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Displaying items by tag: Frostbites

The penultimate Sunday of the 2021/22 Viking Marine sponsored Frostbites, hosted by Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club started off with some discussion in the race management group as to whether sailing would take place.

Despite a forecast on Friday, published as part of the Snakes’ Alive report on Afloat, of 12-15 knots, the wind on the day was a few knots higher than this and some of the squalls were generating whistling in the rigging at the DMYC. And yet, when the squalls dissipated, the wind was fine. Given that it was the penultimate Sunday, the sun was shining and we had lost so many Sundays since the New Year, the RO decided we should at least go out and have a look. The forecast was for the wind to drop, so a postponement on the water might be used to get racing underway in more benign conditions.

The PY start Photo: Noel ButlerThe PY start Photo: Noel Butler

And given that a fleet of Optimists were having a coaching session on the water, it seemed that the wind in the corner of the harbour occupied by the DMYC was much more squally due to its direction and maybe a wider view of the race area would be beneficial.

Yes, on going out to the middle of the harbour, the breeze was around the 15 – 18 mark and there were stronger gusts but the gusts were in the high teens very low twenties and a decision was taken to sail windward-leeward for the first race and review the situation on completion.

With the wind from an almost identical direction to Friday’s Snakes’ Alive racing, 140°, the weather mark was laid on the offshore side of the bandstand on the East Pier, about a third of the way between the bandstand and the obelisk on the upper wall. The Leeward gate was laid in the elbow of the western breakwater and the West Pier. A similar fleet size to Friday was on the water, thirty-three boats, split as follows, PY (14), ILCA 7s (4), ICLA 6s (13) and ILCA 4s (2). All three starts got away at the first time of asking with most boats favouring a starboard tack start and a left-hand side of the beat approach for the opening beat. Later there was more progression to the right-hand side of the beat.

In the PY Fleet, Frank Miller & Ed Butler (FB 14713) dominated proceedings on the water and won with 3:12 in hand over the first Aero 7 of Brendan Foley and 5:29 on the Aero 5 of Sarah Dwyer. Yet they lost out on handicap to both these Aeros and the Finn of Des Fortune by 1:43 to Dwyer, 1:17 to Foley and 0:07 to Fortune. Still the smiles on the faces of all these finishers was testament to the racing that had been enjoyed. Dwyer in particular loved the stronger breeze.

In the ILCA 7s, Conor O’Leary stole a march on the regulars of Gavan Murphy and Chris Arrowsmith to take the gun while Zoe Hall put in another sterling performance in the breeze to take the ILCA 4s.
In the ILCA 6s, Marco Sorgassi came home with a tight chasing pack a short distance off his transom as he finished in first place. Behind him the pecking order was Conor Galligan, Conor Clancy, Sean Flanagan and Brendan Hughes.

ILCA racing at the Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites Photo: Noel ButlerILCA racing at the Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites Photo: Noel Butler

The wind had moderated during the course of the race, though there were still squalls coming through but without the same viciousness as the morning. And given that the sun was out and the first race had been a fast one – four laps of a Windward-Leeward had generated a race time of 38:29 for Miller/Butler, a four-lap Olympic was signalled for the second race.

Photo: Noel ButlerPhoto: Noel Butler

There wasn’t an obvious peep from the high-profile character who had been vexed at the RO’s decision on the second race format and length the previous Sunday and during the week he had confirmed to the RO by WhatsApp that he had relented on his initial reaction to the decision. And in the second race said individual had another great result!

While the wind had eased somewhat for the second race, it seemed that some discretion was being displayed by the spinnaker classes on the top reach of the triangle, even though the gybe mark position, inside the red lighthouse, was in a genteel position.

Miller/Butler again dominated the proceedings on the water, free to go wherever they wanted on the course and the margin of victory was 3:47 to Foley in the Aero 7. Yet again, however, it was not enough to save time and Foley took the win, on paper, by 0:56. Des Fortune compounded a good first race (3rd) with another 3rd in the Finn and David Mulvin and Ronan Beirne (GP14 14069) took fourth, with Dwyer in fifth.

RS Aero upwind Photo: Noel ButlerRS Aero upwind Photo: Noel Butler

Conor O’Leary did the double in the ILCA 7s, with Arrowsmith and Murphy swopping places from the first race, Arrowsmith second to Murphy’s third. Zoe Hall also did the double, but in the ILCA 6s, there was very tight racing at the front before Sorgassi came through with his double in the latter stages of the race.

The second race took just forty minutes which meant everyone was ashore in a reasonable time.

