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As the Subaru Flying Fifteen World Championship reaches the halfway stage at the National Yacht Club, Dublin Bay delivered another blustery day to complete two more races in the 12-race series.

Early in the morning, the wind was howling but by race 6 start time of 1300 hrs it had moderated to a puffy 14 - 18 knots with a pronounced chop caused by wind against tide.

Race 6 started on the first attempt with a new course configuration of w/l triangle w/l and a short beat to the finish which offered the chance for the fleet to stretch their legs with some fast reaching.

First to show on lap 1 of race 6 was current European champions Hamish Mackay and Andrew Lawson (Royal Thames YC), clearly enjoying the heavier conditions. They led from Richard Lovering / Matt Alvarado (Hayling Is SC) and Andy McKee / Richard Jones (Dovestone SC) rounding in tandem. The usual suspects with GBR sail numbers chased down the run.

Subaru FF Worlds McKee 6624Second - Andy McKee and Richard Jones Photo: Afloat

McKee / Jones snatched the lead by a whisker at the gate with the Brit pack in close attendance broken up by the rather unusual but pleasant site of Campbell Alexander and crew Dave Herridge (Royal Natal YC) in South Africa.

Despite a number of shifts and a short chop the places remained similar upwind for the second time but then came the long fetch/reach to the wing mark. With a number of competitors choosing between hoisting or two sail reaching then hoisting, places got a bit mixed up. By the time the lead bunch got to the wing mark, the rounding and the following run was a big tussle between Andy Mckee, Hamish Mackay and Richard Lovering. Meanwhile loitering with intent on his own course was three-time world champions Graham Vials and Chris Turner (DRSC).

As the breeze appeared to drop going upwind for the final weather mark rounding Vials / Turner made their move sprinting into a two boat length lead over McKee / Jones with Jeremy Davy and Martin Huett (DWSC) moving into third. Places remained the same on the short hitch to the finish line confirming Vials / Turner’s third race win from 6 races. Mackay / Lawson settled for 4th and Lovering / Alvarado 5th. South Africans Campbell Alexander / Dave Herridge finished an impressive 8th. Lo-cal Irishmen Andy and Rory Martin from Strangford Lough YC had a superb race finishing 14th and best of the Irish Flying Fifteen team.

Subaru FF Worlds Cadwallader 8118Ian Cadwallader and Dave Sweet (foreground) from Chew Valley Lake Sailing Club are lying 12th overall

Campbell Alexander from South Africa on his 8th in Race 6:

“We were up to 4th but we are still learning how to reach! We got a good start and pushed to the right but generally watched the good guys and took the shifts and watched our compass most of the time. We are good upwind but slow downwind generally but we can improve there. We were in with the guys and it was just great fun.”

The second race of the day (R8) was sailed under the same semi-overcast skies and slightly less breeze 14 - 17 knots with a swing to the North causing a quick re-jig of the course marks. On the third attempt under black flag the fleet of 72 Flying Fifteens got underway cleanly.

A new leader appeared at the top mark yet another British boat Ian Pinnell of P&B crewed by Jez White (Hayling Is SC) and more new faces in David McKee and Mal Hartland (Dovestone SC) and Chris Waples and Peter Bannister, also from HISC.

The fleet split on both sides of the course downwind with Graham Vials / Chris Turner and Greg Wells / Andrew Jameson both choosing the inshore route. At the gate Vials and Wells chose well enjoying the better pressure squeezing round the gate in front of the other three British boats.

At the top of the course second time around the leading boats nearly made a big mistake by missing out the spreader mark on their way to the wing mark of the triangle. The long reach turned out to be more of a fetch and again there was indecision about kites or no kites.

By the gate second lap, it was turning into a race between Wells and Vials for the turn home. Rather predictably Vials / Turner found a way to get past Wells / Jame-son on the final beat to take his fourth win of the championship in 7 races. Mackay / Lawson claimed 3rd, Lovering / Alvarado 4th and Pinnell / White 5th.

Australians John Wilson and Matthew Summers from South of Perth YC finished with their best score in the regatta (11th) and fellow Aussies Greg ‘Levo’ Leaver-such sailing with crew Peter ‘Bad Boy’ Barblett sailing their best race for 15th.

Irish sailors Hammy Baker and Peter Chamberlain sailed two great races to finish 16 / 16 clearly enjoying the gutsy conditions and fellow Irishmen Roger Chamberlain and Charlie Horder from Strangford Lough YC finished a solid 17th in R7.

Subaru FF Worlds Baker 8207Hammy Baker and Peter Chamberlain

So at the halfway stage of the regatta, Graham Vials / Chris Turner have started to show their class by opening up a 17 point lead with a total of 11 points net. Andy Mckee / Richard Jones are second with 28 points and Nathan Batchelor / Ricky Rigg on 31points.

Hamish Mackay scores a 4 / 3 on the day to move up to 14th overall:

“We are good when the breeze is up because we are quite big so that helps us but in all honesty, we had two good starts today. We were first round in the first race, Graham passed us on the first reach on the second round but it was a good day for us. Pressure was key but in the second race there was a lot of shifts as well and they counted and different patches all over the course so it made it an interesting day.”

Weary sailors came home to beer and snags and a presentation on the 2021 Flying Fifteen World Championship to be hosted by the Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club in Perth and sailed on the waters of Fremantle on the ocean.

