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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!

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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.

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After yet another Sunday lost to adverse weather last week, the DMYC Dun Laoghaire Frostbite fleet got another two races in today, Sunday 3rd February writes Cormac Bradley. Initially, the wind looked to be nicely consistent with a bearing of 210⁰ which set up the course with the committee boat inside the end of the West Pier and a weather mark near the entrance to the marina. The gybe mark was off towards the East Pier and the gybe mark was about a third of the way across the mouth of the harbour, but closer to the end of the West Pier.

The PY fleet had a healthy turnout of 20 boats with good Fireball numbers, Shane McCarthy’s Solo, Tom Murphy’s K1, two Kona windsurfers, an RS200, an Enterprise, the IDRA of Frank Hamilton & Jenny, a clatter of Wayfarers and some Laser Vagos. The Laser numbers were good as well though there may not have been as many Full Rigs as has been the case in previous weeks. They did, however, have a high-profile debutant in Kenny Rumball from the neighbouring sailing school.

As start time approached the wind started to get “twitchy”, flicking initially to the right before a big swing left came in. However, it eventually settled again and while the weather mark may not have been perfect it was a good compromise.

The PY fleet got away cleanly with the Fireball of Noel Butler and Stephen Oram (15061) having a very good start along with Shane McCarthy in the Solo. At the weather mark others would be at the front end of the fleet with Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) well up as was Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706). While the top reach may have been a bit tighter than intended, it was loose enough to allow spinnaker to be flown. Court & Syme were pushing Butler and Oram around the first lap and they were in close company at the first leeward mark.

Meanwhile back at the start area, the errant Laser & 4.7 fleet were filled with enthusiasm for starting to the extend that the blue and yellow flag had to be broken out with two sound signals – General Recall. It wasn’t even marginal with many the fleet over the line at the starts signal. Their enthusiasm saw them relegated behind the Radials in the starting sequence.

The Radials also got away cleanly and Sean Craig would proceed to dominate proceedings with two race wins. Kenny Rumball took a little while to master the Laser, but he too would enjoy a good day on the water – winning the Frostbite Mug in the first race and taking second place in the second. However, Peter Fagan would have an even better day, winning both races but he and Kenny had a “good ding-dong” in the second race.

Butler & Oram pulled away from the fleet in the first race and by the finish had a 3:11 advantage over who they perceive to be their closest opposition in overall terms, the Solo of McCarthy. By the time the results were calculated the 3:11 advantage turned into a 50-second deficit. The Kona windsurfer of Des Gibney took the third place in the first race. By this stage, the wind had gone right again and piped up to a 20-knot high for the afternoon. It meant that the PY fleet was drifting around in the worst of the wind. A decision to move the weather mark westwards for the second race had to be undone almost immediately when the wind switched back again.

For the second race the Lasers and 4.7s were given a black flag start immediately to make sure there was no temptation to “jump the gun” – it worked. By now the wind was starting to ease and as the race progressed its strength would drop to less than four knots. It also started to swing eastwards making the later beats of the course, a three-lap Olympic, a fetch and the leg to the gybe mark a sort of beat. That opened the door for McCarthy to close in on Butler & Oram en route to the gybe mark and by the leeward mark, McCarthy had gone into the lead on the water to take the race win.

In the 4.7s race wins were shared between Hugh O’Connor and Pepe de Sintas, but the best performance of the day goes to Emily Riordan who scored two seconds. Third places were shared between Adam Walsh and Kitty Flanagan.

Monica Schaeffer and Miriam McCarthy in the Wayfarer took second place overall in the second race and were followed overall by Tom Murphy in the K1. This gave Tom the Frostbite Mug. In the first PY race that honour went to Frank Hamilton and Jenny in the IDRA.

Other Frostbite Mugs went to Kei Walker (4.7s, Race 1), Brendan Hughes (Radials, Race 1), Conor Duffy (Laser, Race 2) and Shirley Gilmore (Laser Radial, Race 2).

Frostbites, Sunday 3rd February 2019.

