The Flying Fifteen Championships of Ireland took place in Dun Laoghaire at the weekend with a healthy 29 boat entered and were hosted by the National Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. The forecast was mixed for the weekend with winds from the w - nw. The welcome and hospitality put on by the local class captain David Mulvin and the club were great and very appreciated by those who traveled. Two races were due on Friday, on arrival we were greeted with force 6-7 winds from the south but it was forecast to pass through so after a short delay the boats headed out. Once out the wind completely disappeared and after about three hours when people were cold (it was mid June after all!) and all the cigarettes were gone the PRO Con Murphy sensibly decided to bring us in.
Saturday morning we all arrived at the club to be greeted by a great breakfast donated by one of our sponsors CMI, there was a steady breeze, about force 3 from the west and the plan was to get 4 races in.
Race 1: after a frantic start and at least one general recall those on the right came in at the weather mark first, Andy/Rory Martin lead from local man Brien O’Donnell but with the variable conditions the lead would change many times. Martin lead for the first lap, then it was McKee/Smyth, then Gorman/Doorly at the final windward mark, then Martin and finally on the line Roger Chamberlan/Jason Scannell took the lead and the gun.
Race 2: again very shifty with varying wind pressures on the course. The tide was pushing the fleet over the line and Con’s patience eventually ran out and the black flag was introduced. Gorman/Doorly (NYC), Lawson/Fitzmaurice and Logan/Bridges (KYC) pulled away from the fleet. Gorman took the gun, Logan got into second, Lawson third and McKee finished fourth.
Race 3:Lawson showed the way from the start and crossed the whole fleet on port and went on to win. Martin was second with Gorman third and Crighton fourth. McKee was back in tenth- possibly a good discard!
Race 4: the PRO kept things going and despite crews tiring the fourth race started. Racing was very close with Chamberlan getting his second win of the day followed by McKee in second, McCleery third and Gorman fourth. The overnight leader (after a discard) was Chamberlan with Gorman second even though his worst result was a fourth.
The club laid on a great dinner on Saturday night and the crews were able to relax after a long day. Sunday morning the crews were ready for three more races, well some of them were, another long day ahead!
Race 5: again the black flag came into play after the fleet kept going over the line, McCleery& Dougan (KYC) lead all the way followed by Jay Bourke& Ben with Gorman, McKee and Coleman close behind, Jay was BFD and the others moved up a point. The leader board was beginning to be a three way battle between McKee, Gorman and Chamberlain.
Race 6: there was a steady breeze from the west, Gorman was pushed out beyond the pin by barging boats while McKee, McCleery and Chamberlan got away. Green/Mathews (NYC) sailed a great beat to lead the way to the weather mark. Sailing the shifts upwind and downwind and with excellent mark rounding’s Gorman clawed his way back leg by leg and by the third lap was second, was this to be a championship winning race? McKee got the gun while McCleery got third with Chamberlan fourth.
Race 7: all to play for, Gorman and McKee were tied on 12 points each but Chamberlan was also within striking distance if results went his way. Gorman had to beat McKee or keep McKee down below fourth. The race started at the first time of asking, McKee was to Gorman’s weather and sitting on him comfortably for the first lap, then an opportunity came at the gates, McKee went to the left one and Gorman to the right which seemed to be more upwind, when Gorman tacked back onto port he was inside McKee and was able to take advantage and with the wind steady he covered him all the way to the line finishing third, from Coleman in fourth and McKee in fifth. Chamberlan won the race with local man McCambridge/Murphy second. It was too close to call and with frazzled heads and tired bodies we couldn’t be sure of the result. Ashore the results were confirmed and Dave Gorman & Chris Doorly (NYC) sailing in Hi5ive became winners of the Flying Fifteen Championship’s of Ireland.
The silver fleet was won by Niall Coleman & Mick Quinn (NYC) and the bronze fleet was won by Charlie Boland & Luke Tritchler (WHSC), all the results can be seen on website www.flyingfifteen.ie
. The racing was fantastic and as competitive as ever but it has to be said that Con Murphy and his fantastic team were hugely responsible for making this an enjoyable and successful event.
Dave Gorman thanked the club for an enjoyable event, the sponsors, the excellent PRO and his team, his fellow competitors and even his crew Chris Doorly for putting up with him! The next event is the South Coast Championships which will be held in WHSC in Dunmore East in August.
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The Flying Fifteens will hold their Championship of Ireland in the National Yacht Club, Dun Laoghaire on the 17th,18th and 19th of June 2011. They hope to have 30 entries from both the north and the south of the country competing. As the World Championships are taking place in the UK this year in July this event will add interest in this competitive fleet.