Tuesday is a layday and racing resumes with three races planned with an earlier start time of 1100 hrs on Wednesday.

Results here

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The forecast for day 3 of the Subaru Flying Fifteen World Championship was for very light airs all day but by the time competitors started to arrive at the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire on Sunday morning, a faint breeze wafted around Dublin Bay tempting PRO Jack Roy to send the fleet of 75 Flying Fifteens out for two more races.

Race 4 of the championship started on time at 1300 hrs under hazy skies and some threatening black clouds over the city of Dublin. The breeze held up at around 7 - 9 knots from an Easterly direction for a two-lap windward/leeward course.

GBR’s Greg Wells / Andrew Jameson, Ian Pinnell / Jeremy White both of Hayling Island SC, and Australia’s Mike Hart / Dean McAullay (RFBYC) appeared to get good starts but after a shifty first leg with the fleet split over both sides of the bay, it was the Apthorp family who popped round the weather mark in the top three. Charles senior with his Irish crew Alan Green and Charlie junior crewing for the Australian entry from the Royal Queensland Yacht Squadron, steered by Ashley Smith. These two were pursued by Wells / Jameson, the multiple world champions Graham Vials / Chris Turner (GBR) and Nathan Batchelor / Ricky Rigg (Tynemouth SC).

The pack shuffled downwind as the breeze ebbed and flowed and the early leading pack split gate marks. Upwind for the second time Ashley Smith / Charlie Apthorp kept a close eye on Charles Apthorp / Alan Smith. Greg Wells, Nathan Batchelor and Graham Vials were in close pursuit.

It was all about looking for the pressure and staying in it on the second run and the rich got richer and the poor got poorer as the fleet spread out and the breeze softened. Australia’s Ashley Smith and crew Charlie Apthorp managed to get one over dad, Charles senior who crossed second and Wells / Jameson third. Britain’s Batchelor finished 4th and Vials 5th. Mike Hart and Dean McAullay from Perth, Australia banked a useful 6th. Charlie Apthorp became one of the youngest crews to win a Flying Fifteen Worlds race and celebrated with a ‘whoop’ as he crossed the line.

Of course, the worlds is not all about the semi-pros and the top guys, the corinthian club sailors are racing to improve on their own standards. South Africa’s Patrick Harris and crew Jeremy Kriek from the Royal Natal YC sailed a great race to finish 24th and representing Spain, Jonny Walker (nothing to do with the whisky brand)! and his local stand in crew Carden Kent, sailing for the Royal Club Nautico Puerto Pollenca in Mallorca, finished a superb 26th.

A quick break and PRO Jack Roy got race 2 of the day (5 of the championship) started around 1435 hrs as the skies had darkened over Dun Laoghaire. Clear start this time but the breeze had already started to fade. Again the 75 boat fleet spread both left and right upwind and pressure was king. Nathan Batchelor / Ricky Rigg (GBR) rounded just ahead of Mike Hart / Dean McAullay (AUS) followed by the usual persistent British bulldog pack.

Australia’s Hart / McAullay took the offshore route whilst Batchelor / Rigg went in-shore. Batchelor / Rigg squeezed round the leeward gate with a four boat length lead over the Aussies. The Brit pack were fighting for the remaining top places joined this time by David McKee and Mal Hartland (Dovestone SC).

By the time the majority of the fleet started the second beat the breeze was really struggling and the skies going black above. The second lap was reduced to a crawl as the leaders rounded the gates for the last time and much of the fleet were beginning the final run with drooping spinnakers.

Hart / McAullay had reduced Batchelor / Rigg’s lead to just about three boat lengths with just a very short work to the finish line. Rounding third was Vials / Turner. Mike Hart tried a last ditch attempt to attack Batchelor but Vials used all his considerable experience to continue on one tack to come in and intercept the Aussies and slam dunk in front of them on the finish line.

There was then an agonising wait to see how many boats could finish before the time limit. McKee and Hartland (GBR) crossed 4th and Steve Goacher / Tim Harper 5th. 20 boats managed to limp across the line before the dreaded race officers hammer came down. The luckless Australians Chris Villa and Mark Holmes from Lake Macquarie, sailing an aptly named boat ‘Up Ship Creek’ were only a boat length form the line when the time limit lapsed. Many others had to record a DNF on their scoresheet.

Mike Hart sums up his days racing:

“Pretty good, its quite interesting because we went hard right in the first race of the day and came out quite good and the second race of the day we went hard left and were second round the windward mark so we couldn’t work out which side was paying, pressure was the key today. Staying in pressure gave you a 5-degree lift every time, it was very tricky.”

“There was a lot of indecision on what side to the course to go, I don’t think it mattered which way you went as long as there was pressure there. It was especially tricky on the run because once you were on one side it was very difficult to get across to the other, you just had to live with it.”

“In the second race of the day we caught Nathan and Riggy going down the second run and got within about 3 or 4 boat lengths of them at the leeward mark so decided to attach them on the short beat to the finish, fully aware that it could go wrong and Graham got past and that was what happened but such is life and any result in single figures is good on a day like today.”

