antrim combined with raging tides. PRO Brian Mathews and his team did a fantastic job and the quality of courses was second to none.

No racing took place on Friday as we were becalmed for the afternoon, there was one start but it quickly turned into a fetch and the PRO correctly abandoned the race. What would saturday bring, the forecast for the weekend was for light winds and the AP went up on saturday morning. Eventually the fleet got out and we got four races in. During the racing the lead changed several times on the first beat but it was Gorman & Doorly who read the conditions best and recorded three impressive wins and a tenth to lead overnight. Craig won race 3 but was up and down in the other races. There were four boats tied in second place Mathews, Darrer, Willis and McCleery so Sunday was going to be interesting as there was no wind forecast.

Sunday we arrived at the club to a flat calm sea, rain and mist and of course the by now familiar AP. Most people had given up and were happy to go home, Gorman had a 9 point lead and would be happy not to sail. After an hour the breeze came in from the south east and out we went. In the first race the fleet split, half left and half right towards the south hills. This side paid big time, Hammy Baker & Charlie Hoarder (SLSC) led with Lee Statham (WHSC) and Tom Galvin (NYC). Gorman was out on the right also but most of the contenders were becalmed out on the left. Statham had a great win just pipping Baker and Galvin on a shortened course with Gorman snatching two places on the run to finish fourth which was enough to win the title. The PRO got one more race in, again it was correctly shortened at the second weather mark. Those on the left again really suffered, mainly because of a raging tide against them and the fleet were spread out. Mathews lead all the way round but as he approached the weather mark the tide got the better of him and Peter Lawson & Kieran Devlin (PSC) pipped him on the line with Gorman in third and Willis fourth. This was enough to give Mathews second overall, Hammy Baker was third overall. Alan Dooley & Joe Hickey (NYC) won the silver fleet and Niall & Nikki Meagher (NYC) the bronze.

Special thanks to all at the club, all the volenteers in the race office, catering and on the slip it was so appreciated. It must be one of the most hospitable clubs in the country and one of the best locations. As usual the visit to John Joe’s was also a highlight of the weekend. Congratulations to the winners and to all that made the effort to travel including a few new faces and a couple of boats from Lough Neagh.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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With good numbers of Flying Fifteens turning out at club level in Dublin and Strangford Lough the 20–foot keelboat class take to the road to Cushendall Sailing & Boating Club who host the Flying Fifteen Championships of Ireland this weekend, in what is one of the most picturesque settings in the country beneath the Glens of Antrim.

There is also a vibrant fleet along the north east coast in Whitehead, Larne and Cushendall.

As usual in this fleet it is very hard to call the winner as the racing is always close and exciting and any of a number of boats could win. An interesting fact in this fleet is that nobody has ever retained the trophy since it was first presented in 1986.

Current holders Dave Gorman & Chris Doorly (NYC) will be hoping to ‘buck’ that trend as they will be one of the favourites for the title.

Others hoping to stop them will be Sean Craig & Alan Green (NYC) recent winners of the South Coast Championships, Andy McCleery & Colin Dougan (KYC), Brian Willis & John McPeake, and Ian Mathews & Keith Poole (NYC) amongst others. Word is that former National champion Darren Martin & Simon Murray(SLSC) are going to compete, currently they are sailing on the SB20 circuit.


Published in Flying Fifteen

There was again a good Flying Fifteen turnout on the resumption of the DBSC Saturday series and two races were held in a tricky wind from the s-sw, well it was supposed to be from that direction! Dave Gorman & Chris Doorly in Betty flew the series leaders Mitshibushi Yellow spinnaker.

The first race was delayed due to shifting winds and then some problems with the committee boat holding anchor. The fleet headed off eventually, then the wind seemed to disappear, those who went right suffered most, this included Gorman and it was difficult to get back in a short two lap race. Sean Craig & Alan Green led the way but Ian Mathews sailing with Alan Balfe, the Cahil brothers and McCambridge were not far behind. There was very little change till the approach to the line. To the delight and confusion of the Cahill boys Craig went around the leeward mark to do another lap. So Cahill’s won the race by inches from McCambridge with Gorman third.

Race 2 started shortly after and the wind had settled, there were a couple of boats over the line. Out to sea was paying more so the fleet stayed out on starboard tack, Gorman tacked and went behind a couple of boats that were to weather of him but he had a perfect line for the mark and with the help of the tide was around first followed closely by Craig and Mathews. Downwind Craig gybed and went left and had the lead by the leeward mark. It was all very close and again those who went more out to sea on the beat did well. Approaching the weather mark for the second time it was very close, Mathews, McCambridge and the Cronins were just behind Craig and Gorman. This is how things stayed with Craig deservedly winning, Gorman second and McCambridge third with the Cronins fourth.

As forecast the wind had picked up and the fleet enjoyed a fantastic three sail reach into the harbour. Many thanks to the PRO and her crew for providing two very competitive races in tricky conditions.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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Seventeen Flying Fifteens were out in Dublin Bay last night in great conditions with a turning tide and a s-sw wind. PRO Jack Roy was back from his holidays and was greeted by an over eager fleet which resulted in a general recall and a black flag for the restart. Also included in the evening was an extended tour of the bay when the incorrect mark Poldy was rounded by all of the fleet instead of East mark so all but three will be retiring!

