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Leslie Parnell's Beneteau First 34.7 'Black Velvet' is the 2019 winner of a shortened DMYC Kish Race on Dublin Bay today, the “last major” in the Bay summer season.

Second was the National Yacht Club J109 Jalapeno (William Despard) with Greystones Champion Eleuthera, a Grand Soleil 44, skippered by Frank Whelan in third.

As Afloat reported earlier, Handicapping was based on ECHO Standard, giving those with revised ECHOs a good chance at the prizes.

Fifty-two boats entered the race this year, and 47 showed up on the start line. Neil Colin, the Race Officer, delayed the start until 1110, to give a few stragglers a chance to get out of the harbour and up to the line.

Jalapeno J109William Despard's J109 Jalapeno was second Photo: Afloat

Eleuthera 2Wicklow visitor Eleuthera was third overall Photo: Afloat

The pin end was favoured by most of the bigger boats, with Aster1x joining in. A flooding tide ensured the start was all clear (by several boat lengths in many cases), and the fleet was away. Well, most of it was away; the last boat cleared the line at 1140 – the flooding tide and a falling wind close to the land was the undoing of several competitors. Those who favoured the pin end, despite a stronger tide, benefited from more of the wind that was sweeping over the Muglins and Dalkey.

After a bit of rain, the wind filled in again, and reigning champion Eleuthera was first around South Burford (the course was shortened due to a forecasted lack of wind) and back just after 1245. The rest of the fleet came home over the next two hours, with the final boat crossing the line at 1520.

Results for the race are here.

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While last year it was the threat of a gale warning decreased numbers, this year, it is an unfortunate clash with the opening Irish match at the Rugby World Cup. Accordingly, the DMYC has postponed the first gun to 10.55 this Sunday to allow sailors to see the bulk of the game and still have time to enjoy competing in the Annual DMYC Kish Race.

In the event the breeze is not as strong as last year, the organisers may use a shorter course length, to ensure a good duration of a sail, for the last major race of the year, despite the later start time.

The event is designed to attract recreation and cruiser sailors as well as the regular racing community.

The DMYC looks forward to welcoming all sailors to the prize giving and Après Sail after their voyage.

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Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club (DMYC) has published the Notice of Race for the 2019 Edition of its annual Kish Race.

The round Kish and back race will take place on Sunday 22nd with the first gun at10.25 a.m.

Starting at the town's West Pier and racing to the Kish and back, it is a distance of approximately 28 km.

As Afloat reported in 2018, the last race saw Hot Cookie (Sunfast 3600 - John O’Gorman) leading to the Kish Lighthouse some 13.9 km out from Dun Laoghaire. An inside overtake at the mark by the bigger Eleuthera (Frank Whelan) saw them lead all the way to the finish. The reward for Hot Cookie (second on the water) was an overall win, on corrected time.

Race organiser Neil Colin says that 'as this is the “last major” in the Dublin Bay summer season before the lift out or winter racing, the club is looking forward to an enthusiastic entry'.

Handicapping will be based on ECHO Standard, giving those with revised ECHOs a good chance at the prizes.

The Notice of Race and entry can be found here 

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The last Sunday of the 2018/19 DMYC Frostbites coincided with the first day of BST – British (and Irish) Summer Time and the race management team and contestants were treated to a good day on the water to close out the event.

Race Officer Cormac Bradley, having discharged his Mother’s Day responsibilities the evening before in Warrenpoint, travelled down from the north in what looked like favourable conditions, only to find that Frostbites Coordinator Neil Colin was suggesting that what wind we had was dropping rapidly in strength! On getting out to the race area, a host of Lasers were already afloat – seemingly having a Royal St George Yacht Club facilitated coaching session in advance of the days racing proceedings.

At this stage the wind was from due East - 90º putting the weather mark somewhere between the weather station and the Boyd Memorial on the upper level of the East Pier. Bob Hobby was despatched to the area with instructions not to lay immediately as the wind was flicking a bit. Ultimately, it settled, and the weather mark went in closer to the Boyd memorial. Early participants in practice beat were able to report that the beat was fair but there were holes at the upwind end of the leg. The leeward gate was set up just north of the entrance to the marine and the fleet of over 60 boats were set a three-lap Windward-Leeward to get the day’s proceedings underway.