After 5 races have been completed the first discard comes into play leaving Graham Vials and Chris Turner in pole position with 9 points net. In second overall is fellow Brits Nathan Batchelor and Ricky Rigg (15 points) meaning the two Ovington Boats representatives sit in 1/2 overall. Andy McKee and Richard Jones are in 3rd overall on 20 points. The first boat to break the British stranglehold is Mike Hart / Dean McAullay (AUS) in 6th overall.

Two local Irish boats remain in 14th and 15th respectively, Ian Mathews / Keith Poole and David Gorman / Chris Doorly both of host club The National YC)

The current New Zealand Flying Fifteen champions Hayden Percy and Scott Pedersen from Napier, sailing a chartered boat, continue to collect very credible top 20 finishes, they scored 20 / 17 to sit in 16th overall. Another long distance traveller, Campbell Alexander and Dave Herridge from Natal YC in Durban, South Africa also continue to put in some very worthy performances finishing 18 and 19 for the day which places them in 17th overall.

Kiwi Hayden Percy on sailing at Dun Laoghaire:

“The boat we have chartered is a difficult boat to get used to but we are getting there slowly, time in the boat means a lot but every race we feel like we are improving but it is pretty tricky. You feel like you get it going one day and then you go the wrong side the next day. Today was a lot steadier for us, you could just take the small shifts, the last couple of days have been hard because the wind would shift 20 degrees one way then carry on another 20 degrees the same way and you can never pick that. We are enjoying it here in Dublin, the weather is probably similar to our winter in New Zealand! “

Racing continues on Monday with a start time of 1300 hrs and a more promising forecast of a bit more breeze.

Results here

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After three races sailed at Dun Laoghaire, British boats have total control of the Subaru Flying Fifteen World Championships at the National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay and take the top 12 places overall after three races sailed. Lying in 13th place is Irish champions Dave Gorman and Chris Doorly.

Racing was brought forward to an earlier start time on day 2 due to a forecast of a fading breeze later in the afternoon. The fleet of 75 boats from 9 nations head out to the start line in overcast but dry weather for two more windward/leeward races.

After one false start the first race was started under U flag at 1115 hrs in an 11 - 13 knot northerly with a slight chop but a weaker tidal flow than yesterday. Both sides of the beat had a fairly even spread but three boats played the shifts well to arrive at the windward mark with a healthy lead. David Tabb and Chewey Sherrell from Parkstone YC in Poole, who placed third at the UK Nationals last July, sailed an excellent upwind to lead from yesterday’s star Irish performer Ian Mathews and Keith Poole from host club the National Yacht Club. Third round was another local boat from NYC, Dave Gorman and crew Chris Doorly.

Richard Lovering 8755Second - Hyderated (GBR 4002 Richard Lovering and Matt Alvarado from Hayling Island Sailing Club Photo: Afloat

Down the first run, regatta leaders Graham Vials and Chris Turner were already breathing down the necks of the lead three boats. Also moving through the gears were the British armada including Steve Goacher, Nathan Batchelor, Andy Mckee and Ian Cadwallader.

On lap two Tabb and Sherrell maintained their lead but had Vials and Turner on their transom. The two lead boats split gybes with the two Irish boats trying desper-ately to hold off the hunting Brit pack but down the second run the pressure was beginning to tell.

Flying Fifteen worlds 8068Third - Ovington Boats GBR 4070 Nathan Batchelor and Richard Rigg from Tynemouth Sailing Club

Rounding for the short upwind leg to the finish it was a two-horse race which was going tack for tack to the line. David Tabb fell agonisingly short pipped on the finish line by Vials / Turner who scored their second win of the championship. Steve Goacher and Tim Harper (Royal Windermere YC) broke through for 3rd. Gorman / Doorly (NYC) were an excellent 4th and Andy Mckee and Richard Jones from Dovestone SC in the UK, a consistent 5th.

Graham Vials 8700Fourth - Graham Vials and Chris Turner from Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club

Richard Lovering and Matt Alvarado (HISC) were a bit disappointed to drop a few places on the last leg to finish 13th. Other good performances included Ireland’s Andy and Rory Martin from Strangford Lough YC, in 11th, John Wilson and Mat-thew Summers from South of Perth YC in Australia, who finished 14th and the oldest boat in the fleet GBR 2520 a classic F15 sailed by Nick Heath and Pip Chapman (Cam Sailing Club). The pair punched well above their weight with a 30th place.

Steve Goacher 8964Fifth - The Whippet and the Whopper (GBR 4021) Steve Goacher and Tim Harper from Royal Windermere Yacht Club

Local Irishman Dave Gorman sums up an excellent 4 / 11 in races today:

“We were delighted with racing today, the conditions suited us a lot better. We had a bad enough start in the first race but spotted some cloud on the right and got a nice knock out there and rounded second at the weather mark. We were waiting for all these fast guys to come through but we just wanted to sail as well as we can and we were 2nd, 3rd 4th round the marks, so we were delighted we were able to keep our own in an older boat.”

“Ironically we had a much better start in the second race but we went up the middle of the course which was probably the wrong thing to do and got into the 20’s at the first mark. We were going to gybe set at the mark but luckily we decided not to be-cause the breeze filled in down the run and when we got to the gate in about 11th we had taken about 15 places on the run. So we were delighted to get two counters today.”

Race 2 of the day and 3 of the championship started shortly after at around 1245pm under U flag again at the second go. The breeze had shifted a bit more N/NE and dropped to around 8 - 10 knots.

