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Yet another early call has been taken to cancel the DMYC Frostbites this Sunday at Dun Laoghaire Harbour with winds of mid to high twenties gusting to mid-forties predicted for race time. Storm Dennis has an element of “Denis the Menace” to him.

The proposal is to have an early start on Sunday 23rd , possibly 12:30, in order to accommodate those who want to watch rugby as well – a particular game from Twickenham.

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This afternoon's DMYC Frostbite Series racing for dinghies at Dun Laoghaire Harbour has been cancelled due to adverse weather with gusts in excess of 30 knots on Dublin Bay.

Gale force winds are predicted for the Irish Sea later today.

See live Dublin Bay webcam here

This morning's first race of the DBSC Spring Chicken Series did go ahead in the comparatively sheltered waters of Seapoint Bay.

With wind speeds of 37 knots being recorded off the end of the East Pier at lunchtime on Saturday (on a handheld anemometer) and Storm Brendan blowing hooligans today, the DMYC Dinghy Frostbites of Sunday 12th January could be said to have been sailed in the (relative) calm between the storms! And the wind behaved in accordance with the forecast, starting off quite strong first thing on Sunday morning (09:00) but dropping off in strength as the morning wore on. At about 11:30 it was down to 10/11 knots and during the race it dropped below ten but came back up again. The sun was out as well, but there was a slight coolness in the air.

Numbers were up again from last week with 27 boats in the PY fleet, 10+ in the Standard & 4.7 start and 28 in the Laser radial start. This Sunday we saw the return of the Kona Windsurfers, with Messrs Gibney and Walker, the regulars, joined by Julio David. The RS400s also added on to their fleet with the arrival of Sean and Conor Cleary and Dara McDonagh (and crew) giving Messrs Phelan & Leddy and Brian O’Hare and crew a four-boat race within the PY fleet. A second GP14, sailed by Peter & Stephen Boyle, joined the Flying Fifteen pairing of Ciara Mulvey and Peter Murphy and there were two boats challenges within the PY fleet for the RS Aeros (Brendan Foley & Mark Gavin) and the Wayfarers (Dave Mulvin & Ronan Beirne and Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy). The Sailing in Dublin (SID) Laser Vagos had three or four boats and the Fireballs had eleven starters in their fleet within a fleet.

Daniel L and Harry ThompsonFireballers Daniel (L) and Harry Thompson with their Frostbite Mugs for Race 2 in the PY Fleet. Photo: Frank Miller

Given the weather conditions, the decision was taken to give the fleets a long race first to keep them active on the basis that if time and wind allowed a shorter second race could be provided. Speculation ashore, between the Frostbites “Director” and the Race Officer, was that a starboard-hand course might have to be set with the wind direction, but on getting out to the race area, a normal port-hand course was available. With a mean wind direction of 240º, the committee boat set up close to the end of the East Pier and put the weather mark just to the west of the entrance to the marina. The top reach extended across the windward shore of the harbour to a gybe mark that was to the east of the HSS gantry and the leeward mark sat behind and off to the port-hand side of the committee boat. The Wayfarer of Mulvin and Beirne was out early and sailed the two reaches under spinnaker and gave a healthy “thumbs-up” to Race Officer Cormac Bradley. Shane McCarthy in the Solo also tested the beat, by invitation, and declared that it was “good”. By prior arrangement a Fireball also sampled the course and advised that the start line was biased towards the committee boat – they were right, although the length of the start line was a bigger problem for the PY Fleet.

In contrast to last Sunday, all three starts got away at the first time of asking and while the initial approach to the first beat was to go left, the fleet soon spread themselves across the width of the course – always a good sight for the Race Officer. Five laps of an Olympic course were set and at the first weather mark there was a mix of Fireballs and RS400s in the lead bunch, with the Solo of McCarthy making his presence felt as well. The familiar red spinnaker of Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (FB 15061) was first to show, followed by the blue and white of the Thompson brothers, Daniel & Harry (FB 15156). Butler & Oram did their “normal trick” of sailing away from the fleet, but behind them there was lots of contests on the water. The leeward mark rounding also was a busy spot as the various fleets converged on it, from different angles, especially when the Lasers were added to the mix!

