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For the first Sunday of March it was cold and blustery and the racing scene in Dun Laoghaire, for the Fireballs at least, was conspicuous by the absence of Noel Butler, Stephen Oram or their Fireball, 15061 writes Cormac Bradley. In all the time I have tried to cover the Frostbite racing I think I can count on one hand the number of times that there was no presence at all from this particular combination.

It left the race as an easy one for the Clancy Brothers Conor & James (14807) to win, as by the time I reached the harbour, they had a comfortable lead which was never challenged.  Behind them Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly (14713) sailed a conservative race without any spinnaker action that I saw to finish second. Alistair Court and Gordon Syme were much more adventurous as they flew spinnaker across the bottom reach of the trapezoid course where nobody else bothered.  However, for all their sense of adventure, they could not close the gap on Miller & Donnelly.  The fourth placed boat was the “pink ladies”, Louise & Hermine (14691) who also sailed a conservative race to stay upright.

Initially the weather station in the harbour complex was not giving any details but the wind was out of the western quadrant of the compass and on my way out is was showing a wind direction of 300˚, a base wind strength of 18 knots with gusts going up to 24 knots and an air temperature of 6.9˚.

With this wind direction the Race Officer was able to set one of the longer courses across the width of the harbour with a weather mark off the block house on the West Pier, No. 2 off the entrance to the marina, No.3 just off the end of the HSS terminal and No.4 in the vicinity of the monument on the East Pier.  The beat was sailed by taking a port tack to the end of the East Pier before crossing the course on starboard. That left everyone putting in a port tack approach to the weather mark.

The top reach was challenging and none of the Fireballs flew spinnaker with the exception of the Clancys who hoisted just as they approached No.2 each time. 2 to 3 was sailed on starboard tack to an area just to windward of the HSS Terminal, at which point a gybe was undertaken to sail towards No.3. In each instance the Clancys dropped at No.3. Court and Syme did fly spinnaker across the bottom reach but the price to be paid was falling off the rhumb line between the two marks. It was very challenging as evidenced by a flogging mainsail over the second half of the leg. 

The four boats were well spread out with Clancys having a lead the length of the top reach over Miller and Donnelly and the other gaps between the boats were also sizeable.

The award for boat-handling must go to the solitary Enterprise which has contested all the Frostbites this season.  Scorching along the bottom reach of the trapezoid, I caught sight of one of the crew being washed overboard, to windward.  Despite the blustery conditions, the remaining crew member was able to take some form of control, turn the boat around and sail back towards their crew member who then clambered over the transom to allow them to resume the race which they finished.

DMYC Frostbites 2016/17 (Assumes no discard).

R1

R2

R3

R4

R5

R6

R7

R8

Tot

1

Noel Butler/Ger Owens & Stephen Oram/ Phil Lawton

15061

NYC

3

1

2

3

2

1

1

13

26

2

Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keefe/Cormac Bradley

14691

RStGYC

2

3

3

6

5

6

4

4

33

2

Frank Miller & Ed Butler/Grattan Donnelly

14713

DMYC

4

4

7

5

4

5

2

2

33

4

Conor Clancy/Owen Laverty & James Clancy

14807

RStGYC

13

2

5

7

1

13

13

1

55

5

Alistair Court & Cormac Bradley/Gordon Syme

14706

DMYC

13

13

4

4

3

2

3

3

45

6

Neil Colin & Margaret Casey

14775

DMYC

5

13

1

1

13

3

5

13

54

7

Cariosa Power & Marie Barry

14854

NYC

6

13

6

2

13

13

13

13

79

8

Louis Smyth & Joe O’Reilly/Glenn Fisher

15007

Coal Harb.

1

13

13

13

13

7

8

13

81

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Sunday's DMYC Frostbites saw two excellent Fireball races in lively conditions in Dun Laoghaire harbour. According to the DLH weather site the wind was mostly westerly about 10-12 knots but gusting at times more than 20 knots.

