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All the weather forecasts were suggesting that there should have been wind for yesterday’s Frostbites in Dun Laoghaire Harbour! XCWeather was projecting 7 – 12 knots of SSW, the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Weather station was showing 6.6 – 10 knots from 163˚ and even worse, the Dublin Bay buoy was showing 13 – 16 knots with a wind direction of 167˚. However, in the inner reaches of the harbour it was a lot less exciting. The “low rains” reference is to describe a drizzly afternoon where it was damp but it never actually rained while we were on the water.

A declaration to the rib crews and committee boat team by Race Officer Cormac Bradley that we would try for two races, given last week’s postponement, seemed optimistic but everyone agreed that it was the thing to do.  

On arrival at the start area, the wind was blowing a healthy 4 knots and was reasonably steady in direction. With the committee boat situated off the block house towards the end of the West Pier, the windward leg initially looked like it could extent the full length of the harbour with the weather mark in the location of the bandstand on the East Pier. With the light wind, which was to get lighter, a triangular course of 3 laps was set with the intention of shortening if the wind didn’t play ball. A late alteration to the weather mark saw it go northwards and a short postponement was flown to allow the stragglers a bit more time to get to the start area.

Twenty-six boats were registered as starters, with ten each in the Slow PY and Laser Classes and six in the Fast PY Class. Notable absentees were the two KONA Windsurfers, maybe deciding that there wasn’t enough wind to warrant getting their feet wet and the Solo of Shane McCarthy, though he was spotted afterwards from a distance with his boat in the carpark at the Coal Harbour, either returning from or packing up to go to a regatta.

In the Slow PY Class, the performance of the day went to Pierre Long & John Parker in the IDRA who got into “breeze” off the start line and waltzed away with the race. By the time they rounded the leeward mark, the chasing pack in Slow PY were in the vicinity of the gybe mark, or just past it. Round the weather mark the sequence in Slow PY was the Enterprise of Aidan Geraghty & Eilis O’Donnell, the Wayfarer of Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy and the second IDRA of Frank Hamilton & crew. The Laser Vagos were also well up the pecking order. However, the leading Fireball in Fast PY was already in the company of the Wayfarer and the Enterprise.

In the Lasers, a 2018 Frostbite debutant led the way off a cluttered start with one boat being “pinged” for an OCS. While he returned to the right side of the course, he did so by dipping the line rather than going round the ends, so would sail the balance of the race in vain. Having established that he could retrospectively pay an entry fee, Chris Arrowsmith found that the premium for a retrospective entry grew as he crossed the line first and then qualified for the Frostbite Mug for the Laser Class.

Three Fireballs, a Finn a 470, a RS400 and a K1 made up the Fast PY fleet. Frank Miller & Ed Butler (14713) started at the pin end on port and headed to the right hand side of the course. Noel Butler & Marie Barry (15061) and the “pink ladies” Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691) both started on starboard close to the committee boat but Butler went right initially. His final approach saw him coming into the weather mark on the port lay-line and he appeared to be enjoying a healthy lead. By now the conditions had gone light with wind strength down to 2.2 – 2.5 knots. The top reach “held its shape” by allowing the spinnaker boats to fly bags, but the second reach saw a much more varied approach to getting to the leeward mark. For example, Butler & Barry were tight reaching into the middle of the course on port tack before they gybed to get down to the leeward mark.

With Long & Parker (IDRA) just rounded the leeward mark and with the wind Gods deciding we weren’t going to get anything more, the decision was taken to shorten course at the weather mark. The committee boat upped anchor and relocated itself in time to allow Long & Parker (IDRA) a very VERY comfortable win on the water. The second boat home was the Fireball of Butler & Barry (15061) with Chris Arrowsmith the first Laser.

The ambition to have a second race evaporated in the millpond like environment of the harbour and the consensus afterwards appeared to be that the right call had been made – a race had been achieved.   The fastest race time on corrected time went to the IDRA of Pierre Long and John Parker.

DMYC Frostbites – 18th February 2018

Slow PY

 

1

Pierre Long & John Parker

IDRA

 

2

Aidan Geraghty & Eilis O’Donnell

Enterprise

 

3

Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy

Wayfarer

Lasers

 

1

Chris Arrowsmith

Laser

 

2

Brendan Hughes

Laser Radial

 

3

Luke Dillon

Laser

Fast PY

 

1

Noel Butler & Marie Barry

Fireball

 

2

Hugh Sheehy

Finn

 

3

Frank Miller & Ed Butler

Fireball

The Fast PY Mug went to Tom Murphy in the K1 but the Mug for the Slow PY was withheld pending the provision of a PY Number for a single-handed Laser Vago. The Vagos of “Sailing in Dublin” are a stalwart element of the Frostbite Series and in recent weeks a number have been sailed single-handed. Another competitor brought this to the attention of the race committee yesterday so the class has been asked to provide the relevant PY Number so that the results can be reviewed.

