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Despite the recent upheavals due to COVID-19 and after much deliberation and consultation the Flying Fifteen Association of Ireland has confirmed that the Championship of Ireland will proceed as planned at Waterford Harbour Sailing Club in Dunmore East starting on 21st August.

Competitor numbers will be down for the Toyota Waterford Championships. A turnout of about 16 is expected, half of which are travelling from the North of Ireland, according to the Class President Chris Doorly.

In 2019, the Championship was part of the Subaru Pre-World Championships at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. UK visitors Nathan Batchelor and Richard Rigg who clinched the title then are not defending in 2020, so there should be a new name on it by Sunday evening August 23rd.

Despite the small fleet, racing will be very competitive, As Afloat reported previously, 1988 and 1992 Olympian Peter Kennedy, also a former Irish SB20 champion, is back in the fleet and so is 1995 Fireball world champion, John Lavery, sailing with Alan Green, with some early success already on Dublin Bay. Strangford Lough's Andy and Rory Martin will also be among the favourites in the small but competitive outing.

Waterford Harbour duo Lee Statham and Charlie Boland lead the local challenge.

The club has put in procedures based on Government and Public Health Guidelines and have appointed a COVID Officer for the event with the priority being the safety of club members, competitors and the local community. The changing rooms and showers will not be available and there will be limited access to the club depending on numbers and social distancing.

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The Flying Fifteen Facet cup being presented by Facet Jewellers based in Dun Laoghaire, as an added encouragement to race on the August Bank Holiday weekend, has become one of the domestic Class‘s main events of the season and as ever was well supported by one of the biggest One Design fleets in the bay, with all but three of the DBSC registered boats on the water.

Racing was held in the Sandymount side of the bay, and with the offshore breeze proved to be a mental challenge to all but the winners, who scored a double win. Others having a mixed bag of results. In both races “Frequent Flyer” with guest helm John Lavery found the best path to the first mark, and never looked back.

The overall result for the day was; First 3970 John Lavery, Second 4045 Gerry Ryan, Third 3955 Ken Dumpleton.

Pat Shannon from Facet Jewellers kindly presented the prizes from a “social distance” in the dinghy park in the National Yacht Club.

Published in Flying Fifteen
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The Dublin Bay Flying Fifteen class continue to get good numbers out racing in the DBSC series with 13 boats on the start line last night.

A good SE breeze with strong gusts and a big sea made for great sailing and race officer Brian Mathews set a great course.

Frequent Flyer was quick off the start line and soon lead the race but were chased closely all the way by McCourt & O’Leary.

These two established a good lead away from the pack but Green & Doorly in Frequent Flyer held their nerve while navigating the other fleets to take the gun followed closely by McCourt & O’Leary.

Sherry and Quinn took third place with the Meagher’s a close fourth.

Results of last night's race are here

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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

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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.

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Page 2 of 28

The home club of Laser Radial Olympic Silver medalist Annalise Murphy, the National Yacht Club is a lot more besides. It is also the spiritual home of the offshore sailing body ISORA, the Dun Laoghaire to Dingle Race and the biggest Flying Fifteen fleet in Ireland. Founded on a loyal membership, the National Yacht Club at the East Pier in Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay enjoys a family ethos and a strong fellowship in a relaxed atmosphere of support and friendship through sailing.

Bathing in the gentle waterfront ambience of Dun Laoghaire on the edge of South County Dublin, the National Yacht Club has graced the waters of the Irish Sea and far beyond for more than a century and in 2020 celebrates its sesquicentennial.  

The club is particularly active in dinghy and keelboat one-design racing and has hosted three World Championships in recent years including the Flying Fifteen Worlds in 2003, 2019 and the SB3 Worlds in 2008. The ISAF Youth Worlds was co-hosted with our neighbouring club the Royal St. George Yacht Club in 2012...

National Yacht Club Facilities

Facilities include a slipway directly accessing Dun Laoghaire Harbour, over eighty club moorings, platform parking, pontoons, fuelling, watering and crane-lifting ensure that the NYC is excellently equipped to cater for all the needs of the contemporary sailor. Berths with diesel, water, power and overnight facilities are available to cruising yachtsmen with shopping facilities being a short walk away. The club is active throughout the year with full dining and bar facilities and winter activities include bridge, snooker, quiz nights, wine tasting and special events.

National Yacht Club History

Although there are references to an active “club” prior to 1870, history records that the present clubhouse was erected in 1870 at a cost of £4,000 to a design by William Sterling and the Kingstown Royal Harbour Boat Club was registered with Lloyds in the same year. By 1872 the name had been changed to the Kingston Harbour Boat Club and this change was registered at Lloyds.

In 1881. the premises were purchased by a Captain Peacocke and others who formed a proprietary club called the Kingstown Harbour Yacht Club again registered at Lloyds. Some six years later in 1877 the building again changed hands being bought by a Mr Charles Barrington. and between 1877 and 1901 the club was very active and operated for a while as the “Absolute Club” although this change of name was never registered.

In 1901, the lease was purchased by three trustees who registered it as the Edward Yacht Club. In 1930 at a time when the Edward Yacht Club was relatively inactive, a committee including The Earl of Granard approached the trustees with a proposition to form the National Yacht Club. The Earl of Granard had been Commodore of the North Shannon Y.C. and was a senator in the W.T.Cosgrave government. An agreement was reached, the National Yacht Club was registered at Lloyds. The club burgee was created, red cross of Saint George with blue and white quarters being sky cloud, sea and surf. The Earl of Granard became the first Commodore.

In July of 1950, a warrant was issued to the National Yacht Club by the Government under the Merchant Shipping Act authorising members to hoist a club ensign in lieu of the National Flag. The new ensign to include a representation of the harp. This privilege is unique and specific to members of the National Yacht Club. Sterling’s design for the exterior of the club was a hybrid French Chateau and eighteenth century Garden Pavilion and today as a Class A restricted building it continues to provide elegant dining and bar facilities.

An early drawing of the building shows viewing balconies on the roof and the waterfront façade. Subsequent additions of platforms and a new slip to the seaward side and most recently the construction of new changing rooms, offices and boathouse provide state of the art facilities, capable of coping with major international and world championship events. The club provides a wide range of sailing facilities, from Junior training to family cruising, dinghy sailing to offshore racing and caters for most major classes of dinghies, one design keelboats, sports boats and cruiser racers. It provides training facilities within the ISA Youth Sailing Scheme and National Power Boat Schemes.

Past Commodores

1931 – 42 Earl of Granard 1942 – 45 T.J. Hamilton 1945 – 47 P.M. Purcell 1947 – 50 J.J. O’Leary 1950 – 55 A.A. Murphy 1955 – 60 J.J. O’Leary 1960 – 64 F. Lemass 1964 – 69 J.C. McConnell 1969 – 72 P.J. Johnston 1972 – 74 L. Boyd 1974 – 76 F.C. Winkelmann 1976 – 79 P.A. Browne 1979 – 83 W.A. Maguire 1983 – 87 F.J. Cooney 1987 – 88 J.J. Byrne 1988 – 91 M.F. Muldoon 1991 – 94 B.D. Barry 1994 – 97 M.P.B. Horgan 1997 – 00 B. MacNeaney 2000 – 02 I.E. Kiernan 2002 – 05 C.N.I. Moore 2005 – 08 C.J. Murphy 2008 – 11 P.D. Ryan 2011 – P. Barrington 2011-2014 Larry Power 2014-2017 Ronan Beirne 2017 – 2019

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