In both races the pin end was favoured but given that the start line was in the crook of the East Pier there was arguably an advantage to starting at the committee end to get the benefit of lifting gusts at the harbour mouth and also the advantage of the incoming tide through the mouth of the harbour. Anyway spoiler alert; the two races were dominated by the rockstar team of Gerbil Owens and Phil Lawton standing in for Noel Butler and Stephen Oram.

From the start of race one the pair worked the right side of the course and led around the trapezoid course without their lead ever being under real threat. Closest boat was veteran Louis Smyth with Glen Fisher who were looking good until they capsized in round 2 of the 4 lap course near the leeward mark, where for some reason the wind always seemed to ramp up a couple of notches.

Frank Miller with Ed Butler snatched second place and appeared comfortable in that position until the gybe mark in the 4th round where an all too casual gybe delivered the traditional punishment. When the pair recovered from their turtle they were about last but they closed the gap on those who zoomed past and finished 5th in the end with Alistair Court and Gordon Syme taking 2nd and Neil Colin/Margaret Casey 3rd.

The start of race 2 once again saw the seven boat fleet stretched along the line. For this race Lawton / Owens switched roles but continued to dominate the race with a lead of a least a half leg. The pair started at the (technically unfavoured) committee end with a burst of speed which allowed them to drive low almost reaching across the fleet positioning them for first tack to weather of the fleet on the port layline to the windward mark.

The first reach was always tight but the configuration of the harbour discouraged going too high too soon so for both races it was a tricky and close first reach with a near run on the second and a beam reach for the third.

Following Owens/Lawton were Court/Syme and then Miller/Butler. The latter took over the 2nd place on the beat by taking the lifting gusts available on the right side of the course.

This time they kept their noses clean and their mast in the air and held onto that place till the end. Hot on their heels remained Court/Symes but special mention should go to Dara McDonagh who was never far off the lead in his composite fireball proving that a well maintained 20 year old boat is perfectly competitive in the right hands . Spare a thought for Smyth/Fisher; in the second race they had a close encounter with Louise McKenna/Hermine O’Keeffe which resulted in their outhaul being flicked off the end of their boom and sent them home earlier than planned.

All in all this was a terrific days racing in mild but gusty conditions snatched from the jaws of an Irish February ...

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The fat lady hadn’t sung……….or the sailing equivalent! In truth, that storyline is only one of a number of possible headlines that I contemplated before writing this Fireball report writes Cormac Bradley.  Last week I wrote of the vagaries of weather forecasting and this week was no different and that too could form a headline. As I had been “booked” to sail earlier than normal in the preceding week, I was watching the forecast for Sunday correspondingly early as well. By Wednesday, the seven-day forecast on XCWeather was suggesting that sailing wouldn’t be possible at all. But as the week progressed, so the forecast became more favourable, until at 12 noon on Sunday, the forecast for 15:00 was down to 9 – 14 knots from a westerly direction.

Except it seems, that wasn’t the case. As I stopped at a red light on my way to the club, a well-known sailing character was “loitering with intent” outside the chandlers, waiting for them to open. He told me that 10 minutes prior there wasn’t a breath inside the harbour, whereas there was now enough to get a race underway. Indeed, after the race I found out that the big-boat racing of the morning had been cancelled due to a lack of wind.

Rigging in a hurry, because I had arrived late, again the suggestion was that there wasn’t a great deal of breeze but as we launched the word was that we were going to be sailing outside.  That suggested breeze! And oh how much breeze there was – full on trapezing conditions!

A five-lap race was set outside the harbour with a start area just to the west of the harbour mouth. Inside the harbour there was some protection from the westerly even if there was the occasional squall coming across the water, but once outside, rigs were adjusted as the full force of the westerly became apparent. One Fireball took a swim before the start!