Race 1; PY Fleet: Shane McCarthy (Solo), Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (Fireball), Des Gibney (Kona)

Race 2; PY Fleet: Shane McCarthy (Solo), Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy (Wayfarer), Tom Murphy (K1).

Race 1; Laser: Peter Fagan, Brian Hall, Chris Arrowsmith

Race 2; Laser: Peter Fagan, Kenny Rumball, Gary O’Hare

Race 1; 4.7s: Hugh O’Connor, Emily Riordan, Adam Walsh

Race 2; 4.7s: Pepe de Sintas, Emily Riordan, Kitty Flanagan

Race 1; Radials: Sean Craig, Moss Simington, Finn Walker

Race 2; Radials: Sean Craig, Jack Fahy, Jack Hall.

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Due to the strong winds forecast for today, the DMYC Dinghy Frostbite sailing of Sunday 27th was cancelled yesterday.

As of 10:11 this morning the Dublin Bay weather buoy was recording 25 knots gusting to 35 knots, a wind strength above the capacity of the 100 plus assembled dinghy fleet.

It has been an inauspicious start to 2019 for the country's longest-running dinghy league with three cancellations since the new year began.

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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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The fifth round of the DMYC-hosted Frostbites provided the fleet with the most challenging conditions yet and even then what was forecast didn’t really materialise. On Friday at the Fireball dinner and prize-giving the speculation was that we mightn’t get out at all. At that stage the forecast was for 6 knots gusting to 30 knots. On Saturday the harbour was reduced to mirror-like conditions, but the forecast for Sunday was starting to show that there would be wind the following day with the base wind strengthening but the gusts staying as severe as before. An early reconnaissance of the harbour in the committee boat suggested that the forecast conditions weren’t in place and the wind was blowing at 12 knots.  

At the stage of the check on the conditions, the wind direction was 240⁰, but when we went out to set up the race course the wind had changed to a median direction of 180⁰ and the strength was showing signs of dropping.

This also meant that the original plan – to have a windward –leeward course to open proceedings, across the harbour in on east-west axis had to be abandoned in favour of an Olympic course with a weather mark situated to the west of the old HSS berth. That left the leeward mark sitting just inside of but in the middle of the harbour mouth and the gybe mark in towards the middle of the harbour.

Race Officer Cormac Bradley set a three-lapper for the first race and the PY fleets and Laser Radials both enjoyed clean starts. However, the combined Laser and 4.7 fleet found themselves in trouble with the Race Officer again, with another General Recall resulting in a restart under a black flag. Surprisingly………or not, the youngsters in the fleet were the principal culprits in “jumping the gun”.

In the PY fleet, Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061) led the fleet out to the left hand-side of the beat before working their way back to the right hand-side for the final approach to the weather mark on the starboard lay-line.  A newcomer to the front end of the fleet was Dave Turner, sailing with Fireball stalwart “Cas” who rounded in second place. In close company was the remainder of the Fireball fleet, Phil Lawton & Owen Laverty (14990), Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775), the Thompson brothers (15007), another newcomer to the fleet, Josh,  sailing with Class Chairman, Neil Cramer,  in Frank Miller’s boat (14713) and Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691). Also enjoying a place well up the pecking order on the water \was Shane McCarthy in the Solo.  The Wayfarers had three boats on the water but their “champion” was in trouble with a premature start which necessitated going back – with the standard round the ends rule applying.

For the remainder of the race, an extended game of snakes and ladders was played with Turner falling to last at one stage.  While Butler & Oram won on the water, they didn’t do enough time-wise to fend off McCarthy in the Solo who took another handicap win, followed home by Butler & Oram and Olympian Phil Lawton crewed by Owen Laverty, for whom this was enough to take the Frostbite Mug.   Behind them the “new” Fireball combination of Josh and Neil Cramer came fourth, followed by the RS 200 of Sarah Byrne.  The KONA Windsurfers were separated by a second in 6th and 7th respectively.