Given the number of postponements we have had this year, yesterday was a bonus. It wasn’t a thriller, but everyone who wanted a race got a race………..with the exception of one retiree who obviously had too much excitement for the day!

Published in DMYC
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After two Sundays of excessive wind, the wind gods looked more favourably on the Frostbites in Dun Laoghaire Harbour and allowed two races to be sailed. However, the waterscape at the DMYC end of the harbour did not lend itself to the idea that racing would be possible – on arrival it was mirror flat. Fortunately, the Race Officer for the day, Cormac Bradley, had checked the main body of the harbour and was able to see two 1720s sailing well in the vicinity of the Carlisle Pier, before he got to the DMYC. That allowed him to speculate as to the possibility of having two races, a view endorsed by Frostbites Director, Neil Colin.

The race team departed the shore with a view to seeing what was possible and were greeted with a light wind coming out of the eastern quadrant of the compass. From a position in the roads of the marina approach, the wind was initially coming off the Boyd Memorial on the East Pier, and then went further left to the weather station on the upper walkway of the pier. A median position between the two seemed to be the safe bet!  The balance of the triangular course was set leaving the ribs free to help get the fleet out to the start area. While this was underway the wind went right to the extent that the weather mark had to be re-set.

Thirty-one boats came under starter’s order for the first race, 3 laps of a triangular course with a weather mark set beyond and outside the ferry gantry, a gybe mark in the middle of the harbour and a leeward mark just outside the entrance to the marina.

In Slow PY, eleven boats took part with the early action on the water being between the Wayfarer, the IDRA of Pierre Long and John Parker and the KONA of Robbie Walker.  Frank Hamilton & Jenny in the second IDRA and Aidan Geraghty & Eilis O’Driscoll had a separate race. While both off-wind legs were spinnaker legs, the wind strength wasn’t overly strong and the KONAs struggled in the lighter stuff. As the race progressed the Wayfarer of Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy eked out a comfortable lead having a 1:43 lead at the finish with the IDRA of Pierre Long coming home second. The second IDRA came home six seconds under three minutes behind Long with the Enterprise and the first KONA of Walker separating the two IDRAS.  On corrected time, the wayfarer took the wind by 29 seconds with the IDRAS second and third.

In the Lasers, Shirley Gilmore (Rad) set the early pace and led the fleet round the first lap, however, by the finish she had been overhauled by debutant Mark Coakley (Full, 201888) who took the win by thirty-four seconds. In third was the full rig of Justin Geoghegan (Full, 165512), just thirty-five seconds behind Gilmore and only ten seconds ahead of Alan Hodgins (Full, 175809). On handicap, Gilmore took the win, followed by Coakley, Geoghegan, Hodgins and Sean Flanagan (Full, 177854).  The Lasers had a close race with nobody breaking significantly away.

The seven-boat Fast PY fleet saw a Frostbite debut for Fireball 15007, sailed by Dave Coleman and Glen Fisher as part of the 5-boat Fireball contribution to this fleet, the odd-ones-out being the Finn of Hugh Sheehy and the RS 400 of Neils Warburton. Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly (14713) led the fleet around the first lap but with the exception of the debutants the Fireballs kept close company around the course.  Thus, while Miller led, Noel Butler & Marie Barry (15061) and Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) were in very close company and Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706) were probably of the order of a boat length and a half off them.   At the end of the first lap, my recall is that Miller and Butler went left almost immediately while Colin went right. And while Butler would claim afterwards that he gained whether he went left or right, at different times, and I don’t dispute that, the consequence of going right was that Colin & Casey came out on top at the second weather mark. However, they had no sense of comfort as Miller and Butler were breathing down their necks. Court couldn’t quite close the gap on the boats ahead of him. Butler & Barry were shut out of leading the fleet until the very end of the race when the Enterprise of the Slow PY fleet entered the fray of rounding the leeward mark. There is no suggestion that the Enterprise shouldn’t have been there or did anything wrong, but as the second Fireball on the water, behind Colin and the Enterprise, Butler was able to execute a more efficient rounding and with a short hitch to the finish was able to take the lead of the race when it mattered most – just before the finish line. He beat Colin home by 18 seconds with only 1½ minutes need to finish the first four Fireballs. Despite the fact that the Finn came in five seconds short of three minutes behind the first Fireball his corrected time gave him a win by 19 seconds over Butler, Colin and Court with Miller in fifth.

As an additional feature of the results, the team gave the list of fastest elapsed times on the water, corrected to reflect the three different start times.

