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Dublin Bay Flying Fifteen sailors at the National Yacht Club are preparing for the annual 'Facet Trophy' races on Dublin Bay next month, the venue for the Class World Championships this September.

Presented by Pat Shannon of Dun Laoghaire's Facet Jewellers, the trophy, first raced for in 2013, is competed for over the two DBSC races on the Bank Holiday weekend of Saturday 3rd August.

Shannon, who is also Vice Commodore of the Royal Irish Yacht Club, will present the prizes for second and third in the Flying Fifteen gold fleet too.

The Flying Fifteens boasted one of the biggest one-design classes of this month's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta. With 24-boats competing, the regatta winners, David Gorman and Chris Doorly also won the Volvo Boat of the Week trophy for their top performance. It was a great fillip for the Class in their World-Championship hosting year and a fitting acknowledgement of David and Chris’s domination of the fleet.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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In advance of the Subaru sponsored Flying Fifteen World Championships in Dun Laoghaire in September, the local fleet had the small matter of the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta to attend to writes Cormac Bradley

Except, that in 2019, the event was no small matter with two short of five hundred boats entered across a wide range of Classes, from Zero all the way down to the Myths from Wales. In between there were, GP14s, sailing a Leinster Championship, Lasers, IDRA 14s, Wayfarers, Dragons, RS Elites, sailing a UK Nationals and twenty-four Flying Fifteens sailing on the waters that will host a Worlds that to date has an entry list in the high seventies.

A ten-race programme was on offer for the Fifteens over the four days of Thursday to Sunday with all but two of the races under the management of an International Race Officer and the other two under the management of a very popular National Race Officer who probably had the most challenging wind conditions of the entire four days. The Fifteens sailed on a different course each day, sharing Friday’s course with the 30+ fleet of RS Elites in which there were two Olympic medallists from the UK.

Thursday’s proceedings opened on a light winded Salthill course and a trapezoid course and the first bullet of the day went to a new combination of John O’Sullivan (Rhubarb, 3762), a former DLFF Class Captain, crewed by Adrian Cooper (Gulfstream, 3198). Second went to our second-youngest boat in the fleet, Tom Murphy’s “Fflagella”, 4057, crewed by Carel la Roux, and in third was David Gorman & Chris Doorly in “Betty” 3920.

If Race 1 was difficult for the fleet and the Race Officer alike, Race 2 was, even more, trying as the wind faded and came in from the completely opposite direction. The race winner was Peter Murphy, sailing “Hera”, 3774 and his win was not down to the vagaries of the wind. Gorman & Doorly finished second while third went to another combination who have come in from the Fireball Class, Frank Miller and Ed Butler, sailing “Glass Half Full”, 3845.

Thus, at the end of a difficult session, two boats were tied at the top of the table, Gorman and O’Sullivan, each carrying five points. Murphy slotted into third on nine points, just one ahead of Ben Mulligan and Cormac Bradley, “As Good as it Gets” 3688 carrying ten points, courtesy of 2 x 5th. Miller & Butler closed out the top five with thirteen points. O’Sullivan & Cooper took the prize of the day!

Friday saw the fleet sharing the course with the RS Elites with a programme of three Windward-Leeward races. The wind strength was much stronger than any of the forecasts suggested and a healthy day of racing ensued, with tired bodies hitting the shore later in the day. An error by the Race Management Team saw the first race extend to three laps of the course in an area just to the west of the approaches to the Liffey River and Dublin Port and while the RS Elites would seek redress for the error, the Flying Fifteens stoically sailed the three laps and let the results stand. Gorman & Doorly and Mulligan & Bradley hit the highs, with the former pair scoring 3 x 1st and the latter pair scoring 3,3,2, only losing to the former combination late on in the last race. Elsewhere, a good position for Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (“No Name” 4028) in Race 1 evaporated when the “soft shackle” on their jib sheets gave way, dropping them from a single digit position to 20th. They recovered later with a 6,4. Murphy & la Roux enjoyed a 4,2 in the latter two races but a 14th in Race 1 would have taken the shine off their day. Others who had to take the rough with the smooth included Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (“ffinisterre, 3753), scoring 2,7,10 while Niall Meagher & Nicki Matthews (ffantastic Mr Fox, 3912) put together a useful 9,5,9. Bodies were tired by the close of play on Friday afternoon. Gorman & Doorly took the day’s prize.