Eight Fireballs assembled for the start and they all headed leftwards off the start line, in parallel with the PY fleet which had gone that direction as well, six minutes earlier. Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061) got quickly into the groove and started to pull away at an early stage.  Behind them a tight bunch formed, made up of Frank Miller & Ed Butler (14713), Conor & James Clancy (14807), Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706) and Louise McKenna & Cormac Bradley (14691). Darragh McDonagh and crew, with sail number 15058, were in touch with this bigger group but Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) and Mary Chambers & Brenda McGuire (14865) were slightly off the pace and both became early retirees, with the former pair caught out by the chill of the westerly and the robust conditions – they had too few layers on!

Butler & Oram led comfortably at the first weather mark but the group that followed them was very tight with McKenna on the inside, Miller to her weather, Court to Miller’s weather and the Clancys a bit further out on the outside of the bunch – none of them having clear water (in a bow to stern sense) relative to the others. Behind the bunch, McDonagh was lurking!

While the fleet all gybed at Mark 2 the first time, it wasn’t the right thing to do because it left the approach to Mark 3 awkward as one had to sail by the lee to get there.  However, after everyone in the bunch had gybed, McKenna was the windward-most boat and sailed into a clear 2nd place by Mark 3. Mark 3 to Mark 4 was too tight even for Butler & Oram, so the rest of us followed their lead and dropped bag for a tight two sail reach across the bottom of the course.

Whereas everyone had gone principally left on the first beat, the fashionable thing to do the second time was go right. Butler and McKenna went this way but the boats behind them were eventually required to go left and work a course inside the confines of the course. Up the second beat the Clancys took over second spot though they were a good distance behind Butler & Oram. McKenna, Miller & Court then took over the competitive mantle as they rounded the weather mark and charged off towards Mark 2, this time sailing past Mark 2 to get a better angle in to Mark 3. McKenna held the other two off to Mark 3 before dropping the spinnaker and putting the leeward sheet under the boat.

This time McKenna followed Butler & Clancy by going left on the beat but couldn’t cover both her chasers as Miller went right while after a short hitch to the right, Court also came left. By the third weather mark, Butler & Clancy were comfortable and both Miller & Court had passed McKenna to relegate her to fifth.  A spinnaker hoist was attempted to see if the sheet under the boat could be freed but to no avail.  Miller & Court then played cat and mouse with each other with Miller flying spinnaker across the bottom reach on the third lap.

At the front of the fleet, there was no sense that Butler would be headed by Clancy, he was comfortably ahead. However, by the last rounding of Mark 3, the distance between them had closed significantly though Butler still had the lead. But on the last reach from Mark 3 to Mark 4, Butler & Oram decided to fly bag and soon found themselves having to bear off considerably before being forced into an Aussie drop to get back to Mark 4. Clancy played safe and two-sailed the leg in a straight line to go into the lead. In the short hitch to the finish, Clancy kept a vigil on Butler to secure an unexpected win! The fat lady had sung!

Afterwards it turned out that Butler & Oram lost their significant lead in a capsize, with spinnaker, when they went wide at Mark 2. However, while they righted quickly, the spinnaker sheet was snagged on the boom which wasn’t ideal in the conditions. The different approaches to the last leg was down to personal choice, but from my perspective on the water, flying bag across the bottom of the course cost Butler & Oram the win.    

Darragh McDonagh and crew won the Frostbite Mugs for the day. 

DMYC Frostbites 2016/17 (Assumes no discard). R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Tot
1 Noel Butler & Stephen Oram 15061 NYC 3 1 2 3 2 11
2 Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keefe/Cormac Bradley 14691 RStGYC 2 3 3 6 5 19
3 Frank Miller & Ed Butler 14713 DMYC 4 4 7 5 4 24
4 Conor Clancy/Owen Laverty & James Clancy 14807 RStGYC 13 2 5 7 1 28
5 Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 14775 DMYC 5 13 1 1 13 33
6 Alistair Court & Cormac Bradley/Gordon Syme 14706 DMYC 13 13 4 4 3 37
7 Cariosa Power & Marie Barry 14854 NYC 6 13 6 2 13 40
8 Louis Smyth & Joe O’Reilly 15007 Coal Harb. 1 13 13 13 13 53
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The UK Fireball class in association with Lyme Regis sailing club have opened entries for the 2017 Fireball Europeans & Nationals. 