In Race 1 the order of fastest corrected race times is as follows;

Crew

Class

Elapsed time

Corrected Time

Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy

Wayfarer

38:47

35:12

Pierre Long & John Parker

IDRA 14

40:30

35:41

Shirley Gilmore

Laser Radial

41:00

36:00

Mark Coakley

Laser

40:26

36:51

Hugh Sheehy

Finn

39:10

37:29

Noel Butler & Marie Barry

Fireball

36:15

37:48

Given that the last two Sundays were blown out and as there was still enough wind, and sunshine, to have a second race, a windward-leeward course was signalled. Again, there was some fickleness to the breeze in terms of direction, but just before the Race Officer resigned himself from having to move station, the wind settled in to a changed windward mark position.

Again three laps were signalled. In the PY fleet the greyhounds again were the Wayfarer of Schaeffer & McCarthy, the IDRA of Long & Parker, the KONA of Walker and the IDRA of Hamilton & Jenny. Schaeffer & McCarthy and Long & Parker worked their way clear of the fleet and Long stayed ahead for the latter half of the race.  However, despite having a good lead on the water as he sailed down the last leeward leg, he sailed through the finish line with the committee boat flying its blue flag to indicate that it was on station for a finish. Moments later, as Schaeffer passed outside the committee boat, she made it clear that she would be protesting Long for his transgression……….he subsequently retired.

The Lasers meantime decided they would have their indiscretions on the start line with an X-flag being flown at their start. Not all the transgressors returned which meant that they were met with silence when they crossed the finish line. Despite the light airs and her handicap win of the first race, Shirley Gilmore struggled with this one and left the winning on the water to the full rigs of Luke Dillon (166676), Mark Coakley (201888), Conor O’Leary (190745) with Ella Hemeryck in another Laser Radial (210312) the first lady home in fourth. This was enough to elevate her to the class win by a margin of five seconds.

In the fast PY it was all about gybing angles for the Fireballs on the downwind legs and trying to get into perceived wind veins across the course. In truth I saw little of the intimate action as a consequence of my Race Officer duties so all I can report is that Court and Syme nearly transgressed the rule to not sail through the finish line when the blue flag is flying but avoided the scenario with a crash hardening up around the pin end of the finish line.  Butler & Barry took the race win on the water by 1:37 over Court who had forty seconds on Miller who had eleven seconds on Court. But they were all gazumped by Sheehy who finished among the Fireballs and took the handicap win. 

Sheehy also took the fastest corrected time for Race 2, 33:22, followed by Hemeryck, 33:38, Dillon, 33:43 and Butler/Barry 34:19.

Mug Winners on the day included Dave Coleman and Glen Fisher (R1/Fast PY Fleet), Mark Coakley (R1/Laser) and Ella Hemeryck (R2/Laser Radial)

Published in Dublin Bay
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DMYC organiers are studying a dip in entries for its annual Frostbite series.

Numbers have dropped significantly from the typical 80 – 90 boats over recent years to 52 this year, 24 of which are Lasers.

Despite best efforts to promote the event, including contacting class captains, contacting dinghy clubs, early publication of the NOR and ease of entry via the web site the decline has been noticeable. 

'It appears to be lifestyle changes, as the morning cruiser (Turkey Shoot) racing is growing in popularity', says the DMYC's Neil Colin.

One suggestion for change has been made by Afloat.ie reader Peter O'Doherty (see comment via Facebook below) who says 'multiple, shorter races with a variety of courses would make the series more attractive. Five laps of a trapezoid can end up being a bit of a procession'.

The DMYC are making a determined push for series two of the winter event that runs until the end of March.

'We're calling all East Coast Dinghy Sailors to use the Frostbites on Sunday afternoons to keep your “hand in” and ensure you “hit the ground running” at the start of the summer season', Colin told Afloat.ie

The DMYC Frostbites Series II, runs from 7th January to 25th March – potentially there are 11 Sundays left, with double race days when the weather and daylight allows.

Racing is for Lasers and PY fleets (incl KONA windsurfers) with the first gun at 13.57 hours each day.

Entry is available on line here or in the club house after racing, entry fees will be discounted by 50%.

Published in DMYC
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It was most probably a combination of the weather forecast, the actual weather or the time of year (two Sundays before Christmas), but yesterday’s Frostbite fleet was considerably reduced and only two Fireballs answered the starter’s call writes Cormac Bradley. An indication of the weather was the fact that the keelboats were cancelled in the morning and later we also heard that the Howth Autumn Series was cancelled. On Facebook I read that the sailing at Datchet Water was cancelled and seeing the waves off Hayling Island (in a photograph on Facebook), I can’t imagine that anyone was sailing there either.