A substantial PY Fleet of 20-boats was dominated by an 11-boat Fireball entry with the regulars being joined by David Turner, sailing with his daughter (14362), the Keegans (Owen and Michael) (14676), the SID Team and the all-girl team of Cariosa Power and Marie Barry (14854) who in the recent heavier Sundays have stayed ashore. Also getting their new boat wet for the first time were Louise McKenna and Hermine O’Keeffe (15116), though they disguised the fact by dressing her in Louise’s former sails (14691). After a couple of weeks’ absence, Shane McCarthy (Solo) was back out again as was the IDRA of Frank Hamilton and Jenny Byrne and the Wayfarer of Monica Shaefer and Miriam McCarthy (11152) had the company of a couple more. The two Kona Windsurfers were also in attendance.

A shorter than usual start line saw boats along its full length with a concentration at the pin. One Fireball was adjudged to be too early, was signalled accordingly but sailed on. In getting the next starts away, I was able to glance upwind and see that the leading Fireballs were tightly clustered after the spreader mark – a good sign that the beat was one-sided. At this stage, Neil Colin and Margaret Casey (14775) were well up but Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061) were in close contact and despite the lighter airs Frank Miller & Ed Butler (14713) were well to the fore. Also having a good session was Louise and Hermine. The favoured approach to the downwind leg was to go to the right-hand side of the downwind leg and leave the gybe in to the gate late.

FB IMG 1554107387236Frostbite volunteers

The Lasers adopted a more direct route and it was great to see the total fleet (of 60-odd boats) spread across the full width of the course. The Laser starts also had a single OCS, neither of which went back but the errant competitor in the Laser start took his silent crossing of the finish line in extremely good humour by admitting that al least it was evidence of his trying to get a great start. The full Laser rigs had a modest entry of 6 boats, but the other Laser number were very healthy.

Reports from the top of the course suggested that the wind was light, and on the committee boat the wind dropped to a low of about 5 knots, but at our end of the course the boats were moving well.

For the second race of the day, adjustment was necessary! At the start of the afternoon the wind had been showing a tendency to flick right, but at the latter stages of the race the suggestion was that it was itching to go left – northwards. In the process of finishing the fleets, the course was re-jigged to set up a four-lap Olympic configuration to accommodate a 30º shift in the wind direction to 60º. This allowed the weather mark to be placed just inside the end of the East Pier, with a top reach across the harbour mouth to a mark that was laid in the approximate location of the blockhouse on the West Pier and a gybe mark that sat in the entrance to the marine. The breeze also increased giving us a steady 10 knots plus for the last race of the series.

Again, OCSs were a feature of the second set of starts with individuals identified but not returning and some admitting afterwards that they had benefitted form being hidden by those identified. From a RO perspective, it was great to see that the verbal warning to unfurl the Black Flag in advance of the key starting signals was acted on by the normally (over) enthusiastic 4.7 Laser fleet, who all kept their noses clean for the last Sunday of the Series.

In the PY fleet, Neil Colin and Margaret Casey stole a march on everyone and enjoyed a start to finish lead on the entire fleet. It was very fitting that they should enjoy this success given the work that Neil has put into the Frostbites and their finishing signal was enhanced by a cheer from the team on the committee boat.

In order to try and speed up the results processing to accommodate the Series prize-giving, the day’s racing had started 30 minutes earlier at 13:30 and the results of the first race were processed on the water by Brian Mulkeen.    