Saturday saw another course and another mix of classes on the start line. This time we were under the management of Volvo (Round the World) Race Officer, Bill O’Hara and a course area to the north of Dun Laoghaire harbour. Having got “their groove”, Gorman & Doorly saw a “perfect score day” slip away when they were beaten in the middle race of the day by Mulligan & Bradley who led from start to finish on another Windward-Leeward course. This result appeared to get them the day’s prize. To this, they added a 9,5 to consolidate second place overall after the day’s “close of play”. Needless to say; Gorman & Doorly were “untouchable” in 1st place overall. However, the attention now was all on 3rd place overall

Meagher & Matthews were in the “hot seat” with 45 points, followed by Court & the returning Conor O’Leary on 45.5, Colin & Casey on 46 and Miller & Butler on 47.5! All to play for!! With two races scheduled for the Sunday, the fleet were a bit more relaxed and ready to socialise on Saturday night.

Sunday saw the Fifteens move further north and a very busy race area where there were three starts ahead of them, two cruiser classes and “mixed sports-boats”. However, conditions were light, and this was the area closest to the ebb tide sweep out of the Liffey River. While the pre-race deliberations between some boats was that the tide would be even across the course this did not manifest itself in the racing. Two “sorties” up the right-hand side of the beat left Mulligan & Bradley with their worst score of the week, 12th, while others took advantage to post their best scores. David Mulvin and Ronan Bierne (Ignis Caput Duo, 4068) counted a 4,2 to jump up the rankings, Court & O’Leary counted an 8,3, Gerry Ryan & Peter Dolan (“No Name, 4045) scored a 3,7 and Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (Fandango, 3697) saved their best to last with a 5th in the lightest wind race of the entire regatta. After a poor third day, Murphy & la Roux redeemed themselves with a 2,9. Gorman & Doorly won the first one with some ease but had to come from behind to seal the race win in the second. Mulligan & Bradley also scored better in the last race with a 6th, to get back on track in consolidating 2nd overall. Others would be less satisfied – Meagher & Matthews scored a 9,12, Colin & Casey a 13,14 and Miller & Butler a 5,15. This combination of results across the four boats contesting 3rd place overall saw Court and O’Leary take the last podium spot.

Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta 2019

Co-hosted by DMYC, NYC, RIYC & RStGYC.

Flying Fifteens













David Gorman & Chris Doorly















Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley

As Good as it Gets














Alistair Court & Gordon Syme/Conor O’Leary















David Mulvin & Ronan Bierne

Ignus Caput Duo














Frank Miller & Ed Butler

Glass Half Full













At the formal prize-giving Tipperary Crystal prizes were awarded to the 1-2-3 and David Gorman and Chris Doorly won the “Best Boat of the Regatta” prize – a great fillip for the Class in their World-Championship hosting year and a fitting acknowledgement of David and Chris’ domination of a very competitive 24 -boat class. In David’s own words, “the points don’t reflect the tightness of the racing”.

To the organisers and our four-race officers; Harry Gallagher, Peter Crowley, Bill O’Hara and David Lovegrove – our thanks for a great four days!

Published in Flying Fifteen
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After five races sailed at the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, Flying Fifteen National Champions David Gorman and Chris Doorly clearly broke the overnight points tie in their favour today when they won all three races to stamp their authority on the 24-boat fleet.

The National Yacht Club duo now lead the regatta by a cool 10-point margin at the halfway stage. 

Second overall is the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club's Ben Mulligan sailing with Cormac Bradley. Third is Fflagella, Tom Murphy and Carel La Roux also of the National Yacht Club.

Racing continues tomorrow.

Ben Mulligan 0881Ben Mulligan and Cormac Bradley are second overall

Tom Murphy 0900Tom Murphy and Carel La Roux are third

Published in Volvo Regatta

In one of the biggest one design fleets of the massive 500-boat of Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, John O'Sullivan's Rhubarb leads the Flying Fifteens after two races.

In some neat sailing on the Salthill Course, O'Sullivan of the National Yacht Club scored a 1 and a 4 to lead club mates and FF National Champions David Gorman and Chris Doorly but they are tied on the same 5 points in the 24-boat fleet. Third is Peter Murphy in Hera, also from the NYC.