Even the recently acquired Dun Laoghaire based MOCRA 60 was out under reefed main and small headsail, though that may have more to do with the nature of her business for the day – looking after corporate interests! 

Strangely, the forecast on XCWeather wasn’t extreme with a wind forecast of 10 knots gusting to 15 from an ENE direction and air temperatures of 3- 4 degrees. However, the conditions were a bit windier and a bit colder with snow lying on the hills behind Dun Laoghaire and a decision had been taken that only one race would be sailed. 

The committee boat, under the management of Race Officer Brian Mulkeen, was located just to the west of the HSS docking gantry and he set a 4-lap triangular course for the day’s proceedings. With a weather mark located to the east of the harbour mouth and a gybe mark located to the west of the harbour mouth, the top reach of the course was a spinnaker leg for the first two laps for the Fireballs but the second reach was tighter and discretion rather than valour applied to that leg.    

The majority of the starters headed off the start line on starboard tack – five boats in the Slow PY Fleet, eight Lasers in the second start and the two Fireballs, Finn, K1 and RS 400 in the Fast PY Fleet. Noel Butler & Marie Barry (15061) stayed to the outside of the committee boat so that they were able to start on the committee boat while Louise McKenna & Cormac Bradley (14691) having come into the start area a little early found themselves starting further down the line. The K1 was further to leeward of them but the other starters were between the two Fireballs. Butler tacked early onto port while McKenna stayed on a starboard tack for longer and that was race over. For Butler the chase became one of closing down on the starters ahead of him, while for McKenna the challenge was to stay ahead of the Finn.

The distance between the two Fireballs at the first weather mark was respectable and McKenna got there ahead of the Finn and the RS. Both Fireballs flew spinnaker down the first reach but confusingly, Butler held it through the gybe but dropped it immediately and it was only when they did it the second time that the penny dropped – the drop was on that side so that it was correct for the hoist at the next weather mark. It was the correct call as the leg was a lot tighter than it had been on the practice lap. Around the second lap there was little to report, Butler increased his lead and McKenna got away from the Finn. But on the third beat, McKenna went right early while the Finn worked the left-hand side. A header for McKenna saw her fall behind the Finn on the water but she recovered her position before the weather mark and sailed away from him again on the off-wind legs. The second half of the race was breezier with a dark cloud outside the harbour generating the stronger stuff. Bob Hobby, marshalling g the area around Mark 1 was also of the view that this had also brought in a flurry of snow, but we weren’t specifically aware of that. By the finish the lead on the water over the Finn was approximately 1:20 in favour of the Fireball but that subsequently proved to be insufficient. In terms of his “unofficial chase” of the boats starting ahead of him, it may well have been that the Solo was the only boat to save his time on Butler.

As has been the case for all of the Sundays to date, the action at the head of the Slow PY Fleet was between the Solo and the Wayfarer and today (again) the Solo had the upper-hand.  While the lead on the water stayed fairly constant, Shane McCarthy was a comfortable leader throughout the entire race. Behind them the IDRA14 of Frank Hamilton led the chase and ultimately he did enough time-wise to secure third place on handicap and taker the day’s Frostbite Mug. With Hugh Sheehy (Finn) and Butler already having Frostbite Mugs, the day’s Mug went to Louise McKenna and Cormac Bradley.

DMYC Frostbites: Overall Fast PY Fleet

R1

R3

R4

R5

R6

R7

Tot

1

Noel Butler & Marie Barry

FB 15061

1

2

1

1

1

1

7

2

Frank Miller & Ed Butler/CormacBradley/Grattan Donnelly

FB14713

2

5

2

3

2

6

20

3

Neil Colin & Margaret Casey

FB14775

3

7

3

4

3

6

26

4

Alistair Court & Gordon Syme

FB14706

7

3

5

2

8

6

31

4

Hugh Sheehy (Finn)

2

7

1

4

9

8

2

31

6

Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe/Cormac Bradley

14691

7

7

10

5

4

2

35

Published in DMYC
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#DMYC - The Notice of Race for the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club’s upcoming Frostbite Challenge is now online.

The DMYC will be celebrating 47 years of winter racing in the 2017-18 Frostbite series — and entries are now open on the DMYC website.

Fees are €180 for two-handers, €150 for single-handed boats and €100 for juniors. Competitors must be members of Irish Sailing or a affiliated Category 1 club.

Races will run on Sundays in Dublin Bay or Dun Laoghaire Harbour from 5 November till 25 March (excluding 24 and 31 December) with first gun at 1.57pm.

There will be three starts each racing day, for PY2, Lasers and PY1. All boats will be raced under the Portsmouth Yardstick handicapping system.

