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Displaying items by tag: Flying fifteen

The second Dublin Bay Sailing Club Thursday evening race with a stiff 15 knots breeze off the shore was a contrast to the previous week with light airs shakedown race. The revised format for this year has additional classes starting from the committee boat with a course using one of the set marks and two temporary buoys.

PRO for the evening Brian Mathews positioned “Freebird” S.E. of the piers in the area of Molly mark which was the leeward mark of the course. Twelve Flying Fifteens were out to record the biggest fleet in the bay. In the pre-start gusts, 3749 (Peter Sherry & Mick Quinn) had to return to shore with a broken gooseneck fitting.

The first two classes off, SB20s and Sports Boats opted for the committee boat end and off up the bay on a beat to the weather mark in a position off the mouth of Dun Laoghaire Harbour. On the Flying Fifteen start, 4068 David Mulvin and Ronan Beirne opted for the pin end as did 3753 Alastair Court and Conor O’Leary and 3970 Chris Doorly and Nicki Mathews. 3753 got to the weather mark first closely followed by 4068 who took the lead on the downwind leg. The first triangle was followed by a sausage. On the leeward mark, 4068 opted to gybe set with the others opting for a later gybe. This was followed by the final long triangle beat with 4068 keeping cover on 3753. At the final leeward mark, there was the classic Dublin Bay Thursday situation with two Shipman 28’s, a Dragon and 4068 converging on the mark. David Mulvin used the agility of the fifteen to steer a course and inside the other yachts at the mark to round and sail the final beat to the line ensuring cover was kept on 3753. “Ignis Caput” kept to her name “fire ahead” to get the gun in Dublin Bay’s biggest class on the evening.

A good stiff wind was harnessed with the excellent Olympic triangle course set by PRO Brian Mathews. Supported by the “Freebird” crew and mark layers provided an excellent evenings race.

Remember those plutonic courses of former years which in a wet flying fifteen one has to write down the course from a soggy course card on a slate and sometimes inside the 5 min gun, this surely is a much-improved format.

1) 4068 “Ignis Caput” David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne
2) 3753 “Finisterre” Alastair Court & Conor O’Leary
3) 4028 “Fuzzy” Neil Colin & Margaret Casey

Published in Flying Fifteen
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The 2021 Flying Fifteen International World Championship that was scheduled to be sailed at the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club in Western Australia next February has been cancelled, according to Afloat sources.

There is no official news of the cancellation yet but there were growing doubts over the viability of the event due to COVID-19.

It was understood there was Irish interest in the event following the National Yacht Club's staging of the 2019 biennial Subaru sponsored World Championships at Dun Laoghaire Harbour last September.

As a result of the Fremantle cancellation, future FFI World Championships may now also need to be rescheduled.

The Flying Fifteen is one of Ireland's biggest one-design keelboat classes. The Irish National Championships are being held next month in County Waterford.

Flying Fifteen International adds (July 15): 

Flying Fifteen International in conjunction with the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club announced today that the 2021 Flying Fifteen World and Australian Championships would be postponed until 11th to 26th February 2022.

The event will remain in the same format as the proposed 2021 event, but delayed by a year due to the global COVID 19 pandemic. As previously announced the event will be sailed out of Fremantle Sailing Club (FSC) with Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club (RFBYC) being the Organising Authority. South of Perth Yacht Club (SoPYC) is also supporting the regattas.

RFBYC Commodore, Gary McNally, said:

“RFBYC fully supports the change in date and remains committed as the Organising Authority for this prestigious event. We will continue to work collaboratively with the Flying Fifteen Associations, FSC, members and volunteers from both RFBYC and SoPYC to bring this event to fruition. We look forward to welcoming regional, interstate and overseas competitors to enjoy the hospitality of the three Clubs involved and of course the superb sailing conditions off Fremantle.”
The World’s Committee recommended that RFBYC request a postponement of the World Championship event from FFI, as it was not clear that international visitors would be able to attend the event, due to travel restrictions imposed by the Australian and State Governments at the present time.