DMYC Frostbites: 31st March Race 1

 

PY Fleet

Full Rig Lasers

Laser 4.7s

Laser Radials

1st

Monica Schaefer & Miriam McCarthy

(Wayfarer)

Peter Fagan

Kitty Flanagan

Moss Simington

2nd

Shane McCarthy

(Solo)

Gavan Murphy

Adam Walsh

Sean Craig

3rd

Sarah Byrne

(RS200)

Conor Kinsella

Conn Murphy

Jack Fahy

4th

Frank Hamilton & Jennifer Byrne

(IDRA 14)

Gary O’Hare

Hugh O’Connor

Conor Clancy

5th

Aidan Geraghty & Bernadette Fox

(Enterprise)

Alan Hodgins

Conor Gorman

Marco Sorgassi

DMYC Frostbites: 31st March Race 2

 

PY Fleet

Full Rig Lasers

Laser 4.7s

Laser Radials

1st

Shane McCarthy

(Solo)

Peter Fagan

Conor Gorman

Sean Craig

2nd

Monica Schaefer & Miriam McCarthy

(Wayfarer)

Alan Hodgins

Hugh O’Connor

Jack Fahy

3rd

Neil Colin & Margaret Casey

(Fireball)

Gary O’Hare

Kitty Flanagan

Clare Gorman

4th

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram

(Fireball)

Conor Kinsella

Adam Walsh

Conor Clancy

5th

Alastair Court & Gordon Syme

(Fireball)

Gavan Murphy

Oisin Hughes

Judy O’Bierne

 

Race day Frostbite Mugs went to Maeve Rafferty (RS 200) and Lucy Nicol in the Laser Radials in Race 1. In Race 2, the PY Frostbite Mug went to Dave Turner & his daughter Deirdre in the Fireball.

And so! Onto the overall prizegiving! The DMYC Clubhouse was well filled for the Series Prizegiving and Frostbites Coordinator, Neil Colin and DMYC Commodore, Frank Guilfoyle welcomed the competitors to the prize-giving. Neil opened the proceedings by thanking all the participants and acknowledging the huge entry for this version of the Frostbites – 115 boats. In particular, he acknowledged the efforts of the Dun Laoghaire Laser Fleet in encouraging the Junior fleets to get involved. This has manifested itself in a very big 4.7 fleet. Frank Guilfoyle said he was delighted to see so many people in the club and assured them that they would be most welcome all year round, not just on the occasion of the Frostbite prize-giving. Neil then went on to highlight some future events in Dublin Bay – the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta – for which early bird entries were about to close – and the Flying Fifteen Worlds scheduled for September under the burgee of the National Yacht Club. He also referenced the Wayfarer Worlds scheduled for Greystones and put no pressure whatsoever on Monica and Miriam by wishing them every success in that event.

Thanks were recorded to the Race Management Team, the RIB drivers and assistants, the Results Team and the DMYC staff and volunteers who provide the food every Sunday. Without these dedicated volunteers, it was stated that the Frostbites simply couldn’t happen. Tokens of appreciation were handed over to all these individuals.  

Neil Colin highlighted the fact that the format of the Frostbites had been subjected to a rigorous review over the past “post season” which had resulted in changes which he felt has benefitted the running of the 2018-19 event. However, he assured the fleet that if more changes were felt to be necessary, he was quite happy to receive a justification for these by text or E-mail or, indeed by general conversation. One thing he intended to change was the number of discards that would be applicable as these had already been exhausted before we got to the end of the scheduled racing.

Series 2 Overall places were announced but prizes were only awarded to those who had not been placed inside the top 1-2-3 in the Frostbites overall, i.e. the combination of Series 1 & 2.

DMYC Frostbites: Series 2 Overall

 

PY Fleet

Full Rig Lasers

Laser 4.7s

Laser Radials

1st

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram

(Fireball)

Peter Fagan

Conor Gorman

Sean Craig

2nd

Shane McCarthy

(Solo)

Chris Arrowsmith

Pepe de Sintas

Marcon Sorgassi

3rd

Monica Schaefer & Miriam McCarthy

(Wayfarer)

Gavan Murphy

Hugh O’Connor

Judy O’Bierne

4th

Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe

(Fireball)

Conor Kinsella

Adam Walsh

Conor Clancy

5th

Frank Miller & Ed Butler

(Fireball)

Conor O’Leary

Kitty Flanagan

Shirley Gilmore

The results for the 2018-19 Frostbites were initially posted and were then subjected to a stewards’ enquiry when it turned out that the start time for the last race of the series had not been properly inserted into the handicap results for the PY fleet. This had the effect of creating a one-point swing in the final overall results.