The line was slightly favoured to the pin but the concensus was that there was more wind out to sea. Colman, Green, McCambridge and the Cahills were sailing well but it was Green who had a good approach line to the first mark Battery who was first around closely followed by Colman. It was a reach to East and these two were now pulling ahead, Colman got a good surge going up to weather to take the lead, the next reach was even tighter with some crews struggling to keep the spinnaker flying. On to the next long beat up towards Dalkey Island to Bullock, what would happen? After playing the shifts and negociating their way round the bigger boats it was nip tuck with Green and Colman, the gap had closed and Green sailed over Colman to take the lead when he tacked under him at the weather mark. Then the fun started, with the marks being difficult to see Green & Doorly much to their surprise ended up at Poldy not East! Their luck was in as the rest of the fleet followed – the blind leading the blind!

A quick check on the card and they headed to East but no one else did except for Dooley and the Cronins. That was the official finish order, all a bit messy but it didn’t take away from a lovely evenings sail.

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As usual Dunmore East didn’t disappoint at the weekend with great Flying Fifteen racing in this picturesque village as well as fantastic hospitality. The winds held steady and a full programme of races was completed with Sean Craig & Alan Green (NYC) winning the event in Frequent Flyer after a consistant series of results from David Gorman & Chris Doorly (NYC) in second and Andy McCleery & Colin Dougan (KYC) in third.

On Saturday racing started at a popular time of 2pm, in Race 1 after a hectic start where the pin end was favoured Ben Mulligan led the way at the weather mark closely followed by Brian Willis & John McPeake. On the run Willis took the lead he was to hold till the end sailing particularly well on the reaches holding off Craig. These finished first and second with Gorman third and Mathews fourth after an excellent recovery getting inside a group of boats on the last run.
Race 2 the race was similar, pin end bias, shifty but one main direction to go, Mathews was out of the blocks quickly and led all the way, the Martin brothers were second with McCleery third, on the last leeward mark Gorman got inside Craig to take fourth place.

Race 3 the wind was a good 14 knots still from the NW and still shifty off the land, there were some strange wind bends coming from the village. Gorman was in good position to weather of the fleet but Craig and Mathews below them seemed to get their own private wind and took the lead at the weather mark. They both stayed ahead to be first and second but behind there were plenty of places changing, local men Lee Statham and Charlie Boland were in the thick of it and finally McCleery finished third, Statham fourth with Gorman falling down to sixth.

With the strong wind all the crews were wrecked as generally it has been light winds all summer. There was great food available and everyone enjoyed the evening, some too much as they appeared on Sunday. Mathews and Craig were in pole position going into Sunday and Gorman had only an outside chance to retain the trophy.

For Race 4 the wind was from the SW and the tide was still flooding. Gorman started at the boat end and then headed out to sea but those who headed inshore in the second half of the beat came out with a nice lift on port, Colman & Quinn lead the way from Mulligan with Gorman third. Down wind Gorman gybed to the inside and took the lead at the gate which he was to keep, with Colman still second and Craig third. Mathews had a poor start and was back in the group and couldn’t make a recovery. Craig moved up to second with Colman slipping to thirdand now would only lose the event if he had a bad last race and Gorman was to win. Its sailing and anything can happen.

Race 5 was very difficult, there were two general recalls and a black flag, the tide was now ebbing and pushing the boats over the line but the pin bias was way too much so everyone piled down there. With a lot of banging and shouting the fleet got off, again Mulligan and Colman went inshore to lok good but Gorman soon took the lead and went on to win his second race of the day. For a while itw as looking good for him to win as Mathews and Craig were in trouble on the start line. Craig got out of it and slowly moved up the fleet to finish second, enough to win the championship. Mathews ended up doing turns after the start and as it was his discard headed home. McCleery was third again with Colman fourth.

So Craig won, Gorman a close second and McCleery third. Lee Statham won the Silver fleet and Orla Devlin the classic. It was a great event and the race officer, his team and all the volenteers did a great job appreciated by all. It was great to see new faces at the event including Niall and Margaret from the DMYC and Frazer Mitchell and Gabrial Greer (NYC). We look forward to returning!

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This weekend WHSC in Dunmore East will host the Flying Fifteen South Coast Championships. With good numbers turning out at local level they now turn to the road to one of the countrys favourite sailing locations for the second Regional event this season.

In recent seasons the local fleet in Dunmore East has grown thanks mainly to local class captain Charlie Boland and they will be hoping to be among the prize winners. As usual with this fleet it is difficult to call the winner as the racing is always close and exciting and any of a number of boats could win. Sean Craig sailing with Alan Green (NYC) will lead the charge with Mathews & Poole (NYC), McCleery & Dougan, Brian McKee and the Martin brothers all from Stangford Lough also likely to be contenders as will holders Gorman & Doorly (NYC)


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Page 12 of 26

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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