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Displaying items by tag: Flying fifteen

Ignis Caput sailed by National Yacht Club pairing David Mulvin and Ronan Beirne were overall winners of the Flying Fifteen end of season keelboat regatta sailed at Lough Derg Yacht Club in Tipperary today. Second were Dun Laoghaire club–mates Niall Meagher and Keith Poole with County Antrim's Brian Willis and John McPeake third in the six boat fleet. Full results downloadable below.

Published in Flying Fifteen

Dave Gorman and Chris Doorly of the National Yacht Club are our “Sailors of the Month” for September on the basis of a great half hour or so of sailing in Dublin Bay on the morning of Sunday 13th September.

Anyone who read Chris Doorly’s riveting account on of the penultimate race of the Mitsubishi Motors Flying Fifteen Championship, and has raced a sailing boat at any level – whether local, regional, national or international – will have identified totally with this dedicated duo as they sailed their hearts out. And they did it all just to secure a third place, in order to put themselves in the happy position of knowing they were champions without having to sail the last race.

It would be quite something in a club race or a major regatta series. But this was the big one, the Irish Championship with visiting superstar Steve Goacher – three times World Champion – expected to sweep the board. And even if he was off form – which he wasn’t - the class in Dun Laoghaire is now in such vibrant condition, and growing, that the lively home fleet was putting up half a dozen crews who were in there with more than a shout.

But Chris and Dave did it. And being proper sportsmen, they stil sailed the last race anyway, but the fact that they were able to discard the fourth place it provided shows the kind of form they’d been in throughout the championship.

It cannot be said too often that winning a series is more a matter of solid consistency than occasional flashes of total brilliance. In the end, though, it can all come down to something so mundane as securing a third place at just the right time. But as Dave and Chris had been lying sixth until they realized the need to up their game, and saw a way of doing so, what they achieved is something we can all identify with, making them ideal “Sailors of the Month”.

Published in Sailor of the Month

It’s for days like this that we sail Flying Fifteens on Dublin Bay, a sunny warm afternoon with a nice force 3/4 from the SE on excellent courses set by Suzanne McGarry and her team on Freebird. There were two races, the first won by Ian Mathews & Keith Poole in Gruffalo and the second won by Chris Doorly & Alan Green in Frequent Flyer.

It was the last Saturday of the DBSC summer series and the thirteen boats that turned out enjoyed great conditions and close racing. Coughlin & Marshal were in great form sailing particularly well having two thirds.

In Race 1 Mathews was out of the blocks quickly and led all the way, Doorly & Green were second close behind and chased Mathews all the way, these two extended their lead, behind it was a closer affair but Coughlin & Marshal managed to pull ahead of the Cahills to take third place. It was not a very shifty day so places tended to stay as they were over the four laps.

In Race 2 the line was square, most boats headed in to the right, Green helming this race, went more left out to sea hoping for more wind, it was close at the weather mark but Mathews coming from the right got the lead, Green was second followed closely by Coughlin and the Meaghers. Green and Mathews pulled ahead and Green got close on the second beat tacked inside Mathews to take advantage of one of the few shifts of the day to close the gap. On the last beat Mathews outhaul came undone, he managed to half fix it but Green took advantage and just nipped it on the line. Behind Coughlin and the Meaghers were having a great ding dong sail but Coughlin got into third.

It was great to see so many boats out racing, the turn outs this season has been fantastic. Thanks must go to Ronan Beirne and his committee for encouraging people to get out even it is isn’t with their usual crew or helm. Next week the NYC Frostbite Series starts and will continue into November.

The class travels to Lough Derg in October for the Western Championships. While other classes fold up their sails the flying fifteen class have two more events!

Results of the final DBSC 2015 race are here

Published in Flying Fifteen

As we near the end of the traditional sailing season, inevitably there’ll be heart-searching among boat owners as to the success and value obtained from their summer afloat – can they really justify the expense of continuing to keep a boat? And with so many imponderables in our sport after a summer which was decidedly mixed in its weather - to say the least - the larger sailing community will be scrutinising those classes which seem to be barely hanging in, those classes which are doing quite well, and those few classes which are spectacularly successful. W M Nixon takes a look at the International Dragons in Glandore, the Flying Fifteens in Dun Laoghaire, and the Puppeteer 22s in Howth to try and find that magic Ingredient X which helps - or has helped - these three very different examples to stay ahead of the game.