Participants can also apply for dinghy parking at the DMYC via the website.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Published in DMYC
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There was almost a full turnout of the Fireballs registered for the 2015/16 Frostbites in Dun Laoghaire yesterday when 10 boats assembled on the start line for the first of two trapezoid-course races in sunshine but cool temperatures writes Cormac Bradley. The forecasts for the afternoon were a bit mixed with one site suggesting the N-Westerly would go Northerly and fade while another suggested it would go Southerly and build a little. In the end it was the former forecast that won out.

Two early practice rounds of the course revealed conditions that required trapezing upwind and tight spinnaker legs across the top and bottom of the trapezoid but as the afternoon progressed, the need for trapezing faded though the reaches were still lively.

In Race 1 the fleet had various ideas on how to work the first beat, the Clancy brothers, Conor and James, making a first appearance after a few weeks absence, decided that hitting the East Pier was the way to go with a weather mark just inside the end of the West Pier. The rest of the fleet demurred to varying degrees, preferring to work the middle and left of the course. The majority view was vindicated at the first weather mark with a rounding order of Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061), Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706), Darragh McDonagh & Neil Duke (14434), Neil Colin & John (14775), Frank Miller & Cormac Bradley (14713). Team Clancy were down in 7th in close proximity to Cariosa Power & Marie Barry (14854), Louise McKenna & Tim (14691), Mary Chambers & Brenda McGuire (14865) and Peter & Michael Keegan (14676).

By the time the first half of the fleet got to Mark 2, Butler & Oram had pulled out a short lead. At the gybe, Miller gained two places by getting inside McDonagh and Colin and with a faster spinnaker set was able to pull away and to windward of them – time to hunt down Court!

On the second beat, Miller worked the right hand side of the course while Butler and Court worked the middle. By the time they reached the 2nd weather mark, Miller had closed dramatically on Court and they rounded with Miller only just ahead. Butler of course was doing his normal thing of putting distance between himself and the rest of the fleet.  Halfway down the top leg of the trapezoid Miller was able to break the overlap with Court and put a few boat-lengths between the boats. This position was retained to the rounding of Mark 4. Behind them, Chambers had dropped out, Colin too had dropped out after an incident on the water and the chasing boats were now Power/Barry and the Clancy brothers.

Third beat and Butler and Court both go left immediately! As piggy in the middle, Miller goes right – a potentially dangerous ploy, leaving the opposition to do their own thing. As they entered the last stages of the beat Court crosses ahead but a few minutes later when they cross again, Miller has sneaked in front. Miller gets to the weather mark first and holds Court off to Mark 4. On the final beat, Miller is much more circumspect, only taking a short hitch to the right to see what Court will do on rounding 4. When Court tacks, so does Miller and the pair sail in close company up the left hand side of the course, with Miller to windward. Butler is “long gone” sailing his own comfortable race. Behind Court and Miller, both Clancy and Power close but not enough to give the “heebie-jeebies” just yet! Miller tacks first for the port lay-line and gets to the weather mark first ahead of Court who is in a slightly more windward slot.  

The last lap is now a race between the Clancys and Power & Barry with the lighter ladies more than holding their own.  They exchange the lead a few times on the top leg, but on the longer leg between 2 and 3 the ladies get into a more secure position and hold off the brothers to the finish.

The fading and northerly shifting breeze now necessitates a change of course but due to the logistics of the harbour, it is not enough to move the weather mark, the committee boat has to move as well, moving inshore towards the gantry for the HSS.  The weather mark, meantime, is now closer to the end of the East Pier. Three laps are set for this second race and at the start the fleet decides that the pin is the place to be. Miller gets his approach wrong, finds he is too early and gybes out from underneath the fleet and works the right hand side of the course. After a single race, the Clancys are back in the groove and they lead the charge to the weather mark followed by Power & Barry, Neil Colin & John, Butler & Oram and Court & Syme. By the time the fleet clear the weather mark, we are treated to the sight of Butler & Oram doing two sets of turns – one set to absolve themselves from an incident with the Clancys and the second for hitting the mark.

Five boats manage to break away from the fleet – Clancys, Power & Barry, Neil & John, Miller and Bradley and Court & Syme.  Behind this bunch, Chambers & McGuire are well placed and of course everyone was aware that Butler & Oram wouldn’t be hanging around the back for any longer than was necessary! Despite the fact that the wind has gone northwards, the right hand side was not paying as much as one would have thought and the fleet consistently worked the middle and left of the course. Clancy and Power were never threatened though their lead did get shortened as the race progressed. Miller gained places off wind to move into third but upwind he lost out to Butler & Oram who worked their way through the fleet.  These places stay as is until the finish with Court & Syme taking the fifth place on the water.