The One Design keelboat class is in warm-up mode for its Subaru-sponsored World Championships that will be staged on Dublin Bay in two months time.

Racing continues on Friday.

Tom Galvin 0866Tom and Eamonn Galvin lead at the first mark of Race Two Photo: Afloat

Flying Fifteen 0899Tom Murphy and Carel La Roux lead a bunch of boats at the weather mark Photo: Afloat

Ben Mulligan and Cormac BradleyBen Mulligan and Cormac Bradley set the pole Photo: Afloat

Neil Colin FF 0990DMYC's Neil Colin at the front of a pack of FFs downwind Photo: Afloat

Published in Volvo Regatta

County Antrim Yacht Club welcomed the return of the Flying Fifteen class on 22 and 23 June 2019 for their East Coast Championships.

21 boats with their crews arrived on Saturday morning to promising weather conditions. Race Officer Ruan O'Tiarnaigh, from Ballyholme Yacht Club, set a windward/leeward course in Whitehead Bay.

With steady SE winds averaging 12 knots, the three scheduled races were completed on Saturday afternoon. Results were tight at the end of the day, but with races one and two seeing multiple black flag recipients, competitors were anxious to put in the remaining races for the discard to kick in.

The Club put on a great meal and entertainment for competitors and members on Saturday evening.

Sunday afternoon's anticipated breeze only achieved 5 - 8 knots, dropping as the day went on. Two longer windward/leeward races were run, completing the series. Competitors returned to shore to be welcomed with refreshments while packing up and awaiting prizegiving.

As Afloat previously reported, in the Gold fleet, Andrew McCleery and Colin Dougan from Killyleagh Yacht Club took top honours in Ffantastic. Representing the National Yacht Club, David Gorman and Chris Doorly took second place with Hammy Baker and Peter Chamberland from Strangford Lough Yacht Club.

Ben Mulligan and Cormac Bradley from Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club took first place in the Silver fleet in As Good as it Gets. Second went to Alan Green and Keith Poole from the National Yacht Club, followed by Charlie Boland and Rob McConnell from Waterford Harbour Sailing Club in third.

A strong local presence in the Classic fleet saw very tight competition with only 2 points separating the top three boats, all of which represented County Antrim Yacht Club. Feeling Frisky took first place, sailed by Andrew Mitchell and Ben Ferris. Second went to Sheela and John Lewis, with third going to Rory McKenna and David McFarland.

All in all, it was a fantastic event, which received many compliments from competitors. County Antrim Yacht Club would like to thank Kingfisher Building and Bespoke Joinery for their generous sponsorship, Race Officer Ruan O'Tiarnaigh, Event Organiser Rory McKenna, Catering Organiser Marion Graham, and the large team of volunteers who contributed to the success of the event.

Download results below

Published in Flying Fifteen
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Northern Ireland's Andy McCleery and Colin Dougan were the winners of Sunday's East Coast Flying Fifteen Championships at County Antrim Yacht Club.

The NI pair tied with National Champions Dave Gorman and Chris Doorly of Dublin Bay going into the last race but McCleery and Dougan prevailed to win in very light airs.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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A 16-boat Flying Fifteen fleet had an interesting course that made use of the temporary replacement of Harbour mark and took us to a new mark that we haven’t visited for quite some time: Island.

The race proceeding commences in a lively wind that came out of the north-west and with the wind fighting the tide, there was the prospect of playing some nice waves under spinnaker.

At the outset, let me say that there will be several names missing from this report — three Fifteeners were on the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race but by the time of the DBSC start one of those had been forced into retirement.

Messrs Colin, Green and O’Leary had been riding bigger boats since 18:00 the previous evening but Colin’s steed had to pull in to Kilmore Quay with steering difficulties.

On our race course there were some new combinations out, or rather the usual combinations weren’t out. So, for example, Keith Poole helmed The Gruffalo, rather than crewing it. Niall Coleman (Flyer) had a new crew because Mick Quin is still on the injury list; Alan Balfe and Ken Dumpleton seemed to have changed crews; and Ben Mulligan took the evening off and was replaced by Glenn Fisher, making his Flying Fifteen helming debut. So, if in the course of this report, you aren’t named, it’s because I don’t have the names.