Nathan Batchelor (Ovington Boats) and Ricky Riggs from Tynemouth SC got a peach of a start leaping out to a two boat length lead off the start line. Again the spread was fairly even across the course but the British pair rounded the weather mark just behind Australians Mike Hart and Dean McAullay from the Royal Freshwater Bay YC in Perth. Again the leaders were largely made up by the British boats but this time regatta leaders Graham Vials and Chris Turner copped a penalty losing a lot of ground.

The first run was quite well spread but Batchelor and Riggs got a bit of a jump on the fleet to lead at the gate. Jeremy Davy and Martin Huett (Draycote Water SC) moved up into the lead pack with Andy Mckee / Richard Jones and Richard Lover-ing / Matt Alvarado and Australians Ashley Smith and Charlie Aprhorpe.

On the second lap of the windward / leeward course, Batchelor / Riggs had established a comfortable lead ahead of Lovering / Alvarado but the battle was still full-on for third place. The pre-worlds regatta winners closed out the win followed by Lover-ing but the tacking duel for third involved three boats. On the line, Andy Mckee / Richard Jones just claimed 3rd, Davy and Huett, 4th and the Australians, Smith / Apthorpe 5th.

Nathan Batchelor winners of race 2 of the day:

“We had a great time today, we had a bit of damage on the boat before the start of the first one, the mast ram lever broke but we got a good start and were going quickly so we got a 9th in the first race which was pleasing.”

“The second race we had a great transit on the start line and Riggy had confidence in where we were and called us forward with about 15 seconds to go so we started a couple of boat lengths ahead of the boats around us so it always makes it a bit easier. Despite the forecast to go right all day, which it did in the first race, it actually went 30 degrees left on the second beat so plenty of shifts to play but the second lap got a bit light and we got a bit of distance ahead at the bottom as the other boats were fighting each other so it was just a covering job to the finish.”

Vials / Turner never recovered after their penalty turns to score a lowly 19th. Ian Pinnell from P&B (HISC) stayed in the mix with a 10th and top of the local boats was again David Gorman and Chris Doorly with a solid 11th. Other good performances in race 3 included Chris Villa and Mark Holmes from Lake Macquarie YC in Australia with 14th, Jonathan Ward and Roger Deane (Ogston SC) GBR with 15th and another local boat Alastair Court / Conor O’Leary (Royal St George YC) Dun Laoghaire in 17th.

Alistair Court 8286Alistair Court and Conor O'Leary from the Royal St. George Yacht Club

In the provisional overall results Andy McKee / Richard Jones head a pack of 12 British boats, two Irish boats occupy places 13 and 14 overall.

The World Championship continues with another two races scheduled for Sunday but the weather forecast is for very light winds. 

Results are here

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British National Champions Graham Vials and Chris Turner of Derwent Reservoir Sailing Club have taken an early lead in the Subaru Flying Fifteen World Championships at Dun Laoghaire today.

British boats took the top five places in the single race sailed in blustery north-westerlies on Dublin Bay that gusted up to 20 knots.

The top Irish finisher in the opening race was The Gruffalo sailed by Ian Mathews and Keith Poole of the host club who were second round the first weather mark and finished in eighth place.

The first day of the World Championship was raced in a gnarly offshore NW breeze. At midday, there were gusts of 28+ knots on the race course and white water so PRO Jack Roy had to be patient holding the fleet ashore. By 1500 hrs the wind had abated enough to send the fleet out for one race for the day.

Flying Fifteen worlds 7579The National Yacht Club venue Photo: Afloat

A slightly reduced fleet of 70 boats representing 9 countries from headed out in overcast conditions for a 1600 hrs start. By the time the course was set the wind had reduced to around 15 - 18 knots with some feisty gusts. PRO Jack Roy set a two-lap windward/leeward course.

The first start was a general recall but competitors had been warned that the tide was underneath them and they could be carried over the line if they were not cau-tious. The second go under U flag was a lot more orderly.

Flying Fifteen worlds 7579The recalled start

The majority of the fleet headed out to the right (offshore) on the 0.9nm leg to the top mark. Rounding in the lead was the Anglo-Irish crew of Charles Apthorp and Alan Green representing Hayling Island SC, followed by local Irish boat ‘The Gruffalo’ sailed by Ian Mathews and Keith Poole.

Flying Fifteen worlds 7579Apthorp and Green

On the first run downwind the lead pack split gybes and Graham Vials and Chris Turner (Ovington Boats) from Derwent Reservoir, surged down in a fast lane to close off the three lead boats and round the bottom gate in the lead. Apthorp and Green and Mathews and Poole rounded in tandem behind. A pack of British boats were closing down on the leaders split up by Australians Mike Hart and Dean McAullay, representing the Royal Freshwater Bay YC in Perth.

Ian Matthews 8007Mathews and Poole

Some meaty gusts claimed a few victims with several boats suffering some damage. One boat capsized with a spinnaker halyard wrapped round their stays and a few victims of the choppy waters returned to Dun Laoghaire harbour full of water.

Flying Fifteen worlds 8534

The shorter second lap was more a case of Vials and Turner covering their opposition to the finish to record their first winning gun of the championship claiming the Dixon Trophy.