Viking Marine sponsored Frostbites, Sunday 20th March

Race 1

PY Fleet (14 boats)
1. Sarah Dwyer (Aero 5)
2. Brendan Foley (Aero 7)
3. Des Fortune (Finn)
4. Frank Miller & Ed Butler (Fireball)
5. Stephen Oram (Aero 7)

ILCA 7s (4 boats)
1. Conor O’Leary
2. Gavan Murphy
3. Chris Arrowsmith

ILCA 6s (13 boats)
1. Marco Sorgassi
2. Conor Galligan
3. Conor Clancy
4. Sean Flanagan
5. Brendan Hughes
ILCA 4s
1. Zoe Hall
2. Dylan de Vreeze

Race 2

PY Fleet
1. Brendan Foley
2. Frank Miller & Ed Butler
3. Des Fortune
4. David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (GP14 14069)
5. Sarah Dwyer

ILCA 7s
1. Conor O’Leary
2. Chris Arrowsmith
3. Gavan Murphy

ILCA 6s
1. Marco Sorgassi
2. Conor Galligan
3. Conor Clancy
4. Brendan Hughes
5. Sean Flanagan

ILCA 4s
1. Zoe Hall
2. Dylan de Vreeze

With this being the penultimate day of racing, it is pertinent to publish the current overall results: 

DMYC Frostbite current overall results

Published in DMYC
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From as early as Thursday evening, the wind forecast for Sunday afternoon and the Viking Marine sponsored DMYC Frostbites at Dun Laoghaire Harbour was dodgy, 3 knots gusting four was the prediction! By Saturday that had improved slightly to 6knots gusting to 8, but on Sunday afternoon a preliminary trip to the outer harbour to check the scene was required before a decision was made to try and get a race in. At that stage a group of ILCAs, in session in front of the National Yacht Club were moving sufficiently to suggest a race might be possible. And so, we went out!

While these Frostbite reports are inclined to focus on the competitive aspect of the racing, given the day that evolved, it is only right to acknowledge the volunteers that give their time to running the racing. On board the committee boat, “Goose” there is a team of six people, five of whom keep track of where the competitors are and yesterday that wasn’t easy. In order to lay marks for the races, a further nine people were enlisted, that makes 15 people trying to give 65 boats a race or races as the case may be. To all those volunteers, our thanks.

The Viking Marine DMYC Dinghy fleet spread across Dun Laoghaire Harbour in the search for windThe Viking Marine DMYC Dinghy fleet spread across Dun Laoghaire Harbour in the search for wind

When “Goose” came out to the race area, a bit more breeze had filled in and the wind was coming out of the southern sector of the compass. The word sector is used advisedly as there was quite a bit of variation in where it was coming from. With the committee boat sitting inside the end of the West Pier, the variation in wind direction, at its worst, would have had a weather mark to the east of the Carlisle Pier or, alternatively, a weather mark at the entrance to the marina. That huge variance eventually gave way to a much more modest swing, but even so the weather mark ended up being in a compromised position, about 175m west of the Ferry dolphins. The leeward gate was just off the end of the West Pier.

Four laps of a Windward-Leeward course were signalled, the premise being that if it went light or silly, the course could be shortened. And the prospect of a second race wasn’t really being contemplated at that early stage of the afternoon.

In the build-up to the start, it seemed Mother Nature might be willing to give the Race Officer a reprieve as we started recording up to 9knots of breeze……..maybe this would work! The 9knots didn’t hang around!
The 28-boat PY fleet, with 10 Fireballs, 7 Aeros, 3 GP14s, 2 RS400s, the IDRA, the K1, 2 Laser Vagos, a Laser Pico and a Wayfarer struggled with their first start, prompting a General Recall and relegation to the back of the queue. The pin was adjusted and the ILCA 7s and 4s, in a 15-boat fleet got away first time with the majority of the fleet heading to the left hand-side of the beat, which was still a beat at this stage.

Next up were the ILCA 6s, of which there were 22 and they too had problems with the line as the wind and my setting of the pin end came in to play. That demoted them to a second attempt at starting behind the PY fleet who again couldn’t get away. After the ILCA 6s, the PY fleet started under a black flag and while there was an even distribution of boats along the line, Neil Colin & Marjo Moneen (FB14775) came in marginally late around the port quarter of the committee boat and seemed to have stolen a march of the rest of the boats further down the line. However, post-race they admitted that they then sailed into a hole and the guys that went left initially stormed in from that side of the course. Another post-race comment was that a particular Aero had been able to lay the weather mark on one tack almost from the start. I must admit I didn’t spot that myself, but there were other signs that things were going awry!