The first round of early entry closes on the 19th March for an event scheduled for 18th-25th August.

The class is expecting competitors from all over Europe, and interest is already registered from competitors from Australia, Kenya, Canada, and South Africa. Download an entry form below

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In the build-up to last weekend’s Fireball racing at the DMYC Frostbites, the forecast from Thursday on XCWeather suggested it might not be possible to get a race in, but by early Sunday morning the forecast was down to 12 – 18 knots from the SE writes Cormac Bradley. The Windfinder app and the Met Eireann Sea Area Forecast were showing a similar story of about 12-15 knots. The one thing they all agreed on was that the direction would be from a South-Easterly direction.

On arriving at the boat park the situation on the water was anything but what was forecast and it was damp and chilly to boot! Out on the race course it was another story again but surprisingly warmer than it had been on shore. Marginal trapezing conditions were had at the start of the two-race afternoon, but the wind strength eased as the day grew later and only the bottom reach of the trapezoid course was offering any action in this department by the second race.

An oversize blanket would have covered all seven Fireballs at the start of the first race as they cloistered themselves off the aft quarter of the committee boat. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) very soon made a claim to having the best start as they pulled ahead of the fleet and went to the left-hand side of the course.  This proved to be the critical manoeuvre of the first race as they were never headed though Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061) pushed them close. Another boat to work the left-hand side was Frank Miller & Ed Butler (14713) and they too were rewarded with a good position in the early pecking order. In contrast, Alistair Court & Cormac Bradley (14706) bailed out of the cluster and went right. It proved to be one of the few times when a right hand sortie didn’t pay. They approached the weather mark up the starboard lay-line in close proximity to the lead two boats, but before they could reach the mark two other boats put themselves into the gap, Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691) and Miller & Butler. The leg from 1 to 2 was a broad spinnaker leg and yet again there was a decision to be made at 2, whether to gybe or not. Maybe because he was always in clear air on this leg, Colin always seemed to get it right and in most instances he didn’t gybe until he was almost inside the harbour mouth.

On the subsequent beats of the five-lap race, there were a number of approaches as to how it should be sailed. None involved going to the corners of the course but rather going a reasonable distance to one side or other without going out on a limb! Butler & Oram kept Colin & Casey on their toes, but despite getting close, the lead pair always had a handful of boat lengths between them and their chaser.

Where the place changing went on was between 3rd and 5th. Having learned their lesson from the first beat, Court & Bradley decided on a more conservative approach to the beats and with some close quarter spinnaker got to third place at the penultimate rounding of Mark 4, having had a close fight with the pink ladies and Miller & Butler. Up the last beat, they went left with McKenna & O’Keeffe hitting a BIG right! It was the first time in the afternoon that a BIG right paid and it allowed them to reclaim 3rd place on the water and a few boat-lengths of comfort relative to Court & Bradley who had been chased up the left-hand side by Miller & Butler. In the lighter breeze, the heavier all male combination couldn’t catch the ladies. 