Graham Vials (GBR) sums up the first day of the regatta:

“It was a relief to finally get sailing really, it was breezy as it has been for the practice event. We rounded in good shape, about 8th around the first mark and spotted some pressure on the run so we were the first to gybe and we had a nice lane by ourselves and could concentrate on going fast. The tricky thing out there was the chop, it was hard to get over the waves so we were able to power through to go from 8th to 1st by the bottom gate of the first leg. The second lap was just a job of consolidating and making sure we just bring it home and be first in the shower back at the club.”

There was a bit of a shuffle of the lead pack down the second run. Richard Lovering and Matt Alvarado of Hyde Sails worked up to snatch second place on the final upwind leg to the finish. Taking third was current European Champions Hamish Mac-kay and Andrew Lawson from Royal Thames Yacht Club.

Charles Apthorp and Alan Green just snuck around the finish pin to finish a very bankable fourth and Andy McKee and Richard Jones (Dovestone SC) made it a British top 5. Hart and McAullay of Australia finished in 6th and a great result of 8th for the local National Yacht Club boat sailed by Ian Mathews and Keith Poole.

Four boats from Hong Kong had a tough time getting to the event with their con-tainer of boats impounded in customs for a few days but alas arrived in time to compete. Of those Barry Hayes and Helen Selden sailing a HKG flagged boat ‘Hakuna Katoa Katika’ under the burgee of the Royal Irish YC, sailed a great race to finish in 9th.

Barry Hayes 7702Hayes and Selden

More good performances by the Irish boats include a very credible 13th for Gavin Doyle and Dave Sweeney from the National YC and 14th for Lee Statham and An-drew Paul from Waterford Harbour SC.

Ian Mathews (IRL) was happy with his opening race (8th):

“We had a good start, stayed away from the fleet in clear air down the line towards the pin and went initially left. Then we tacked across and went round the weather mark in second. Down the run the other guys came from left and right, we took the rhumb line, caught a few waves and we managed to round the gate in 3rd. We were delighted just to hold it, we lost a few spots on the final leg but to finish 8th we are very happy with that.”

The start time for racing on day 2 of the championship (Saturday) has been brought forward to 1055 hrs local time Dublin, to try to make use of a good forecast for breeze which is due to drop later in the afternoon. 

Flying Fifteen worlds 7579Andrew McCleery and Colin Dougan from Killyleagh Yacht Club

Flying Fifteen worlds 7579

Flying Fifteen worlds 7579(Above and below) Simon Patterson and Simon ThompsonFlying Fifteen worlds 7579Flying Fifteen worlds 7579Nathan Batchelor and Richard Rigg

Flying Fifteen worlds 7579Flying Fifteen worlds 7579Flying Fifteen worlds 7579Ben Mulligan and Cormac Bradley

Flying Fifteen worlds 7579The 78-boat fleet make good use of the pontoon facilities installed for the championships Photo: Afloat

Flying Fifteen worlds 7579The queue forms for the NYC slipway after race one Photo: Afloat

Results are here

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The Hong Kong Flying Fifteen team will race in the first race of the Subaru Flying Fifteen World Championships tomorrow following the release of their three boats from Customs at Dublin Port that caused them to miss this week's pre-world championships on Dublin Bay.

Last Sunday (September 1st), National Yacht Club championship organisers appealed to Minister for Transport Shane Ross for his assistance in expediting the situation at the Port where Hong Kong boats shipped specially to Dublin for the two-week event were in danger of missing it.

In an 'urgent request', the National Yacht Club's Commodore Martin McCarthy explained to the Minister by letter that the Asian team was temporarily 'importing their boats under the exemption of import charges'.

According to the Dun Laoghaire club's Honorary Secretary, Peter Sherry, 'the NYC appealed to the Minister as well as local politicians to intervene but it took a call from Hong Kong to the Tanaiste's Office before the wheels began to turn'.

The NYC says the boats were finally released from Customs yesterday (Wednesday) in time for the first race of the World Championships on Friday but unfortunately they did miss this week's warm-up event.

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With the Dublin Bay Buoy recording 23 knots with gusts in the low thirties, the obvious decision, to cancel today's racing at the Flying fifteen pre-world championships has been taken by Race Officer Jack Roy writes Cormac Bradley.

This leaves the results as reported last night here.

1 Nathan Batchelor & Richard Rigg 9pts.
2 Richard Lovering & Matt Alvarado 10pts
3 Greg Wells & Andrew Jameson 15pts
4 Mike Hart & Dean McAullay 16pts
5 Graham Vials & Chris Turner 20pts
11 Campbell Alexander & Dave Berridge 44pts
12 David Gorman & Chris Doorly 54pts
13 Andy & Rory Martin 56pts

The first Irishman in the overall placing is Alan Green in the Anglo Irish combination with Charles Apthorp - finishing 8th overall.

In the Silver Fleet, the honours go to the South African combination of Patrick Harris & Jeremy Kriek in 20th, followed by Lee Statham & Andy Paul (21st) (IRL) and Ashley Smith & Charles Apthorp (Jnr) (AUS) in 22nd.

In Bronze the honours go to Alistair Stevenson & Jeremy Valentine (GBR) in 36th, followed by Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley (37th) and Tom Murphy & Carel la Roux (39th), the latter two being part of the host fleet.

Prize-giving is scheduled for 18:00 with an Irish night to follow.

Results are here.