The first race lasted a healthy 43:38 and saw Butler & Oram take the win on the water. In Fireball terms, they were followed home by the Thompsons and Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706), though there were other boats in between. In the RS400 “race within a race”, debutants Sean and Conor Cleary took a “class” win from Dara McDonagh, Phelan & Leddy and Brian O’Hare.

The Kona finishing order was Robbie Walker, Des Gibney and Julio David, while Mulvin/Beirne took the Wayfarer win, the Boyles the GP 14 win, and Butler & Oram the handicap win, followed by McCarthy (Solo), the Boyle GP14, Sarah Byrne & crew in the RS200 and the Thompsons (FB). The winning margin on the water, Fireball to Solo was 9:25, which reduced to 00:38 after the application of handicaps. The Boyle’s performance won the Frostbite Mug for the PY Fleet.

The mixed Standard Lasers & Laser 4.7s is the smallest fleet, made up yesterday of three Standards and five or six 4.7s. The Standards finished in a tight sequence with Chris Arrowsmith winning from Alan Hodgins and David Field, Field’s performance good enough to get the Frostbite Mug. Rian Geraghty-McDonnell continued his domination of this Class with another win, followed home by Christian Ennis, a new name in the podium frame, Hugh Turvey and Archie Daly, another new name.

The Radial Fleet is a good mix of adults and Juniors with the adults represented by the likes of Sean Craig, Shirley Gilmore, Judy O’Beirne, Mary Chambers and Owen Laverty. However, in the lighter winds that we have had thus far the Juniors have been very prominent in the podium places and yesterday saw a mix of adults and Juniors in the top five finishers. The racing in this fleet can get very tight at the front and it is encouraging to see clusters of boats sailing “bow to transom” downwind with helms carefully watching those closest to them. Juniors don’t seem to be intimidated at all when Sean Craig, for example, sits on their transoms, hunting them down, waiting for a mistake! Yesterday, in Race 1, two Juniors took the honours with Hugh O’Connor winning and taking a Frostbite Mug, followed by Conor Gorman, Sean Craig, Judy O’Beirne and Shirley Gilmore.

Finishes on the water were offered to the stragglers to allow a second short race to be run. However, the first two marks had to be reset as the wind went southwards. This time the course was two triangles and having learned the lesson from the first time, the start line was lengthened. This time the contest on the line was even tighter, but again the three fleets got away at the first time of asking. The wind dropped below 10 knots but then came back up again and a race of half the duration of the first was completed.

In the PY fleet, class winners were Fireball – Butler & Oram, RS400 – Cleary & Cleary, GP14 – Boyle & Boyle, Wayfarer – Mulvin & Beirne, “by a nose” on the finish line, Kona – Walker, RS Aero – Brendan Foley. In handicap terms, a race time of 21:05 for Butler & Oram and a 00:59 second margin on the water was enough to take the PY win followed by a second Fireball, the Thompsons. On corrected time the handicap order was Butler & Oram (FB), Daniel & Harry Thompson (FB), Cleary & Cleary (RS400), Boyle & Boyle (GP14) and Patrick Hassett (2.4). Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) were the third Fireball home.

In the Standard Lasers the order was Hodgins, Field and Arrowsmith, while in the 4.7s, there was an “upset” with Rian Geraghty-McDonnell not winning! That honour went to Christian Ennis, from Eimear Farrell and Archie Daly, a performance that gave him the Frostbite Mug.

Hugh O’Connor scored a double with a second race win in the Radials, followed by Sean Craig, Conor Gorman, Adam Leddy and Owen Laverty, the latter taking the Frostbite Mug.

DMYC Frostbites: Series 2; 12th January 2020

PY Fleet; Race 1.