RFBYC looks forward to welcoming competitors to Fremantle, and in particular, the many visitors expected from Overseas and the East Coast. The facilities at FSC are world class and that Fremantle is renowned throughout the World for its unique sailing conditions. The proposed course area at Owen Anchorage is a location that has been used for numerous World Championship events, including the Perth 2011 ISAF World Championships and a host of other National and International Sailing events.


Published in Flying Fifteen
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After the excitement of the Subaru Flying Fifteen World Championships on Dublin Bay last year there is a renewed interest in the keelboat class with some famous names teams to spice things up in 2020.

Both 1992 Olympian Peter Kennedy from Strangford Lough and 1995 Fireball World Champion John Lavery of Dublin Bay return to the class after a number of years absence. And Greystones-based Shane McCarthy, the 2016 GP14 world Champion, is also getting in on the act so it promises to be an ultra-competitive season ahead at the top of the 20-foot one design.

Waterford Harbour Sailing Club has issued the Notice of Race for August's Flying Fifteen National Championships, the main event of the season. The event from 21-23 August is been shared with the 420 class and Brian Mathews will be the PRO.

Class President Chris Doorly said that they were delighted to be getting back on the water after the first two regional events had to be cancelled due to the COVID virus restrictions. The class was now looking forward to visiting Dunmore East one of the most popular and exciting sailing areas in the country.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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The Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) season first race was last Thursday but due to COVID-19 it never happened. To mark the occasion, the following imaginary Flying Fifteen race report was written by Cormac Bradley for the biggest one-design fleet on the Bay. The report started life as an initial post to the ultra-keen FF Dun Laoghaire WhatsApp Group and then grew by a few more paragraphs to become a 'full report' using conditions that prevailed last Thursday on an empty Dublin Bay. It is intended by Cormac to introduce a little bit of light relief, distraction and possible humour from the fact that no one is actually on the water!

The 2020 DBSC season got underway tonight in a light WNW of about seven knots and an imposing grey sky! After a slightly "fizzled out" end to the 2019 season, following a very successful Worlds, an enthusiastic fleet of 16 Flying Fifteens gathered for the first race of 2020. As well as the established partnerships of Cahill & Cahill, Mathews & Poole, Colin & Casey, Mulligan & Bradley, and Coleman & Quinn, the fleet was joined by several new combinations who have got into the class on the back of the successful Worlds.

Flying Fifteen Worlds 7579The Flying Fifteens launch at the 2019 Subaru-sponsored World Championships at the National Yacht Club

Race Officer Jack Roy opened the 2020 DBSC account for the Flying Fifteens by giving them course N3 – Harbour-Omega-Poldy-Bay-East – all to port apart from Bay. Tidal conditions favoured those who were determined to push the line - the Fifteen start was into the very early stages of the 2nd hour of an ebbing tide. That prompted the majority of the fleet to congregate at the pin end of the line so that they could get inshore. A much smaller group of Colin, Mulligan and Alistair Court with Conor O’Leary sought the stronger breeze further out. At the first mark, honours were even between the two separate groups. At Harbour Mark the fleet was led round by Colin/Casey followed by Ken Dumpleton of the inshore group, Cahill/Cahill also inshore, Mulligan & Court from the offshore group and Mathews, Meagher, Green from the inshore track.

Spinnakers were hoisted for the leg to Omega and onto Poldy. Given that there were some gusts coming through causing the wind to go slightly more northerly, some of the chasing group including Mulvin & Beirne and Miller & Butler took the unconventional decision to give immediately at harbour to pursue a course in the stronger tide offshore and the gusts coming in from the north. Ultimately, they would have to gybe back again to leave Omega to port and make their way to Poldy. In the lead group Dumpleton and Cahill decided that there wasn't enough excitement upfront and embarked on a luffing match that saw them forced into a much more inshore route to Omega, really only a passing mark in this course configuration.

That allowed Colin to open a gap ahead while from behind Mulligan, Court, Mathews, Meagher and Green soaked offshore to guard their flanks against the "black sheep" approach of Miller and Mulvin. The breeze got up a notch or two to provide a bit more excitement on the leg to Poldy where the sequence of rounding was Colin, Mulvin, Court, Miller, Mulligan, Dumpleton, Mathews, Meagher, Green and Cahill.

