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After the previous Sunday, March 5th, when the course for the first race was suitable for the second race, without adjustment from the first, Mother Nature gave the Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites Race Officer a more difficult time of it this past Sunday when, although wind strength was favourable, the direction was anything but. The forecast had been for 10 – 13 knots slightly west of south as the base wind strength but with gusts in the mid to high twenties. However, on the day, the wind didn’t get above 12 knots, but it was very variable in direction. A southerly in Dun Laoghaire harbour means it is an off-the-shore wind, which moved around quite a bit. From my perspective, the variation was of the order of 30 - 40° either side of where the mark was ultimately laid, but competitors spoke of even bigger shifts than that.

And so, a compromise weather mark was set and, for the starts at least, it didn’t look to be a bad set-up, at least a) it wasn’t a soldier’s course and b) the fleet was spread across the beat. Numbers on the water were modest, no doubt influenced by a significant rugby match with a 3 pm kick-off in Edinburgh, even though the Frostbite Facebook site had advised that there would be a delayed live transmission in the DMYC Clubhouse after racing.

Ciara Mulvey and Peter Murphy (GP 14 11111) lead the Wayfarer into the weather mark, while in the background, Frank Cassidy & John Hudson (FB 14934) still have some work to do at the Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites at Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Ian CutliffeCiara Mulvey and Peter Murphy (GP 14 11111) lead the Wayfarer into the weather mark, while in the background, Frank Cassidy & John Hudson (FB 14934) still have some work to do at the Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites at Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Ian Cutliffe

We had 43 boats on the water with even numbers of PYs and ILCAs, the stalwarts number-wise of the Frostbite fleet. The ILCA 7s have enjoyed an increase in numbers in recent weeks and they mustered seven boats and were joined by two ILCA 4s, a regular and a newcomer, so unfortunately, they didn’t have a scoring race.

An Olympic three-lap course was set for Race 1 with a course that occupied the western two-thirds of the harbour, to accommodate the Leinster Schools Team Racing Event, also sponsored by Viking Marine. The PY fleet, Aeros, Fireballs, Finns, IDRA, GP14, Wayfarer and 2.4m had a General Recall to start with prompted by the Fireballs and the 2.4m and paid the price by going to the end of the queue.

The ILCA 6s showed that they could have a tight start without intimidating the line and got away at the first time of asking. Here there was tight racing at the front of the fleet with Barry McCartin, Conor Clancy and Sean Craig leading the fleet around the course in tightish formation.

The ILCA 7s and 4s had the luxury of a long line and also got away without fuss.

A black flag start was used for the PYs’ second start and two boats fell foul on this mode of start, one rather surprisingly as his default wasn’t actually at the start but in the minute leading up to the start, when there was no “space pressure”.

A flock of single-handers go down the top reach of the second race while an IDRA 14 (right) races upwind at the Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites at Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Ian CutliffeA flock of single-handers go down the top reach of the second race while an IDRA 14 (right) races upwind at the Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites at Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Ian Cutliffe

Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (FB 14775) stole a march on the fleet by going left up the beat and steamed in on the port lay-line, never to be sniffed again in this race. They won hands down on the water, romping home by a 3:16 margin on the next Fireball and by 7:31 on the first Aero. The IDRA of Pierre & Remy Long, Brian Sweeney’s Finn and Stuart Harris, the first Aero, all finished in 30+ minutes compared to Colin’s 26:34 but the sequence above was the handicap result.

Despite a tight arrival to the start area and being behind Clancy and Craig on the first lap, McCartin came through the ILCA 6s to take the win with Craig second and Clancy third. Alison Pigot and Owen Laverty took fourth and fifth respectively.

In the ILCA 7s, Conor Byrne took the win followed by Gary O’Hare, Theo Lyttle, Gavan Murphy and Conor O’Leary.

With approval from the Frostbites Director, a second, short, two triangles course was set for Race 2. The course was tweaked by moving the beat 20m downwind to try and negate the flukiness at the weather mark and moving the leeward mark by the same approximate distance. The wind direction was still variable and strength-wise it was starting to drop. Still, the weather was pleasant and we could all watch, if we chose, a delayed transmission of the proceedings in Edinburgh.

A black flag start was used for all three classes to try and make sure we got business underway promptly and it worked.

In the fading breeze the on the water activity in the PY fleet was led by father and son Paul & Morris ter Horst (FB 14790), who led the first lap quite comfortably. Another boat to do well, despite the conditions, was the second Finn of Des Fortune. At the end of the day, after the number crunching to the tune of “Halsail” the Aeros again dominated proceedings taking the first four places – Roy van Maanen, Noel Butler, Stuart Harris and Sarah Dwyer with Des Fortune’s Finn fifth and the Fireball of Colin & Casey taking sixth.

In the ILCA 7s, Gary O’Hare finished first, followed by Gavan Murphy, Conor O’Leary, Theo Lyttle, Aidan Geraghty and Roy McKay.

In the ILCA 6s, McCartin took the second race to have two bullets on the day and Craig and Clancy swopped places behind him, Clancy beating Craig with Darren Griffin and Sean Flannagan closing out the top five.

Series 2 (with two Sundays to go)!

PY Fleet
1st Noel Butler, Aero 6, 24.5pts
2nd Stephen Oram, Aero 7, 69pts
3rd Sarah Dwyer, Aero 6, 89pts
4th Pierre & Remy Long, IDRA 14, 89pts
5th Stuart Harris, Aero 6, 90pts
6th Frank Miller & Ed Butler, Fireball, 116pts.

1st Gavan Murphy, 63pts
2nd Theo Lyttle, 71pts
3rd Conor Byrne, 75pts
4th Sean Bowden, 82pts
5th Niall Cowman, 92pts.

1st Sean Craig, 33pts
2nd Darren Griffin, 58pts
3rd Conor Clancy, 65pts
4th John O’Driscoll, 116pts
5th David Cahill 134pts.

