Some of the lesser, well known crew, on the Class One winning boat.

Colm Barrington’s, Flash Glove has been ripping up the Solent and Irish waters this summer and she is an impressive sight, all carbon fibre and designed with one thing in mind; pure unadulterated boat speed. She is the most modern of the group of TP52s that have been optimized for handicap racing. Flash Glove is capable of reaching a boat speed of close to thirty knots and has remarkable powers of acceleration.

You might think that such a yacht requires a full time crew of professionals. The key positions are all filled with professionals bar the owner driver, Barrington himself, but nearly half the crew are made up of top amateur racers, who have jobs not even associated with sailing.

Take David ‘Mamma” Bolton and Aidan Beggan, whose principle jobs on board are grinding. Mamma works as a management consultant and is currently at Liverpool University taking a degree and Aidan works for Cannon-Ireland, the audio-visual group. Beggan has raced for Barrington for many years and commented; “I have been in the ‘Gloves Team’ for Colm’s last four boats and in a short space of time, we have gone from a 37 foot racer-cruiser to the TP52. To be honest with you, I will never be good enough to become a pro but I go to the gym, several times a week and keeping fit is very important. The blend of professionals and amateurs makes for a great atmosphere, on board and socially.

The amateur crew-Aidan Beggan,Pete Cummings, David Bolton, Sam Gardner and John Murphy.

David ‘Mamma’ Bolton is a larger than life figure and is always the life and soul of the party but takes his sailing very seriously; “You learn so much sailing with some of the best guys in the world, I only started sailing with guys this year and although I am more used to a position as pitman, grinding is fine by me, on a fantastic boat with a great group of people, I am thoroughly enjoying sailing on Flash Glove.”

John Murphy has been sailing since he was a child and has a great sense of humour, these days he races Cork 1720s back home in Ireland and works in the construction industry and commented before today’s racing; “I help out with the grinding and do a bit of trimming and pit as well and it is great to show the pros how to do it! There is a great atmosphere in the team, normally we stay in one big crew house, often we have a great dinner and a few drinks together, if you want to carry on down the pub afterwards it isn’t frowned upon but you have to be in shape to race the next day, Colm’s wife Maryrose is often the team’s cook and the food and company mean we often don’t feel the urge to even leave the crew house in the evenings.”

Colm Barrington was joined by his wife, Maryrose, on board Flash Glove, for the last day of Skandia Cowes Week and they too are amateur sailors, Maryrose and Colm have sailed together for 27 years, Colm Barrington commented before today’s race.
“It has been a very enjoyable Skandia Cowes Week, especially as we have done so well, it would have been better if we had more breeze and a better variety of race area but all things considered, it has been great fun. I enjoyed racing against boats of different designs, although there are a growing number of TP52s in the Solent, I think that racing other concepts makes for interesting racing.”

Flash Glove won Skandia IRC Class 1 with a race to spare, she is a well prepared and sailed race boat but you would be wrong to think that her crew are all professionals.

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