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Flying Fifteen Thursday evening racing at Dublin Bay Sailing Club - Race 6

by Cormac Bradley 16 Jul 19:18 BST 15 July 2021

Shane McCarthy & Chris Doorly (4085) dominated the latter 60% of the DBSC Thursday race last night in what were the best summer conditions we have had thus far. For each of the last three days, grey skies in the morning have given way to glorious sunshine by late morning and yesterday was no exception.

By race start time we had a good sea breeze, nothing too strenuous, and an ebbing tide across the course.

The Race Team led by Suzanne McGarry gave the 14-boat fleet GW4 as their course for the night - Bulloch, Island, Pier, Island, Pier, Finish.

The philosophy of the fleet to the first beat to Bulloch seemed to be divided, for the first time, with a split between offshore and inshore. Both groups would have the benefit of the ebbing tide, but the differential would be which would get the better wind. By Bulloch the question wasn't answered because Tom Murphy & Karel (4057) stormed in from the left-hand side of the beat (offshore) to take the lead followed by McCarthy & Doorly who had been in the group pioneering the inshore route to the first mark.

Also well placed at this stage were Ken Dumpleton & Joe (3955), Neil Colin & Bernard (4028), Alistair Court & Conor O'Leary (3753), Adrian Cooper (3198), Niall & Mrs Colman (4008) and David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (4068). In fact, from this correspondent's perspective just about everybody was well-placed.

The leg to Island was a two-sailer but not everyone managed to compensate for the tide and the race leader may have been one of them because his lead was eaten into by McCarthy who sailed a much lower line to the mark.

The leg from Island to Pier split views on how to fight the tide as the fleet went westwards towards Pier and for the second time of the evening the view was split! By the time we were halfway down the leg the spread across the course was of the order of 6 -700 meters from Niall Meagher & Nicki Matthews (3938) inshore to Neil Colin & Bernard (4028) offshore. Offshore and middle to right seemed to work best.

On this leg McCarthy & Doorly took the lead. This correspondent and Ben Mulligan (4081) staged a minor recovery on the spinnaker leg and soon found themselves in the relatively close company of the Colmans (4008), Mulvin & Beirne (4068), Peter Murphy & Ciara (3774) and Frank Miller & Ed Butler (3845) - this was starting to look better. While McCarthy managed to pull out some distance from the chasing pack the balance of the fleet seemed to close in - we were getting closer to Murphy (T) and Dumpleton.

There was further convergence at Pier and some very loose definitions of where three boat-lengths from the mark was, the perennial argument, and this correspondent saw the good downwind work evaporate when a gap that would allow a carriage and four to be driven through appear that everyone in close proximity availed of. We didn't create the gap ourselves but paid for it in very expensive terms. Back to the drawing board!!

McCarthy & Doorly were now in the favourable position of being able to sail their own race, which they did - stretching to the "country mile" quoted above. Or should that be "nautical mile"? No! that would be an actual measurement!! The wind conditions seemed to favour a middle and left approach to the beat back up to Island and this is where the majority of the fleet found itself.

At Island McCarthy, Murphy T and Dumpleton were in the podium positions, but the latter two needed to be careful of Mulvin, and Colman particularly but also Miller, Court and Mulligan who, with a good downwind leg might be able to close distance. O the second run to Pier, Court & Mulligan worked the inshore route but the width across the fleet this time round was much smaller.

Court and Mulligan agreed gentleman-like to allow each other to pursue their own course when it appeared there was a divergence of thought and this left Mulligan as the most inshore boat. Mulvin, Colman and Miller were just beyond "touching distance" but not quite close enough to be overly worried about by either Court or Mulligan.

In the hitch to the finish, Colman and Miller went offshore again whereas Mulligan, having got through Court on the spinnaker leg, worked the inshore route. While he closed on them it wasn't enough to enhance his finishing position.

The finishing order therefore was; McCarthy & Doorly (4085), Murphy (T) & Karel (4057), Dumpleton & Joe (3955), Mulvin & Beirne (4068), Mr & Mrs Colman (4008), Miller & Butler (3845).

In the overall series McCarthy (17) jumps into first with a four-point cushion on Dumpleton and Mulligan (21), with Colin (23) and Mulvin (32) closing out the top five, with a single discard applying.

Thanks to Suzanne McGarry and her team for a great night's racing.

The fleet is reminded that the Northern Championships have been confirmed for Portaferry on the weekend of 24th & 25th July.

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