DMYC Frostbites 2015/16: Series 2; Day 6, 6th March R1 R2
Noel Butler & Stephen Oram NYC 15061 1 3
Conor & James Clancy RStGYC 14807 5 1
Cariosa Power & Marie Barry NYC 14854 4 2
Frank Miller & Cormac Bradley DMYC 14713 2 4
Alistair Court & Gordon Syme DMYC 14706 5 5

After nineteen races and five discards, the overall situation is as follows;

DMYC Frostbites 2015/16
1 Noel Butler & Stephen Oram NYC 15061 15pts
2 Frank Miller & Cormac Bradley/Grattan Donnelly DMYC 14713 38pts
3 Alistair Court & Gordon Syme DMYC 14706 59pts
Published in Fireball

The third week of the Frostbites in Kinsale Yacht Club was run under testing conditions today. When the Committee Boat, got to the racing area there was barely 5 knots of breeze, compounded by the fact that it was out of the NE and there was a very strong tide ebbing, the windward leg was definitely challenging for the competitors.
9 Squibs were on the start line. 1st race saw Viking Gold, Jeff Condell and Jeff Cochrane, trying hard to hold his position at the Committee Boat end of the line but he got pushed OCS and had to go around. Allegro, Colm Dunne and Rob Gill and Fagin, Cliodhna and Finbarr O’Regan, were neck and neck for the first two legs. Colm came down on starboard on a higher line, Cliodhna ran a more direct line to the mark. However Colm jibed onto port and reached in at speed to take the mark and this was to prove a decisive move in the race. Viking Gold put in a great race and despite the recall managed to overhaul the fleet to take 3rd.
The wind picked up to 8 – 10 knots for the next 2 races which made the challenging beat a little easier. Allegro took command from the start by finding clean air on the line. Fagin and Viking Gold were tick tacking for 2nd place. John Stanley and Alastair Christie on Bateleur and Denis and Brid Cudmore on Sensation were not far behind. Fagin rounded the leeward mark ahead and secured 2nd. Viking Gold decided to come up to the finish line on the left side of the course and this paid off by securing him 3rd place ahead of Sensation and Bateleur.
The final race again saw an OCS, this time Fagin got squeezed over the line and had to come around. Allegro and Viking Gold both got clear starts, Allegro rounded the windward mark first and managed to hold the lead for the rest of the race. Bateleur rounded the windward mark in 3rd and had a very strong race. Despite the recall Fagin picked off the fleet one by one and with some serious hiking by Finbarr and great helming by Cliodhna just managed to get ahead of Bateleur on the last tack to the line to take 3rd. Next week Allegro is away so Viking Gold and Fagin have it all to play for.
The Laser Fleet saw only 3 competitors today as 1st & 2nd in the series are away training. Mathias Hellstern took command of each of the races to take 3 bullets, Chris Baker put in a steady performance to come 2nd each race with Nic Bendon taking 3rd. Hopefully next week will see a larger turnout of Lasers.

Published in Kinsale

A review of Met Eireann’s Sea Area forecast on Saturday might have persuaded those who contest Dun Laoghaire’s Frostbites, that there would be little point in going to the harbour on Sunday afternoon – the forecast was for Force6/7 winds.

In reality, those who were on the water – a fleet of 40-odd boats, 3 GP14s, a Wayfarer, the K1, the Finn, 14 Lasers, 5 RS400s, Laser Vagos, Toppers and eight Fireballs – got two races in, initially in light enough conditions but with more wind developing as the afternoon wore on. The weather station on the harbour was recording 4.7 knots of breeze with a gust of 10.6 knots blowing from a southerly direction (173˚) in a balmy 14.4˚ when I arrived at the harbour. So much for F6 -7!

For the last-starting Fireballs, the majority view was to go left, so all eight boats were on starboard tack heading towards the east pier when the starting signal went. The boat on the pin however tacked quite early and crossed the others and on the basis that they were first at the first weather mark, I am going to credit that tactic to Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691). Indeed, the pecking order at the first mark was very interesting – Louise and Hermine led, followed by Class Chairman Marie Barry crewing for Cariosa Power (14854), followed by Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly (14713), Mary Chambers & Brenda McGuire (14865), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775), Dara McDonagh (14330), Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061) and Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706).

At Mk 2 the lead boats sailed on towards the harbour mouth while Neil & Margaret gybed to sail a course towards the centre of the harbour before gybing back again to get around Mk3. I am not sure that they gained anything by that! The pecking order changed dramatically at Mk4 after a tight 3-sailer between Mks 2 & 3, when the fleet concertina-ed into itself. An apparent lack of wind and the presence of other boats at this mark saw a very different order established and manifested even further by the leading two boats getting away. At the second weather mark, Butler & Oram were ahead, followed by Miller & Donnelly, Colin & Casey, Power & Barry and Court & Syme. The lead boat at the first weather mark was now the tail-ender!