With the wind building to 12 knots in the gusts, the long beat to Bay was going to stretch everyone's early-season muscles. With the ebbing tide getting stronger the perennial question had to be asked - Out of the tide or stay in the breeze?

As to be expected none of the boats at the front end of the fleet were going to do anything too radical. The kudos of the opening 2020 DBSC win was too much to throw away on a flyer. And so, it evolved! The lead boats initially took a port tack hitch back towards the harbour before peeling off at different stages to claw some inshore brownie points and to get out of the tide. Colin led this strategy being the first to peel off. Mulvin and Court followed soon after, but Green and Mulligan persisted that bit longer and with a heavier 2020 version of Bradley, compared to 2019 - too many black-tie dinners - Mulligan started to make inroads on the leader. The "late throwing of double sixes" thus fell to Coleman & Quinn who took the long offshore hike before cutting inshore on the starboard lay line. Green, with Class President Doorly on board got this leg right to leave a much-altered pecking order at Bay - Colin, with a much-reduced lead, Mulligan, Green, Coleman and Court.

The leg to East was a tame affair, nobody straying too far off the thumb line. Colin, forced to keep a wary eye on Mulligan, found himself being pulled back into the peloton while Green was able to take advantage of this cat and mouse game to close even further. These three rounded East covered by an oversized blanket. An interesting cover match must surely ensue!

While Colin and Green headed inshore, Mulligan hung right hoping to eke out an advantage from the easing breeze, there seeming to be less breeze inshore. However, when it goes light Colin is in his element and he managed to keep Green at bay, crossing the line first. Mulligan and Green approached the line from opposite ends with Mulligan attempting a lee-bow on Green but Green managed to roll him over and claim second. Behind the podium three Mulvin came home next, followed by Coleman, Court and Mathews.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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The Flying Fifteen European Championships scheduled for in France in May has been cancelled due to COVID-19.

The FF International Association will review in August if there are any further options for rescheduling the regatta.

Flying Fifteen Worlds 2021

The committee will also get a status update on the FF Worlds scheduled for  Australia in February 2021. Ominously, competitors have been asked not to make any travel bookings until after the August meeting.

At home, the first Irish championship scheduled for Strangford Lough on May 20th has also been cancelled.

Flying Fifteen Irish Fixtures 2020

  • 30-31 May Southern Championships Whiterock Strangford Lough
  • 20 -21 June Northern Championships Portaferry
  • 21-23 August Championship of Ireland Dunmore East
  • 19 -20 September East Coast Championships National Yacht Club
  • 10-11 October West Coast Championships Lough Derg
Published in Flying Fifteen
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The Cowes Corinthian Yacht Club (CCYC) has been selected to host the 2022 Flying Fifteen European Championships in what will be the year of the 75th anniversary of the design of 1947. The championship will be held from 20 - to 26 August, two weeks after Cowes Week.

With fleets based in Belgium, France, Ireland and Spain it is hoped that there will be strong interest from European boats as well as those based in the UK and even further afield overseas.

The exact format of the event will be agreed between the club and the local, National and International Associations of the class over the next 18 months but there is likely to be a 75th Anniversary celebration race on Sunday followed by four days of racing in the central Solent. The racing will be accompanied by a varied social programme incorporating many of the attractive and interesting venues available in and around Cowes.

CCC c Mike DixonCowes Corinthian Yacht Club Photo: Mike Dixon

Cowes has been the venue for numerous Flying Fifteen championships since the first National Championship was held there in 1949 and recently has hosted Southern Area Championships on significant anniversary years in 2007, 2012 and 2017 being 60th, 65th and 70th respectively. Prior to that in 1997 CCYC hosted what was the largest ever gathering of Flying Fifteens to mark the 50th anniversary of the class when over 180 boats descended on Cowes to take part in the Worlds, Nationals and Classic Fifteen regatta.