The wish to own a boat is a vocation, a calling, a quasi-religious emotional endeavour. It’s all very well for high-flown consultants to tell us that if sailing is going to have general appeal and expand, then publicly-accessed freely-available try-a-sail boats will have to be based at every major club. But dedicated sailors know that what comes easy, goes easy. A spell of bad weather, and your jolly public groups who turned up in droves for a bit of free fun afloat will disappear like the will-o’-the-wisps they were in the first place, seeking instead to find somewhere warm and bright and out of the rain and readily providing the latest novel form of entertainment.  

Meanwhile, those who are dyed-in-the-wool boat addicts will have barely noticed the idly-interested strangers coming and going. For whatever the weather, they’ve a boat to maintain, gear to repair, a crew to keep together, and some sensible purpose to find in order to give it all deeper meaning. For they know that unless they’ve a boat and her problems and possibilities occupying a significant part of their mind, they’re going to lose the plot completely.

Nevertheless, in the huge spectrum of boat ownership and sailing classes, why is there so much difference in the successful buzz created by some classes at certain localities, as opposed to the dull and declining murmur emanating from classes which are clearly on the way out?

After all, there are very few utterly awful boats afloat. No boat is completely perfect, though some may seem less imperfect than others. But in today’s throwaway world, if some class of boat is not a reasonably good representative of her general type, then she’ll never make the grade in the first place. And even in times past when news and views moved more slowly, the word soon got around if some much-touted type of boat was in truth a woofer.

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Flying Fifteens provide the best of sport in a very manageable two-man package

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The perfect harbour for vintage International Dragons – Glandore, with a goodly selection of classics in port, and Dragons of all ages dotted among them

That said, boat-owning is such an all-consuming passion that once a sailor has finally (or indeed hastily) committed to a particular boat type, then he or she will tend to be absurdly dismissive of any remotely comparable craft. But in the last analysis, the desire to own a boat is irrational. So we shouldn’t be surprised that once the decision is made, irrational attitudes manifest themselves in every direction. 

And anyway, as John Maynard Keynes once remarked in a totally different context, in the last analysis we are all dead. So in the meantime, it behoves us to get as much reasonable enjoyment out of life as possible. Thus if owning and sailing a boat is your way of obtaining pleasure without harming anyone else, then good luck to you and me, and let’s look together at boat classes which are doing the business.

In considering the International Dragons in Glandore, the International Flying Fifteens in Dun Laoghaire, and the emphatically not-international Puppeteer 22s in Howth, we are indeed casting the net wide, for really they couldn’t be more different. The 29ft International Dragon originated in the late 1920s from the design board of Johan Anker of Norway, and she has become a by-word for Scandinavian elegance in yacht design, but today she’s totally a racing machine and has strayed far from her original concept as a weekend cruiser for sheltered waters.

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Golden days of classic Dragon racing at Glandore

As for the Flying Fifteen, they originated from designer Uffa Fox having a brainstorm in 1947, in that he took the underwater hull section of the renowned International 14 dinghy in which he was something of a master both as designer and sailor, but above the waterline he drew out the bow to an elegant curved stem, then he lengthened the gentle counter lines to finish in a long sawn-off transom. That done, he added a little hyper-hydrodynamic bulb ballast keel which seemed very trendy, but in truth it’s severely lacking in useful lateral resistance. Nevertheless it gives the boat the reassuring feel of being a small keelboat rather than a big dinghy, and atop it all he put the rig of an International 14 dinghy of that era.

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The clean lines of a modern Flying Fifteen fleet. Try to imagine that within each hull there’s an International 14 dinghy, and above it is the original rig

The result was a boat which is really only useful for racing, and it is a design so much of its times that it’s said that many years later the designer himself tried to disown it. But the owners would have nothing to do with this, they liked the compact and very manageable racing-only package which the Flying Fifteen provides, and these days the class has an interesting world spread, and an attractive policy of staging their World Championships at agreeable sunshine destinations where – thanks to their guaranteed ability to turn up with a fleet of viable size – they can arrange block discounts to provide the owners with a very appealing package.