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (FB), Shane McCarthy (Solo), Peter & Stephen Boyle (GP14), Saran Byrne & crew (RS200), Daniel & Harry Thompson (FB).

PY Fleet; Race 2.

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram, Daniel & Harry Thompson, Sean & Conor Cleary (RS 400), Peter & Stephen Boyle, Patrick Hassett (2.4).

Standard Lasers; Race 1

Chris Arrowsmith, Alan Hodgins, David Field.

Standard Lasers; Race 2

Alan Hodgins, David Field, Chris Arrowsmith.

Laser 4.7s; Race 1

Rian Geraghty-McDonnell, Christian Ennis, Hugh Turvey, Archie Daly.

Laser 4.7s; Race 2

Christian Ennis, Eimear Farrell, Archie Daly.

Laser Radials; Race 1

Hugh O’Connor, Conor Gorman, Sean Craig, Judy O’Beirne, Shirley Gilmore.

Laser Radials; Race 2

Hugh O’Connor, Sean Craig, Conor Gorman, Adam Leddy, Owen Laverty.

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Series 1 of the DMYC-hosted Frostbites closed with a marathon race, in relative terms, yesterday with a modest turnout of 44 boats, a wind that fluctuated between 170 and 180º with a high of just over 10 knots and some sunshine, though there was a distinct coolness in the air. Indeed, there was a light covering of white on the hills behind Dun Laoghaire.

The PY fleet had the best turnout of the day with nineteen boats - Fireballs, Wayfarers, RS200s, Aero 7s, Laser Vagos, an RS400 and the Solo of Shane McCarthy. This fleet got off to an almost clean start with only one OCS, a Fireball that didn’t come back, though another Fireball DID come back. Initially, the fleet went left on their way to a weather mark that was located just to the west of the HSS gantry, making the beat one of the shorter legs across the harbour. The first four or five boats around the weather mark were all Fireballs, not quite bow to transom but close enough! Of these, the last in the group was Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) who had returned to the start in response to the flying of the individual recall even though they weren’t the transgressors. In contrast to everyone else they took to the right-hand side of the beat and were only just off the leaders at the first mark.

Noel ButlerStephen Oram & Noel Butler (Fireball) – Series 1 PY Fleet Winners (Overall) Photo: Frank Miller/Irish Fireball Class

Having had the top reach “sail-tested” by a Fireball before the start, the wind “played ball” in keeping it a challenging “three-sailer” and the Fireballs, in particular, seemed to enjoy stretching themselves with the crews on the trapeze. Inevitably, Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061) were first to show, but the chasing bunch was close behind them – Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (15016), Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706), Josh Porter & Cara McDowell (14695) and Frank Miller & Ed Butler (14713). McKenna and Court had their own race within a race all the way round the five-lap Olympic configuration course and at the finish, they were overlapped with McKenna getting the result by one second. Butler & Oram simply sailed away from the rest of the fleet and were never troubled on the water.

"The PY fleet had the best turnout of the day with nineteen boats"

On corrected time, however, it was a different story. Despite being 1:32 ahead of the 2nd and third-placed Fireballs on the water and 7:28 ahead of the Solo, Butler & Oram were relegated to third place on corrected time behind the Solo and the 2nd Aero 7, sailed by a Frostbite debutant. There were only 45 seconds between 1st and 3rd on corrected time.

Brendan Foley Aero 7Brendan Foley (Aero 7) – PY Fleet Series 1 Overall – 2nd Place.Photo: Frank Miller/Irish Fireball Class

Yet again the two Wayfarers had a great race between themselves. Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy (Greystones) ultimately won out but not by a huge margin and indeed their class competition, David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (National Yacht Club and Flying Fifteens) led them at different stages within the race and at one stage gave up a lead due to a mix-up of the lap they were on! Their performance was significantly enhanced by a fresher set of sails – brand new, but never used from at least fifteen years ago – saved from an ignominious landfill fate!