1st Patrick Foley, 30pts
2nd Zita Tempany, 30pts
3rd Grace Gavin, 35pts
4th Kate Flood, 40pts
5th Sam Legge, 40pts.

At half-time in the rugby, in the DMYC Clubhouse, Frostbite Mugs were awarded to Paul & Morris ter Horst (PY Fleet) and Alison Pigot (ILCA 6).

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To use footballing parlance, yesterday’s Viking Marine-sponsored DMYC Frostbite session was “a game of two halves.” In the first half, we had a blustery race with winds building in the lead-up to the first warning signal, up to 17/18 knots, with a further blast, above 20 knots, coming through just as that signal sounded. These stiffer breezes lasted for the duration of the starting sequence for all three fleets before easing slightly as the race progressed. For the second race, we started at 10 knots and the start sequence was a lot more controlled.

At the conclusion of the day’s proceedings, Brian Sweeney, sailing Finn 1620, had joined an elite group of only three boats that had managed to wrest away a handicap win from the all-conquering Aero fleet. He now joins the two Fireballs who have managed that feat, Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (x 2) and Alastair Court & Gordon Syme. In twenty Frostbite races to date, across Series 1, (6) and Series 2, (14), the Class has only dropped four races.

Sweeney had a good day! In R1 he finished 7th on handicap behind four Aeros, the IDRA of father and son Pierre & Remy Long and the Fireball of Frank Miller & Ed Butler. Given the conditions, this was a good performance, with the Finn not being a particularly easy boat to sail in heavy conditions. Pierre & Remy also sailed well when on considers that Remy is of a modest size. He gives his all when he is out on trapeze but in yesterday’s early conditions, their spinnaker wasn’t quite as prominent. Indeed, even the seasoned Fireballs weren’t able to fly spinnaker along the top reach, one assumes, because of a combination of wind strength and gustiness in the westerly breeze coming off the Dun Laoghaire shore. It was only on the second reach that the coloured sails came out of their bags.

Frank Cassidy has been rolling back the years in the Fireball in this second series, initially sailing with his son and last week sailing with Pat “Cas” Kiersey. This Sunday past, he delved further back into his history by bringing back a regular crew of his own, John Hudson. In the strong stuff of the first race, they were the third Fireball (14934) home, behind Miller & Butler (14915) who won by a comfortable margin on the water, with a recent newcomer to the class, Jack McNaughton, sailing with Michael Keegan in 14676, second home. The Aeros were led home by Noel Butler with Roy Van Maanen second and Stephen Oram third.

An Olympic course was the first course of the day, with a weather mark west of the marina entrance and a gybe mark just short of the HySpeed ferry dolphins. The leeward mark and committee boat were just inside the end of the East Pier. The wind direction wasn’t quite as expected but settled in a westerly direction. From the committee boat the weather mark looked good, but competitors would later report it was very shifty in the final approach to the mark. The blast of breeze saw everyone lining up for an early tack onto port – only Miller &

Butler actually committed to that cause in advance of the start signal. That left the fleet going hard right first, but there was a good spread of boats across the course halfway up the beat.

Having hit a season high of nine boats last week, the ILCA 7s only mustered five boats this week but they enjoyed a “tight bunch” start and for the early part of the 3-lap Olympic course they were in close company. As the race progressed there was a bit of stretch in the fleet, before Conor Byrne led them home followed by Theo Lyttle, Conor O’Leary, Sean Bowden and Gary O’Hare.

After losing a race due to over-enthusiasm in their starting, the ILCA 6s were much more co-operative this week and that saw them rewarded with two races. Again, the “hairy” conditions right at the start saw some “fun and games” but in the immediate aftermath, as things settled down a bit, the regulars appeared at the front of the fleet. Barry McCartin has joined in for Series 2 and he and Sean Craig invariably find themselves in each other’s company on the water. In the first race they were separated by maybe three boat lengths as they came to the attention of the RO on each of the approaches to the leeward mark. Craig held the advantage at the critical stage to take the race win with McCartin second, Darren Griffin third, Stephen Farrell fourth and late Series 2 joiner, Owen Laverty, fifth. Shirley Gilmore finished 6th in the breeze!

No ILCA 4s were in attendance but there were fourteen ILCAs outside the harbour, so maybe that’s where they were.

A number of people suggested that the weather mark could be “tweaked” for the second race, a thought already registered by the RO himself. It was pulled about 100m southwards to sit off the mouth of the marina entrance with the other two marks staying as is. Another three-lap Olympic course was signalled and all three fleets got away first time. By this stage, the wind had dropped to just less that 10knots at start time which meant that the starts were much more controlled. However, while the base wind strength was down, there were still gusts on the water.

In the PY fleet, the race was led from start to finish by “the pink ladies,” Louise McKenna and Hermine O’Keeffe in Fireball 15016, sporting a blue spinnaker – the “pink” reference is in recognition of their pink woollen hats. Miller & Butler (14915) chased them all the way round and looked to have an advantage at the 2nd gybe mark, but the best laid plans of the chasers were partially undone by an ILCA between them and ultimately, the ladies held on to the lead and won by a margin of 13 seconds on the water. The “silent assassin” in this race though was not one of these new light singlehanded skiffs, but rather a stalwart of the Olympic sailing regatta, a class that brought the likes of Paul Elvstrom and Sir Ben Ainslie to the fore – the Finn. Designated as the “heavyweight dinghy class” at the Olympic level to accommodate those too big for what is now known as the ILCA, this boat was sailed best by men who were broad of chest and tall of height. And in yesterday’s second race, in the lightest winds of the day, Brian Sweeney brought his boat home 1 minute and 22 seconds behind the Fireball and 1:41 ahead of the Aero of Noel Butler. That translated into a 26 second advantage over the Aero and 1:20 over the Fireball to claim the handicap win. And the Fireballs were able to fly the spinnaker on all reaches!
Sweeney was followed in handicap terms by a quartet of Aeros; Butler, Sarah Dwyer, Roy Van Maanen and Stuart Harris, with McKenna claiming sixth.