In the Laser fleets, race wins went to Niall Cowman (Standard), Conor Gorman (4.7s) and Finn Walker (Radials).  Conor Kinsella, a very successful Fireball crew in recent times, made his Frostbite debut in a Laser Radial and finished just behind another class stalwart in Shirley Gilmore.

Given the prevailing conditions, of good breeze and a bright sky another Olympic was set, this time with four laps. However, the breeze soon increased as a rain shower made its presence felt and while the race course was on the fringe of the storm, a high wind speed of just under 20 knots was recorded.  It also started flicking more significantly but the mean direction was still close enough to the original position of the weather mark. Yet again in the PY fleet, Butler & Oram were the boat to chase on the water, but Lawton and Laverty made it a much tighter chase with only 16 seconds separating them at the finish. McCarthy came home 4:16 behind Butler & Oram but on corrected time this was converted into a 57-second win. Court & Syme were an OCS who didn’t go back, while Tom Murphy in the K1 was a similar transgressor, who did take his punishment and went back to restart.  The strengthening wind made for some interesting off-wind legs and a few of the Fireballs had “technical issues” as a consequence.

In the Laser fleets, wins were shared by Alan Hodgins (Standard), Alana Coakley (4.7s) and Conrad Vandlik (Radials).  As the afternoon progressed the skies got greyer and it started raining making it the least comfortable afternoon of the series thus far. But after two races of the Olympic configuration there were no loud complaints about the day’s proceedings.

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The fourth round of the 2018/19 DMYC dinghy Frostbite Series offered to be a healthy affair with a projected forecast of 10 – 14 knots from the east, a bit of sunshine and an air temperature of 6/7⁰. After a round of capsizes last weekend in the strongest winds of the series so far, a refresher on procedures was undertaken in the clubhouse before the racing. Some unique scenarios had arisen which needed a sharing of minds as to how to best manage them on the water.

Today’s complication on the water took the form of a barge carrying a large tonnage of granite rocks into the harbour, potentially, I think for repairs to the east pier seawall after the storms of last winter and beyond. While ribs were dispatched to manage the launching boats from the Royal St George and National Yacht Clubs, the barge made its way safely and unobstructed from the harbour mouth to St Michael’s Pier.

Race Officer Cormac Bradley (Fireball) decided on a three-lap windward-leeward course to start the proceedings as there was a good breeze on the water and it was a bright afternoon. With a weather mark set inshore of the Boyd Memorial on the East Pier, the 17-boat PY fleet favoured the outer half of the line and headed towards the harbour mouth. The fleet, made up of 8 Fireballs, the K1, the Wayfarer, the Solo, 2 RS200s and 2 RS400s, an Enterprise and Laser Vago worked the left hand side of the course but then found that they had forgotten the Sailing Instructions with respect to the leeward gate, with one high profile individual, who should know better, going round the outside of one of the two marks making up the gate as opposed to going through the gate………no names given, what happens on the water stays on the water!

Butler & Oram (FB 15061) did their normal thing when the breeze is up – they consistently sailed away from the fleet, winning by a margin of 2:18. One other Fireball, with an Olympian on board, forgot to go round the spreader mark at the top of the course; another Fireball went round the outside of the gate rather than through it. Between errors and retirements, the attrition rate in the PY fleet was quite high and Frank Miller & Ed Butler (FB 14713) sailed into second place on the water, followed by Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (FB 14691) who finished ahead of Shane McCarthy in the Solo. While the Solo went up the pecking order on handicap, the Fireball was still a comfortable winner on corrected time. The Frostbite Mug went to the Fireball ladies, Louise and Hermine after a steward’s enquiry in the clubhouse afterwards.

The Lasers (Standard Rig) and 4.7s gave the race committee lots of grief today with a General Recall required in both races. Seven Standard Lasers had a good race with Ian Simington having a good win in the first race, but further down the pecking order three boats crossed the line overlapped, with Garvan Murphy picking up the first slot of those three. Unfortunately for him it was too far down the pecking order to be in the 1-2-3, those latter positions going to Gary O’Hare and Niall Cowman. That gave Cowman the Frostbite Mug. In the 4.7s, a young lady led the fleet home with a win for Alana Coakley, followed by Conor Gorman, (Dad happy for the second week in a row) and Adam Walsh. Hugh O’Connor picked up the Frostbite Mug.