Dave Gorman and Chris Doorly (3920, Betty) made their initial break from the fleet off the start line where virtually everyone went inshore. They were the first to break onto port to make a bee-line for Harbour, broke away by a short distance, rounded Harbour first and were never headed again.

Behind them there was a reasonably tight cluster of Dave Mulvin and Ronan Bierne (4068, Ignis Caput Duo), Ken Dumpleton (3955, Rodriguez), Niall Coleman (4008, Flyer) Tom Murphy (4057, Fflagella) and Keith Poole (3864, The Gruffalo).

The leg from Harbour to East was the best of the night — good waves for the downwind spinnaker leg, good breeze and virtually everyone was in the company of an adjacent Fifteen to make sure there was competition down through the fleet.

The gybe at East to go inshore to Bulloch was deceptive and to a certain extent we all played ‘follow my leader’. As the blue spinnaker of Gorman and Doorly dropped, we all assumed it was too tight to hold the spinnaker to Bulloch — it wasn’t and about halfway down this leg the colours were broken out again.

Indeed, the middle of the fleet had more courage, and Hugh and Michael Cahill (3606, Frenetic) made huge gains by flying spinnaker from the off. Others who closed the gap included Frank Miller and Ed Butler (3845, Glass Half Full) with Brian O’Hare (4045, No Name) sticking with two sails to get himself back into the game.

From Bulloch, the fleet had a beat back up to Bay and it appeared that the inshore route to the mark was best. Having lost places in the rounding of Bulloch, Fisher and Bradley (3688, As Good as It Gets) hauled themselves back into the middle of the fleet again by working a slightly more offshore course, but a bit of conservatism at Bay allowed Ross Doyle & Cas (3737, Eleni) to sneak in ahead of them.

By now the wind was starting to ease and the leg to East and on again to Island were softer with much less dynamism. With a flooding tide, the choice should have been to stay low to Island, knowing that the tide would push you from left to right, but it was amazing to see so many boats upwind of the rhumb line to Island which made for a much slower approach to the mark.

From their comfort position at the head of the fleet, all that Gorman and Doorly needed to do was keep an eye on what the others were doing and there was a wide range of choice.

The majority of the fleet worked middle and left of the beat but by my reckoning, the boat with the name ‘Flyer’ took a flyer and went very hard right. It didn’t seem to pay as much as he might have liked. The beat to the finish was not easy as the wind was running out of puff, but there was still a slightly bumpy sea to negotiate.

Thursday 13th June – DBSC Thursdays 1

  1. Dave Gorman & Chris Doorly, 3920, Betty
  2. Ken Dumpleton & Crew, 3955, Rodriguez
  3. Dave Mulvin & Ronan Bierne, 4068, Ignis Caput Duo
  4. Tom Murphy & Crew, 4057, Fflagella
  5. Keith Poole & Crew, 3864, The Gruffalo
Published in Flying Fifteen
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The excitement is building for the first regional event of the year with the Flying Fifteen Northern Championships being hosted this weekend by Strangford Sailing Club. It is one of the first events to be held since the rebuilding of the clubhouse after a fire destroyed the premises last year and the class are delighted to have this event there where there has been an active and vibrant fleet of Fifteens since racing started on the Lough.

There is also a vibrant fleet within Strangford Lough and also along the northeast coast and with good numbers turning out at club racing a fleet of over 20 boats are expected. It is an important year for the class with the Subaru World Championships taking place in September so getting good racing in is a priority for this season.

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. Locals Andy McCleery & Colin Dougan (PSC) will be one of the favourites knowing this patch of water so well along with other Strangford Lough crews including Roger Chamberlain & Charlie Horder (SLSC) along with Andy & Rory Martin (SLSC). A strong contingent is also travelling up from Dublin including current National Champions Dave Gorman & Chris Doorly (NYC) and Ian Mathews & Keith Poole (NYC). Tom Murphy and David Mulvin in their new boats will also be hoping to make an impression.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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Beijing Olympian Tim Goodbody junior of the Royal Irish Yacht Club finished second overall sailing an elderly Flying Fifteen in Palma Vela in Mallorca, Spain at the weekend.

Originally created as a regatta for Maxis, and formerly known as the Maxi Race Week, the Spanish regatta has grown since 2004 to now feature racing from a raft of one design classes each May.

Goodbody was sailing 'a 30-year-old boat with pretty old sails' with crew Vincent Harris to take second in the ten boat fleet.