The ILCA 7s kept their racing tight over the first half of the second race before Series 2 leader Conor Byrne brought them home. Gary O’Hare finished second in this race with Theo Lyttle third, Sean Bowden fourth and Conor O’Leary fifth. Conor was enjoying himself so much he was ready to do another lap rather than finish!!

In the ILCA 6s, the first two from the first race again set the pace and watched each other closely. Aside from sail numbers being different, McCartin was wearing red which made it easier to distinguish who was leading – McCartin – but not by much, it was another “cat and mouse” game for these two! Behind them, the order was Darren Griffin, and the two Davids, Cahill and Williams, followed by Hugh Delap.

The total fleet size was forty-seven boats.

Frostbite Mugs would have gone to the PY Fleet and the ILCA 6 fleet yesterday but none of the recipients were there to receive them! Unfortunate guys, you only get two chances to claim your Mugs.

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There are days when it is difficult for competitors, there are days when it is difficult for the Race Officer, and then there are days when it is difficult for everyone! Sunday, 5th February, was one of these latter days!! From mid-week, the weather forecast was favourable, with a consistent prediction of southerly winds of 9/10 knots with a little westerly influence coming in as the afternoon wore on. Temperatures were good as well, in the high single figures. Wind-wise it was in complete contrast to the strong gusty winds of the previous Sunday.

Except that the signs in the inner harbour were not that good – glassy areas of no wind at all and no sign of the bigger boats coming in from their first round of the Spring Chicken Series – maybe I was too late for that.

There was breeze in the outer harbour, but it was blowing from the West, not what had been forecast, and it was varying between 3 and 5 knots, again, not what was forecast. The decision was taken to put in a short Windward – Leeward to get at least one race in in view of the contrast between what was happening on the water and the forecast. On that basis a weather mark was set in the elbow of the west breakwater and the West Pier with a leeward gate set in the vicinity of the obelisk on the upper level of the East Pier. However, as the clock counted down towards the first signal of the day, the wind started moving as well, clocking from a westerly towards the north. In physical terms this meant the weather mark would be just inside the end of the West Pier. A postponement had to be sounded!

The early stage of the DMYC Viking Marine Frostbite race when the marks were performing as they were intended Photo; Ian CutliffeThe early stage of the DMYC Viking Marine Frostbite race when the marks were performing as they were intended Photo; Ian Cutliffe

The rejigged course saw the weather mark located as described above with a spreader mark in place, a feature which bamboozled many last Sunday. The leeward gate was located off the Royal St George Yacht Club. Given that the sun was shining nobody seemed to be put out by this delay and I’m sure many twigged why the course had to be changed.

The 21-boat PY Fleet got away cleanly, with the majority view that going left was the way to go. Not everyone shared that view and one of the biggest beneficiaries of going right initially was father and son Paul & Morris ter Horst (FB 14790) as they rounded the top end of the course with a healthy lead. Also, well up was Brian Sweeney in his Finn, who must have been ahead of many on time at that stage. With a number of Aero stalwarts absent there was a changed complexion to the head of the PY fleet with the IDRA of Pierre Long well up and the Wayfarer of Monica Schaeffer with Charlie Dunn also in a good place.

A combination of five ILCA 7s and three ILCA 4s shared the second starts and they too got away cleanly at the first time of asking.
The ILCA 6s had, by their standards, a modest seventeen boat fleet and they presented the Race Officer with the tightest start of the afternoon, particularly with boats parked in the immediate area of the committee boat’s port quarter. The closest of these was on the right side of the start line by inches when the gun went.

All three fleets had some form of beat on the first leg to the opposite side of the harbour before the wind started to move further right. For the PY fleet, they sailed most of the first two legs in the configuration that had been set for them by the RO. But the ter Horsts, sailing a lower line to the leeward gate found that the other Fireballs who had stayed high were benefitting more as the breeze shifted to the north-east. That enabled Alastair Court & Gordon Syme (15167), Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keefe (15016) and Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) to close on them. Court got ahead before the leeward gate and then found that he had to drop the spinnaker to get to the gate. And of course, on going through the gate and pointing in the direction of the “weather mark” found he could hoist spinnaker again. And he held it almost all the way to the mark.

The ILCAs initially sailed a downwind leg from the weather mark but all too soon found themselves fetching or beating to the leeward gate. Due to the physical size of the course and the spread of the fleets, it is well nigh on impossible to change a weather mark and given the vagaries of the wind on the day one change would probably have necessitated another. The smoke from the incinerator was giving no confidence that the wind was going to stabilise and a reconnaissance of Dublin Bay by the weather mark rib offered no respite from the fickle conditions.

All three fleets sailed the two-lap race with finishing positions being recorded from a committee boat that swung 360° during the finishing sequence.

A message from Frostbites Director Neil Colin that the consensus on the water was that we had done well to get a race in and should call it quite for the afternoon simply mirrored the thoughts of the RO and his team on board the committee boat. Thus, on successive Sundays we have had one race each, because of too much wind and too variable a wind.

In the PY Fleet Court & Syme were able to hold onto their on the water win when the numbers were crunched for the handicap results.

They had a minute to spare on the 2.4m of Patrick Hassett and just short of two minutes on the Finn of Brian Sweeney, with Pierre Long and son in the IDRA 4th and Schaeffer & Dunn 5th in the Wayfarer.

