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Lavery and Green Win in Another Brisk Night for DBSC Flying Fifteens on Dublin Bay

20th May 2022
John Lavery & Alan Green (4083) were the Flying Fifteen race winners
John Lavery and Alan Green (4083) were the Flying Fifteen race winners Credit: Afloat

After last Thursday’s healthy breezes and the “pea-souper” that prevented last Saturday’s racing, fourteen Flying Fifteens answered the DBSC Race Officer’s call last night in conditions that started off as being “robust” with a wind against tide situation generating choppy conditions.

The course for the evening was set at KW2 – Bay, Battery, Zebra, Molly, Zebra, Battery, Molly – Finish. Initially, the first mark of the course, Bay, was hidden, from certain angles, by a moored Irish Naval Vessel, but shortly after the starting signal for the Flying Fifteens she moved off. The fleet was pretty much agreed that the first leg to Bay had to be an inshore leg, the only question seemed to be which end of the line to start that trek from. In reality, there was a reasonably even split of the fleet between the pin end and the committee boat end of the line. At the former were Tom Galvin & Keith Poole (4093) with Tom helming, Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028), Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley (4081) and possibly Frank Miller & Ismail Inan (3845).

However, at Bay, the lead was taken by John Lavery & Alan Green (4083) by a few boat lengths, but there was a tight chasing pack behind them that included the aforementioned “committee boat enders” Tom Murphy & Carel (4057) and Alan Balfe & Patrick Kiersey (3995). The leg to Battery was a two-sail fetch and this stretched the chasing pack to a single file of boats behind Lavery & Green. A spinnaker leg to Zebra followed with a number of gybes necessary to get into a rounding position at this the most seaward mark of the course. Lavery & Green kept a watching brief on the chasing pack with Miller/Inan and Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary (3753) in close company with Mulligan & Bradley, Colin & Casey hovering and Balfe & Kiersey also in the frame. A slightly early drop at Zebra saw Mulligan into a windward berth and he got to the head of the chasing pack for the leg to Molly. However, none of the others were too far away as Galvin/Poole, Colin/Casey, Miller/Inan and Niall & Susan Coleman made sure Mulligan stayed honest.

After the second rounding of Zebra, there was a long leg back to Battery. Here the fleet split with Colin, in particular, going inshore early. Lavery and Mulligan played the middle and left of this beat initially, before Lavery decided to head inshore as well. Meanwhile, Galvin & Poole played the offshore aspect of this leg as did Miller & Inan. Court & O’Leary also went inshore for the latter stages of the leg, resulting in them coming up the starboard layline for the mark. Not sure how the Colemans played this one, but it worked as the rounded behind Mulligan and Court, in quick succession. Having thought they had caught some distance on Lavery & Green, Mulligan & Bradley found that the reverse had happened as both Galvin & Poole, from the left and Colin & Casey from the right steamed in to place themselves ahead of Mulligan. Mulligan had the misfortune to sail into a hole as the brisk breeze faded and became quite tricky. Thus, the revised order at Battery was Lavery, Galvin, Colin, Mulligan, Court and Coleman.

On the leg to Molly, the Colemans sailed low and steamed (a poetic licence term in the conditions) through Mulligan’s lee, while Court went to windward of Mulligan and through him. No further place changes occurred on the leg to Molly. Enough is enough!

The hitch to the finish seemed to be academic – initially, everyone headed inshore. But then to varying degrees, the fleet tacked off. The first three were comfortable at this stage but there was a sneaking suspicion that some late changes might be possible between the latter three boats. In the final approach to the finish line, both the Colemans and Court/O’Leary were outside of Mulligan/Bradley with the latter on starboard on a final approach to the finish. The Colemans got that little bit extra to put daylight between themselves and the other two, but it was very close on the finish line with Court getting the decision over Mulligan, but there was only a second between the finishing “hoots” for these two.

Thursday 19th May 2002 results

  1. John Lavery & Alan Green (4083)
  2. Tom Galvin & Keith Poole (4093)
  3.  Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028)
  4. Niall & Susan Coleman (4008)
  5. Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary (3753)

Overall: Keith Poole & Others (7), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (7), David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (12), Frank Miller & Others (15), Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley (16).

Published in Flying Fifteen, DBSC
Cormac Bradley

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Cormac Bradley

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

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Flying Fifteen - At A Glance

Overall Length 20 ft6.1 m

Waterline Length 15 ft4.6 m

Mast Height 22 ft 6 in6.86 m

Sail Area 150 sq ft14 sqm

Spinnaker Area 140 sq ft13 sqm

Hull Weight 300 lb136 kg

Keel Weight 400 lb169 kg

Minimum Weight 685 lb305 kg

Racing Crew Two

Ideal Crew Range 18 - 28 st145 - 185 kg

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