He wasn't the only Irish sailor in the fleet either with County Antrim's Jocelyn Hill fourth. Results are here

The 16th Palma Vela regatta delivered a perfect European season curtain raiser with warm spring sunshine and a full range of light to moderately fresh winds and everything from flat calm waters to rolling waves in the Bay of Palma.

The Flying Fifteen fleet sailed the full complement of 9 races over a three day weekend, sharing a course with Vipers, Dragons and J80’s. The Flying Fifteen fleet was one of the biggest with sailors from Spain, the UK, Ireland, Australia and South Africa. There was also mixed and family teams sailing together, all returning ashore with broad smiles after long days out on the water.

The experience also varied greatly. A new father and son team of Juan and Miguel Agular Caballero representing the local club Real Club Nautico Palma sailing an old boat for the first time. Juan is a teenage local Oppi champion. Also an experienced dinghy sailor Jocelyn Hill helming a chartered boat with her dad Alan stepping into the F15 for the first time. At the other end of the scale are regular Flying Fifteen sailors who sail out of the Port of Pollensa at the Northeastern tip of Mallorca. These included an ex-Olympic sailor from Ireland, James Waugh and his Australian crew Ben Carwadine, and an ex-America’s Cup sailor David Miles sailing with his wife Corinne.

The first day’s racing was a gentle introduction to the Bay of Palma with a light to moderate afternoon sea breeze. All three races were won by James Waugh and crew Ben Carwardine sailing ‘Puffin’. However, they were pushed hard by a local team of Tim Goodbody and Vincent Harris sailing ‘Perfect Alibi’ who had stepped back in the Flying Fifteen after a long break sailing other classes.

Both these teams benefitted in the first race of the regatta when the majority of the fleet sailed an extended course having not read the sailing instructions well enough! The Northern Irish team of Jocelyn and Alan Hill also took advantage of the error to finish 3rd. The middle order places were mostly taken up by the RNCP Pollensa teams.

Day two of the regatta started very similarly in very light airs and warm sunshine. Most of the fleet needed a tow out of the harbour to get to the race course, one of four different courses in the Bay of Palma. Race 4 of the regatta was again won by the Irish/Australian team sailing ‘Puffin’ followed by Tim and Vincent in ‘Perfect Alibi’. Third this time was RNCP Pollensa sailors Scott Walker and Andrew Harvey sailing ‘Ffiel Good’.

The second race of the day was started in similar light winds but on the first downwind leg of the windward/leeward course the breeze swung a full 90 degrees forcing the race committee to abandon. There then followed a long wait in the mid day sun when the breeze went into the transition phase waiting for the afternoon sea breeze. Just as most sailors were settling down for an afternoon nap, bobbing about, out of nowhere came a full on blast from the North directly offshore. The breeze quickly developed into a 20+ knot gusty blow causing a rapid change of sailing gear for those who had brought out their wet gear!

Race 5 was a real blast, ‘Puffin’ took an early lead but a kite failure on the first downwind leg lost them distance. ‘Perfect Alibi’ scorched past with another chartered boat, ‘Wight Flyer’ with RCNP Pollensa helm Jonny Fullerton sailing with another light scratch crew from South Africa ‘micro Milan’ surfing downwind in pursuit. Lap two took its tole on a number of competitors with breakages and retirements. Tim Goodbody and Vincent Harris extended their lead to take the gun from a great downwind dog fight between ‘Wight Flyer’ and ‘Puffin’ who had fixed their boat and got back in the race. On the last gybe before the finish a major wipe out by ‘Wight Flyer’ had them on their side allowing the Puffin to snatch 2nd. ‘Wight Flyer’ recovered for 3rd.

Whilst most of the fleet were sailing for home the Flying Fifteens were kept out for their final race of the day having had one abandoned earlier. The gusty conditions continued causing a bit more drama on the start line when ‘Wight Flyer’ broke her tiller and collided with David and Corinne Miles’ ‘Stormtrooper 1V’. The remainder of the fleet struggled round scoring low points just by finishing. The race was won by Tim Goodbody and Vincent Harris reducing the overnight lead of James Waugh and Ben Carwardine to just 2 points.