The course was tweaked for the second race by a shift to port. Again the fleet was cloistered at the committee boat end of the line but this time Colin & Casey were too early, being a half-boat length clear of the start line before the starting signal went. This caused them to go right after they rounded the committee boat end of the line to restart. The rest of the fleet went left initially before working rightwards further up the beat. The delayed start didn’t have an adverse effect of Colin & Casey as they rounded the weather mark in first place and for the second race of the day they were not headed thereafter. However, at the first weather mark, while Colin had his mitts on 1st, the rest of the fleet could again have been covered by an oversize blanket as they rounded. This time there were new players at the front in the form of Cariosa Power & Marie Barry (14854), while the seventh boat in the fleet, Owen Laverty & James Clancy (14807) were also in the mix. Another “average beat” for Court & Bradley saw them with lots to do in 7th place. Despite the tweaking of the course, the same decision at Mark 2 was in play and again there was a “mixed bag” approach, Colin predominantly favouring sailing on to the harbour mouth before gybing to get round 3.

Close quarter skirmishes were the order of the day for the middle and back of the fleet and by Mark 4, Court had relieved himself of last place. Up the next beat the middle of the fleet condensed and Butler, Laverty, McKenna and Court were soon enjoying spinnaker leg shenanigans on the leg between 3 and 4.

Power & Barry in the meantime were quietly doing their own thing a slight distance apart and soon found themselves in 2nd place. A sparkling final beat by the ladies saw them round the last weather mark in a solid 2nd place behind Colin & Casey, but also ahead of Butler & Oram.  They held onto their position, though it got close at the end to record a fabulous 2nd place. Court also worked hard on the final lap to move into fourth place with Laverty & Clancy in 5th.

Considering the long-term forecast, the immediate forecast and the assessment of the wind in the dinghy park a great afternoon of racing was had by all, with no-one dropping too far off the pace in either race. Colin claimed he hadn’t won a Frostbite race for a while, so with two in one day he and his crew were in great form. Ditto Marie & Cariosa who worked hard and well to secure the 2nd.   

DMYC Frostbites 2016/17: Series 2 08/01 15/01 29/01 Tot.
R1 R2 R3 R4
1 Noel Butler & Stephen Oram 15061 NYC 3 1 2 3 9
2 Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keefe 14691 RStGYC 2 3 3 6 14
3 Frank Miller & Ed Butler 14713 DMYC 4 4 7 5 20
Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 14775 DMYC 5 13 1 1 20
5 Conor & James Clancy 14807 RStGYC 13 2 5 7 27
Cariosa Power & Marie Barry 14854 NYC 6 13 6 2 27
7 Alistair Court & Cormac Bradley 14706 DMYC 13 13 4 4 34
8 Louis Smyth & Joe O’Reilly 15007 Coal Harb. 1 13 13 13 40
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Yesterday’s diminished Fireball fleet in DMYC’s Frostbite Series may have been a consequence of the actual weather mirroring the forecast writes Cormac Bradley. XCWeather had been predicting winds of 17 knots with gusts up to 28 knots from a WNW direction and that is what the weather station in the harbour was showing on my arrival – 20.1 knots, a gust of 28.6 knots, a wind direction of 295˚ and an air temperature of 10.6˚. While the air temperature may have been a balmy 10.6˚ for January, it still required a hat coat and gloves to stand and watch proceedings.

Three Fireballs were on the start line at the designated time, Messrs Butler and Oram (15061), the Clancy brothers (14807) and the “pink ladies”, McKenna & O’Keeffe (14691). Later they were joined by Frank Miller and (possibly) Ed Butler, but I am not sure if this latter combination would be ranked as a starter. (Official results today confirm they are both a starter and a finisher).

All three boats sailed to the left-hand-side of the course on the first beat with Team Clancy, Conor & James, the first to peel off to go right. From my vantage point it appeared that they had done the right thing by going right that bit earlier, but by hanging in that bit longer on the left, Noel & Stephen gave the impression of being able to sail that bit freer up the port lay-line to power over the brothers. Spinnakers were broken out on the legs from Mark 1 to Mark 2, but in reality the course was such that Mark 2 was almost incidental from an angles perspective. At the first rounding of Mark 2, Butler & Oram gybed, but all this seems to achieve was to set them up for another gybe to get round Mark 3, followed by another gybe at Mark 3 itself. Team Clancy sailed beyond and probably 20 - 30m outside Mark 2 before they put in their gybe to get to Mark 3. The leg from Mark 3 to Mark 4 proved to be too tight for spinnakers.