Aeros and ILCAs “broad-reaching” to the weather mark and ILCAs beating towards the leeward gate.Aeros and ILCAs “broad-reaching” to the Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites weather mark and ILCAs beating towards the leeward gate Photo: Ian Cutliffe

In the ILCA 7s, the finishing order was Niall Cowman, Conor Byrne and Gavan Murphy. Two of the three ILCA 4s got a scoring finish, Patrick Foley and Grace Gavin.

In the ILCA 6s, Sean Craig led home Pascal Boret, Shirley Gilmore, Michael Norman and Hugh Delap.

Even with three prominent Aeros absent, there was no real change in the overall standings in the PY Fleet; Noel Butler (Aero) has a very comfortable margin on 2nd placed Stephen Oram (Aero) who has a nine-point cushion on the next boat, Stuart Harris (Aero). However, Harris needs to be aware of Court/Syme on 47points, only one point behind and Frank Miller & Ed Butler (FB) a further 3pts off Court Syme. Sarah Dwyer is the leading lady in the PY fleet, in sixth overall with 56pts.

In the ILCA 7s Conor Byrne leads with an 18pt cushion, but Chris Arrowsmith is only two points off 2nd placed Niall Cowman with 29pts.
Sean Craig has stretched his lead over Conor Clancy to 6pts, but Clancy’s early twenties points score contrasts with the next three boats who have scores in the forties – Darren Griffin (43), John O’Driscoll (46) and Pascal Boret (48). Leading lady in this fleet is Judy O’Beirne in 11th.

In the ILCA 4s, the order is Patrick Foley (11pts), Zeta Tempany (17pts) and Grace Gavin (19pts).

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With “Frostbites Director” Neil Colin off on a sporting holiday, the decision on whether to race yesterday fell squarely on the shoulders of the day’s Race Officer, Cormac Bradley, and while I had been monitoring the weather as early as Wednesday night and at a “black-tie” on Friday night, the decision on whether to race or not was still unresolved by the time Sunday morning came round.

An early departure for the club allowed me to view the flags and activity levels in the harbour – a fleet of Optimists were rigging in the Royal St George, the team racing fraternity were out, under what looked like single-reefed mains in the Fireflies and the flags across the waterfront weren’t flying like “stiff boards”. That all seemed positive until I arrived at the DMYC and had to reason with my RIB and Committee Boat teams as to what I thought we could/should do.

Thankfully, they supported the idea that we should try and get a race in and keep a weather eye on what the wind was doing as the afternoon progressed. And so, the ninth race of Series 2 of the Viking Marine-sponsored Frostbites went ahead.

In hindsight we were lucky to get a race in! On arriving in the race area there was a brisk westerly blowing at around 16/17 knots. However, in the squalls the anemometer was getting into the low twenties and by the time the start sequence was initiated the wind was into the low twenties. The partial saving grace was that the air temperature was a relatively balmy (for January) 9° and the sun was out.

High speed off-wind action from the ILCA 6s at the Viking Marine DMYC Dinghy Frostbites in Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Ian CutliffeHigh speed off-wind action from the ILCA 6s at the Viking Marine DMYC Dinghy Frostbites in Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Ian Cutliffe

Thirty-seven boats answered the call with the ILCA 6s taking the numbers “honours” with 21 boats. The PY fleet was down to twelve boats with one absentee on holiday and another off the water due to health issues from the Fireballs. However, there was a good collection of Aeros, with all the usual suspects out – Noel Butler, Stephen Oram, Roy van Maanen, Sarah Dwyer, Stuart Harris and Damien Dion. Pierre Long had more “avoir dupois” on board with an adult crew rather than his son, Remy. The RS 400 came out to play as well, and ultimately retired, but the GP14 and the Wayfarer were absent. The ILCA 7s had a four-boat fleet and the 4s drew a complete blank.

Bright sunshine and lots of wind for the Viking Marine DMYC Dinghy Frostbites in Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Ian CutliffeBright sunshine and lots of wind for the Viking Marine DMYC Dinghy Frostbites in Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Ian Cutliffe

A three-lap Olympic course was set with the weather mark in the entrance to the marina, the gybe mark just to the east of the dolphins of the Hy-speed ferry and the leeward mark off the weather station on the upper wall of the East Pier. Direction-wise the wind fluctuated between 260 and 275° degrees, but early sampling of the beat by one Fireball and an ILCA 6 indicated that the course was fair.

The PYs and the ILCA 7s had clear starts with boats heading towards the left-hand side of the beat before working the middle and left of the beat. In the PY fleet, the Fireball of Alastair Court & Gordon Syme (15167) revelled in the robust conditions and led the fleet all the way round. Behind them, the Aeros were led by Noel Butler with Stephen Oram giving chase.

The ILCA 7s sailed off the start line in a tight formation but ultimately one of the fleet dropped behind and subsequently retired.

The ILCA 6s, by way of having 21 boats had a more hectic start particularly when some of them capsized as they approached the start line from the non-course side. Given the conditions at the time, it did seem odd that some of the capsizes were to windward.

No spinnakers were evident on the top reach of the triangle from the PY fleet, though my Fireball “guinea-pig” had already advised that the top end of the beat and reach were very gusty. In the increasing wind conditions the absence of coloured sails was completely understood.

The ILCA 6s saw a tight race at the front of their fleet between Barry McCartin (Fireballs and RS classes) and Sean Craig. Despite the wind level, or maybe even because of it they had a great duel around the course.

In the PY fleet, the Fireball of Court & Syme (23:25) won on the water by just over two minutes on the Aero 6 of Noel Butler (25:27), but on corrected time, the Aero (23:16) took the honours (again) by a margin of 1:20, with Stephen Oram’s Aero 7 taking third on corrected time (26:51).

In the ILCA 7s, Conor Byrne led home Theo Lyttle and Gavan Murphy, while in the 6s, Barry McCartin took the win by a short distance, with the pecking order behind him being Sean Craig, Stephen Farrell, Owen Laverty and Conor Clancy.