Fireball winnersPY Mug winners in Race 1, Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe, Fireball 14691 with DMYC Commodore Frank Guilfoyle, Photo Frank Miller.

In the Laser Radials, there was a win for another young lady in Claire Gorman, (the cup runneth over, Dad), followed by Jack Fahy and Marco Sorgassi. The second place was enough to get the Frostbite Mug for Fahy.

Race2 was a three-lap Olympic course in a slightly lighter breeze, for although the weather still wasn’t too bad, for the PY fleet there had been a long break between races. The reduction in the number of marks to be rounded made the race easier for most and a more ordered rounding of the race course resulted. Again the outer end of the line was preferred and again, Butler and Oram did their thing. This time however, the rest of the Fireballs gave them a bit more company before they fell back to have their own race for the podium places on the water. Eventually the finishing order on the water would be Butler, Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (FB 14775), Phil Lawton & Owen Laverty (FB 14990), McKenna & O’Keeffe (FB 14691), Miler & Butler (FB 14713), the RS200 of Sarah Byrne & Helen Craig and the Solo of McCarthy. The latter two did enough on the water to form a handicap podium of Butler, McCarthy and Byrne to give the Frostbite Mug to the RS 200 crew. Colin was fourth on handicap ahead of the Wayfarer of Monica Schaeffer and Norman Lee.

In the Standard Lasers, there was a repeat win for Ian Simington, but Gavan Murphy had a better race to finish second, ahead of Chris Arrowsmith and Niall Cowman. In the 4.7s there was another “double” when Alana Coakley again led the fleet home, followed by Gorman, Walsh and Hugh O’Connor. As these were all Mug winners already, the Mug went to Oisin Hughes in fifth.

In the eleven-boat Radial fleet, the younger generation found the slighter lighter wind conditions more favourable and they led the fleet home – Jack Fahy, Conrad Vandlik and Claire Gorman, were the 1-2-3, followed by Marco Sorgassi and Moss Simington. This fifth place earned Moss the Frostbite Mug.

While this column isn’t generally intended to be a notification for issues associated with the Sailing Instructions, it enjoys a healthy readership when it appears on the Afloat website. On the assumption that a lot of those readers are from the fleet, with the agreement of the principal organiser of the Frostbites, Neil Colin, a piece of advice, when the blue flag is flying to indicate that the committee boat is on station for a finish, competitors still racing are NOT allowed to cross the line.

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With the Irish Universities having a 70th team racing event in Dun Laoghaire Harbour over the weekend, with 71 races completed on Saturday and various training initiatives taking place inside (and outside) the harbour, Race Officer Neil Colin (Fireball) was challenged to get his DMYC Frostbites race course in yesterday for the third round of the 2018/19 Frostbites, with an easterly of 10 – 16 knots forecast for the day. Earlier in the morning the keelboats’ Turkey Shoot had attracted a record entry of 75 boats (a statistic gleaned from another article on a popular website) but not to be outdone, the dinghy fraternity mounted a robust attendance for the first race of the day with 55 entries across the three starts. The start area was in the outer western corner of the harbour, between the mouth and the western bight with the committee boat no more than 50 – 60m upwind of the inner wall. Given a heavy swell that was washing up on the rocks, it was a slightly unnerving feeling to have so many boats sailing up and down in such a confined area.

