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Points Racing Gets Underway for DBSC Flying Fifteens

11th June 2021

After a number of training races, which were very well attended and received, Mother Nature and Race Officer Jack Roy’s Team conspired most favourably to give the Flying Fifteens a good workout in a brisk breeze last night.

Throughout the day the forecast was for wind just west of south in the 12 – 14 knot range but with gusts in the 17 – 19 range and with low tide around 18:15, the flood was already evident on the racecourse.

Windward-Leeward JW2 was the course of the night – Battery(P), Bulloch(P), Molly(P), Bulloch(P), Island(P), East(P), Island(P), East(P), Pier(P) – Finish. Battery was not a turning mark and most people had twigged the requirement to leave this mark to port, leaving Bulloch as the principle windward mark of the first leg.
Thirteen boats contested last night’s race and five of these decided to take an offshore route for the early part of the beat. Of these Shane McCarthy & Chris Doorly (4085) and Frank Miller & Ed Butler (3845) were two of the more prominent. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley (4081) worked the middle of the course with a number of others – Ken Dumpleton & Joe (3955) coming to mind, while the rest of the fleet went shorewards. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028) and possibly Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary (3753) were in this final group.

As the fleet converged at Battery, it became apparent that the offshore option had paid dividends with Miller & Butler crossing the entire fleet on port to assume the leading slot in the final section of the beat from Battery to Bulloch. McCarthy/Doorly also featured prominently, while Mulligan/Bradley slotted in behind these two with Dumpleton/Joe and Court/O’Leary following in behind them.

Miller/Butler led the fleet around Bulloch, followed by Mulligan/Bradley and McCarthy/Doorly and an excellent spinnaker leg took the fleet off towards Molly. The front three had a gap on the rest of the fleet, so I am going to use poetic licence here and suggest that Dumpleton and Court were at the head of the chasing bunch. Miller/Butler held the lead to Molly while in the very latter stages of the leg, McCarthy powered over Mulligan in the final boat-lengths to the mark, but a more efficient spinnaker drop by Mulligan/Bradley allowed them to recover second place and leave McCarthy/Doorly, who had a few problems, to leeward and behind for the beat back to Bulloch.

This leg was more difficult to interpret. Miller and McCarthy kept further offshore than Mulligan and Dumpleton also took a more offshore approach. Later, onshore, Colin admitted he had gone offshore and found it paid dividends. The front group of three then became four, with the sequence at Bulloch being Miller, McCarthy, Dumpleton and Mulligan. Dumpleton then erred by flying spinnaker on what was a two-sail reach to Island. Island to East was another enjoyable spinnaker leg and at East the leading three were a bit more circumspect about their drops. McCarthy had taken the lead at this stage and led the race to Island for the third beat of the night. However, even with the state of the tide, pushing the boats offshore at Island, both the leading boats appeared to overstand the mark, allowing Mulligan to close until he was forced into a double tack to round Island. The third spinnaker leg of the night allowed mulligan to close the gap a little on Miller, but McCarthy was comfortable at this stage.

In a brief period of bravado, they tried to fly spinnaker, but soon came to see the error of their ways. Miller then found himself to leeward but ahead of Mulligan on the two-sail reach to Pier and gradually started to eek his way upwind to protect his second place. The distance between these two ebbed and flowed, but not to any significant extent.

Miller tacked immediately at Pier for the upwind hitch to the finish whereas Mulligan held on for a few more boat-lengths before tacking and setting himself up for a finish at the committee boat end of the line which is where the favourable bias was. It was enough to pip Miller at the finish.

Thursday 10th June

Flying Fifteen – 13 starters. (1 DNF).

1. Shane McCarthy & Chris Doorly, 4085
2. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley, 4081
3. Frank Miller & Ed Butler, 3845
4. Ken Dumpleton & Joe, 3955
5. Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary, 3753
6. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey, 4028.

Published in DBSC
Cormac Bradley

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Cormac Bradley

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Dublin Bay Fireballer Cormac Bradley was appointed Rear Commodore of the International Fireball Class in 2017. He is a regular dinghy and one design correspondent on

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Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) is one of Europe's biggest yacht racing clubs. It has almost sixteen hundred elected members. It presents more than 100 perpetual trophies each season some dating back to 1884. It provides weekly racing for upwards of 360 yachts, ranging from ocean-going forty footers to small dinghies for juniors.

Undaunted by austerity and encircling gloom, Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC), supported by an institutional memory of one hundred and twenty-nine years of racing and having survived two world wars, a civil war and not to mention the nineteen-thirties depression, it continues to present its racing programme year after year as a cherished Dublin sporting institution.

The DBSC formula that, over the years, has worked very well for Dun Laoghaire sailors. As ever DBSC start racing at the end of April and finish at the end of September. The current commodore is Jonathan Nicholson of the Royal St. George Yacht Club.

The character of racing remains broadly the same in recent times, with starts and finishes at Club's two committee boats, one of them DBSC's new flagship, the Freebird. The latter will also service dinghy racing on Tuesdays and Saturdays. Having more in the way of creature comfort than the John T. Biggs, it has enabled the dinghy sub-committee to attract a regular team to manage its races, very much as happened in the case of MacLir and more recently with the Spirit of the Irish. The expectation is that this will raise the quality of dinghy race management, which, operating as it did on a class quota system, had tended to suffer from a lack of continuity.

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