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Defending Irish Flying Fifteen champions David Gorman and Chris Doorly of the National Yacht Club are out of this weekend's Championships at Whitehead in County Antrim following a dismasting on Dublin Bay.

The excitement is building for the Flying Fifteen Championships of Ireland being hosted this weekend by County Antrim Sailing Club with sponsorship provided by the local Wrights Spar shop and P&O Ferries, a welcome move to entice visitors from the UK. It seems the weather is also building so it promises to be a weekend of drama and great racing for these one design boats.

With good numbers of Flying Fifteens turning out at club level in Dublin and Strangford Lough in particular they now take to the road and head to Whitehead a picturesque location at the tip of Belfast Lough. There is also a vibrant fleet along the north east coast in Larne and Cushendall so a good fleet is expected.

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.

Holders Gorman and Doorly of the National Yacht Club have had to pull out as they had a mast break in a windy DBSC race last weekend. This leaves it open for those who have been in form in the regional events where we have had a different winner in each event, Brian McKee & Ian Smith (SLSC) and Willis & McPeak (CAYC) along with Andy & Rory Martin (SLSC) are all in good form and sailing well. Others hoping to go well are Andy McCleery & Colin Dougan (KYC), Ian Mathews, who has lost his regular crew to injury but Hugh Cahill is filling in. Word is that Alan Green has a top helm from the UK lined up to compete, all will be revealed on Friday but rumour is it is current World Champion Steve Goacher.

There is plenty to sail for and as this is the last ranking event of the season so the Travellers trophies for the Gold, Silver and bronze fleets are up for grabs.

Published in Flying Fifteen

A fun and successful evening was had out on the DBSC race course by all as the Flying Fifteen class held an open evening for those who attended the NYC Adult Training courses during the summer. The idea devised by National Yacht Club Committee members Helen Cooney and Chris Doorly was to give those who attended the course another opportunity to sail and keep the interest going after the course had finished. It also feeds into new crew availability and interest for this popular class.

Also included on the night were members of the regular Ladies Tuesday sailing group.

The race was ‘around the cans’ and in truth everyone was a winner. A big thanks to all those in the Flying Fifteen Fleet who helped with their time and boats and especially class Captain John O Sullivan who put the race together.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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Northern Ireland entries took the top four places at the Flying Fifteen South Coast Championships at Wateford Harbour Sailing Club, Dunmore East in County Waterford at the weekend.

Strangford Lough brothers Rory and Andy Martin Martin of Strangford Lough Yacht Club were close winners coming out on top after some hard-fought racing.

The brothers were closely followed by Bryan Willis and John McPeake of County Antrim YC, just one point behind, with Brian McKee and Ian Smyth of Strangford Lough third, in a clean sweep for the Northern contingent. 

Race one started in sunny and moderate winds with a tidal sweep from the river affecting the race course. Collisions proved costly for some eager to get a good start. The right hand side of the course paid throughout the day. Martin Bros and McLeery/Dougan of Killyleagh YC had a good tussle for the top spot throughout the race with the eventual race winners McLeery / Dougan making a nice move on one of the final reaches.

Race two in similar conditions saw the same four boats finish in a different order. This time Flying Fifteen Stalwarts McKee & Smith taking the bullet with McLeery & Dougan in second.

Race three saw a change in the pecking order. National YC duo Coleman & Quinn led from start to finish with come cool headed sailing throughout. Local sailors Statham & Paul finished second with McKee & Smith third to become leaders over night.

Sunday saw a change in wind direction and increased sea state, Crews found themselves hiking in the helmsman’s toe straps to avoid swamping. Willis & McPeake fought off challenges to retain their lead. With the Martin brothers second, and other contenders having a mediocre race, the championship would be decided in the final race.

The final race of the series saw a general recall and use of the U flag which would put some manners on the competitors. The race got off to a clean start second time round. The left hand side of the race course seemed to be paying.

Martin Bros rounded the windward mark first, but wouldn’t have it all their own way. Court & O’Leary took the lead on the first reach but lost it again at the gybe. Hot on their heels was Willis/McPeake who would battle it out with some tight covering throughout. The Martin Bros rounded the windward mark with a small lead which they managed to increase in the final triangle with some nice waves & gusts and take the bullet in the final race.