Race 1 of the day was a two-lap Windward – Leeward and the bulk of the fleet went off on starboard tack towards the end of the West Pier. As to be expected, Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (FB 15061) were quick out of the blocks, but your correspondent, crewing for Alistair Court (FB 14706), also got away cleanly pulling away from Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly (FB 14713). The longer tack was the port tack up the length of the harbour towards the East Pier with the weather mark in the approximate vicinity of the Boyd Memorial. With that bit more weight on the wire, Court was able to sail a higher line and had closed to a distance that necessitated a call of starboard when Butler & Oram came across on what they thought was an approach to the weather mark. Except, they chose the wrong mark, going for what was a sizeable spreader mark and on rounding it, launched their kite. Court and Bradley went round the weather mark and found that they were in company with Miller & Donnelly. The initial part of the downwind leg was a broad reach to the western end of the harbour mouth, followed by a gybe to get towards the leeward gate. Except that was like getting through the rush of a train platform as the Lasers were making their way upwind and going through the start line was taboo……….though some may have done this.

Court rounded in the lead and up the next upwind leg was able to stretch his advantage again with Bradley’s bigger weight on the wire, though he is lighter than this time last year! However, Miller & Donnelly were not to be outdone and came back at them on the off-wind leg. A poor drop by Bradley going through the gate allowed Miller to close even more but Court squeezed the win on the water by a margin of 4 seconds over Miller, with the Thompson brothers, sailing Louis Smyth’s boat, 14007, next 16 seconds later and the unusually errant Butler & Oram next home in 15:27 minutes only 40 seconds behind the winners. The question was did Court’s Fireball have enough on Shane McCarthy’s Solo to take the win and maybe a Frostbite Mug. The answer was No on both counts, despite being just short of two minutes down on Court’s finishing time, McCarthy won by 1:14 on handicap and the Kona Windsurfer of Des Gibney took second and the Mug by a four-second margin on the Fireball.

In the Laser Full Rig Class the race win and Mug went to the Dun Laoghaire Laser Class Captain Gavan Murphy followed home by Chris Arrowsmith and Conor O’Leary, the latter having sailed 6 one-lap Flying Fifteen Frostbite races the day before in the last round of 2018 racing for the DL Flying Fifteen fleet.

In the Radials, the race win and Mug went to Sean Craig, ahead of Marco Sorgassi and Conor Clancy, formerly of the Fireball Class. In the 4.7s, the race win and Mug went to Adam Walsh, followed by Alana Coakley and Conor Gorman.

For the second race of the day a four-lap Olympic configuration was set and the attrition rate started to kick in as the combined entry for this race was down to 44 boats. The weather mark stayed pretty much where it was and the spreader mark was converted to a gybe mark and located just inside the end of the West Pier. Again the consensus was to get off the start line on starboard and head towards the West Pier. The Thompson brothers and Butler & Oram had the best starts of the second race while others were adversely affected by the presence of a Laser 4.7 who was in the wrong place at the wrong time…….in irons. We were all genteel in our language in advising him what he should be doing. Having broken free of the melee, Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (FB 14691), Miller and Court found themselves in VERY close company but Court was able to power out between the two. Butler & Oram were never headed off the start line and the race for second, on the water featured Court, Miller and the Thompsons. Upwind, Court held the upper hand being able to sail much closer to the wind without losing boat speed whereas Miller and Thompson sailed that bit further off the breeze. It invariably meant a coming together in the vicinity of tacking for the starboard lay-line, with Court being “Starboard- hailed” on more than one occasion on the beat. But over the first three beats, Court eked out a lead going upwind which Miller and the Thompsons reduced on the downwind legs. It had been blustery all day, not wipe-out strength, but there were upturned boats on the course as gybes and windward rolls took their toll. On the last beat Court and Bradley were knocked over and filled the cockpit with water, enough to cause their good work earlier to evaporate.

Butler & Oram won by 1:35 on the water over Miller & Donnelly in a race that lasted 24:12, with the Thompsons next home in 26:30, 43 seconds behind Miller and just nine seconds ahead of Court & Bradley who had a second on McKenna & O’Keeffe. McCarthy was 2 seconds short of being five minutes behind Butler & Oram on the water, but on corrected time closed that gap to just seven seconds. With Des Gibney third, Miller & Donnelly picked up the PY Mug for the second race.