After the usual parties on the terrace of the Real Club Nautico Palma backed up by a mega ‘cook your own BBQ’ there were a few sore heads and some weary sailors for the final days racing.

It looked to be Deja-vu with a light breeze early morning but it soon built to deliver champagne sailing in another moderate 16 - 18-knot Seabreeze. The fleet heads out for the final three races.

James Waugh and Ben Carwadine looked to had done enough by winning race 7 but the locals in ‘Perfect Alibi’ reversed the tables in race 8 until the very last 100m of the downwind leg. By stuffing the bow of ‘Puffin’ across the finish line a nose ahead the Irish/Australian pair had done enough to seal the regatta win without sailing the final race.

The last race was sailed by a reduced fleet late in the afternoon. It was comfortably won by Tim Goodbody and Vincent Harris sailing ‘Perfect Alibi’ into second place overall. With a string of consistent third places, RNCP Pollensa team Jonny Walker and Stephen Babbage claimed third overall sailing ‘Fuego Fatuo’.

The 16th Palma Vela was the perfect start to the European season and a great chance to scratch some of the rust off before a busy calendar of Flying Fifteen racing. The local F15 fleet has their ‘Mallorcan Championship’ to be sailed on the weekend of 8 - 9 June at Port de Pollensa and a number of the Spanish fleet are polishing up their acts for the Flying Fifteen Subaru World Championships hosted by the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire in September.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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At 17:00 yesterday afternoon, no one would have been too put out if the DBSC Flying Fifteen racing for the evening had been “canned”. A day of heavy rain with very little wind, it was more akin to a late September day than a day that was closer to summer. However, between 17:00 and 17:30, the rain disappeared, the sun came out and what was revealed from the greyness was a light breeze from an easterly direction.

On the way out to the starting area, Race Officer Jack Roy advised the fleet that while conditions were light in view of the fact that we had lost the previous Thursday due to no wind at all, the race team were going to persist with the evening’s activities. He set, by his own admission, a shorter course to try and allow for the light wind and a strong ebbing tide and by way of the latter, warned starters that the tide would be pushing them over the start line.

This correspondent’s approach to the start was late due to the light winds inside the harbour and possibly a slightly late arrival at the club. The consequence was that two of the three DMYC entries on the evening were out late and missed the start by the order of 1½ - 2minutes.

However, they were joined by two OCS boats who returned late while there was a suggestion on the water that a third OCS had gone back much earlier relative to the start signal. That at least meant that we had some company on the water as we were ahead, on the water, of the late OCSs, but the majority of the fleet had a distinct advantage.

The majority view was to head out to sea on the way to East Mark and Dave Mulvin and Ronan Beirne (4068) led the charge in that regard. The rounding of East Mark was led by Mulvin with Dave Gorman & Chris Doorly (3920) in second – this identification based on spinnaker colours only. Also, well placed were Tom Murphy & Karl (4057) and Niall Coleman (4008). By East Mark this correspondent was nipping at the back end of the punctual starters and in the company of Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028), Frank Miller & Cas (3845) and slightly further ahead Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary (3573).

The two spinnaker legs to Molly and Bay didn’t generate much change, though the distances between the boats in our company did close. Molly to Bay was a “semi-tight” reach. After Bay, there was a long beat to Poldy and Mulvin/Bierne seemed to get even further ahead on this leg.

Having got back into the “middle body” of the race at Bay, this correspondent saw distance lost on the leg to Poldy to some of the boats ahead but retention of the boats behind. After Poldy, there was a spinnaker leg to Molly and onto Pier with the leaders staying out to the right-hand side of this latter leg before gybing back inshore and then again to round Pier. Mulvin & Bierne were comfortable throughout the race and were never challenged. Gorman & Doorly were in the same situation, but my sense is that there may have been some shuffling going on behind them. Regrettably, I was not close enough to the action to give a more detailed account, so all I can do is record the finishing positions.

  1. Dave Mulvin & Ronan Bierne, 4068, Ignus Caput II
  2. Dave Gorman & Chris Doorly, 3920, Betty
  3. Niall Colman & Crew*, 4008, Flyer
  4. Tom Murphy & Karl, 4057 Fflagella
  5. Adrian Alex & Crew*, 3198, Gulfstream.

*I was too far away to identify individual crews and some regular crews are on the “injury list”, so apologies to those whose names I have missed.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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Page 9 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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