After the sheer internationality of the Dragons and the Flying Fifteens, the Puppeteer 22s are something of a culture shock, as almost every one in existence has ended up based in Howth, where they have such a busy club programme that they only very seldom go south of the Baily, though they do have one annual adventure to Malahide for the Gibney Classic, and once a year they take part in the historic Lambay Race. But otherwise, they’re totally and intensely focused on club racing off Howth.

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The Puppeteer 22s seldom stray far from their home port of Howth, for at home they get superbly close racing with a fleet of up to 26 boats in evening racing. This is former ISA President Neil Murphy racing hard at the helm of Yellow Peril, neck and neck with Alan Pearson’s Trick or Treat. Photo: W M Nixon

They were designed by Chris Boyd of Strangford Lough in the mid 1970s to be fractionally-rigged mini-offshore racers, and in all about thirty-three of the Puppeteer 22s were built by C & S Boyd in Killyleagh (Sarah was Chris’s wife). For a while it looked as though they might take off as a semi-offshore One Design class in the north, but somehow they began to trickle down to Howth. They appealed to those sailors who felt that the alternative of a Ruffian 23 with her huge masthead spinnaker was a little too demanding on crews, whereas the Puppeteer’s fractional rig is fairly easily managed. And today the class in Howth is in such good health that even in the poor weather of 2015 they were obtaining regular midweek evening racing best turnouts of up to 26 boats.

Obviously the Puppeteer 22s are now very much a completely localised phenomenom. But while the Flying Fifteens in Dun Laoghaire and the Dragons in Glandore may be representatives of well-established international classes, the fact is in both cases their neighbourhood success is largely due to a distinct local flavour driven by individual enthusiasm. And in Glandore while it’s recognized that the vintage Dragon class was started by Kieran and Don O’Donohue with the classics Pan and Fafner, the man who beats the drum these days for the racing at Glandore as providing “the best and cheapest Dragon racing in the world” is the inimitable Don Street.

Most people will expect that they will be slightly older than the boats they own, and the older you get the greater you’d expect the age gap to be. But Don’s classic Dragon Gypsy is 82 years old. Yet Don himself manages to be that proper little bit senior to her, as he’s 85 and still full of whatever and vinegar, as they’d say in his native New England.


The one and only Don Street in his beloved Glandore. His International Dragon Gypsy is 82 years old, but he still manages to be the senior partner at 85.

Dragon Racing Glandore

Conditions are pleasantly sheltered for the Dragons in Glandore Harbour, but when the fleet goes offshore – as seen here for last year’s championship - they can find all the breeze and lively sea they might want, and more.

The things that Don has done with Gypsy – between intervals of the renowned ocean voyaging with his 1905-built yawl Iolaire which he has now sold – are remarkable, as he sailed Gypsy from Glandore to the classic regatta in Brittany, which is a prodigious offshore passage for an open cockpit racing boat along what the rest of the world would see as significant portions of the most exposed parts of the Fastnet Race course.

Yet although he did such wonderful business with Gypsy on great waters, he has no doubt that the secret of Glandore Dragon racing’s local success is the sheer nearness and convenience of it all. “Down to the pier and out to the boat in five minutes, the starting line is right there, and we don’t race those boring windward-leewards, rather we use club buoys, government navigation marks, islands - and lots of rocks……”

His argument is that with lovely Glandore Harbour being such an fascinating piece of sailing water, part of the interest in keeping up the pace in a local class lies in using those local features, rather than pretending they simply don’t exist by setting courses clear of the land. But of course when the Glandore fleet – which continues as a mix of classic wooden and glassfibre boats – hosts a major event such as last year’s Nationals – which was won by Andrew Craig of Dun Laoghaire in Chimaera – then the courses are set in open water, and they’d some spectacular sailing with it.