On receiving the prize, Andy Martin thanked the OOD, Race & Shore Teams and Volunteers for fantastic racing, great hospitality and good tidal tips.

Next up on the FFAI events calendar is the Championship of Ireland, to be held at County Antrim YC, September 8th to 10th. 

 

Published in Flying Fifteen

Dun Laoghaire’s biggest one-design fleet sailing in Dublin Bay, the Flying Fifteens, have launched a search for competent crew to help get more boats out on the water.

The local fleet, now with 28 boats based in four locations around the harbour, has established an online crew register so that sailors looking for the close, exciting racing that the Fifteen has to offer can sign up with details of their skills and experience.

The ultimate aim is to maximise the number of boats racing each week.

Fleet Captain John O’Sullivan explains: ‘Especially around this time of year, with holidays and other commitments affecting people’s ability to sail, skippers can find it hard to get good crew.
‘We’ve been muddling through with impromptu calls, so we thought this might be a good way to allow folks declare their interest and let us build a register that gives people a bit of detail on potential crews’ abilities.

‘Just like any two-hander, crewing competitively in a Fifteen requires some previous experience, so we ask those interested to give us a rough indication of where they fit. Those who have sailed before, but perhaps not in a Flying Fifteen, usually come away impressed, especially if we’ve got a bit of a breeze!’’

Starting racing from scratch in a Fifteen is probably not a great idea for most: absolute beginners are advised to get a gentle taster in one of the waterfront club or sailing school courses, or keep an eye out for events aimed at introducing people to the sport.

Those signing up to the register will have their details pushed out to the fleet’s active mailing list, which skippers routinely use to source crew.

The form can be found on the Flying Fifteen website here 

Published in Flying Fifteen
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On a cloudy grey evening with stormy clouds hovering the Flying Fifteen fleet got more than they expected with strong force 4-5 winds from the west on Thursday evening. With no race last week, repaired DBSC Committee Boat Freebird was ready and waiting at the start line. Despite the peak holiday season a great turnout of 16 boats had an exciting evenings sail with Alan Green and Chris Doorly taking the gun in a close and exciting finish from Neil Colin & Margaret Casey. 

The start with its pin end bias was hotly contested with Dumpleton and Green vying for a position to get the pin. Green popped out and after a while managed to cross the fleet on port as the fleet headed towards Harbour mark. It seemed that the hard work was done and he was in control of the fleet but it was not to last as those who headed in towards the shore got to the mark first, Neil Colin led the way from David Mulvin and Neil Coleman.

The wind really picked up on an exciting tight reach led by Colin, behind there were thrills and spills with several broaches! On towards Poldy the fleet were busy trying to avoid Ruffians. As they approached the mark Green got inside Coleman and on rounding the mark squezed inside David & Valerie Mulvin to move into second place on the beat. This is how it stayed for a while but the gap closed as we approached Bay mark and the chase was on down to East mark where Colin & Casey still held their lead. He headed inshore while Green headed toward the dark looming clouds towards the city. On tacking in towards the finish it was all about boat speed- what would happen as they converged adjacent the line? As the finish loomed closer it was Green that crossed clear of Colin to take the gun, a great finish to a great race set by Jack Roy and his team. It was still close behind with Alistair & Conor just pipping Coleman for third with McCambridge fifth.

Published in Flying Fifteen

Brian Willis and Alan McClernon (CASC) won the Flying Fifteen Northern Championships in fine style winning three of the four races in light winds. Sixteen boats competed in the event hosted by Lough Neagh Sailing Club, Its been a long time since the fleet came to these shores and the majority of competitors enjoyed the warm weather camping at the lake shore.

The first race was won by Mulvin & Beirne (NYC) with Harrison & Hickland second, Willis was sixth after going back for a recall. Willis, a long time master of lake sailing soon got into his stride to win the next two races closely followed by McKee & Smyth. Light winds, well no wind, greeted the fleet on Sunday. PRO did well to get one race in and Willis continued his consistent sailing which saw him win what a would be the last race to win the Championship – a nice way to start Fathers Day according to Alan!

Published in Flying Fifteen
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There was a breezy downwind finish (see below) for the Flying Fifteen keelboat on Dublin Bay yesterday as captured from the DBSC Committee Boat by Jonathan O'Rourke.