As Court & Syme came through the finish line they advised that they were going home, a decision vindicated by the fact that the “A” flag to signal “no more racing” was already flying from the committee boat. Nobody appeared to be aggrieved or disheartened by that signal.

On the way in as the committee boat motored into the wind a wind strength of 34 knots was recorded.

At a sparsely populated DMYC afterwards, those who had finished indicated that they had enjoyed the race. Those who hadn’t or retired early, for completely understandable reasons, were absent.

Colin Breen (C) and Rory Power Breen (R) (FB 14683) collect their Viking Marine DMYC Frostbite Mugs from Race Officer Cormac Bradley (L)Colin Breen (C) and Rory Power Breen (R) (FB 14683) collect their Viking Marine DMYC Frostbite Mugs from Race Officer Cormac Bradley (L)

A set of Frostbite Mugs was awarded to Colin Breen and Rory Power Breen (FB 14683) from the PY Class. The ILCA 6 Mug winner wasn’t in attendance to collect his Mug.

An extensive gallery of photographs (52 No.) of the proceedings, by Frank Miller (FB 14915), are posted here and in the gallery below

Overall Standings;

PY Class

1. Noel Butler (8pts)
2. Stephen Oram (20pts)
3. Stuart Harris (36pts)
4. Frank Miller & Ed Butler (38pts)
5. Roy Van Maanen (46pts)
First Lady – Sarah Dwyer (7th Overall)


1. Conor Byrne (9pts)
2. Chris Arrowsmith (24pts)
3. Niall Cowman (28pts)


1. Sean Craig (16pts)
2. Conor Clancy (18pts)
3. Darren Griffin (32pts)
4. John O’Driscoll (38pts)
5. Pascal Boret (46pts)

We offer best wishes to two Aero campaigners who are off to the sunny state of Florida next weekend for a major regatta, possibly the North American Championships.

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The Race Management Team from DMYC and the weather combined to get another two races completed in the Viking Marine-sponsored Series 2 Frostbites in Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Sunday. Winds were in the range 7 – 15 knots from the South-East and Race Officer Ian Cutliffe set the fleet a three-lap Olympic course to get proceedings underway. With the wind in this direction, he was able to set a beat across the longest dimension of the harbour and set the weather mark off the bandstand on the East Pier. The gybe mark was inside the end of the East Pier and the leeward mark was in the elbow of the western breakwater and the West Pier.

A delayed departure by the Marine Institute’s brand-new research vessel, “RV Tom Crean” necessitated the flying of a postponement flag and some of the PY fleet mistook the dropping of this flag for the Warning signal, meaning that they had a one-minute jump on the balance of the fleet who knew their timings.

The DMYC Race Management Team set up a course for the Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites in Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Ian CutliffeThe DMYC Race Management Team set up a course for the Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites in Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Ian Cutliffe

This led to an unusual sight, a Finn mixing it with the Fireballs at the windward mark at the first rounding and a very different leader in the Fireball fleet on the water. Colin Breen (14683) must have really enjoyed the first race because he only relinquished the lead on the water halfway down the first reach of the second triangle. In the pre-race period, ILCA 6-er Sean Craig said it was a very good beat as he hadn’t worked out which side was going to pay.

The 21-boat PY fleet seemed to concur as they spread themselves across the width of the course. Apart from Breen and the Finn, the usual suspects were to be found at the front of this fleet, Messrs Butler, Oram, van Maanen in the Aeros and Colin & Casey, Power & Barry and McKenna & O’Keeffe in the Fireballs.

By the third windward mark, Breen was still leading on the water but the two lady crews were closing in on him, Cariosa Power & Marie Barry (14854) with a slicker spinnaker hoist overtook Breen who then had to watch Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (15016) close on him as well.
Power & Barry took the win on the water in 34:32 and the leading Aeros were Stephen Oram (7) in 38:21 and Noel Butler (6) in 39:40. However, on corrected time Oram took the win in 36:01 with Butler and Power/Barry tied at 36:16. Two other boats had finishing times within the 36th minute, McKenna & O’Keeffe at 36:43 and Roy van Maanen at 36:53.

ILCAs7 and 4s start a race at the Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites in Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Ian CutliffeILCAs7 and 4s start a race at the Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites in Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Ian Cutliffe

Seven ILCAs enjoyed reasonably close racing on the water and were led home by Theo Lyttle, with Niall Cowman and Sean Bowden occupying the podium places. The ILCA 4s, sharing the start line with the 7s saw a 1-2-3 of Kate Flood, Patrick Foley and Grace Gavin.

The ILCA 6s however, were subject to a General Recall for their start before their 26-boat fleet got away. Despite having got out to the race area early, Sean Craig hadn’t seemed to work the beat out to his satisfaction, as at the windward mark for the first time he was down in 5th or 6th place. His situation improved as the race went on and he came home in third, behind Darren Griffin and Pascal Boret, but ahead of Conor Clancy and Peter Williams.

For Race 2, a two-lap windward/leeward mark was set with an offset mark at the windward mark and a leeward gate. It seems this simple course configuration bamboozled quite a few people – people who should know better and others who simply played follow my leader. One ILCA passed within touching distance of the spreader mark on both occasions……. on the wrong side. Ditto, a high placed Aero!! Later, I learned that boats were leaving the gate marks to port!

Fireballs and RS Aeros downwind at the at the Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites in Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Cormac BradleyFireballs and RS Aeros downwind at the at the Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites in Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Cormac Bradley

In the PY fleet, normal order was restored on the water with Fireballs and Aeros to the fore. While the Fireballs were able to do well on the water, the computation of numbers left them behind the Aeros. However, the theoretical racing was very tight with six boats finishing within a minute – between 20:04 and 20:46 on corrected time; Butler (Aero), Damien Dion (Aero), Sarah Dwyer (Aero), Stephen Oram (Aero), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (FB 14775) and Stuart Harris (Aero). Louise McKenna led home a trio of lady helms – Louise (9th), Cariosa Power (10th) and Ciara Mulvey (GP 14 11111) with Peter Murphy (11th).