In many ways Glandore is a special case, as the population swells in summer with people coming for extended vacations. When that’s the case, their commitment to local Dragon racing can be total, and not least of the occasional local summertime alumni is the great Lawrie Smith. He may have won the Dragon Gold Cup from a fleet of 66 boats last month in Germany under the burgee of another club, but when he’s racing Dragons in Ireland, he’s emphatically under the colours of Glandore Harbour Yacht Club.

Despite these glamorous international links, it’s the folk on the home ground with their dedication to the Dragon Class in Glandore who keep it all going, and it’s Don Street with his dogged determination to prove you can run a Dragon out of pocket money, regardless of the megabucks some might be ready to splash out, which gives the Glandore Dragons that extra something. And in the end it’s all about people, and shared enthusiasm. If you’ve a warm feeling about the Dragon class, and particularly for classic boats in it, then you know that in Glandore you’ll find fellow enthusiasts and every encouragement.

But up in Dun Laoghaire, if you take a look over the granite wall on to the east boat park at the National Yacht Club in summer, and see there the serried ranks of apparently totally identical Flying Fifteens all neatly lined up on their trailers, you could be forgiven for thinking it’s all just ever so slightly clinical, and certainly distinctly impersonal.


Just about as one design as they could be – the fine fleet at last weekend’s Flying Fifteen Irish Championship in Dublin Bay showed the vigour of the class, which has 47 ranked helmsmen in this country.

Yet you couldn’t be more utterly wrong. Today’s Flying Fifteens may have been technically refined to the ultimate degree to give maximum sport for the minimum of hassle. But their current runaway success – they’re far and away the biggest keelboat One Design class in Dublin Bay – is down to a friendly and very active local class association, and its readiness to reach out the hand of friendship and encouragement to anyone who might be thinking of joining the class’s ranks. 

Recently the pace has been set by class captain Ronan Beirne, who recognises that simply announcing and advertising an event is not enough. You have to chivvy people and encourage them into their sailing – particularly after a summer remembered as having had bad weather – and then far from sitting back and smugly counting numbers, you have to keep at it, seeing that crewing gaps are filled, and that those on the fringes are brought to the centre.

The Flying Fifteens – which are essentially a National YC class – offer exceptional value and a very manageable package. The boats are dry-sailed in their road trailers, and instead of queuing for a crane, they have a rapid rota of slip-launching, with the expectation of renewing the wheel bearings each year. Salt water and road trailers are not good partners, but in order to ensure the most efficient launching and retrieval of the boats after each day’s racing, replacing wheel bearings has become something of an art.

The class in Dun Laoghaire secured good sponsorship from Mitsubishi Motors at the beginning of the year, and the sponsors in turn have been rewarded by a thriving class in which inter-personal friendships have developed to such a healthy state that you might find people crewing for someone who would be a complete and untouchable rival at other times in many other classes, but in the Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteens he’s a fellow enthusiast who happens to be short of a crew on that day.   

One of the enthusiastic newcomers to the class this year is Brian O’Neill, who originally hailed from Malahide and was best known for campaigning the family’s Impala 28 Wild Mustard with great success for several years, but now he’s very much a family man living in Dun Laoghaire with three growing kids, and sailing had gone on to the back burner.


Charlie O’Neill (aged 7) at Strangford SC with dad Brian’s newly acquired Flying Fifteen. Under the rapid moving launching system at the National YC, the dry-sailed Flying Fifteens use their road trailers to get the boats afloat in record time. The need for regular replacement of the wheel bearings is allowed for in each boat’s budget. Photo: Brian O’Neill

But as the National YC is just down the road from where he lives, he was drawn into its welcoming ambience, and soon became aware of the attractive and friendly package offered within the club by the Flying Fifteens. He bought one in good order from an owner at Strangford Sailing Club in the Spring, and was soon in the midst of it. Yet it takes up only a very manageable amount of his time, it simply couldn’t be more convenient, and the people are just great too.

Who knows, but having won the class’s last evening race of the 2015 season, he might even be prepared to travel to maybe one event at another venue in Ireland. But the primary attraction continues to be the class’s strong local ethos and ready racing at the National, the friendliness of fellow Flying Fifteen sailors, and the sheer manageability of the whole thing – this is not a boat where the ownership gets on top of you.  