Monica LeeMiriam McCarthy (L) and Monica Schaeffer (Greystones) – winners of the Best Dressed Boat. Photo: Frank Miller/Irish Fireball Class

The Standard Lasers and 4.7s had a small turnout of four and three boats respectively. In the larger rigs, the finishing order was Marc Coakley, John Marmelstein, Hal Fitzgerald and Conor O’Leary, the latter helming by way of a rope tied to his tiller when his tiller extension broke off. In the 4.7s, the finishing order was Rian Geraghty-McDonnell, Evan Dargan-Hayes and Jacques Murphy.

Eighteen Radials contested the last day of Series 1 where Sean Craig continues to represent the more mature Laser sailor with aplomb in a fleet of much younger competitors. Yet again, he was pipped at the post by the much younger Conor Gorman with Alana Coakley flying the flag for the girls in 3rd place, ahead of Adam Leddy and Haemish Munro.

Conor GormanConor Gorman – Laser Radials, Series 1 Winner (Overall) Photo: Frank Miller/Irish Fireball Class

The weather forecast was suggesting a much more robust day on the water than actually materialised, with winds of the order of 14 knots, gusting to the low twenties predicted as late as Saturday night/early Sunday morning. This didn’t materialise and the decision to have a single long race was prompted by the fact that an early prize-giving was deemed to be the order of the day!

As to be expected with the completion of the Series a larger than normal crowd congregated at the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club for the prize-giving, where in addition to the racing prizes, a number of bottles of whiskey were raffled off, courtesy of Ian and Judith Malcolm who are very involved in Howth’s hosting of the Fireball Worlds in August 2020. There was a raffle for the volunteers and a raffle for the Fireball competitors on the day. DMYC’s Vice Commodore, Frostbites Coordinator and Fireball Sailor, Neil Colin, officiated at the prize-giving where daily Frostbite Mugs and Series 1 prizes (calendars) were awarded.

Josh Porter Newtownards SC Cara McDowell DL Josh Porter (Newtownards SC) & Cara McDowell (DL) win the Fireball competitors’ raffle Photo: Frank Miller/Irish Fireball Class

Yet again, the subject of going through the finish line with the blue flag flying was a topic of conversation in the clubhouse port-mortems – the ruling is that when the blue flag is flying you may not cross the finish line unless you are finishing. Policing of the rule is down to the competitors.

Frostbites; Day 6.

PY Fleet
1. Shane McCarthy (Solo)
2. A. N. Other (Aero 7)
3. Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (Fireball)
4. Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (Fireball)
5. Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (Fireball).

Standard Laser
1. Marc Coakley
2. John Marmelstein
3. Hal Fitzgerald
4. Conor O’Leary

Laser 4.7
1. Rian Geraghty-McDonnell
2. Evan Dargan-Hayes
3. Jacques Murphy

Laser Radials
1. Conor Gorman
2. Sean Craig
3. Alan Coakley
4. Adam Leddy
5. Haemish Munro

2019 – 2020 Frostbites Series 1 Overall

PY Fleet
1. Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (Fireball) 17pts
2. Brendan Foley (Aero 7) 40pts
3. Sarah Byrne & Crew (RS 200) 49pts
4. Jemima Owens & Henry Start (RS 200) 56pts
5. Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy (Wayfarer) 58pts.

Standard Laser
1. Chris Arrowsmith 26pts
2. John Marmelstein 26pts
3. Alan Hodgins 28pts
4. Marc Coakley 30pts
5. Conor O’Leary 48pts

Laser 4.7
1. Rian Geraghty-McDonnell 9pts
2. Jacques Murphy 25pts
3. Evan Dargan-Hayes 30pts
4. Kitty Flanagan 31pts
5. Eimear Farrell 42pts

Laser Radials
1. Conor Gorman 13pts
2. Sean Craig 29pts
3. Adam Walsh 35pts
4. Alan Coakley 59pts
5. Adam Leddy 60pts.