DMYC Frostbites: 2018-19 Overall Results (Series 1 & 2)

 

PY Fleet

(43 boats)

Full Rig Lasers

(19 boats)

Laser 4.7s

(18 boats)

Laser Radials

(37 boats)

1st

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram

(Fireball)

Chris Arrowsmith

Conor Gorman

Sean Craig

2nd

Shane McCarthy

(Solo)

Gavan Murphy

Adam Walsh

Marcon Sorgassi

3rd

Monica Schaefer & Miriam McCarthy

(Wayfarer)

Gary O’Hare

Hugh O’Connor

Shirley Gilmore

4th

Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe

(Fireball)

Conor O’Leary

Haemish Munro

Judy O’Bierne

5th

Frank Miller & Ed Butler

(Fireball)

Alan Hodgins

Kitty Flanagan

Sean Flanagan

Winners in the four classes complimented the various on-the-water volunteers and the frostbites management team who had contributed to what they believed was one of the best Frostbite Series that they had ever participated in – and there are some individuals with very substantial records of participation. They noted the willingness to change courses, to use different course types on the same day, the speed with which races were reset and the commitment to maximise the opportunity to facilitate racing even when the weather forecast suggested otherwise. Early calls to abandon racing in severe conditions were just as welcome as late calls when the weather was marginal. The support of the families of the younger participants was also acknowledged – the likes of the Gormans, the Fahys, the Flanagans, and others and, in the Fireballs, the Thompsons (editor’s addition) is very welcome and critically important. The point was made that while training in the Bay is essential, race exposure in a series such as the Frostbites is equally valuable in the development of our young sailors.

The prize-giving the concluded by noting that the 2019/20 Series gets underway on 3rd November 2019.  

FB IMG 1554107396744Miriam McCarthy (L) & Monica Schaefer

FB IMG 1554107396744Conor Gorman

FB IMG 1554107396744Adam Walsh

FB IMG 1554107396744Sean Craig

FB IMG 1554107396744Marco Sorgassi

FB IMG 1554107396744Shirley Gilmore

FB IMG 1554107396744Pepe de Sintas

FB IMG 1554107396744Frank Guilfoyle & Cormac Bradley

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Despite a forecast that suggested 15 - 19knots for today's DMYC Frostbites on Dublin Bay, the live wind situation has a bit more "oomph" to it with gusts in excess of thirty knots being recorded at Dublin Bay Buoy. As this is being typed, the wind is whistling through the rigging of the boats on the hard.

Next Sunday sees the conclusion of the Frostbites with two races programmed and a 13:30 start to accommodate the earlier processing of results.

The Series 2 and Overall prizegiving will follow racing next Sunday.

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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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Last week’s DMYC Dinghy Frostbite report opened with a few lines from Keats’ “Ode to Autumn” so the weather gods may have been amused by that because yesterday, after racing was completed it started snowing writes Cormac Bradley. We know that Winter follows Autumn, but it is slightly at odds with the time of year – early March!

The wind forecast suggested that while the morning would be quiet there would be a healthy wind for the 14:00 start of proceedings and that as the afternoon wore on the wind would build. Rain was also in the forecast, but it was not due to arrive until later. By 12:00 the rain was with us and the wind was building, and Frostbites Co-ordinator Neil Colin advised that his car thermometer was only reading 4º on his way to the club. On that basis, and given the forecast, the Race Officer’s plans for two races were changed in favour of a single race afternoon.  

"A phone call to the club asking if racing was going ahead served as a tell-tale sign that not everyone was convinced..."

A phone call to the club asking if racing was going ahead served as a tell-tale sign that not everyone was convinced that racing would go ahead.