The ILCA 7s and 4s transgressed significantly with respect to the spreader mark so there are lots of NCSs on this fleet’s scorecard, but in terms of finishing positions the 1-2-3 for the full rig was Sean Bowden, Robbie Walker and Roy McKay, while none of the ILCA 4s sailed the correct course.

 Part of the Viking Marine DMYC Frostbite fleet in Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Cormac Bradley Part of the Viking Marine DMYC Frostbite fleet in Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Cormac Bradley

The ILCA 6s were much better behaved in the second race, both in terms of starting and mark-rounding. They enjoyed some tight racing at the head of the fleet and there were enough wise heads at the front to take them around the spreader mark. This adherence was diluted further down the pecking order. Conor Clancy improved on his score from Race 1 by jumping two places to second, while Sean Craig finished third again. Ahead of Clancy was Brian Carroll, while behind Craig was Hugh Delap and Peter Williams. The tightness of racing between Clancy and Craig is further reflected by the fact that Clancy now leads Craig by a single point in overall terms, the tightest margin across the four fleets.

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The weather forecasts during the week leading up to Round two of the post-Christmas DMYC Frostbites in Dun Laoghaire, sponsored by Viking Marine, might have led one to believe that racing would not be possible. Indeed, on Thursday and Friday, one would not have contemplated an on-the-water session at all and even by Saturday night, some might have considered it “touch and go”. However, despite those pessimistic numbers, Race Director, Neil Colin, held on to a glimmer of hope that racing would be possible, and his optimism was rewarded when two races were completed.

This correspondent wasn’t on the water, having been given the weekend off to allow others to have a turn at the Race Officer duties. That mantle was taken on by Gerry Glynn from the Shipman Class, and he set the fleet triangular courses of three laps for both races.

Fireball gybe mark action at the Viking Marine DMYC Dinghy Frostbites at Dun Laoghaire Harbour; Miller & Cramer (inside boat), McKenna & O’Keeffe (outside boat)Fireball gybe mark action at the Viking Marine DMYC Dinghy Frostbites at Dun Laoghaire Harbour; Miller & Cramer (inside boat), McKenna & O’Keeffe (outside boat) Photo: Ian Cutliffe

The results sheet has the wind recorded at 8 – 20knots SW and talking to some of the competitors afterwards; the common theme was that the conditions were challenging. Indeed the “birthday girl” from the Aero fleet told me that she had tacked without moving the tiller such were the vagaries of the wind. And Stephen Oram took the first race on handicap when, on the water, he was able to plane away from his immediate competitors who didn’t get the wind he had.

With the wind in this direction, the beat was across the shortest dimension of the harbour, with a weather mark off the marina entrance, a gybe mark out towards the East Pier and the leeward mark in the mouth of the harbour.

ILCA 6s gybe mark at the Viking Marine DMYC Dinghy Frostbites at Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Ian CutliffeILCA 6s gybe mark at the Viking Marine DMYC Dinghy Frostbites at Dun Laoghaire Harbour Photo: Ian Cutliffe

Viking Marine Frostbites; Series 2, Round 2, 8th January 2023

PY Fleet (18 boats, 1 x DNF, 2 x RET).

Race 1:
1. Stephen Oram (Aero 7)
2. Stuart Harris (Aero 6)
3. Roy Van Maanen (Aero 6)
4. Noel Butler (Aero 6)
5. Alastair Court & Gordon Syme (FB 15167).

Race 2: (16 boats, 1 x OCS, 1 x RET).

1. Noel Butler
2. Roy Van Maanen
3. Stephen Oram
4. Frank Miller & Neil Cramer (FB 14915)
5. Stuart Harris
Overall (after 4 races): Butler (8), Van Maanen (14), Miller & Cramer (19), Harris (20), Sarah Dwyer (Aero 6) (29).

ILCA 7s (6 boats)

Race 1:
1. Niall Cowman
2. Conor Byrne
3. Chris Arrowsmith
Race 2:
1. Conor Byrne
2. Gavan Murphy
3. Roy McKay
Overall: Byrne (5), Chris Arrowsmith (12), Cowman (17).

ILCA 6s (21 boats, 3 x DNF, 2 x RET)

Race 1:
1. Judy O’Beirne
2. Barry McCartin
3. Darren Griffin
4. Pascal Boret
5. Sean Craig.

Race 2:
1. Barry McCartin
2. Judy O’Beirne
3. Conor Clancy
4. Sean Craig
5. Darren Griffin

Overall: Craig (12), John O’Driscoll (19), David Cahill (22), McCartin (25), O’Beirne (25).

No boats on the water!

Overall: Patrick Foley (2), Zeta Tempany (4), Sam Legge (6).


(Overall): Miller & Cramer (7), Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (12), Alastair Court & Gordon Syme (14). There is a protest pending in this fleet!


(Overall): Butler (7), Van Maanen (9), Stuart Harris (13).

Not all of the day’s Frostbite Mug winners were present to collect their Mugs which means they forego the Mug unless they win later in the Series. Among those to miss out were father and son, Pierre & Remy Long (IDRA 14) for Race 1 in the PY fleet (7th place), Niall Cowman and Roy McKay in the ILCA 7s and possibly Stuart Harris for the second race in the PY fleet.

There was also a reminder that when the blue flag is flying to indicate the committee boat is on station for a finish, competitors ae not allowed to sail through the finish line………..and the finish line is dramatically shortened in length to accommodate such avoidance.

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Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club will still accept entries from any dinghy sailors for its post-Christmas Viking Marine-sponsored Frostbites Series, which runs until the end of March. 

The second part of the PY and ILCA series, which began on New Year's Day, (report here), has an entry list of over 100 dinghies for the in-harbour races.