In the Lasers, the win and Mug in the Standard Rig went to Ian Simington, followed by Peter Fagan and Gavan Murphy. Adam Walsh took the Laser 4.7s on the water, followed home by Alana Coakley and Conor Gorman. That was good enough to give Conor the Race Mug and considering he has recently come out of Optimists, on the basis of age, this is a great result. His sister is a previous Mug winner in this Series (Day 1 Radials) so Dad Dave, the current Flying Fifteen National Champion, must be “chuffed” at their success. In the Radials, the one-two was repeated by Craig and Sorgassi but this gave Marco Sorgassi the Race Mug, with Jack Hall in third place.

Published in DMYC
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The 48th hosting of the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club’s Frostbite Series got underway yesterday, Sunday 4th November with an entry of 93 boats confirmed during the morning of the first Sunday. This represents a huge increase from last year and is due in substantial part to a big influx of Lasers which are in such number that they are now split across two separate starts; Standards & 4.7s followed by the Radials. Another fleet with good numbers was the Fireball Class who had nine boats on the water

After a review of last year’s Frostbites and a survey of the participants a number of changes have been made which will be assessed as the season progresses. Among these are;

  • A desire for more races on the day
  • A move away from the reaching legs of the trapezoid
  • Shorter duration races and faster turnaround times

Yesterday Dun Laoghaire harbour was more akin to “Piccadilly Circus” the Frostbite fleet racing mid-harbour, a group of Toppers being coached in front of the National Yacht Club and a group of INSS sailors sailing in the vicinity of the green pontoon off the western bight. The fact that there was very little wind to achieve any of these ambitions is testament to the perseverance of those who had organised them and those who took part!

dmyc frostbite

Race Officer for the Frostbites, Ben Mulligan, of the Flying Fifteen fleet, had his work cut out for him in trying to set a course for the first race with the wind being very fickle and in very short supply! Eventually, he settled on a triangular course with the committee boat set up in the middle of the harbour and a weather mark in the direction of the East Pier.

With a single PY Class the first start of the day, we were treated to a fleet that had Shane McCarthy’s Solo, the K1 of Tom Murphy (Flying Fifteen), the Enterprise of Aidan Geraghty & Bernadette Fox, the RS Aero 9 of Paul Phelan, RS200s, RS400s, Frank Hamilton’s IDRA, a two-handed Mirror and a single-handed Mirror, the returning Kona Windsurfers of Robbie Walker & Des Gibney, a 2.4m sailed by Patrick Hassett, the Wayfarer of Monica Schaefer, one of at least three, and the “Sailing in Dublin’s” Laser Vagos and the aforementioned Fireballs.

What had been set out as a beat, turned into a two sail fetch about halfway up the first leg and at the fore was the combination of the Cariosa Power & Marie Barry (FB 14854). Another, all-lady combination from the Fireball Class was also well placed in the leading bunch, Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (FB 14691) taking advantage of a good start and the lighter winds. After missing last year’s Frostbites due to medical issues, the serial winners of the Fireball Frostbites, Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061) were back on the water but found themselves in the unusual situation of being well back in the fleet and in the pecking order of the Fireballs. For those who were even further back, due to a poor start, the engagement was with the leading Laser who started 3 minutes after the PYs, the Enterprise and Schaefer’s Wayfarer.

Power & Barry maintained their lead down what was supposed to have been the first reach which had turned into a broader reach on the opposite tack and rounded the leeward mark in pole position, where they, like everyone else to follow behind them, was greeted with a rib flying the “V” flag and making sound signals – Go straight to the finish! They proceeded to do so, scoring a thirty second margin over the second Fireball and finisher – McKenna & O’Keeffe. On the water, the pecking order was Fireball, Fireball, Solo, RS Aero 9, Fireball (Court & Syme, 14706), Fireball (Butler & Oram), Fireball (Miller & Bradley, 14713), Fireball (Turner & Turner, 14362), Fireball (Colin & Casey 14775) and Kona Windsurfer (Walker, 1989). However, the leading Laser had also infiltrated that finishing sequence.