If you want to get the flavour of Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen racing, you get a heightened sense of it from the report in of how David Gorman and Chris Doorly won last weekend’s Irish championship in classic style, and if this isn’t good value in sailing and personal boat ownership, then I don’t know what is.

Across Dublin Bay in those misty waters of Fingal beyond the Baily, your correspondent found himself reporting aboard Alan “Algy” Pearson’s Puppeteer 22 Trick or Treat last Saturday for the opening race of the MSL Park Motors Autumn League. I did so with some trepidation, for Alan has a super young crew recruited from Sutton Dinghy Club in the form of GP14 ace Alan Blay, Ryan Sinnott and Claud Mollard, but our cheerful skipper said that as the day was brisk, they needed the fifth on board for ballast.

In fact, I’d only once raced a Puppeteer before, in the lightest of winds when somehow we managed a win. But as this race progressed with the skipper and his young tacticians making a perfect call for the long beat in a good long course which made full use of the splendid sailing waters north of Howth, by the last leg after many place changes it looked as though another win might be on the cards.


Action stations. Puppeteer 22s closing in for their start. Photo: W M Nixon


At mid-race, Gold Dust led narrowly from Yellow Peril, but by the start of the last beat, Trick or Treat was leading from Gold Dust with Yellow Peril third. Photo: W M Nixon


In the MSL Park Motors Autumn League, the mix of classes can sometimes make for interesting situations. Having out-gybed Gold Dust, Yellow Peril is ploughing towards some biggies on another course altogether, and meanwhile there’s the inevitable lobster pot lurking on the way with just one tiny white marker buoy. Photo: W M Nixon

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Algy Pearson’s Trick or Treat giving Yellow Peril a hard time to snatch the lead, which she then increased with a cleverly-read long beat. Photo: W M Nixon

But the pace in the Puppeteers is ferocious, and though we’d got a bit of a gap between Trick and former IDRA 14 empress Scorie Walls in Gold Dust, one sneeze from us and Gold Dust would pounce, and alas - we sneezed.

As long as we were carrying the no 2 headsail (what I’d call the working jib) we were level pegging with the formidable Walls-Browne team. But Gold Dust has a lovely new suit of sails (nice ones, Prof), and when the easing wind meant we’d to change up to the genoa, it emerged as a sail of a certain age, and having it set sapped our confidence.

Puppeteer yacht 14

It looked for a while as though Gold Dust (254) had been put fairly comfortably astern……..Photo: W M Nixon

Puppeteer yacht 15

……but an easing of the wind saw Gold Dust finding new speed, and with perfect tactics she was right there with just a hundred metres to go to the finish. Photo: W M Nixon

Until then, the boat had been sailed magnificently, tactics right, trim right, and throwing gybes with such style that the downwind pace never missed a beat. But trying to get that genoa right was a mild distraction, so when Scorie the Queen of the Nile came round the final mark to chase us up the last beat to weather Ireland’s Eye, we’d failed to throw a precautionary tack to keep a loose cover, and suddenly as she rounded she found a local favourable but brief shift of 15 to 20 degrees, and then it was all to play for.

Dissecting it all afterwards (you’ll gather it was a post mortem), we could see two places where we might have still saved the day, but we didn’t grab them, or maybe in truth they were beyond our reach. Whatever, Gold Dust was in the groove and we weren’t. Madam beat us by three seconds. But the banter afterwards and the evidence that Puppeteer people – owners and crews alike – move happily among boats to keep turnout numbers up, was ample proof that here was another truly community based class which perfectly meets a strong local need.

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That winning feeling…..Gold Dust’s crew relax after taking first by three seconds. Photo: W M Nixon


The Howth experience. Howth YC Commodore Brian Turvey heads back to port after racing the MSL Autumn League with the Howth 17 Isobel which he co-owns with his brother Conor. Photo: W M Nixon

It had been a great day’s sport, and the Puppeteers being of an age and regularly turning out to race together, they run both a scratch and a handicap system, which is a great improver of local classes – after all, where would golf be without handicaps? 