Flying fifteen keel for sale here

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The International Flying Fifteen class returns to Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay where 78 competitors from nine nations will go to battle for the 2019 title. Host club the National Yacht Club will host the event which has 12 races scheduled to be sailed from Friday 6 - Friday 13 September.

As Afloat is already reporting here and here, the majority of the competitors are already gaining valuable practice at the Pre-Worlds Championship of Ireland taking place from 2 - 4 September.

A highly competitive fleet of 78 boats has gathered in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, the same venue that hosted the 1992 and 2003 world championships.

FF Subaru 6231The National Yacht Club pontoon and below hard standing and launching

FF Subaru 6214

FF Subaru 6221Launching at the NYC - the race area is only a ten minute sail

Flying fiteen 6848A dark and blustery start to the pre-worlds on Dublin Bay

The UK has sent the largest contingent of boats with some of the big names in Flying Fifteen sailing. Among them are Steve Goacher and Tim Harper from Royal Windermere YC, sailing ‘The whippet & the whopper’.

Steve Goacher is the current world champion securing his fourth world title at Napier, New Zealand in February 2019. He first won the worlds in 1995 at Hong Kong and held the title for three consecutive championships at Cowes, UK in 1997 and Esperance Bay in West Australia in 1999. All three regattas were sailing with Phil Evans as crew. It was then some 18 years before he won the worlds again at Napier with new crew Tim Harper. He has also won a string of European and UK Championships. The ‘Goach’ a real stalwart of the class and big Tim, finished fourth at the recent UKFFA Championships at Poole Harbour and go to Dublin as one of the favourites. He can’t be expected to give up his title without a real fight!

Flying fiteen Steve Goacher 7139Steve Goacher and Tim Harper

Steve sums up his expectations:  “I think Dublin is going to be quite variable conditions, I have sailed out there quite a lot so I am familiar with the waters. We always like going to Dublin it is always a great regatta, always very welcoming.”

The Goach is sure to be pushed hard by three-time world champion Graham Vials sailing with Chris Turner from Derwent Reservoir SC who returns to the class after some time out of the boat.

Flying fiteen Vials 7086Graham Vials sailing with Chris Turner from Derwent Reservoir SC

Graham: “I did three worlds on the trot and then was lucky enough to have twins so took a bit of time out which is nice but we are just getting back into it now.
We sailed the UK Inlands in Rutland in around May time, so we bought a boat for that, it was the first time we had sailed for a year to 18 months. We are a bit rusty but back into our new boat”

Graham and Chris won three back to back Flying Fifteen World Championships: 2011 at Hayling Island, 2013 at Hong Kong and 2015 at Crozon. The team then took a break and missed the last worlds in Napier in 2017. Back in the boat, the pair won the UKFFA Nationals in Poole by a margin of 18 points having won 5 out of 10 races.

Graham explains: “You get back in the boat after a while and you don’t really know how fast you are going to go and what mistakes you are going to make but everything came together really well, it has been a pleasure sailing with Chris again, we get on really well and sail the boat nice and fast so no complaints.”

Leading the Pre-Worlds Irish Championship after day one, Richard Lovering and Matt Alvarado are previous winners of the UK Flying Fifteen Championship at the Royal Northern & Clyde YC in Scotland in 2015 and again at the Royal Cornwall YC at Falmouth in 2017. At this year’s regatta at Poole, they finished fourth in a highly competitive UK fleet. 

Richard: “We haven’t sailed in Dublin Bay before, we have sailed around the coast at Howth so it will be a bit of a steep learning curve. I expect any conditions coming off the land to be quite shifty so we will have to be in the right place at the right time.”

Some of the other experienced regulars in the UKFFA fleet have swapped crews last season and claim to be a bit rusty! but are still likely to be top 10 contenders in Dublin.

Greg Wells representing Hayling Island SC, will be sailing with Andrew Jameson. He has raced at the Flying Fifteen worlds as long as he can remember. He has never won a world title but has been runner-up and has been Flying Fifteen European Champion twice.

Flying fiteen Greg wells 6542Greg Wells (right) and Andrew Jameson

Greg: “I have sailed two world championships in Dublin and there is always a full range of conditions. I like that, I know some people like good steady breezes but It will be about consistency, it will not be about just getting lots of firsts. You will have to claw your way back from bad first beats and try and get back to top 10 - 15, which will be good counting scores.”

Ian Pinnell has long been associated with the Flying Fifteen class as part of the very successful Pinnell & Bax partnership. Ian has picked up the tiller to race in the class whenever he can. He is crewed by Jeremy Wise.

Nathan Batchelor of Ovington Boats has teamed up with former British champion crew Ricky Rigg in advance of this year's worlds in Dublin. Almost all the latest Flying Fifteens come out of the Ovington Boats factory.

FF Nathan Batchelor Richard Rigg 6903Nathan Batchelor of Ovington Boats with former British champion crew Ricky Rigg

Nathan: “It is a great spot and the Irish always have a great craic so for a home regatta I am sure the Irish will be out in full force supported by family and friends, so it will be a great regatta I am sure.”

The current European champions are in Dublin. Hamish Mackay and Andrew Lawless from the Royal Thames YC had a great win in Lake Garda last September and have consistently been at the front end of the fleet for a number of years.

Other teams from the UK likely to challenge for a podium spot at the 2019 Worlds include the Anglo-Irish team of Charles Apthorp from Hayling Island SC, crewed by Irish local Alan Green. The pair finished fourth at the last worlds in Napier in New Zealand.