Forty-seven entries were recorded across the four fleets with the Fireballs achieving a series high entry of ten boats on the water. The wind direction across the harbour wasn’t as favourable as the previous Sunday, but a reasonable length of beat was achieved with the committee boat just west of the HSS gantry and the weather mark off the weather station on the upper level of the East Pier but outside the lee of the wall as the wind had a dominant direction of 60º - ENE. That left the gybe mark about 60 – 70m inside the end of the West Pier and a similar distance in from the wall and a leeward mark just off the entrance to the marina.

A pre-race check of the course by a volunteer Fireball crew allowed for some tweaking of the gybe mark position though a missing spinnaker pole didn’t allow them to sample the top reach under three sails.

The preferred start was to go to the left-hand side of the course on starboard tack and then work up that side of the course. At the top mark, the Fireball of Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061) took a lead that was never challenged. The wind was already starting to flick left so this made the top reach a challenge for the spinnakers and several the Fireballs either stalled on their hoist or found themselves sailing at a very steep angle in the process of getting the kite set. One of these, from a distance, appeared to be Phil Lawton & Owen Laverty (14990). The Fireball racing behind Butler & Oram was competitive with a number of boats sailing the course in very close company – Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706) sailed the entire race without a spinnaker and still managed to be the fourth Fireball home and the Thompson brothers, Daniel & Harry (1500X), managed to fly spinnaker across the top reach of the second triangle of the four lap Olympic course, when others chose not to. It was a bit hairy getting to the gybe mark, but they were ultimately rewarded with the second Fireball across the finish line position. The two all-lady combinations Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691) and Cariosa Power & Marie Barry (14854) also enjoyed positions well up the pecking order and indeed the former combination rounded the first leeward mark in second position.  The latter combination had a very difficult session on the water the previous Sunday; so, it was good to seem them up and running for the entire race today. The perfect sequence of Fireball finishers was interrupted in handicap terms by the 420 of Morgan Lyttle and Patrick Whyte who finished in second place on corrected time. 

In the full-rig Laser fleet of nine boats, the running order was bit different than usual. Kenny Rumball was the boat to chase for a large part of the course and the normal “rabbit”, Peter Fagan was further down the pecking order, certainly at the finish at least. DL Class Captain, Gavan Murphy, was also having a better day and another to the fore was Gary O’Hare.

The full rigs were joined by only three 4.7s but it was the leading protagonists who were on the water – Conor Gorman, Adam Walsh and Haemish Munro who finished in that order.

Thirteen Laser Radials enjoyed good racing and while Sean Craig seemed to lead for the vast majority of the race, the chasing pack were never too far behind. Marco Sorgassi and Conor Clancy best took up the challenge of chasing Craig, followed by Sean Flanagan, while two ladies, Judy O’Bierne and Shirley Gilmore made sure that everyone ahead of them was kept on their toes. Craig must really have enjoyed the conditions as he was still sailing practice beats and runs after his competitors had gone home!

In advance of the start, boats were advised that there would only be a single race, and nobody had an objection to that prospect at that stage. Again, there were no objections when the blue flag at the finish was flying in tandem with the “A” flag to indicate that the day’s proceedings were concluded. 

DMYC Frostbites: Sunday 3rd March: PY Fleet

Elapsed

Time

Corrected

Time

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram

Fireball 15061

27:36

28:58

Morgan Lyttle & Patrick Whyte

420

55807

32:17

29:03

Daniel & Harry Thompson

Fireball 1500X

29:32

30:59

Phil Lawton & Owen Laverty

Fireball 14990

29:46

31:14

Alistair Court & Gordon Syme

Fireball 14706

29:49

31:17

DMYC Frostbites: Sunday 3rd March: Laser Fleets

Laser Class

1

2

3

4

5

Laser Full Rig.

Kenny Rumball

Ian Simington

Gary O’Hare

Gavan Murphy

Peter Fagan

4.7s

Conor Gorman

Adam Walsh

Haemish Munro

   

Radials

Sean Craig

Marco Sorgassi

Conor Clancy

Sean Flanagan

Judy O’Bierne

In terms of the Frostbite Mugs, the PY award went to Patrick Hassett in his 2.4m, while in the Laser Radials, the host club’s Dave Coleman picked up the award. After the day’s prize-giving and with the day’s post-mortem well underway, the snow started falling!