It shows how well Gold Dust has been going this year that her rating is such that we beat her on handicap by one minute and 19 seconds, but we in turn, having been second on scratch, were fourth on handicap, where the winner was the O’Reilly/McDyer team with Geppeto.

Forty years after they first appeared, the Puppeteer 22s are giving better sport than ever, but in a very local context rather than on the bigger stage that might have been anticipated. Yet for their current owners, they do the business and then some. For most folk, this is sailing as it should be. And as to this longterm success of classes which continue to thrive whether they come from a local, national or international background, certainly the quality of the boats is important to some extent. But mostly, it’s the people involved, and their realization that you’ll only get as much out of sailing as you put into it.


A super crew. Aboard Trick or Treat after racing are (left to right) Alan Blay, Ryan Sinnott, Alan Pearson and Claud Mollard. Photo: W M Nixon


Local man, local boat. Algy Pearson with his Puppeteer 22 Trick or Treat. The Pearsons have been sailng from Howth for three generations. Photo: W M Nixon

Published in W M Nixon

As reported on Sunday, David Gorman and Chris Doorly of the National Yacht Club won the 32–boat Mitsubishi Motors Flying Fifteen Championships of Ireland at the weekend beating a visiting triple world champion in the process. Here Chris Doorly describes how the cup was won.

The Notice of Race for National Championships should carry a health warning, both for physical and mental well being! Going up the last beat of Race 6 on Sunday morning we were in sixth place, we needed to be third to win the event and avoid sailing the last race (quiet a luxury really!) The legs were burning, the wind was fickle and the mind was playing games on us, were we going to lose out and leave it all to the last race?

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The 32–boat championship fleet start race five

It was not a pleasant thought, patience and calmness were the order of the day, we checked in with our inner mind and settled down to just do what we always do, stick to the process just like the rugby lads! Soon after the leeward gate we got past Brian O’Neill and then Tom Murphy, up to fourth, would it be enough, Dave thought it might be. Last year’s winners Andy and Dougie were in good form today and it was far from a given that we would pass them.
As we approached the weather mark Steve Goacher was leading followed by Sean Craig, we watched the water for pressure it was now light in most places, where would the wind come from next? we saw texture on the water to the right and noticed Steve had a bit more pressure, also at the right as he rounded the mark, we took the risk and went in on port to the right side, on the lay line we tacked and we crossed the lads, third place! Downwind the wind was still light and all over the place, it was a long 1.2 miles to the gate and finish! There was total concentration on the spinnaker. We stayed close to them deliberately, or were they staying close to us waiting to pounce? We just managed to stay ahead gybing at the leeward mark on the inside and crossing the line in third, we had done it! There was great delight on board so much so that some on the committee boat were wondering why we were celebrating after getting third in a race!

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Steve Goacher and Martin Grady prepare for a hoist

It was a three day event with racing starting on Friday, we like the three day events as we tend to go well in all conditions and are not heavy or light weather specialists. In the build up we would have been considered one of the favourites, a tag that means very little in sailing, but with the entry of Steve Goacher and Sean Craig our expectations were dampened but we were determined to give it our best shot.

There was a severe weather forecast for Saturday in particular and it was blowing over 20knots on Friday at the briefing. International race officer Jack Roy and his team put on three races on Friday in case Saturday got cancelled. On the water the 20knots had disappeared and Jack put up the AP. Eventually we got going, there was a general recall on the first start but on the restart the pin was biased and we nailed it, this was critical as the boats at the pin end were the lead boats for the race, Steve led the way at the weather mark and to our surprise we passed him downwind just before the gate, our joy and confidence boost were short lived as the tide pushed us up against the mark and we had to do our turns, we carried on finishing second to Steve with Brian Willis third and Sean Craig fourth, it was good to start with a counter.

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Sean Craig and Alan Green finished third overall

In racing you need a little luck, in race 2 in light conditions we finished second as we were out on what ended up the favoured left side, some would call it the windier side, with Sean Craig who won the race, Steve was on the right and got caught out to finish seventh. Similarly in Race 5 on Saturday in the westerly winds we had spotted wind on the right and got a fantastic 20 degree lift up to the mark as our competitors were on the left side, we went on to win this Race while Sean was fourth and Steve fifth. In saying that we aware that while left into the shore generally pays it was not always the case and our eyes were scanning the course for wind. On Saturday night we had a four point lead but from previous experience we knew that it may not be enough but were delighted to be in the lead and in contention.