Flying fifteen Apthorp 6906Charles Apthorp from Hayling Island SC (left) crewed by Alan Green

Class regulars who can regularly finish in the top 10 also include Chris Waples and Peter Bannister also from Hayling Island SC and two boats representing Dovestone SC, namely David Mckee, crewed by Mal Hartland and Andy Mckee and Richard Jones.

The Australian contingent always send a strong team to any Flying Fifteen World Championship. This time around, the 2017 Napier Worlds runner up couple of Nick and Janet Jerwood are unable to compete but nevertheless there are 9 Aussie crews from all corners of the country that have made the journey to Ireland.

Of them a former world champion Dean McAullay has teamed up with seasoned F15 regular Mike Hart, sailing in ‘Firefly’ representing the Royal Freshwater Bay YC in Perth. The next F15 Worlds will take place under the burgee of the Royal Freshwater Bay YC in 2021. Dean’s club mates include the ‘Glamour Buoys’ Greg ‘Levo’ Leaversuch and Peter Barblett, currently going well at the Pre-Worlds. A number of regular F15 sailors representing South of Perth YC, Lake Macquarie YC, Royal Queensland YS and Darwin SC have all made the long journey to Dublin.

Flying fiteen David Gorman 6718Irish Champions Dave Gorman and Chris Doorly

Naturally, a strong local team of Irish competitors will be competing on home waters in Dublin Bay. The team who have been showing great form over the past two seasons are Irish Champions Dave Gorman crewed by Chris Doorly, just one of many teams from the local organising club the National Yacht Club.

Two other Irish boats representing Strangford Lough YC, Andy and Rory Martin and Hammy Baker with crew Peter Chamberlain are going well in the Pre-Worlds regatta at the time of this report.

The big Irish entry also includes teams representing Royal St George YC, Dun Laoghaire Motor YC, Waterford Harbour SC, Royal Irish YC, and Killyleagh YC.

There are four boats coming from Hong Kong, two each representing France and Spain and two boats from South Africa.

Campbell Alexander from South Africa has been on a global tour of F15 sailing and comes to Dublin off the back of a good performance at the UKFFA Championships last July in Poole. He is sailing with Debbie Cox representing the Royal Natal YC

Campbell sums up his expectations:  “We like a good breeze, give us 25 knots and we are happy. We thought that it was one of the Flying Fifteen regattas we couldn’t miss out on.”

Joining Campbell in Dublin will be Patrick Harris and Jeremy Kriek.

Also competing is the current New Zealand champions Hayden Percy and Scott Pedersen representing Napier SC and a single entry from Canada, Tim O’Connell sailing with Raymond Flanagan on behalf of West Vancouver YC.

Flying fiteen 6948Team New Zealand

Of course, the Flying Fifteens have come from all parts of the globe to not only enjoy the challenging racing conditions offered by Dublin Bay. Competitors are well aware of the Irish hospitality and the world-famous black gold tipple.

Greg Wells from the UK sums up his expectations:  “The Guinness will be good and the ‘craic’ as they say will be brilliant”.

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As advised by Race Officer this morning, the Flying Fifteen Pre-Worlds fleet completed three races today in view of a forecast that currently suggests we may not get out tomorrow writes Cormac Bradley.

Two windward- leewards of two laps followed by a full sausage-triangle-sausage saw the on the water time similar to yesterday but more races sailed. The fleet also cooperated with the programme by getting away first time under a U Flag. As the race officer advised the purpose of the regatta is to race not get starting practice.

The conditions were more benign than yesterday and indeed there were instances where crews were sitting in board.

The top ten now only has a solitary imposter, the Australian combination of Mike Hart & Dean McAullay; AUS 4063 whose results are 3, 7, 6, 3 & 4, good enough for 4th overall.

All the other "top-tenners" are from GBR, led by Nathan Batchelor & Richard Rigg; GBR 4070 whose scoreline is 7, 4, 1, 1, 3. Richard Lovering & Matt Alvarado; GBR 4002 are "demoted" to 2nd with race results of 1, 3, 5, 7, 1 leaving them with a 1-point deficit to the top spot. In third are Greg Wells & Andrew Jameson; GBR 5, 6, 2, 11, 2.

The South Africans Campbell Alexander & David Berridge RSA 4009 are 11th (11, 19, 10, 17, 6) followed by the first of the Irish fleet, David Gorman & Chris Doorly; IRL 3920 with a 19, 15, 12, 13, 14 and they in turn are just ahead of the Martin Brothers, Andy & Rory who have a scoreline of 18, 12, 18, 8, 24.

A decision on racing tomorrow will be taken at 11:00 tomorrow morning with only one race needed to complete the series. But as of this evening, we all have a discard, which is nearly as valuable as the final result.

Tonight the fleet is being entertained by a group of speakers that include a member of the Irish Women's Hockey Team that made the World Cup Final last year, Joan Molloy Irish solo sailor, Steve Goacher, Current Flying Fifteen World Champion and Prof O'Connell, a member of an Irish Melges 24 World Championship winning team dealing with the aspects of sport psychology.

Prize-giving for the Pre-Worlds and Championship of Ireland will close out the proceedings tomorrow.

Results are here.