The breeze started to get up a little at this stage and the trend now was to sail on at Mk2 before gybing to round Mk3. The leg from 3 to 4 was also getting tighter and on the second lap, Messrs Butler & Oram did an Aussie-drop well before the last mark of the lap. What had been an iffy wind condition turned into a healthier situation so that the crews were now trapezing upwind and the off-wind legs were getting a bit more exciting. For Power and Barry, this resulted in a capsize between 3 and 4 on the third lap which put an end to their race. Butler & Oram built on their led over the latter half of the race to be comfortable winners in the end, followed home by Miller & Donnelly, Colin & Casey, Court & Syme and McKenna & O’Keeffe.

For the second start, in which there were seven boats, again the trend was to go left. Miller & Donnelly were closest to the pin, followed by Court & Syme, but the sense was that Butler & Oram were slightly to windward of both boats. Accordingly, he was the first to go right! All seven boats worked the middle and left and those who were closest to the port lay line seemed to be lifted into the mark. The only boat to be slightly out of kilter with the fleet was McKenna/O’Keeffe who ended up sailing a short distance up the starboard lay line. A more usual pecking order of Butler leading the fleet at the first weather mark was in place with Court and Miller in close company in 2nd and 3rd respectively. McKenna & McDonagh closed out the top five. Legs 1 – 2 and legs 3 – 4 were now much tighter, so much so that some of the lighter combinations two-sailed the top reach. Again, the modus operandi for 3 – 4 was to sail towards the harbour mouth before gybing back to round Mk3.

For the upwind legs, Butler seemed to make a point of taking a short port hitch to the right that then allowed him to apply a loose cover on the boats rounding behind him. Thereafter the process was to work left-wards and tack short of the lay-line to pick up the port tack lift into the weather mark.

Butler, Court and Miller had a comfortable gap on the balance of the fleet and at the last weather mark the time intervals were as follows; Butler (00:00), Court (00:50), Miller (01:13), McKenna (01:58), McDonagh (02:48), Chambers (03:22) and Power (03:55).


2015/16 Frostbites: Series 2 Overall (Assumes no discard) R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Tot
1 Noel Butler & Stephen Oram 15061 NYC 1 4 1 1 1 1 9
2 Frank Miller & Cormac Bradley/Grattan Donnellyu 14713 DMYC 4 2 3 4 2 3 20
3 Conor & James Clancy 14807 RStGYC 2 1 2 2 10 9 26
4 Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 14775 DMYC 3 3 5 3 3 9 26
5 Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keefe 14691 RStGYC 5 5 6 5 5 4 30
Published in Fireball
Tagged under