Roll on race six on Sunday where we managed the required third place to take the cup back to the National Yacht Club. Race seven was windier with some exhilarating downwind sailing to round of a fantastic weekend of sailing. Again Goacher and Craig didn’t have it all their own way as local boys Ian Mathews & Keith Poole and last years champions Andy McCleery & Colin Dougan took off to be first and second with Steve third, Sean piped us on the line to take fourth place but this was to be our discard.

Thanks to Jack Roy and his race team, the race office, the National Yacht Club and to the local class captain Ronan Beirne along with all the competitors who all did a great job ensuring the success of this event.

Published in Flying Fifteen

The National Yacht Club's David Gorman and Chris Doorly completed a text book win of the seven race Mitsubishi Motors Flying Fifteen national championships this afternoon, beating in the process the pre–championship favourites, visitors Steve Goacher and Martin Grady from Lake Windemere.

The former triple World Champion finished four points behind Gorman and Doorly who sailed a very consistent series in light and medium winds to count six top three results to finish this afternoon on 12 nett points. Third overall was the Royal St. George Yacht Club's Sean Craig sailing with Alan Green on 16 points, the same score as Goacher who took second place on the tie–break rule.

Full results for the 32–boat fleet are downloadable below.

The fine Irish turnout was only marginally below the 36–boat fleet assembled for this year's British Isles Championships.

2015 flying fifteen winners

Flying Fifteen podium at the National Yacht Club – From left Sean Craig and Alan Green (third overall), Chris Doorly and David Gorman (winners) and Steve Goacher and Martin Grady (second overall)

Read also: How We Won The Flying Fifteen Irish Championships 2015

Published in Flying Fifteen

Triple world Flying Fifteen champion Steve Goacher will sail in this afternoon's Irish national championships sponsored by Mitsubishi Motors. The Lake Windermere sailor is one of a number of visitors for the bumper championships that has attracted a fleet of 32–boats from eight different sailing centres to the National Yacht Club.

More on the event in this morning's Irish Times Sailing Column here.

The first race of the seven race series is on Dublin Bay this afternoon at 2pm but the big question this morning is how strong will forecasted weekend winds blow? 

Published in Flying Fifteen

The Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen fleet launched next week's Mitsubishi Motors Ireland 2015 Flying Fifteen Championships of Ireland at the National Yacht Club yesterday.

The Championships will be held next week-end 11 – 13 September on Dublin Bay. There will be seven races for gold, silver and bronze fleets are scheduled over the three days under International Race Officer Jack Roy.

Over 30 boats are expected to compete with visitors from Strangford, Whiterock, Killyleagh, Portaferry, East Antrim, Dunmore East as well as some UK visitors expected.

UK visitor Charles Apthorp sailing with Alan Green will be favourites after their fifth placing at the recent World Championships in France. Current National champions Andrew McCleery & Colin Dougan from Killyleagh as well as former champions Dave Gorman & Chris Doorly from the host club will be hoping to give them a run for their money.

The local Dun Laoghaire FF Committee under the command of Class Captain Ronan Beirne along with NYC Officers/Sailing Manager have been organising the event with one of the ‘off the water’ highlights being a visit to the Maritime Museum.

Published in Flying Fifteen

#flyingiffteen – The Flying Fifteen Southern Championships hosted by WHSC in Dunmore East took place in classic Dunmore East conditions with its SW winds and large waves at the weekend and was won by Dave Gorman & Chris Doorly (NYC) , Ben Mulligan & Alan Green (NYC) were in second place with Brian Willis & John McPeake (CASC) in third place. It was a joint event with the 420 Munster Championships and the Fireball Nationals.

Results sheet downloadable below as a jpeg file.

