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First Irish Melges 15 Fleet Races are Sailed on Dublin Bay

1st June 2023
The Irish Melges 15 fleet sets sail on Dublin Bay for their first races in the new dinghy class
The Irish Melges 15 fleet sets sail on Dublin Bay for their first races in the new dinghy class

A gentle breeze and sunshine got the new Melges 15 fleet off to the perfect start on Dublin Bay on Wednesday. With sailors still working out settings, tensions, and even basic rigging, a nice soft breeze was just what the doctor ordered.

Four windward-leeward races were completed, with former All-American sailors Scotia Ryer and Mike Huang putting down an early marker for the season with three race wins.

As always, good starts and clean air makes the rest of the race easy! Rian Geraghty-McDonnell and Katie Sheehy took the other race win.

The new Irish Melges 15 class sailors at the Royal St. George Yacht Club after the first night's racing on Dublin Bay The new Irish Melges 15 class sailors at the Royal St. George Yacht Club after the first night's racing on Dublin Bay 

The three father-son combinations sailing locked out the middle of the fleet show that family ties aren’t always the strongest.

Despite the light wind, the top speed recorded on the night was 10,6 knots, and the fleet look forward to testing the boat in more typical Bay breezes.

As Afloat reported in January, the Melges 15 dinghy is a new double-handed dinghy taking the US by storm that has its first European fleet on Dublin Bay. John Sheehy of the Royal Saint George Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire Harbour leads the class launch.

Published in Melges 15
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About the Melges 15 Dinghy

The Melges 15 was designed by Reichel/Pugh and built by Melges.

The design prioritises stability, comfort, ease of use, and performance. 

The Melges 15 is built to be sailed by everyone from friends and couples to families and kids. The design offers performance, comfort, and stability in one sleek package.

The Melges 15’s stable hull shape and ergonomic cockpit make it a suitable layout for adult racing and educational sailing. Easy conversion from a club configuration (non-spinnaker) to a one-design setup, provides more versatility to club programs and options for individual owners.

“The Melges 15 creates a clear pathway for junior sailors to get started and stay excited about sailing while also being comfortable and accessible enough for adults to learn, race, or cross-train,” according to Harry Melges III.

With the main design goals focused on stability and performance in various conditions, the boat features a narrow overall beam and a flat cross-section shape for stability, righting moment, and ease of planing. For a more forgiving feel upwind and to navigate larger sea states, the Melges 15 has just the right amount of fore and aft rocker.

Melges conducted extensive research and product testing to produce this layout factoring in cockpit depth, backbone height, and floor plan. The result, they say, is a comfortable environment for both the skipper and crew. The deeper cockpit takes the load off the sailor’s knees helping them feel locked into the boat while the high boom and gnav vang system work together to make the boat easier to manoeuvre.

The asymmetric spinnaker offers an additional performance element, while the single-pull launch and retrieval system makes handling the sail easy and fast.

 

At a Glance - Melges 15 Specifications

  • LENGTH 15 ft 
    BEAM 5 ft 6 in
    DRAFT 2 ft 7 in 
    HULL WEIGHT 230 lbs
  • SAIL AREA
    MAIN 93.6 sq ft 
    JIB 39.8 sq ft 
    ASYMMETRICAL SPINNAKER 156 sq ft 
  • CREW 2

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