Frostbiters are reminded that there will be no sailing on 17th March and the series will conclude with a single race on March 31st.

Special mention should be made of today’s volunteers who were a bit short-handed, but still manged to get the course set up and rendered assistance when required – Bob & Michael (weather mark), Gerry (gybe mark), Brian (leeward mark) with an assistant, Declan (pin-end), Frank, Trish, Avril & Brian (committee boat, driver & recorders) and Kevin (results).  

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Sunday, February 24th was more akin to the opening lines of John Keats’ “Ode to Autumn”

“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,

Close bosom friend of the maturing sun,

Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit, the vines that round the thatched eaves run”

for even though there was a healthy breeze forecast, Dun Laoghaire Harbour was shrouded in mist. Nor was the temperature in compliance with the forecast – a spring-like 12/13º but there was a distinct autumnal coolness in the air.

Despite these atmospheric setbacks, the good news was that the wind was blowing from a direction, 150-160º, that allowed us to use the maximum width (East – West) of the harbour. We debated the menu for the day before going out – three races were deemed unlikely given the air temperature, but two races could certainly be had and given that there was a rugby match of some significance taking place, a prompt return to shore would be well received!

Two races were completed – the first was a three-lap Olympic configuration with a wind that started in the mid-teens’ knots-wise, built to 19knots and then started to fade away getting down to just over 2knots before the race was finished. The weather mark was off the bandstand on the East Pier with the gybe mark in the approximate vicinity of the end of the East Pier, but about 60-70m off the wall. The leeward mark was near the green INSS raft, off the Block House on the West Pier.

There was a good turn-out of boats, in excess of fifty, and the Fireballs, in particular, had an excellent turnout of 8 boats and that was with one regular missing! Also making a welcome return was the IDRA of Frank Hamilton and the Enterprise of Aidan Geraghty and Bernadette Fox. The two Kona Windsurfers were also in attendance, no doubt attracted by the forecast of brisk breezes.

The PY Class had eighteen boats and off the first start-line all but one got away cleanly, Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (FB 15061) were OCS on the committee boat end but came back immediately and got to the first weather mark just behind the leaders – Phil Lawton & Owen Laverty (FB 14990) and Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (FB 14706), but most of the Fireballs were in close company at this stage. One or two fell foul of a gust that came in halfway up the opening beat. The top reach had been checked out before the race and had stayed true to the designs of the Race Officer – a “spinnaker-able reach”. By the gybe mark, Butler & Oram had taken over the lead which they would hold all the way to the finish, winning by a margin of 2:09 over the Thompson Brothers, Daniel & Harry, sailing Louis Smyth’s loaned boat 15007 and Lawton & Laverty. In handicap terms Shane McCarthy was down in 6th place, a victim of the lighter winds of the latter half of the race.

In the Laser Classes, there was also a good turnout of numbers. The ever-consistent Peter Fagan took the win in the full rigs, followed home by Chris Arrowsmith and Gary O’Hare. In contrast to the PY Class, where spinnakers and different rigs make it easier to identify boats, I am lost with the Lasers, so apologies for the lack of a blow-by-blow account.

In the Radial fleet, the first win of the day went to Sean Craig, followed home by Marco Sorgassi and Shirley Gilmore. Judy O’Bierne came home 4th. In the 4.7s, the youngsters were again to the fore with a 1-2-3 of Conor Gorman, Adam Walsh and Evan Dorgan Hayes.