On Saturday PRO Con Murphy postponed racing for two hours as there were winds over twenty knots and a large sea. Eventually we got out and three races were held in 14-22 knots of breeze from the southwest.
In the first race the tide was going out and there was still a big sea, Mulligan was quick out of the blocks and led for the first lap, the racing was very close with Gorman, McKee, Statham and Willis snapping at his heels. On the second lap Gorman took the lead and held it to the finish, second was McKee, third Mulligan and fourth Statham.

Race 2 started shortly after, the tide was now coming in and most of the fleet headed in towards the shoreline on the right, there didn't seem to be a huge difference between those who went out as they had more wind but they did have to battle bigger sea's. Again racing was incredibly close, Gorman lead all the way and McKee was again second, Mulligan third and Statham again fourth.

By race 3 the winds had dropped to only about 15knots, local class captain Charlie Boland & Rob McConnell started on the pin end and crossed the fleet to take the lead, a lead they kept to the end despite the close attention of the other contenders. At the last mark Gorman was second, with Mulligan, Willis and McKee close behind. Downwind to the finish these all sailed different lines hoping to make gains, Willis on the right came in second, Mulligan out on the left inches behind was third and Gorman going down the middle was fourth a further boat length behind, all very close!.

After racing most of the exhausted competitors had badly needed food and refreshments at the club BBQ. As usual the hospitality of this great club was fantastic, many also enjoyed the other local restaurants and bars and with it being the 4th of July there was plenty of entertainment into the small hours. Gorman & Doorly led overnight from Mulligan and McKee who were tied a couple of points behind. All to play for on Sunday and with the racing so close any of the top four could win.

What would Sunday bring? The forecast was for it to be a bit lighter, 10-14knots from the south with rain. As the boats went out there was still a large swell with crashing waves as it was wind against tide. The committee boat had a lot of trouble settling and our hats go off to them as they did a great job in difficult conditions. With the strong tide most of the fleet were over the line and there was a general recall despite the fact that the U flag was up. Racing got going again after the 420 start, it was quiet light now but in the distance the sky was black. On the fleet went, Mulligan, McKee and Gorman went right, the wind was filling in now and the waves were getting bigger, those on the right got lifted. Gorman was going nicely when suddenly disaster struck as he showed his crew a broken tiller extension, they tried to continue but it was impossible with the large crashing waves. It looked like the regatta was literally slipping from their grasp, a decision was made to go ashore and see if they could get another one and get out for the last race, this they managed. Meanwhile racing continued, McKee, Mulligan and Willis were battling away, on the second beat they all went out and this allowed Meagher & Poole (NYC) who went in towards the shore to take the lead before the last weather mark. On the downwind leg they all took different lines, Mulligan went left, out of the tide, and won the race, Willis was second, Local man Boland was third with Meagher slipping to fourth.

One race to go, what would happen? With discards in play Mulligan was one point behind Gorman, with McKee and Willis 2 points behind. The wind from the SE was blowing hard and as the fleet were beating the waves just seemed to get bigger and bigger, it was like a scene from Perfect Storm. Mulligan and McKee started down the line but Gorman started near the committee boat. Gorman sailed the waves really well, both he and crew were sitting so far back in the boat to get over the waves, with their new tiller extension they got to the weather mark first followed by Willis, Mulligan was back in eight. The run was great on the big waves, on the second beat the wind shifted to the right and this helped Gorman who had gone into the right. The wind was now lighter and the sea's more normal, Gorman extended his lead to deservedly take the race and the Championships.
In a further twist all was not confirmed till ashore as the word was that six boats had been disqualified under the U flag, none of the leaders were involved so the results stood.

At the prize giving Club Commodore thanked the sponsors, the many volunteers including the PRO and his team, Dave Gorman did likewise but included his long suffering crew Chris. Niall Meagher & Keith Poole won the Silver Fleet. Those who didn't travel missed out on a great weekends sailing in a fantastic location.

The next event is the Championships of Ireland which will be held at NYC in September..

Published in Flying Fifteen
Tagged under

#fireball – Racing has been postponed for two hours this morning at Dunmore East in County Waterford for a combined fleet of Fireballs, Flying Fifteens and 420s. Race Officer Con Murphy says big seas running outside the harbour suggests competitior safety may be an issue. Wind is in the high teens. 

Published in Fireball
Tagged under
Page 17 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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