As this is the last Frostbite Report for 2019, I close by wishing you all a Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year! See you on January 5th!

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A misty, almost windless start to the day left frostbiters wondering if they would get afloat all at the DMYC Dinghy Frostbites. Earlier DBSC Turkey Shoot Keelboat racing was cancelled on Sunday morning with north-westerly zephyrs peaking at two knots. However, by about 12.30 the ghostly air had started to swing in the forecast direction so dinghy racers gathered at the waterfront clubs and optimistically pulled off covers and prepared their boats in almost zero wind. Their positivity was rewarded as the air settled into the predicted southeasterly and reached five or six knots. So it was that racing got away with only the slightest delay.

The mixed PY fleet included nine of the eleven Fireballs entered in the series, along with an assortment of Wayfarers, RS 400s, 200s and single-handers. The start line was frankly messy with a favoured pin end and anyone who got away cleanly counted their blessings!

Amongst those were Fireballers Neil Colin and Alistair Court who led the mixed fleet most of the way around the course. Ultimately Neil Colin sailing with John McAree prevailed on the water but on handicap Monica Schaefer won the Windward-Leeward race in the light airs by impressively steady and fast sailing in patchy conditions.

"Special mention for the volunteer race team for getting two races under the belt in challenging conditions"

For race two the pin end bias on the start line was even more pronounced and again the trick was to get off the line in good shape, with an individual recall flag flying to nag those with a guilty conscience. In this race, Newtownards sailor and heroic commuter Josh Porter crewed by Cara McDowell got clean away and led around the course. Followed by series leaders Noel Butler/Stephen Oram they held their lead to the finish. Again in the light airs, they were denied the mug which went to Des Fortune in his Finn who maintained a steady, fast and trouble-free path around the windward-leeward course.

Amongst the three laser fleet divisions the races were won in race one by John Marmelstein, Conor Gorman and Rian Geraghty McDonnell; and in race two by Vasily Shamkov, Hugh O'Connor and Rian Geraghty McDonnell.

Special mention for the volunteer race team led by PRO Ben Mulligan for getting two races under the belt in challenging conditions. The popular series continues until the end of March. Entries at present remain open with more sailors welcome to join the fray.

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There has been an early by the DMYC call to scrub Sunday afternoon's dinghy Frostbite racing in Dun Laoghaire to give sailors a chance to make alternative arrangements, "like cheer on the men in green", says series organiser Neil Colin.

There will be no racing next week either on St Patricks Day, leaving two further Sundays to complete the 2019 Frostbite Series.

Overall results to date are here.

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After two successive Sundays were lost to the vagaries of the weather, with 6th January lost to no wind at all and 13th January abandoned on the Saturday due to a pessimistic forecast of 30-knot gusts for the Sunday, the DMYC Dun Laoghaire Frostbites finally got underway yesterday with three races inside the harbour.

An XC Weather forecast of 15 – 17 knots with gusts in the low twenties from a direction just west of north suggested that sailing would be possible and so it proved. There was a healthy turnout for all three starts and even though the temperature was only around 6/7⁰ there was no sense of ”shock and horror” when the Race Officer, Cormac Bradley, suggested that a three-race programme might be possible.

A two-lap triangular course was set for the first offering of the day, with the committee boat anchored in front of the Royal St George Yacht Club and the weather mark inside the end of the West Pier and just to leeward of the green INSS raft. The gybe mark was set just outside the fairway entrance to the marina.

While the pin end of the line had been set in accordance with what was a pretty steady wind direction of 330⁰, at least from the committee boat’s perspective, that end was hotly favoured in the first two races and this led to a number of individual recalls in the first two races and a general recall for the Laser and 4.7 combined start.