The early morning forecast told the waking masses that snow had fallen on high ground overnight and on coming ashore after two races, the hills behind Dun Laoghaire had a light dusting of the white stuff.
But for the Fireballs racing on the first Sunday of the second half of the Frostbite Series, the predominant weather was sunshine and blue skies. The wind was a “bit all over the place” with some strong gusts sweeping over the race course but the average wind strength was quite modest. The weather app, “Windfinder” has recorded the wind as being 12 – 18 knots from the SW, with an air temperature of 6˚.
The reconnaissance of the course in advance of the race suggested that there was better wind on the right hand side of the course, the problem with going left was that you got under the lee of the land that bit sooner. The bias of the line favoured a pin-end start so the debate was whether to commit to that end or to hedge one’s bets and start on the middle of the line to facilitate an early departure to the right.
Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061) and the Clancy Brothers, Conor and James were in close company at the pin end and at the starting signal they both tacked onto port to set off for the weather mark. Those closer to the committee boat did the same thing but at slightly different times to the two boats mentioned. The starting manoeuvre by Butler & Clancy effectively sealed the race for them as they were never headed thereafter. On days such as these, Neil Colin and Margaret Casey (14775) come into their own and they worked the left hand side of the course as well to round the weather mark in 3rd place. 4th place at this first mark of the course went to Frank Miller and Cormac Bradley (14713) who had tacked off the line earlier than most and were looking good on the right hand side until a header on starboard tack allowed the aforementioned Colin & Casey to get ahead of them. The first reach of the 4-lap trapezoid course was tight but spinnakers were flown. On the next leg there were a variety of approaches to getting to Mark 3 Butler, Clancy, Miller went right, Colin and Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706) went left as did some of those who were immediately behind Miller at Mark 1. This led to a convergence at Mark 3 with two boats exchanging views of the applicability of water at the mark to the rounding. Miller & Bradley couldn’t catch Colin & Casey and for the balance of the race, the first four boats weren’t challenged on the race course.
The top reach of the trapezoid became tighter as the wind shifted eastwards and on the second lap no spinnakers were flown, but the wind eased again and three sail reaches reverted to being the order of the day.
Behind the first four boats the competition was between Court/Syme, the all-lady crew of Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691) and Darragh McDonagh (14330).
A second, shorter race was sailed in wind that was starting to ease in strength with less frequent gusts. The weather mark stayed where it was, just off the approach to the marina in the harbour, but No. 2 was dropped a little further into the harbour to make the reaches less testing.
Colin & Casey stole the march on the fleet for the second start with a port tack start on the pin. They managed to clear the “cluster” of boats at that end of the line and headed off with a distinct advantage on the rest of the fleet. Miller & Bradley has a poor start, having to duck transoms but the advantage was that they got out to the right hand side. Colin held the lead to the weather mark, chased by Butler & Clancy with Miller pulling in to 4th place. Behind them the other all-lady team of Mary Chambers & Brenda McGuire (14865) were leading the chase. Again the first four places stayed stable for the first lap. At Mark 4 Butler & Clancy decided to work the left hand side of the course while Colin stayed right, as did Miller. Halfway up the beat it appeared that the left hand gamble hadn’t paid off as Miller stayed in better breeze on the right. At the weather mark for the second time, Colin was still in charge but now Miller was in 2nd. Past Marks 2, 3 and 4 and Miller was able to stay ahead of Clancy who has passed out Butler.
Up the third and last beat, Butler and Clancy took the same left-ish approach. Miller, sailing between these two and Colin to his lee, but ahead, picked up his own independent supply of wind to sail through Colin’s weather and through the lee of the other two, and was lifted in to the mark. Now sitting in the lead, Miller & Bradley had to keep a watching brief on the Clancy brothers who had “squeaked” into 2nd place just ahead of Colin. From 1 to 2 to 3 Miller didn’t lose distance to the brothers but after the gybe at Mk. 3, taking a slightly windward course to 4, Miller ran out of breeze and despite having to go to leeward of two-single-handers, the brothers slipped into the lead just before Mk.4 and covered Miller up the short hitch to the finish.
2015/16 Frostbites, Dun Laoghaire, 2nd Series R1 R2
Conor & James Clancy 14807 RStGYC 2 1
Noel Butler & Stephen Oram 15061 NYC 1 4
Frank Miller & Cormac Bradley 14713 DMYC 4 2
Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 14775 DMYC 3 3
Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe 14691 RStGYC 5 5

Published in Dublin Bay
Tagged under
Page 2 of 7

Marine Science Perhaps it is the work of the Irish research vessel RV Celtic Explorer out in the Atlantic Ocean that best highlights the essential nature of marine research, development and sustainable management, through which Ireland is developing a strong and well-deserved reputation as an emerging centre of excellence. From Wavebob Ocean energy technology to aquaculture to weather buoys and oil exploration these pages document the work of Irish marine science and how Irish scientists have secured prominent roles in many European and international marine science bodies.

 

At A Glance – Ocean Facts

  • 71% of the earth’s surface is covered by the ocean
  • The ocean is responsible for the water cycle, which affects our weather
  • The ocean absorbs 30% of the carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere by human activity
  • The real map of Ireland has a seabed territory ten times the size of its land area
  • The ocean is the support system of our planet.
  • Over half of the oxygen we breathe was produced in the ocean
  • The global market for seaweed is valued at approximately €5.4 billion
  • · Coral reefs are among the oldest ecosystems in the world — at 230 million years
  • 1.9 million people live within 5km of the coast in Ireland
  • Ocean waters hold nearly 20 million tons of gold. If we could mine all of the gold from the ocean, we would have enough to give every person on earth 9lbs of the precious metal!
  • Aquaculture is the fastest growing food sector in the world – Ireland is ranked 7th largest aquaculture producer in the EU
  • The Atlantic Ocean is the second largest ocean in the world, covering 20% of the earth’s surface. Out of all the oceans, the Atlantic Ocean is the saltiest
  • The Pacific Ocean is the largest ocean in the world. It’s bigger than all the continents put together
  • Ireland is surrounded by some of the most productive fishing grounds in Europe, with Irish commercial fish landings worth around €200 million annually
  • 97% of the earth’s water is in the ocean
  • The ocean provides the greatest amount of the world’s protein consumed by humans
  • Plastic affects 700 species in the oceans from plankton to whales.
  • Only 10% of the oceans have been explored.
  • 8 million tonnes of plastic enter the ocean each year, equal to dumping a garbage truck of plastic into the ocean every minute.
  • 12 humans have walked on the moon but only 3 humans have been to the deepest part of the ocean.

(Ref: Marine Institute)

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