First the breeze had faded and while the ILCA 7s and 4s were running back from the weather mark as I expected, the boats going upwind weren’t all beating. Another tell-tale sign was that the committee boat was now sitting upwind of the leeward gate, but orientated to a S-Westerly bearing, out to the right-hand side of the course. The committee boat moved in an attempt to get a beat in to the finish, even at an early stage in the race but no sooner had the anchor been dropped than it became apparent that the new position wouldn’t work either. A decision was then taken to finish at what had been the weather mark, though what it was now was open to debate. The problem is that with the size of the course and the overall fleet size, there is no time gap in which to shift the weather mark. And abandonment would undo the efforts of all the competitors who had stayed out on the course. Next task was to identify where the leaders in each of the fleets were. The recording team had their work cut out for them today!

A shortened course was signalled at the committee boat together with a flag declaration that there would be no more racing, because at this stage the wind was at zephyr strength and very, very fickle.

To give all the competitors their dues, nobody made a grumble at the finish, and everyone seemed to appreciate that a race had been completed. It wouldn’t have stood scrutiny as a club championship race, but it did allow people to be out on the water on what was a nice afternoon temperature wise.

Viking Marine Frostbites Day 4

PY Class 28 boats
1. Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsella FB 15093
2. Cariosa Power & Marie Barry FB14854
3. Stephen Oram Aero 7 3288
4. David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne GP14 14069
5. Roy Van Maneen Aero 7 3822
6. Paul Phelan Aero 7 2523
7. Frank Miller & Neil Cramer FB14713
8. Ronan Wallace & Crew FB 14840
9. Brendan Foley Aero 7 1321
10. Andrew Irvin & Aisling O’Grady RS400 1044

ILCA 7s 8 boats

1. Conrad Vandlik
2. Gary O’Hare
3. Chris Arrowsmith
ILCA 6s 22 boats
1. Brain Carroll
2. Sean Craig
3. Shirley Gilmore
4. Adam Irvin
5. Conor Clancy
ILCA 4s 7 boats
1. Daniel O’Connor
2. Emma Lynch
3. Ava Ennis

Published in DMYC

In his RS Aero, Brendan Foley made a clean sweep of the first PY races of the Viking Marine Frostbite Series 2021-22 at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Sunday afternoon. 

After a break in 2020, the country's longest-running winter dinghy racing resumed on Sunday, with sponsorship from Viking Marine and a sell-out 110-boat fleet.

The Royal St. George solo sailor took wins in both races that were dominated by the Aero class. 

In the first race, another boat type broke into the top three in the 21-boat PY division when Frank Miller in a Fireball took a second.

RStGYC Lasers on form

In the Laser divisions, Royal St George's domination was evident with their sailors taking all the podium positions (except two) in both races in all three divisions.

Both counting a one and a two, DMYC/HYC's Luke Turvey and RStGYC's Brendan Hughes share the top points in the Radial's 21-boat turnout, the most significant Laser division.

The George's Gavan Murphy won the first race of the six-boat full rigs, and clubmate Chris Arrowsmith won the second. 

Royal St. George's Daniel O'Connor took the gun in Race One in the ten boat 4.7 class and Sam Legge, also of the RStGYC, second.

Due to Covid restrictions, there was no prizegiving in the DMYC after sailing,

Results are here.

Additional report from Cormac Bradley, Frostbite Race Officer below

Viking Marine Frostbites 2021/22: Race Day One

After an enforced break due to Covid regulations in 2020/2021, the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club-hosted Frostbites returned to the waters of Dun Laoghaire Harbour with a new sponsor in the form of local chandler, Viking Marine, also based in Dun Laoghaire.

The organisers of the event decided that an entry cap of 120 boats would be put in place so that an awareness of the ongoing Covid situation could be signalled to all potential competitors and that number was reached in advance of the first weekend of racing.

The breakdown of numbers gave us a potential 38-boat entry in the PY Class consisting of Fireballs, Aeros, GP14s, RS400, IDRA and a variety of Lasers – Vago, etc. Laser Radials mustered a 40-boat entry and there were healthy numbers for the Laser 4.7s and Full Rigs.

In the build-up to the first weekend of racing, November 7th, the wind forecast started off as being quite heavy with even heavier gusts, but as we got to the tail-end of the week, a more genteel forecast was evolving. Sunday morning arrived with a forecast that put the wind in the mid-teens with gusts in the low to middle twenties (knots). However, with the wind projected to come out of the West, that would mean a slightly protected harbour and race-course area.