On the second beat the lead pair, with Butler & Oram comfortably ahead, sailed on the RHS to the harbour mouth, relative to a weather mark that was of the order of 100-120m to the west of the end of the West Pier. This time Butler was the first to cross the course with Team Clancy hanging on to the outer edges of the course. By the time Butler & Oram reached Mark 4 the second time they had a leg lead on the Clancys. On the third beat, the pair split, with Butler going left and early on it looked as though Clancy may have closed the gap. However, when they actually crossed tacks Butler was still comfortably ahead. On the following beat, they took opposite sides again, except Butler went right this time. It made no difference as the lead was maintained.

Mark 2 had less and less of a role to play in the race as the laps passed, increasingly the lead two boats, flying spinnaker, sailed further and further outside of Mark 2, extending the starboard tack three sail reach to beyond the HSS terminal before putting in a gybe for a short hitch to Mark 3 and a spinnaker drop to two-sail to Mark 4. The “pink Ladies”, Louise and Hermine obviously decided that discretion was the better part of valour and kept their spinnaker in its bag for the day. Ditto Messrs Miller & Butler.

DMYC Frostbites 2016/17: Series 2 R1 R2 Tot.
1 Noel Butler & Stephen Oram 15061 NYC 3 1 4
2 Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keefe 14691 RStGYC 2 3 5
3 Frank Miller & Ed Butler 14713 DMYC 4 4 8
4 Louis Smyth & Joe O’Reilly 15007 Coal Harb. 1 13 14
5 Conor & James Clancy 14807 RStGYC 13 2 15
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Series 2 of the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club’s Frostbites started in very hopeful conditions writes Cormac Bradley. However, within 35 seconds of a self-imposed deadline to call proceedings off, the Race Officer decided that a race could be started. The forecast on XCWeather had been promising 6 – 8 knots from the SSW, but the weather station adjacent to my observation post was recording a wind strength of 3.8knots, a gust of 4.9knots and a wind direction of 119˚ with an air temperature of 10.8˚ and there was nothing to suggest these statistics were being replicated on the water. It took the best part of an hour to get a race underway!

Seven Fireballs initiated the second half of the Frostbites with a debut for accomplished “Flying Fifteener” Dave Gorman who teamed up with Margaret Casey in Neil Colin’s absence. Dave got in to his comfort zone quite quickly by executing a port-tack start on the pin while the rest of the fleet lined themselves up on starboard. Gorman & Casey (14775) were challenged by Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly (14713) as the closest starboard-tacked boat. These two went left with a third boat while the balance of the fleet came right to varying degrees. Initially Louis Smyth & Joe O’Reilly (15007) were the furthest right, but at a later stage Mary Chambers & Brenda McGuire (14865) came even further across.

As the zephyrs of breeze alternated left and right so the fortunes of those on either side of the course varies as well, but ultimately, the leaders came from the left hand side of the beat. Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keefe, the “pink ladies” (14691) led around the first weather mark followed by Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061), Miller & Donnelly, Smyth & O’Reilly, Gorman & Casey, Cariosa Power & Marie Barry (14854) and Chambers & McGuire.

Initially, the pink ladies sailed straight to Mark 2, just inside the end of the eastern pier, but they found themselves gybing in towards the centre of the harbour when Butler & Oram executed this manoeuvre half-way down the leg. Miller & Smyth also undertook a gybe-less approach to the leg and this proved to be beneficial to both as they overtook Butler & Oram. At Mark2, the dominant decision was to gybe. However, Smyth & O’Reilly sailed towards the mouth of the harbour and by way of staying in a little more breeze than the others sailed around them and into a lead which they never relinquished. By Mark 4 the new order was Smyth, McKenna, Miller, Butler, Gorman, Power and Chambers.