Flying fifteen keel for sale here

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Hayling Island Sailing Club's Richard Lovering and Matt Alvarado lead the Subaru Flying Fifteen Championship of Ireland and Pre-Worlds
contest after two races sailed in blustery westerlies on Dublin Bay yesterday writes Cormac Bradley.

The six-race series which precedes this Friday's World Championships got off to a prompt start in breezes ranging from 10 to 20 knots with big shifts on a race track in the northwest of Dublin Bay under International Race Officer Jack Roy who is also Irish Sailing President.

The former UK Flying Fifteen champion Lovering scored a 1 and a 3 in the 56-boat fleet to be two points clear of another former UK champion, Steve Goacher sailing with Tim Harper of Royal Windermere Yacht Club. Third is Australia's Firefly sailed by Royal Freshwater Bay Yacht Club's Mike Hart and Dean McAullay

FF Subaru 6825Race one of the Flying Fifteen Pre-World Championships got away after a general recall Photo: Afloat

The top ten in the 55-boat fleet is dominated by the strong British team but South Africa's Campbell Alexander and Dave Herridge are ninth. The top Irish is Strangford Lough's Andy Martin and Rory Martin in tenth place.

Race Officer Roy gave the fleet two of the sausage-triangle-sausage courses to stretch their limbs and sinews!

FF Subaru 6897The Tynemouth Sailing Club entry of Nathan Batchelor and Richard Rigg arrive at the Weather Mark in the first race Photo: Afloat

With a declared wind direction of 240° and a flooding tide, the on the water conditions were quite comfortable. At his briefing in the morning, the Race Officer declared that a U flag start would be used after an aborted start if he deemed the fleet to be at fault - it didn't take long for the U-flag to be broken out and the black flag got some usage as well.

The Race Officer on coming ashore after the day's proceedings advised that wind strengths in the first race were of the order of 12 knots gusting to nineteen and in the second 13 gusting to the low twenties. It felt more than that! There was some relief in the lulls but they were short-lived.

FF Subaru 7420A crowded gybe mark in lap two of the first race Photo: Afloat

The overall scoreboard is dominated by the British entries with seven boats in the top ten. They are led by Lovering & Alvarado, GBR 4002 counting a 1,3. Next is Goacher & Harper GBR 4021 with a 4,2 and Hart & McAullay AUS 4063 with a 3,7. Graham Vials & Chris Turner GBR 4071 claimed the second race and added a 10 from Race 1 to close out the top five.

FF Subaru 6589Agatha from Hayling Island Sailing Club sailed by Greg Wells (right) and Andrew Jameson are lying seventh  Photo: Afloat

South Africans Campbell Alexander & Dave Herridge RSA 4009 lie 9th with a 11 & 9 and the Martin Brothers, Andy & Rory IRL 3974 close out the top ten with a 18, 12.

Three Irish boats occupy 10th, 11th and 13th overall with Hammy Baker & Peter Chamberlain IRL 3756 sandwiched between the Martins and the leading boat from the host club, David Gorman & Chris Doorly who are counting a 19, 15. Bryan Willis & John McPeake from Whitehead and registered as GBR occupy 12th.

Irish Champions Dave Gorman (left) and Chris Doorly Photo: AfloatIrish Champions Dave Gorman (left) and Chris Doorly Photo: Afloat

A briefing is scheduled for 11:00 today where the word is we will be having a three-race programme due to an adverse weather forecast for Wednesday.

FF Subaru 6453Australian entry 'Final Fifteen Says She!' from South of Perth Yacht Club sailed by John Hassen and Kevin Griffiths Photo: Afloat

Results are here.

Racing continues at the National Yacht Club hosted event today.

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With just over 72 hours to go until the measurement process for the Subaru Ireland Flying Fifteen World Championship 2019 commences, plans for the event are proceeding apace including new pontoon facilities in front of the National Yacht Club at Dun Laoghaire's East Pier writes Cormac Bradley.

The organising committee have had their last pre-event committee meeting, the “on-the-water” team led by IRO Jack Roy were in deep discussion last night, our first international competitors have arrived, the containers from Australia are due to arrive shortly, PR material is arriving at the club, protocols and procedures are being checked and generally the excitement level is rising…..only three more sleeps to go!

INSS Pontoon NYCThe NYC bridging pontoon was supplied and fitted by the Marine Services Division of the Irish National Sailing School at Dun Laoghaire

On the water, the most significant change is the that new “bridge” between the pontoons in front of the National Yacht Club and the existing pontoons and platform is now in place. The pontoons were left in place to facilitate a wet-sailed event and while that idea has receded, the installation of the bridge means that the option to wet-sail should be more attractive with ease of access to boats much more pronounced. Of course, the “bridge” means that the navigation into and out of the National Yacht Club has to be a bit more circumspect as it presents a limitation of access to the “pool” in front of the platform so boat users need to be aware of the new arrangement.

Entries for the combined event, Pre-Worlds, Championship of Ireland and the Worlds now stand in the high seventies with entries from Australia, Canada, France, GBR, Hong Kong, South Africa, Spain and of course Ireland.

In addition to the sailing, the organising committee has put in place an interesting social programme in accordance with the reputation of the Irish (as good hosts) and our Australian friends will also be hosting an evening to promote their World Championship in 2021.

All looks set for a great event……. we just need Mother Nature to do her bit!

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