When the Frostbites Co-ordinator pointed out that crossing the line on starboard was a challenge and that was followed up by a robust accusation of the same thing from a well-known Laser sailor, the pin end had to be dropped back for the final start of the day which made crossing the line that bit easier. Still, it wasn’t all gloom for the Race Officer as another high profile Laser told the Race Team on the water that the courses were great and that he had really enjoyed them. Further commendation came in this morning (Monday) with a very gratifying What’sApp message from the Laser fraternity via the Frostbites Co-coordinator.

Races 2 and 3 were two-lap Windward-Leeward courses and such was the consistency of the wind direction that the only change to the course was the lifting of the gybe mark to form the second half of the leeward gate. In all the three races took just about an hour and forty minutes from the first sound signal of the day to just after the last finisher of Race 3 as noted by a casual glance at my watch. Some people may have felt that the day’s proceedings compromised their ability to watch the last group game of the Champions Cup rugby in which there would have been a very significant local interest, but in truth the ”home” team of the Frostbiters was already qualified with a home game in the quarterfinals and their opposition would only be confirmed on completion of the game. So, to the competitor who made a jovial suggestion as to my rugby affiliation on the water – you were wrong, my team will meet yours in the quarter-final.

dmyc frostbite7Mary Chambers, Mug winner Race 3, Laser 4.7 with Frostbite Coordinator Neil Colin. Photo: Frank Miller

With this being the ”first day back” some people were ring-rusty and admitted to sailing a triangle-sausage when triangles only were signalled in Race 1, others were seen to go through the finish line when the blue flag was up, others were observed omitting the offset mark at the windward mark, and some admitted to this misdemeanour, and others went around the outside of the leeward gate rather than through the gate. The biggest start line fault is crossing the line in the last minutes which requires the competitor to sail back behind the line by going round one of the ends, as signalled by the flying ogf the ”I” flag for all starts. All competitors should be vigilant about the correct course being sailed and the sailing instructions being observed.

DMYC frostbites 3Margaret Casey & Neil Colin (Fireball), Mug Winners PY Class Race 2 Photo: Frank Miller

In terms of race results, there was a combination of new and old on the water, with Noel Butler and Stephen Oram (Fireball 15061) claiming two race wins. In the middle race they were deemed to be OCS and weren’t able to get back around the pin end as quickly as they might have liked. They still managed a third on the water. That allowed Neil Colin and Margaret Casey (Fireball 14775) and Alistair Court and Gordon Syme (Fireball 14706) to lead a healthy turnout of Fireballs around the course. Colin & Casey were in the ”pound seats” until a snagged spinnaker halyard blighted their last drop allowing Court & Syme a comfortable race win. Sean Craig picked up two race wins and a second in the Laser Radials, while Gavan Murphy in the Laser Full Rig picked up a 1,2, 6. A new name in the Laser Full Rig was George Kingston who took a race win as did another new name, Peter Fagan. The Gorman siblings, Conor and Claire, took two of the 4.7 class wins with the third race going to Hugh O’Connor.

DMYC frostbites2Katie Flanagan, a winner in the Laser 4.7s from December Photo: Frank Miller

On handicap, in the PY Class there were two race wins for Morgan Lyttle & Patrick White in a 420, the first time we have had a 420 in the Frostbites for quite some time and Shane McCarthy in the Solo took a customary win. This meant an unusual ”shut-out” for the Fireball of Butler & Oram from the top of the podium.

Mug winners for the day were;

Race 1: Morgan Lyttle & Patrick White (420), George Kingston (Laser Full Rig), Adam Leddy (Laser Radial), Emily Riordan (Laser 4.7).

Race 2: Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (Fireball), Peter Fagan (Laser Full Rig), Jack Hall (Laser Radial), Pepe de Sintas (Laser 4.7)

Race 3: Josh Porter & Katie Kane (Fireball), Brian Hall (Laser Full Rig), Michael McCormack (Laser Radial), Mary Chambers (Laser 4.7).

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Due to the pessimistic forecast, a decision to abandon yesterday's racing was taken early at the DMYC Frostbite Series at Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay. It's the second week in a row lack of wind has halted the series after the Christmas break. 