The popular class is the biggest one design keelboat fleet on Dublin Bay with regular turnouts in the 20s for DBSC club racing on Thursdays and Saturdays.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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On a cloudy grey evening there was again a good turnout of 17 Flying Fifteens in the DBSC Series but all was not as it seemed as we sailed out in a force 4 westerly breeze writes our Flying Fifteen Correspondent. PRO Jack Roy was as confused as the rest of us and warned the fleet that anything could happen as the forecasted wind was from the south.

The fleet set of with just a individual recall and Balfe and Colin were quickest off the line, the fleet split with a group heading to the shore out of the tide, or so they thought, and the rest going to the right where there was a little more breeze. Balfe led at the weather mark from Colin, the first seven boats had a good lead with Mitchel, Doyle, Dooley and Green amongst them. Colin had the lead by the third mark Poldy but it was nip and tuck with Balfe on the challenging beat into Bay mark.

Meanwhile Doyle and Green who went closest to the shore out of the tide were in third and fourth spot with Mitchel fifth. On the way to East and the finish it all got a bit messy with the wind not knowing what it was doing. Balfe perservered and was looking good to finish first as Colin had disappeared, but Doyle and Green were more to ‘weather’ and were drifting faster, Green took the lead briefly but had to tack but Doyle continued to take the gun, apparently his first ever gun in a Flying Fifteen Dublin Bay race! Green finished second with Balfe third as they neared the 9pm time limit.

Most boats had gone home retired but those who hadn’t were now timed out. Thanks to Jack Roy and his team for an interesting evening on the Bay!

Published in Flying Fifteen

The DMYC hosted the Flying Fifteen East Coast Championships on Dublin Bay at the weekend in tricky and unpredictable conditions and the PRO Stuart Kinnear and his team managed to get all the races completed.
Saturday was more like October with rain bucketing down, many crews spent much time bailing out the boats! Three races were sailed when the wind eventually came in from the WNW direction. Niall & Nikki Meagher sailing Fantastic Mr Fox were quickest out of the blocks and lead all the way around for their first Regional Championship race win. Brien McKee & Ian Smyth were second with Lee Statham & Andrew Paul (WHSC) third.
Race 2 Mathews & Poole (NYC) led the way from Statham with the Meaghers third and Mulvin & Beirne fourth. After several general recalls the black flag was introduced, the tide and strong pin end bias made it difficult to get over the line and most boats were able to fetch the weather mark on port tack. Eventually they got going and Gorman & Doorly (NYC) went left to lead for the first lap before gear failure forced them to retire. McKee took advantage to win the race from Mathews in second place and Statham in third. After a good soaking during the day the fleet were glad to head ashore and food and entertainment took place in one of the local Monkstown restaurants.

Sunday was warmer and dryer but the wind was very unsettled so the AP went up. Wind came in from the NE moving more Easterly and two Olympic triangle races were sailed. With the unpredictable wind it was also difficult to know how many races were going to be sailed so each race could have been the decider. In race 4 Mulligan led the way but McKee was close behind and took the lead on the second beat, this was how it finished with Gorman in third after some good sailing to move up the fleet. For the last race McKee was in pole position to win the event but Mathews was in with a chance also. McCleery & Dougan sailed a fantastic race to win comfortably from Mulvin in second, Mathews third and McKee’s fifth was enough to give him the title.

The next event takes place in Lough Neagh on June 18 and 18th.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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After a long absence this coming weekend the Flying Fifteen East Coast Championships are being hosted by the DMYC and club fleet captain and organiser Neil Colin is expecting a large turnout of about 25 boats. With great numbers out in Dublin Bay all season additional boats will be coming from Dunmore East, Stangford Lough and Antrim.

As usual in this fleet it is difficult to call the winner as racing is always close and exciting, any of a number of boats could win. Holder of the trophy for the last three seasons Charles Apthorpe (UK) and Alan Green will not be defending but Green has teamed up with Whiterock’s Andy Martin and they will be among the favourites along with Ian Mathews & Keith Poole (NYC), David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (NYC) Former National Champions from Killyleagh David McCleery & Colin Dougan along with current National Champions David Gorman & Chris Doorly (NYC) will also have a say in proceedings.

Published in DMYC
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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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