After a slightly longer break waiting for any worthwhile wind to settle in a second race got underway from a new direction, necessitating a complete change of course. The committee boat went northwards and the weather mark moved from a position approximately in front of the National and George Yachts Clubs to a position to the west of the HSS ferry gantry. However, it also had the decency to blow a bit harder and consequently, the PY fleet was able to get off the start line cleaner and more efficiently meaning that they were free of the Lasers.

“Proper order” was restored when Butler & Oram led the PY fleet into the first mark and proceeded to do what they normally do – stretch their lead over the rest of the fleet. To put this in context, in a race where their finishing time was 22:59 minutes, they had a 1:07 margin on the next boat, the Fireball of Colin & Casey. A two-lap triangular course was the recipe for the second race and all the component parts were in the right place, two spinnaker reaches and a gybe at the right location and despite the fickle wind some brief moments of off-wind trapezing!!

Further back the mid-class Fireballs were mixing it with the RS 400s and the leading Wayfarer…….again, but the breeze that had appeared meant that there was sense that one was in control of one’s destiny and some manoeuvres could be contemplated.

The finishing order of the race was; Fireball (Butler & Oram), Fireball (Colin & Casey), Fireball (Court & Syme), Fireball (Power & Barry), Fireball (Turner & Turner), Fireball (Thompson & Thompson, 15007), the beneficiaries of the Louis Smyth loaned boat scheme, Fireball (Miller & Bradley), Solo (McCarthy) and the K1 of Tom Murphy.

At the delayed daily prize-giving in the DMYC clubhouse, there was much anticipation – Could Cariosa and Marie win the first Frostbite Mug of the PY fleet (and the Fireballs) and disrupt an almost seamless sequence of opening race wins by Noel & Stephen? Given that the Fireballs were now racing in PY there was no guarantee that the opening race Mug would go to the Fireballs, but if it did it would be quite a coup for the girls! And the winner is…………Shane McCarthy in the Solo with a corrected race time of 14:23 relative to 16:11 of the Fireball! Cariosa and Marie were the leading Fireball but on corrected time were scored in 4th place behind the Solo, Schaefer’s Wayfarer and the IDRA of Frank Hamilton & Jennifer Byrne.

In the second race, the corrected time result also gave the race win to McCarthy but this time by a tighter margin of 3 seconds over the Fireball of Butler & Oram. As McCarthy had the Mug for race won, Butler & Oram took it for the second race and so, the effort to unseat Butler and Oram as the first Mug winners in the Fireball Frostbites runs for another year.

Suggestions that a recount was demanded are categorically refuted!!

In the Lasers, the pecking order of results showed an encouraging trend of mixes in the top end results with the 4.7s taking on the Standard Lasers in Race 1 and the Radials doing the same in race 2. The Radial fleet is also populated by Juniors coming out of other classes and the large numbers on the water yesterday was a very encouraging sight.

48th Frostbite Series – Hosted by Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club

2018/19

Race 1

PY Class

Lasers

1

Solo

Shane McCarthy

Standard

Chris Arrowsmith

2

Wayfarer

Monica Schaefer & Norman Lee

Standard

Gary O’Hare

3

IDRA

Frank Hamilton & Jennifer Byrne

Laser 4.7

Adam Walsh

4

Fireball

Cariosa Power & Marie Barry

Laser 4.7

Hugh O’Connor

5

RS Aero 9

Paul Phelan

Laser 4.7

Alana Coakley

6

Kona Windsurfer

Robbie Walker

Standard

Conor O’Leary

 

Race 2

PY Class

Lasers

1

Solo

Shane McCarthy

Laser Radial

Clare Gorman

2

Fireball

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram

Standard

Gary O’Hare

3

Fireball

Neil Colin & Margaret Casey

Standard

Niall Cowman

4

K1

Tom Murphy

Standard

David Cahill

5

IDRA

Frank Hamilton & Jennifer Byrne

Standard

Chris Arrowsmith

6

Wayfarer

Monica Schaefer & Norman Lee

Laser Radial

Judy O’Bierne

Published in DMYC
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Page 4 of 16

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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