A fleet of over 70 dinghies are contesting the long-running series

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With howling gales on Saturday, courtesy of Storm Deirdre, the weather forecast for today was a lot more benign with a base wind of 9 knots with gusts up to 15 knots from a WSW direction. Or at least that’s what XCWeather was saying during the morning. Arriving at the office to get a piece of work done before racing, the view from the 3rd Floor of my office location suggested that the Tukey Shoot participants were having a good race but there was nothing excessive about the wind. They had a fleet in excess of 50 boats.

With a solitary double points scoring race on the Agenda for today, there was a debate as to whether we should go outside, but with hindsight, staying in was the better call. Race Officer Cormac Bradley and Frostbites co-ordinator Neil Colin decided that a long race would fit the bill and we would stick with triangles. Thus a five-lap course was set with the weather mark initially set about two hundred metres west of the former HSS berth. By 13:40 the full course was set and while there was some fluctuation in the breeze, the location of the weather mark held true for quite a while. A well-known Laser Radial sailor advised me that he could almost fetch the mark on port tack and no sooner had that been acknowledged that a substantial shift to the left happened. This, in turn, prompted a call to the mark layer to drag the weather mark eastwards.

Three clean starts were managed today but there were OCSs in the PY fleet, with one of the Kona Windsurfers called back and at least one Fireball going back with him. Somehow or other the K1 (Tom Murphy, NYC) sneaked a star that neither the recorders nor the RO saw and he was not amused to find himself recorded as an OCS at the clubhouse afterwards.

While the race sequences had started in about 9 knots of breeze, it became apparent that the wind was fading rather than strengthening and there was certainly no sign of the 15 knots that had been promised. The RS Aero was well up the pecking order at the first weather mark in the company of two Fireballs – Noel Butler and Stephen Oram (15061) and the ladies, Cariosa Power & Marie Barry (14854), who after the racing told me of their position at the first weather mark. The tendency to flick left made the first reach tighter than originally intended and Messrs Butler & Oram didn’t gybe at Mark 2 but sailed on for quite some distance before adjusting course to get to Mark 3. Behind these two the remaining Fireballs were in close proximity to each other. Power & Barry had a systems failure with putting up and taking down their spinnaker and while it cost them places and distance on the water, and one imagine huge frustration, it was not the sort of day where it could have been much more catastrophic! The Aero stuck with the Fireballs for the first lap but then more of them caught and passed him. Butler and Oram were racing against the clock, with Shane McCarthy being their principal opposition on the water for the overall Series 1 lead. They “streaked away”, figuratively, not physically, from their own fleet and took a 16:14 winning margin over McCarthy into the results machinations, which converted into a 7:25 win. The next three Fireballs were overlapped on the finish line and in a very tight call the Thompson brothers, Daniel & Harry (1500) got the nod ahead of Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691) who sneaked in ahead of Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775).

frostbite 2Noel Butler (L) and Stephen Oram – 2nd Overall, Series 1, PY Fleet Photo Frank Miller.

By this stage, the wind was down to a measly 3 knots so with Butler & Oram having such a big lead on the water a belated decision was taken to relocate the finish boat at the weather mark. We made it just before the Fireball pair!! At least it meant that the fleet had a much shorter sail home in wind that was rapidly disappearing.

Chris arrowsmithChris Arrowsmith – Winner Standard Lasers, Series 1 Photo Frank Miller

I am not sufficiently familiar with enough of the Laser fleets to know “Who’s who” so a blow by blow account is not as forthcoming. However, Adam Walsh did lead the 4.7 fleet from start to finish as did Chris Arrowsmith in the Standard Rig. While in the Radials, I can confirm that the leading three boats throughout the race were Conrad Vandlik, Conor Clancy (ex-Fireball) and Sean Craig.

Given that this was the last Sunday of Series 1 the prize-giving for the Series was held in the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club after racing with snacks and soup provided for our sustenance. Thus the tables that follow will detail the day’s winners, followed by the Series results of the same Class.