As the breeze died so it also changed direction, initially quite a bit to the north, before coming back again. However, it meant that the course had to be re-jigged with the committee boat moving from the outer edge of the harbour to the entrance to the marina. This necessitated the weather mark being moved northwards as well, so that the axis of the weather leg was from the entrance to the marina to just north of the Boyd Memorial on the upper level of the East Pier. Given that the temperature hadn’t risen and with at least one crew complaining of being frozen, a quickly re-jigged course saw an even quicker warning signal for the first start of the second race. The breeze got up a bit again and the PY fleet had good breeze for their race with the lead boats arriving at the leeward mark and start for the Radials, with the first Laser start, Full Rigs and 4.7s, having prompted the flying of the “General Recall” at their first attempt. Messrs Butler and Lawton negotiated the hazard with varying degrees of success! The Radials got away cleanly at their first attempt, but the full rigs and the 4.7s also “botched” their second attempt at a start and racing was abandoned for them. Interestingly, there were no vociferous objections on the water to being sent home early. The “charge” to the line was led, on both occasions, by one of the younger 4.7s who with more than a minute to go to the start was positioned within an arm’s length of the transom of the committee boat. His skill in staying there was commendable but it left him very little “wriggle-room” to negotiate staying on the right side of the start line in the last minute – especially with a Black Flag start. Once he went, the fleet followed, and the pin end of the start line disappeared in multiple blankets of white sails.

The breeze stayed up for the duration of the second race and the leading Fireballs had a good “dice”, arriving at the leeward mark for the second and last time very close. I thought the approach of Phil Lawton was slightly incongruous, coming from what I thought was the wrong side of the committee boat, whereas Noel Butler was on the “right” side. In the very short hitch to the finish, Lawton was compromised by a Laser, allowing Butler to get over the line first. It then transpired that Lawton had sailed a sausage rather than a second triangle which explained his odd approach to the leeward mark, so he duly retired.

In overall terms, Butler & Oram took the win on handicap by the very tight margin of 4 seconds over Shane McCarthy’s Solo with the Aero of Paul Phelan, third, 9 seconds adrift of McCarthy. This was enough to give Paul the Frostbite Mug for Race 2.

In the Radials, Sean Craig scored a double, winning Race 2 to go with Race 1, followed home by Marco Sorgassi and Conor Clancy.

Mug winners on the day were Dave Dwyer for the Radial’s first race of the day and Aidan Geraghty and Bernadette Fox in the Enterprise for the PY’s first race. In the second race for the Radials, Hal Fitzgerald took the Frostbite Mug.

“Frostbiters” are again reminded that when the blue flag is flying to indicate that the committee boat is on station for a finish, you may NOT sail through the finish line.

Frostbite Co-ordinator, Neil Colin also advised the prize-giving attendees that there will be no sailing on the 17th March, St Patrick’s Day.

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From the previous Friday morning, the XCWeather website had been consistent in its forecast for Sunday afternoon at 14:00, winds of the order of 17/18 knots with gusts to 28/30 knots from a direction of south or south of south-west. And so, it was! Given the forecast and bearing in mind that very little DMYC “frostbiting” has been had this year, there was an awareness that we should try and get at least one race in and that sense was manifested when the Frostbite Co-ordinator, Neil Colin shared the exact same sentiment by What’sApp on Saturday afternoon.

An early trip down to the harbour and the East Pier suggested that the water inside the harbour was quite flat, as you would expect with a southerly orientated wind and the sense that racing might be possible grew when I saw the Toppers out in training mode – a small group admittedly. Outside the harbour there was other training going on. Next monitor to check – the wind readings from the Dublin Bay Buoy. These were starting to show that the base wind was dropping off marginally, but the gusts were still in the mid to high twenties. The Spring Chicken fleet (keelboats) were enjoying a robust sail in the bay and indeed a Flying Fifteen was racing with them and didn’t seem too distressed ………. from a distance.

The final physical check to see if racing could be possible was a trip out to the main body of the harbour with Neil Colin and DMYC Commodore Frank Guilfoyle, after which the decision was made that we would try to get at least one windward-leeward in and assess the situation with respect to a second.
ddventure forth, 7 in the PY Class, 7 full-rig Lasers, 11 4.7s and 9 Radials enjoyed two Windward – Leeward courses of 3 laps and 2 laps respectively and all boats were ashore by 15:15 which was a specific consideration given that the forecast was for the wind to build later in the afternoon.