Titania c Ian G GilchristEarly Flying Fifteen Titania Photo: Ian G Gilchrist

2022 is not only the 75th anniversary of the design of the Flying Fifteen but will also mark 50 years since the designer Uffa Fox passed away. The legend of Uffa is very much a part of Cowes yachting history with his breakthrough in planing dinghy design in the late 1920’s in the International 14 Avenger, his prolific design and build portfolio that followed, his often eccentric behaviour and of course his links with royalty including sailing with Prince Philip for nearly 20 years in the Flying Fifteen ‘Coweslip'. Preliminary discussions are underway on how to celebrate Uffa’s ‘fiftieth’ and the Flying Fifteen European Championship will be a significant part of the celebration.

Uffa Fox portrait c Peter KeenUffa Fox Photo: Peter Keen

Published in Flying Fifteen
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The 2020 Flying Fifteen European Championship will be held in conjunction with the Flying Fifteen National Championship of France.

This next major event for the international class follows the successful staging of last year's Subaru Flying Fifteen World Championships on Dublin Bay by the National Yacht Club.

The event runs from Thursday 21 to Saturday 23 May 2020 in Brest, an area officially twinned with Dun Laoghaire.

The regatta will be held within a larger multi-class regatta, the Grand Prix de l’Ecole Navale (GPEN) which is traditionally held at the Ascension weekend (Ascension Thursday being a holiday in France),

The GPEN is organised by the French Naval Officers School, based in the bay of Brest, at Lanvéoc-Poulmic, in the south shore of the bay.

The 2019 Flying Fifteen Nationals were sailed on the same racecourse as the Open 5.70, the First 18 and the First 24 in Morgat Bay, with different starts for each class, while other classes raced in Roscanvel, Camaret and Lanvéoc-Poulmic (4 racing locations altogether).

This season the 2020 Flying Fifteen Europeans and French Nationals expect 40 boats and GPEN plans to dedicate the Morgat Bay course just to the Flying Fifteen fleet and the Open 5.70 class.

Morgat Bay is an excellent racing area, and Crozon a holiday spot.

The scheduled format is for 3 days of racing (Thursday - Saturday), with 3 races a day.

Proposed Schedule

Sat 16 - Tue 19 May: boats can arrive, launch (using the slipway) and use the facilities at Morgat

Wed 20 - All day and Thu 21 morning: Registration and launching by crane

Thu 21 - Briefing around noon, racing in the afternoon followed by apéritif and dinner in Morgat in the evening

Fri 22 - Racing followed by dinner in Morgat

Sat 23 - Racing followed by a prize giving party and dinner for all classes at the Ecole Navale in Lanvéoc
Sun 24 - Morning: craning of boats.

The organisation is in the hands of the Ecole Navale with the help of the local clubs (CNCM for Morgat). A Jury is provided by the FFV (French Sailing Federation).

The organisation provides lodging, breakfast and dinner, all included in the entry fee.

There will be a regatta in Dinard the weekend before for those interested in testing the local waters.

The prize-giving dinner party is a great event in itself with an anticipated 1000 sailors expected to be participating.

Access from the UK is easy with options of ferries from Poole to Saint-Malo, and Plymouth to Roscoff.

From Ireland, ferry routes include Irish Ferries Dublin to Cherbourg, Brittany Ferries operates 1 route, Cork to Roscoff which runs once a week. Stena Line operates one route, Rosslare to Cherbourg which runs three times weekly.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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Irish sailing sponsor Subaru has been picking up awards for its Forester marque, the multi-purpose vehicle (MPV) that has proved so popular among Irish sailors and boaters.

Last month, the Forester won Euro NCAP’s Best in Class award for 2019 in the Small Off-Road/MPV category.

Subaru — who last year came on board as sponsors of the only sailing world championships to be held in Ireland in 2019 — also signed up as official car sponsors at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire, where the Flying Fifteen World Championship was hosted.

The club has a number of committed Subaru drivers, and several enthusiastic Forester drivers in particular who note the towing ability and comfort of the vehicle. Former Flying Fifteen Dublin Bay Sailing Club Class Captain Ken Dumpleton is one such advocate as he relates in this promo video below: 

Meanwhile, Irish car blogger Caroline Kidd has just been behind the wheel of the fifth generation 2020 Subaru Forester that is being sold exclusively as a hybrid (‘e-BOXER’). Her findings are on her 'Changing Lanes' website HERE.