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites: 16 December 2018

PY Fleet*


Noel Butler & Stephen Oram

National Yacht Club

FB 15061


Shane McCarthy

Coal Harbour/Greystones Sailing Club

Solo 5-0-


Daniel & Harry Thompson

Wicklow Boating & Tennis Club

FB 1500-


Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe

Royal St. George Yacht Club

FB 14691


Neil Colin & Margaret Casey

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club

FB 14775


*Provisional – subject to the K1 being reinstated.

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites: 16 December 2018;

PY Fleet, Series 1 Overall


Sail No.




Shane McCarthy



Coal Harbour & Greystones Sailing Club



Noel Butler & Stephen Oram



National Yacht Club



Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy



Greystones Sailing Club



Daniel & Harry Thompson



Wicklow Boating & Tennis Club



Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keefe



Royal St George Yacht Club


Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites: 16 December 2018

Standard Lasers


Chris Arrowsmith


Conor O’Leary


Garvan Murphy


(Only three entries today.)

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites: 16 December 2018;

Laser Standard Rig, Series 1 Overall


Chris Arrowsmith



Gary O’Hare



Niall Cowman



Garvan Murphy



Alan Hodgins


Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites: 16 December 2018



Adam Walsh


Conor Gorman


Kitty Flanagan

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites: 16 December 2018;

Laser 4.7s, Series 1 Overall


Alana Coakley



Adam Walsh



Conor Gorman



Hugh O’Connor



Haemish Munro


Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites: 16 December 2018



Conrad Vandlik


Conor Clancy (Mug winner)


Sean Craig

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites: 16 December 2018;

Laser Radials, Series 1 Overall


Marco Sorgassi



Conrad Vandlik



Sean Craig



Jack Hall



Shirley Gilmore



Frostbites Co-ordinator Neil Colin MC-ed the prize-giving and in addition to the 1-2-3 overall prizes in each fleet, there was recognition for the Laser Radials and 4.7s who have managed to swell the numbers of entrants to the Frostbites to over 100 boats this year. The “junior” Laser sailors were invited to take a small token prize from the “top table” to acknowledge their participation.

frostbites 3Marco Sorgassi – Winner Laser Radials, Series 1 Photo Frank Miller

Given the onset on the festive season, there was also a prize today for “Best-dressed boat”. Two of the Junior Lasers were given special mention by way of using festive bows and suitably coloured tinsel, but the easy winner of the “concours d’elegance” in a festive theme was the Wayfarer of Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy.

dMYC volunteerLiam O’Brien, Volunteer winner of the Tyrconnell Whiskey Photo Frank Miller

The Fireball Worlds in 2020 are coming to Howth Yacht Club and part of the sponsorship package for the event involves Tyrconnell Whiskey. A donation of three bottles of this gold elixir was made by Judith Malcolm and her husband for a draw with all Fireball crews eligible and a draw for all the volunteers. Marie Barry and Cariosa Power picked up the competitor prize, while the volunteer prize went to Liam O’Brien.

This concludes the Frostbites for 2018. Racing resumes in January, so from this correspondent, “Happy Christmas and a Peaceful & Prosperous New Year”!

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54 Lasers across three divisions, out of 86 overall entries to date has prompted a rethink of starts for tomorrow's first race of the DMYC Frostbite Series in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. An amendment to the Sailing Instructions has been made and it is downloadable below.

The Dun Laoghaire Combined Clubs’ youth training programme is sending as many as eight Radials to this year’s Frostbites, along with a group of 4.7s. It’s being hailed as a positive sign for the class which has long experienced difficulty in persuading parents and coaches to encourage their children to compete in local racing rather than training.

"We contemplated an indicator for boats OCS before the start, but we remind all the One Minute Rule, operates on all starts" organiser Neil Colin told

Entries for the series remain open and sailors can join the fun whenever they like, Colin says.

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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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