The committee boat set up inside the end of the West Pier with a weather mark about 150m East of the entrance to the marina. The wind direction outside of the gusts was reasonably consistent with a mean direction of 210⁰, but the gusts were a law onto themselves, introducing big changes in direction according to the competitors. The leeward gate was just off the mouth of the harbour, closer to the end of the West Pier.

The PY fleet was made up of four Fireballs, two Laser Vagos and a RS200 and Noel Butler & Stephen Oram made the gusts conditions look like a walk in the park as they romped home with a three and a half-minute advantage over the second Fireball of Frank Miller & Ed Butler. In fairness, the winning Fireball flew their spinnaker on all three downwind legs which, given the conditions gave them a huge advantage on the water. Josh Porter & Katie Kane took third on the water followed home by the Laser Vago of Sergei Gordienok which was enough to give them the Frostbite Mug. The “pink ladies”, Louise McKenna and Hermine O’Keeffe had an early swim a few hundred meters off the start but righted themselves and still managed to complete the course.
In the second, shorter race, Noel & Stephen’s winning margin was slightly less, and second place went to Miller & Butler, who as they approached the leeward gate for the second time were hit by the biggest recorded gust of the day on the committee boat – 26knots. The leeward gate was approached at a very fast rate of knots! However, they stayed upright to take the second-place finish and were followed home by Tom Murphy in the K1. The second Laser Vago, entered under the name Ciara Charleton took the Frostbite Mug.

In the Laser Full Rig, the second series has seen a competition within a competition develop between Peter Fagan and Kenny Rumball where they have traded blows around the course. In yesterday’s two races they each took the same spot on the finish line, Fagan getting two wins and Rumball two seconds. In the first race of the day, Ian Simington took third place while Dun Laoghaire Laser Class Captain Gavan Murphy took the last podium place in the second race. All the Laser full-rig entries have 2018/19 Frostbite Mugs, so none were awarded to this fleet yesterday.

In the 4.7s, the six podium places across the two races were shared by 4 people – Adam Walsh, Conor Gorman, Pepe de Sintas and Hamish Munro. The “odd-men out” were Messrs Gorman and de Sintas with Gorman scoring a 2,3 and de Sintas a 3,1. Charlie Lydon picked up the Frostbite Mug for the first race in the 4.7s and Max Tempany picked it up for the second.

In the Radials the consistent performance of the day came from Sean Craig (again) who picked up two second places. In the first race he was beaten to the line by Marco Sorgassi and in the second he was beaten by the Radial of Conor Clancy which was being sailed by Conor Kinsella, I think. Sean Flanagan took third in the first race and Marco Sorgassi took third in the second race. The second race in the Lasers was also influenced by the same gust which accelerated Miller’s Fireball towards the leeward gate and some place changes resulted as a consequence.

Radial Mugs went to Judy O’Bierne for the first race and to Glen Fisher for the second race.

The races were short due to several factors, one of which was the fact that the forecast was for the wind to build later in the afternoon. Sitting inside the DMYC clubhouse after prize-giving it didn’t seem that the heavier weather had materialised until the wind conditions at Dublin Bay Buoy at around 17:00 suggested that it was blowing twenty-five gusting thirty-five knots in the bay. In terms of the decision to race, the conditions inside the harbour were going to be challenging due to the gusts, but the decision to race was taken only after a number of considerations were debated, and after we had gone out to the race area to assess the wind situation.

Special mention should be made of the volunteers who man the committee boat and rescue boats for these Frostbite Sundays. They are a very dedicated and reliable team who turn up every Sunday so that racing can take place. In addition to laying marks for the course, they then double up as rescue and when the occasion demands it tow boats home. Without them, on days like yesterday we wouldn’t contemplate racing. Thanks to one and all!

Published in DMYC
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With the Dublin Bay Buoy recording 23 knots gusting to 34 knots seconds ago, the decision to cancel today's DMYC Dinghy Frostbites was vindicated. 

The forecast for the afternoon was for winds in the high teens/low twenties but with gusts in the thirties getting up to the forties by 16:00

Unfortunately, the series has only sailed once so far since Christmas due to weather.

Published in Dublin Bay
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Page 1 of 14

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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