The lead two boats took a short hitch to the right-hand-side of the course, before taking a long starboard tack to the vicinity of the weather mark. Smyth had a comfortable lead on McKenna who in turn was well ahead of both Butler & Miller who came further right than the lead pair. By the second weather mark, Smyth appeared to have extended his lead, but in the conditions there were no guarantees. Miller & Butler were much closer to each other and would keep in close company all the way to Mark 4 with each in turn taking the lead between them. At Mark 3, Butler seemed to have the advantage, being inside boat but Miller passed them out before they got to Mark 4, before relinquishing his lead again. Butler got ahead at the final mark and held on for third place.

The Frostbite Mugs went to the all-lady combination of Cariosa Power & Marie Barry (14854) who had an interesting race towards the back of the fleet.

DMYC Frostbites 2016/17: Series 2; January – March, Race 1.
1 Louis Smyth & Joe O’Reilly 15007 Coal Harbour
2 Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe 14691 Royal St George Yacht Club
3 Noel Butler & Stephen Oram 15061 National Yacht Club
4 Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly 14713 Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club
5 Dave Gorman & Margaret Casey 14775 Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club

 

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Considering the time of year, it is rather surprising that we have got to the end of Series 1 of the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club’s Frostbites without a cancellation……….until the last Sunday, writes Cormac Bradley. Competitors were greeted with a mirror-like seascape inside the harbour with no motion from the flags around the periphery of the harbour. Those on the flagstaff of the host club were so limp that they couldn’t be recognised. On the opposite side of the inner reaches of the harbour, brand flags from the yacht brokers were likewise hanging limp.

Frostbite co-ordinator Olivier Proveur however decided that with the day that was in it, an attempt should be made to race and slightly behind schedule, understandably, the fleet was ordered to go afloat. Not everyone complied, but those that did faced a long paddle out to the race area. This correspondent was one of the last to go down the slipway but before he needed to get his feet wet, a radio communication was received to the effect that racing was cancelled.

This prompted an early prize-giving where calendars with pictures from the Frostbites were the prizes. Frostbite co-ordinator Olivier added his own form of wit to these proceedings which were preceded by the serving of finger food and soup.

The Frostbites take a break now with no racing on the next two Sundays – Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. We resume on 8th January 2017.

2016/17 DMYC Frostbites – Series1: After 2nd Discard. R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 Nett
Noel Butler/Phil Lawton & Stephen Oram/Ger Owens 15061 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 7
Conor Clancy/Owen Laverty & James Clancy 14807 2 4 2 4 3 13 1 1 4 17
Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 14775 13 2 4 2 2 5 3 3 6 21
Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe/Cormac Bradley 14691 3 3 7 7 5 4 4 4 7 30
Frank Miller & Ed Butler/Cormac Bradley/Grattan Donnelly 14713 13 5 6 8 6 2 6 5 2 32
Alistair Court & Gordon Syme/Cormac Bradley 14706 13 13 13 5 4 3 5 9 5 44
Louis Smyth & Joe O’Reilly/Glenn Fisher 15007 13 7 3 3 7 11 13 13 3 47
Cariosa Power & Marie Barry 14854 13 6 8 6 8 7 13 13 13 61
Peter & Michael Keegan 14676 13 8 5 13 13 8 8 7 13 62
Mary Chambers & Brenda McGuire 14865 13 13 13 9 9 11 7 6 13 68
Darragh McDonagh & Crew 15058 13 13 13 13 13 6 13 13 13 84
David Turner & Peter Doherty 14362 13 13 13 10 10 13 13 13 13 85

From this correspondent, Happy Christmas to all!

