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Navigational and Physical Challenge for the Flying Fifteens in DBSC Thursday Night Race

27th May 2022
The leg to Poldy mark saw a broader spinnaker leg for the DBSC Flying Fifteens
The leg to Poldy mark saw a broader spinnaker leg for the DBSC Flying Fifteens

On a night where winds of 20knots were recorded, as reported elsewhere on this website, 12 Flying Fifteens answered Brian Mathews’ DBSC starting call last night in the robust conditions that caused the cancellation of racing for the Mermaids and Squibs. While the numbers are a bit on the low side, there were justifiable absences as evidenced by departures to a UK regatta and an important family occasion as documented on Facebook.

Initially, a postponement was flown, possibly due to shifting winds as the racecourse selection went from N to P, but when the final course was declared for the evening, it was one where there were a lot of turning marks, eight in total. Some may have fallen foul of the navigation and lost out on the water, but that didn’t detract (I hope) from a very enjoyable session on the water.

PW3 was the course of choice, suggesting a wind direction of NW (292°) and a sequence of marks that read – Harbour-Pier-Poldy-Pier-Poldy-East-Molly-East-Finish.

The fleet was spread along the starting line under a flooding tide and this correspondent found himself at the pin end in the company of Frank Miller & Patrick Kearsey (3845). Both boats were early but Miller peeled away to find another starting slot back towards the committee boat while Mulligan & Bradley started between 5 and 10 seconds too early and had to go round the pin and start. This left them on the left-hand side of the shortish beat to Harbour and marginally behind a line of boats making their way up the port lay-line. An equally sized group of boats came in on the starboard lay-line to make the first mark rounding a bit tighter than might normally be the case. As the fleet headed off to Pier, the majority set spinnakers. The lead group at this stage was David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (4068), Keith Poole & Niall Meagher (4093), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028), Joe Coughlan & Michael McCambridge (3913) and Alistair Court & Conor O’Leary (3753). The leg to Pier was a three-sail reach and over the length of the leg, Mulligan & Bradley took a number of places and closed on Poole, Mulvin and Colin. The next leg to Poldy saw a broader spinnaker leg and a tightening of the distances at the front of the fleet behind Mulvin.

A stiff beat back up to Pier saw the lead group pull away from the rest of the fleet and Mulligan gained another place to get ahead of Poole & Meagher and possibly Colin & Casey. On the next leg to Poldy, for the second time, Colin & Casey went hard left whereas the others kept to a more direct line to the mark. Colin came up smiling by going into second place behind Mulvin, with Mulligan ahead of Poole as the latter had a rounding complicated by keelboats going around the same mark. That caused him to take an unnecessary hitch inshore before tacking back to port for the leg to East. There was an easing of the physicality of the sailing on the leg to Molly as it was more of a two-sail fetch. There had also been a change of leader as Colin took over from Mulvin and Mulligan closed again on the new second-placed boat. By Molly, Mulligan had taken Mulvin, though not by much and on the return leg to East, Mulvin closed back on Mulligan. So, at the last turning mark before the beat to the finish, the order was Colin, Mulligan, Mulvin and Poole.

Mulligan tacked off early due to traffic and on tacking back again found a vein of wind that lifted him on port tack. Having gone to sea initially, Colin then headed inshore while Mulvin also stayed offshore. Mulligan and Mulvin crossed paths twice, the first time by a very short distance with Mulligan clearing Mulvin’s starboard-tacked transom and latterly when Mulligan, on port, crossed about a boat-length ahead of Mulvin. The port tack was still paying! The question was -Would there be the necessary header to get back inside and close in on the finish? The answer was Yes! And, as an added bonus, Mulligan had got away from both Colin and Mulvin who were now in very close company and playing cat and mouse with each other. Poole too had staged a recovery distance wise.

Mulligan crossed the line with a few boat-lengths in credit while Colin and Mulvin finished within a second or two of each other. Even tighter was the finish between Poole & Mulvin as they were credited with the same score and place, equal third. There were three OCSs and one DNF in the results.

Thursday 17th May 2002.

  1. Ben Mulligan & Cormac Bradley,
  2. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey,
  3. David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne and Keith Poole & Niall Meagher (Tied)
  4. Frank Miller & Patrick Kearsey.

Overall (5 races, 4 to count).

  1. Neil Colin (9),
  2. Keith Poole (10),
  3. David Mulvin (15.5),
  4. Ben Mulligan (17),
  5. Frank Miller (20).
Published in Flying Fifteen, DBSC
Cormac Bradley

About The Author

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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