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Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen Captain's Prize

by Cormac Bradley 13 Sep 22:30 PDT 12 September 2020
Dun Laoghaire Captain's Prize (l-r) John Lavery (4083) 2nd Prize; Neil Colin, Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen Class Captain; Alan Green (4083), Nicki Mathews & Niall Meagher (3938) 3rd Prize, Chris Doorly & Shane (3970) 1st Prize © Chris Doorly

Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen Class Captain, Neil Colin of the DMYC, declared that his Captain's Prize would be contested on Saturday (past) with both races to count and no discards applying. In the case of a tie, the second race result would be used.

A new combination, in 3970, was on the water as a preamble to next weekend's East Coast Championships, due to be hosted by the National Yacht Club. Shane McCarthy is more closely associated with the GP14 Class in summer, the Solo in winter and the Solo in evening sessions on the water by himself. For Saturday's racing he was crewed by Chris Doorly who needs no introduction to those who follow the Flying Fifteen Class. He is the current Irish Class President and like Shane & GP14s, Chris is synonymous with Flying Fifteens.

Fourteen boats were on the start line with the "who's who" of the DL fleet in attendance - both new boats in the fleet, 4081 & 4083, with Messrs Mulligan and Lavery on the respective helms, 4068 (Mulvin), 4057 (Murphy), 4028 (Colin), 4008 (Colman), 3995 (Balfe), 3955 (Dumpelton) 3938 (Meagher), 3927, 3913 (Coughlan), 3753 (Court), 3621 (Mulvin).

The weather forecast was favourable with high winds from early morning scheduled to die off a bit during the early afternoon before rising again, but only after racing was finished. On the way out to the course the wind was in the south-west, but one got the sense that there was the odd flick southwards. That suggested, with an incoming tide, that going shore-wards, would be the way to go, especially if a southwards shift in the breeze prompted a port tack lift into the mark. And so; the author and his helm found themselves at the committee boat end of the start line going to the right-hand side of the course and like Thursday night past, the header that became ever more critical to get out of gaol, simply never arrived.

They weren't the only ones to go to the right! Joe Coughlan and Andrew (3913) went so far right they nearly needed to re-engage passport control at the harbour mouth and were rewarded by steaming in ahead of Mulligan, though both were well down the pecking order. McCarthy & Doorly (3970) stole a march on the fleet by working the middle of the course and by the weather mark, off the Martello Tower at the forty-foot, had carved out a comfortable lead that was never threatened! Behind them there was a tight race in the favourable winds with some gusts presenting a few challenges. The majority of the chasing bunch came from the left or left-middle and consisted of Niall Meagher & Nicki Mathews (3938), John Lavery & Alan Green (4083), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (4028) and David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (4068). The leaders and majority of the chasing bunch went down the RHS of the run but some of the chasing boats behind them went left and that allowed them to close. All boats had at least two gybes to get to the leeward mark, but all were completed safely and there was no place changing. Mulligan improved his position on the down-wind leg allowing him to close on those ahead of him, but no places were gained. Nobody did anything too radical for the remainder of the race, that I can recall, so the finishing order became; McCarthy, Meagher, Colin, Mulvin (D), Colman, Dumpelton, Mulligan, Court, and Coughlan.

There was no obvious change to the course for Race 2. Yet again, McCarthy/Doorly were the first to show up the beat, but their advantage over the rest of the fleet wasn't as comfortable. More people twigged that the way to sail the beat was left to middle, including Mulligan and Coughlan! However, that also meant that the racing at the front end of the fleet was tighter with Lavery, Mulligan, Colin and Court well up and pushing each other. Now there was a little more inconsistency in the breeze and a bit more movement. The new boats were in close company for a large percentage of the race and both Colin and Court were close enough to take advantage of any slip-ups they made. Again, there was a difference of opinion on how to play the runs and this would make for the biggest place change in the race. Up the second beat and suddenly McCarthy looked catchable - Lavery and Mulligan were getting closer, particularly as they came in from the RHS at the latter end of the beat and McCarthy seemed to be struggling to get back right. They did get out of gaol however and led the fleet down the second run. Lavery and Mulligan gybed on the spreader mark to stay on the LHS of the run and were in close enough company to warrant each keeping an eye on the other. Colin & Casey however did a conventional rounding and stayed hard right... to leave Lavery and Mulligan far behind in their wake, the latter two never getting close to Colin.

It left the finishing order as; McCarthy, Colin, Lavery, Mulligan, Court, Meagher, Mulvin (D), Coughlan, Dumpelton and Colman. As this was a two-race series, an overall result is offered, as follows:

PosCrewClubR1R2Pts
1Shane McCarthy & Chris DoorlyNational Yacht Club112
2Neil Colin &Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club325
3John Lavery &National Yacht Club437
4Niall Meagher &National Yacht Club268
5Ben Mulligan & Cormac BradleyDun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club8412

A short socially distanced prize-giving was held at the National Yacht Club where the leading three boats were awarded their prizes.

The action moves more completely to the National Yacht Club next weekend (19th/20th) as they host the two-day East Coast Championships with a five-race schedule. Also scheduled for the Saturday evening is the Class AGM. In addition to the Dun Laoghaire fleet, visitors are expected from Northern Ireland, (Belfast Lough and Strangford Lough) and Dunmore East in the SE corner of Ireland.

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