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Having reeled off eight Fireball wins in a row, it wouldn’t have been an unreasonable assumption to suggest that Tom Gillard and Richard Anderton (GBR15127) were odds-on to make a clean sweep of all ten races in the Worlds that have been just concluded in Mossel Bay, South Africa. That is not to belittle the efforts of the rest of the fleet which included the current European Champions, Claude Mermod and Ruedi Moser (SUII 14799) and Ben Schulz and Jack Lidgett (AUS 15113).
However, the ninth race was lost to the aforementioned Aussie pair before the 2016 World Champions claimed the last race of the series to claim a significant points victory.
The European Champions finished second overall followed home by the Aussies. In 4th place was the leading South African combination, 16-year old Yogi Divaris and Ferdinand Holm (RSA 14910), followed by the wife and husband pairing of Derian and Andy Scott (GBR 149410).
Facebook posts suggest the next Fireball Worlds will be in France in 2018, with a possible date of late August, but this is a Facebook comment only and should not be considered as anything other than that. A more definite appointment is the 2017 Fireball Europeans which are to be hosted in Lyme Regis in the UK.
The last race day seems to have been the most genteel of the regatta as befits the end of a regatta and the subsequent packing-up of boats.
Competitor comments:
Jean Francois Nouel: 20 Worlds sailed and it was “defo” the best ever.

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British pair, Tom Gillard and Richard Anderton, sailing GBR 15127 have only just retained their Fireball Worlds title from Pwllheli, Wales……………by winning all eight races sailed thus far in the 2016 World Championships in South Africa.

In a Facebook posts around 2pm British time on Thursday afternoon, Tom was able to confirm their success with a day and two races to spare. A more manageable day was had on the water with a South-Easterly of 10 - 12 knots blowing.

In second place, the Swiss pair of Claude Mermod and Ruedi Moser (SUI 14799) also continued their consistent ways with two second places but the Aussie pair of Ben Schulz and Jack Lidgett (AUS15113) while scoring a third in the first race of the day, had a gear problem in the second race and, in Ben’s own words, limped across the line in seventh place.
While the Aussies may be reasonably secure in third place overall they won’t be taking anything for granted because the British wife and husband pair of Andy and Derian Scott (GBR 14941) are sitting in fourth overall and despite a Facebook comment that she was “pooped” after the day’s racing, another lighter session (relative to the start of the week), might just suit Derian and Andy.

The first South African combination in the overall standings is Yogi Devaris and Ferdinand Holm (RSA 14910) in fifth place.
Fireball International Commodore, Steve Chesney, crewing with Hugh Watson (GBR 14791) lies in sixth, with the Kenyans, Alastair Bush and David Carroll (KEN 14535) seventh, the Czechs, Johana Koranva Napravnikova and Jakub Napravnik (Rear Commodore Europe)(CZE 15109), eighth, the Canadians Joe Jospe and Tom Egli (CAN 15024), ninth and South African Fireball legend JJ Provoyeur and Ian MacRobert (RSA 14422) rounding out the top ten.

For Wednesday’s lay-day the fleet had the choice of an organised trip to a local Game Reserve and it would appear that quite a few exercised that option.

The last race of the event commences on the water only eight hours from when this report is being written, 10:00 South African time, 08:00 British (and Irish) time.

Published in Fireball
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Page 8 of 39

William M Nixon has been writing about sailing in Ireland and internationally for many years, with his work appearing in leading sailing publications on both sides of the Atlantic. He has been a regular sailing columnist for four decades with national newspapers in Dublin, and has had several sailing books published in Ireland, the UK, and the US. An active sailor, he has owned a number of boats ranging from a Mirror dinghy to a Contessa 35 cruiser-racer, and has been directly involved in building and campaigning two offshore racers. His cruising experience ranges from Iceland to Spain as well as the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, and he has raced three times in both the Fastnet and Round Ireland Races, in addition to sailing on two round Ireland records. A member for ten years of the Council of the Irish Yachting Association (now the Irish Sailing Association), he has been writing for, and at times editing, Ireland's national sailing magazine since its earliest version more than forty years ago

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