"We can still accept entries from any dinghy sailors who may not have been available for the pre-Christmas series and who wish to join in now and avail of the great racing on offer", organiser Neil Colin told Afloat.

Discounted entries can be arranged with the race office on Sunday mornings or by email to [email protected]

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In a week that saw the lowest overnight temperatures in 10 years in most parts of Ireland, the last weekend of the pre-Christmas Series 1 of the Viking Marine-sponsored DMYC Frostbites came to a mild, wet and windy end yesterday, with racing cancelled on the Saturday evening in view of an adverse forecast.

From a schedule of 14 races for Series 1, only six were sailed with some Sundays blown out altogether and two Sundays where only a single race was sailed. Yesterday, the only Frostbite-related activity was a protest hearing, held over a few weeks because of racing being cancelled and both parties having various other commitments.

The Series 1 prize-giving will be held on the first Sunday of Series 2, 1st January, and in between times, the “Christmas Cracker” will have a second outing on December 27th, following the success of last year’s event. The NoR for this event is available on the DMYC website and the SI will be issued imminently. Suffice to say that the course configuration will take in “all corners” of the harbour.

For Series 1 of the Frostbites, the biggest fleets were the PY fleet and the ILCA 6s who each had 31 boats entered.

In the PY fleet, the Fireballs had a very healthy representation of 12 boats followed by the Aeros with 7 boats. The Fireballs are still enjoying the enthusiasm generated by having the Worlds in Lough Derg in August, while the Aeros have maintained the momentum generated by solo sailing during the Covid shutdowns.

On the water, the better Fireballs have enjoyed success in bringing the PY fleet home, but on paper the handicap results in the PY Class are dominated by the Aeros. Even last Sunday when there was good breeze and good spinnaker conditions the Fireballs could not save their time against the leading Aeros; an approximate 5-minute advantage on the water for the first two Fireballs home still turned into a deficit in handicap terms.

Thus, in the Series 1 PY fleet, Aeros have taken the first five places overall and six places in the top ten, with Fireballs occupying sixth, seventh, ninth and tenth overall. Of the six races completed, Aeros took all bar one on handicap, the exception being the first race which went to Neil Colin and Margaret Casey in their Fireball. The handicap wins for the Aero Class were shared 4:2 between the 6s of Noel Butler and Roy Van Maanen. This left Butler and Van Maanen in 1st and 2nd overall with Stephen Oram in the Aero 7 in third place. Sarah Dwyer was 5th overall in an Aero 6 and first lady in the PY fleet.

In the ILCA 6s, Sean Craig took four race wins in Races 2, 3, 7 and 11 (chronologically speaking) versus two race wins to Darren Griffin. In last Sunday’s race Sean was a comfortable winner on the water and his other results were a 2 and a 4 giving him a five-point advantage over Griffin. Conor Clancy took third overall followed by Brendan Hughes and John O’Driscoll. The leading lady in the 6s fleet was Shirley Gilmore.

The all-male fleet of ILCA 7s saw Gavan Murphy win on two scores – race wins and most race starts/finishes. He claimed three wins on the water, whereas the balance of the race wins went to three different individuals, Sean Bowden, Theo Lyttle and Gary O’Hare, who also finished in this order in overall terms behind Murphy.

A very modest entry of seven ILCA 4s represents a downturn in the Frostbite numbers for this class, resulting in a race only being completed on four occasions due to insufficient entries. Here, there was a three-way split of race victories between Kate Flood (2), Zita Tempany (1) and Sergei Vasilev (1), with this also being the overall finishing order.

The Fireballs and Aeros had their own “domestic series within a series” and in the Fireballs Frank Miller and Ed Butler/Neil Cramer took the majority of the race wins, three, to Alastair Court’s two and the solitary win of Neil Colin and Margaret Casey in the first race of the series. This division of race wins and other results leaves Miller and Court tied on 9pts apiece at the end of the Series, with Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe in third on 12pts.

In the Aeros, Noel Butler has a two-point advantage on Roy Van Mannen with Stephen Oram a further two points adrift in third.

This concludes the reporting of Series 1 of the Frostbites. If you’re not on the water on the 27th, Happy Christmas and New Year to you!

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As Afloat reported previously, Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club (DMYC) intends to run its Viking Marine Christmas Cracker dinghy event on December 27th, building on the success of this unique event, first held on the same date last year, with the kind permission of the Harbour Master.

With the recent demolition of the Ice House, DMYC says it plans to place the marks as far inshore as possible to maximise the spectator value, all made possible without the obstruction of the moored yachts during the summer months.

"This is an “Open” event to all comers, and we welcome dinghy sailors from all clubs to participate, subject to the normal insurance requirements", says DMYC organiser Neil Colin.

"Hopefully, championship-winning Eve McMahon will return to defend her win in the event last year and give the local Aero fleet, who currently dominate the Frostbite PY fleet, some real competition, says Colin.

World ILCA 6 youth champion Eve McMahon won the inaugural DMYC Christmas Cracker in 2021 World ILCA 6 youth champion Eve McMahon won the inaugural DMYC Christmas Cracker in 2021 Photo: Thom Touw

Registration (capped at 85 entries) is available here, there is no entry fee, but DMYC encourages all participants to donate to RNLI using the “JustGiving” link on the DMYC entry page.

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DMYCFor the first time this season, the Viking Marine-sponsored Frostbites, hosted by the DMYC, lived up to their name as yesterday’s racing was held in very low temperatures, only a couple of degrees above zero. And, accordingly, the speculation from mid-week wasn’t exclusively about wind but rather about temperature. That sense, that it might just be too cold, was heightened by a light falling of snow outside my window on Thursday night, some of which was still lying on Sunday morning.