The recent accolate is the second Euro NCAP award for the Forester e-BOXER, having recently achieved the highest score ever in its class for Child Occupant Protection. It is awarded to the best performing model in each class by the European New Car Assessment Programme (Euro NCAP) and considers all vehicles tested within the 2019 calendar year.

The Forester, along with other models in the Subaru marque, were out in force in Dun Laoghaire for last September's Flying Fifteen Worlds that were won so convincingly by the UK's Graham Vials and Chris Turner.

Subaru cars on the pier at Dun LaoghaireThe Subaru car range displayed on Dun Laoghaire's East Pier during the 2019 Flying Fifteen World Championship

The award announcement follows recent news that the Forester e-BOXER also received the maximum five stars with outstanding scores in all four NCAP assessment areas of Adult Occupant, Child Occupant, Vulnerable Road Users, Safety Assist. On the area of Child Occupant Protection, the Forester e-BOXER achieved the highest score ever in its class with a 91% safety standard.

Subaru Ireland Managing Director Pat Ryan commented: “We are delighted that the Forester e-BOXER has been recognised as a best in class vehicle by Euro NCAP. The award is testimony to Subaru’s on-going commitment to build the safest cars on the road today.

“These results have been made possible thanks to the Subaru Global Platform (SGP) which offers unrivalled chassis rigidity. Together with this solid body structure, and best in class safety features, this all-new 5th generation Forester is the safest, most technologically advanced Forester yet.”

Ireland hosted the Flying Fifteen World Championship twice before, in 1992 and 2003 (also sponsored by Subaru), but 2019’s event was the biggest by far. 

Subaru is keen to build on its strong affiliation with the Irish sailing community. The company has a range of versatile, safe and capable AWD vehicles that are perfect for towing and hence, the association with the sailing community works well for the brand.


Click HERE to find out more about the Subaru Forester e-BOXER.

Published in Subaru

The buoyant Flying Fifteens are looking forward to competing in Howth Yacht Club's Wave Regatta in May for the first time as part of the 2020 Irish fixtures calendar announced by Class President Chris Doorly today. 

After the excitement and the full programme leading up to the recent successful Subaru sponsored World Championships hosted by the National Yacht Club, next season promises to be as exciting but maybe a bit more relaxed. Doorly says he is hopeful the good numbers that attend the regional events will continue.

Regional championships attract up to 20 boats or more with the centre of racing on Dublin Bay regularly seeing high teens turnouts for DBSC club races.

The Championships of Ireland takes place in August at Waterford Harbour Sailing Club while the East Coast Championships return to the National Yacht Club.

For those wishing to travel further afield, the European Championships are in Crozan-Morgat, in Brittany in May.

Thurs 21-Sat 23: European Championships- Crozan Morgat, France.

Sat 30- Sun 31: Southern Championships- Howth Wave Regatta

Sat 20-Sun 21: Northern Championships- Portaferry

Fri 21-sun 23: Championship of Ireland- Dunmore East (WHSC)

Sat 19-Sun 20: East Coast Championships- NYC

Sat 10-Sun 11: West Coast Championships -Lough Derg

Published in Flying Fifteen

DMYC sailor Neil Colin will be elected DBSC Flying 15 captain at next week's fleet agm at the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

After a packed season for the Flying Fifteen class, the agm will include a review of September's National Yacht Club hosted Subaru Flying Fifteen World Championships plus 'Post Worlds development actions' according to the agenda issued by outgoing Captain Conor O'Leary.

No doubt the cancellation of the class's popular winter Frostbite series (due to lack of parking space in Dun Laoghaire Harbour) will also come up for mention.

The Flying Fifteen is one of DBSC's largest one-design keelboat classes with regular 20-boat turnouts for summer sailing, a factor that saw NYC duo Dave Gorman and Chris Doorly claim the top prize at July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta.

The agm is scheduled for Tuesday, 12th November at  8pm in the RStGYC.

Later this month, the Flying 15 annual dinner and awards take place in the NYC on the 22nd November.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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Page 6 of 31

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.


The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

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At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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