An earlier morning appointment to “bend the knee” suggested that it wasn’t quite as cold as I expected, but that was a false dawn in terms of the temperature on the water, on board the committee boat. And any sense of temperature-related discomfort for everyone was heightened when the L.E James Joyce was delayed in getting out of her berth alongside the Carlisle Pier before racing. Initially advised that she was leaving at 13:30, racing had to be postponed until the vessel departed around 14:20.

The actual wind direction on the day was further west that both XCWeather and the Windy App had been suggesting, flicking 10° either side of due west for most of the afternoon. Wind strength was as predicted, in the range of 8 – 13knots. That allowed for a reasonable length of course to be laid with only one race on the agenda for the day – the logic being to get a good length race in and everyone ashore before the afternoon got too cold. Thus, a five-lap Olympic was set, an easy start line in terms of length and bias and a marker buoy was floated off the transom of the committee boat to dissuade boats from hiding behind the port quarter of the committee boat and jumping the gun. All the competitors must have read my mental script as all three starts got away cleanly at the first time of asking!

The weather did impact on the numbers with 17 PYs claiming the biggest start honours, followed by the ILCA 6s (13), the ILCA 7s (5) and the ILCA 4s (2). The weather mark was set about 60m north of the end of the western breakwater, out of its wind-shadow, the gybe mark about 100m west of the Hy-speed ferry gantry and the leeward mark off the monument on the upper level of the East Pier. Early tracking of the top reach showed that the Fireballs were getting a nice three-sail reach to the gybe.

Stephen Oram (3288) and Roy Van Mannen (3288) – at the head of the Aero fleet. Photo: Ian CutliffeStephen Oram (3288) and Roy Van Mannen (3288) – at the head of the Aero fleet. Photo: Ian Cutliffe

On the water, the Fireballs of Frank Miller and Alastair Court dominated proceedings with less than thirty seconds separating them at the finish and each of them of the order of five minutes ahead of the Aeros of Stephen Oram, Roy Van Maanen and Noel Butler in that order. These three were separated by five seconds but the finishing order was turned on its head in the very last seconds on the finish line when Butler capsized while trying to clear the committee boat, allowing the other two to finish ahead of him. These two sets of boats, the two Fireballs and the three Aeros enjoyed close racing throughout the five laps and this was one of the reasons for letting the race run its full length, despite the delayed start. On corrected time Oram’s bigger Aero sail (7) saw him demoted on handicap to fourth place against the 6s of Van Maanen, Butler and Stuart Harris who would have won the Race Mug had he been at the day prizegiving. Meanwhile on time, the two Fireballs lost out again, finishing 5th and 6th respectively, their five-minute advantage on the water translating to a 1:13 deficit between Van Maanen in 1st Overall and Miller & Butler (FB 14915) in 5th. Court & Syme (FB15167) were 6th ahead of the first PY Lady, Sarah Dwyer (Aero 6). Paul & Morris ter Horst (FB14790) had a very good day on the water finishing third amongst the Fireballs.

Gavan Murphy (R) and Conor O’Leary (L) from the ILCA 7s close in on the weather mark at the Viking Marine Frostbites at the DMYC. Photo: Ian CutliffeGavan Murphy (R) and Conor O’Leary (L) from the ILCA 7s close in on the weather mark at the Viking Marine Frostbites at the DMYC. Photo: Ian Cutliffe

In the ILCA 7s, there was an ongoing tussle throughout the race between Gavan Murphy and Theo Lyttle. As with the PYs, this was a good reason to allow the race to run its full length. Hovering a short distance behind them was Conor O’Leary ready to take an advantage of any mistakes by the front two. At the most important point of the race, the finish, Murphy was in pole position, followed by Lyttle and O’Leary.

Sean Craig leads the ILCA 6s around the weather mark. Photo: Ian CutliffeSean Craig leads the ILCA 6s around the weather mark. Photo: Ian Cutliffe

In contrast to the previous two classes, the ILCA 6s were led from start to finish by Sean Craig who had a comfortable lead at the finish. Behind him, the finishing order was Brendan Hughes, John O’Driscoll, Darren Griffin and David Williams. Brendan Hughes collected his Frostbite Mug for the day’s race win.

And in the two boat ILCA 4s, the initial sense was that Kate Flood and Grace Gavan were quite content to race around the course in each other’s company, because as soon as we saw one, we saw the other. However, in the latter stages of the race that changed and Kate Flood took the honours quite comfortably.

For the early beats the fleet was spread across the N-S width of the harbour, but as the afternoon progressed, it appeared that the left side was more favoured. However, there was no sense that it had turned into a soldier’s course and the feedback from selected finishers is that it had been a good course. The race was completed just after 15:30 as the sun began to disappear behind clouds, at which point the coldness of the air was much more pronounced.

The pre-Christmas, Series 1 Frostbites conclude next Sunday, 18th December and will be followed by the Series 1 prize-giving in the DMYC Clubhouse. Leading contenders for possible prizes (see below) are encouraged to be in attendance to collect their prizes.

Brendan Hughes (ILCA 6) receives his Frostbite Mug for the day, 2nd to Sean Craig. Photo: Frank MillerBrendan Hughes (ILCA 6) receives his Frostbite Mug for the day, 2nd to Sean Craig. Photo: Frank Miller

It should also be noted that there will be a race in aid of the RNLI on Tuesday, 27th December. Frostbiters who have entered the series do not have to pay an entry fee but are requested to make an online donation to the organisation. Anyone who wants to sail on the day can also do so, subject to NoR requirements. A NoR will be published imminently for everyone’s attention, including entry details and online donation details.

DMYC Frostbites results

 Sean Bowden (ILCA 7) sails into a setting sun in the Viking Marine Frostbites at the DMYC. Photo: Ian CutliffeSean Bowden (ILCA 7) sails into a setting sun in the Viking Marine Frostbites at the DMYC. Photo: Ian Cutliffe

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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