Onshore discussion between Frostbites Director, Neil Colin and Race Officer, Cormac Bradley, in advance of going on the water, resolved that with the forecast and the fact that we had done no Frostbiting for over a year, it would be prudent to run with Windward-Leeward races for the first day of the new series and that would give everyone a chance to re-acquaint themselves with the Frostbites regime.

Mother Nature played her part as well by giving us as close to a steady breeze as she permits which allowed a weather mark to be set just north of the entrance to the marina and that stayed in place for both races. With a Westerly (270°), we are able to use the biggest dimension of the harbour, and a leeward gate was set up using the hand-buoys of summer moorings to fix the marks inside the Boyd Memorial on the East Pier.

A PY Fleet of 20 boats opened the proceedings of the 2021/22 Series with the make up being 6 Fireballs, 6 Aeros (7s and 5s), 2 GP14s, an RS400, an IDRA, a Mirror and an assortment of double-handed Lasers.

The Full Lasers and 4.7s, sailing as one fleet, mustered nineteen-boats, eight full rigs and eleven of the smaller rigs, respectively.

The Laser Radials won the attendance prize with 23 boats on the water.

With a 62-boat fleet to watch and a good breeze to get all the boats around the course, this correspondence is unable to give an account of the racing. Suffice to say that there was no definitive way to sail the beats, which is what a Race Officer wants, but there was some close on the water sailing witnessed across all three fleets.

In the early part of the first series of races, the breeze got up to about 15/16 knots, but it was evident that the base breeze was falling though there were enough gusts coming through to see windward rolls from the Lasers and a few flogging spinnakers from the Fireballs.

By the second race, the wind had dropped to around the 10-knot mark and faded a little more as the afternoon wore on. However, there was enough around for everyone to have enjoyed this "first day back at the office".

Viking Marine Frostbites – hosted by DMYC

Race 1.

PY Class:
1st Brendan Foley (Aero 7),
2nd Frank Miller and Ed Butler (FB 14713),
3rd Stephen Oram (Aero 7).
4th Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (FB 14706).
5th Owen Sinnott & Grattan Donnelly (FB 14865).
1st GP 14 – David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (7th).
IDRA – Pierre Long & Son (9th).
RS400 – Brian O'Hare & Lucy O'Donoghue (14th).

Full Rig Lasers:
1st Gavan Murphy.
2nd Conrad Vandlik.
3rd Gary O'Hare.

Laser 4.7s:
1st Daniel O'Connor.
2nd Sam Legge.
3rd Donal Walsh.

Laser 4.7s:
1st Brendan Hughes.
2nd Luke Tierney.
3rd Mark Henry.

Race 2.
PY Class:
1st Brendan Foley.
2nd Mark Gavin.
3rd Sarah Dwyer (Aero 5).
4th Neil Colin and Marjo (FB 14775).
5th Tom Murphy (K1).
1st GP 14 – David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne.
Mirror – Paul & Yves Long (19th).

Full Rig Lasers:
1st Chris Arrowsmith.
2nd Conrad Vandlik.
3rd Gary O'Hare.

Laser 4.7s:
1st Sam Legge.
2nd Emily Cantwell.
3rd Daniel O'Connor.

Laser Radials:
1st Luke Tierney.
2nd Brendan Hughes.
3rd Sophie Kilmartin.

In terms of club affiliation, five of the six-race finishes were taken by Royal St George Yacht Club members, with Luke Tierney the only race winner from the host club (DMYC).

In compliance with Covid best practice, there was no daily prize-giving and the proposal is that there may only be a single prize-giving event

Each Sunday's race results will be posted to the DMYC website after racing rather than being posted immediately inside the DMYC clubhouse. This is a Covid prompted safety measure. at the end of each series, subject to the regulations in place at that time.

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After three Sundays of no racing due to the ongoing storms of winter, the Dun Laoghaire DMYC Frostbite fleet was able to take to the water yesterday in what were still quite brisk winds but nothing like what we had seen over the past three weekends. During the week before, the forecast had been for quite light winds but late on Friday, XCWeather was showing a change and by late Saturday afternoon, the predictions were up to the high teens in terms of base wind strength. A positive sign for the afternoon was the bigger boats going out in the morning for their DBSC Spring Chicken Series and not being blown over.

The race start was brought forward by an hour to accommodate those armchair fans of a particular rugby match………of which there will be no further reference in this article/report. A brisk westerly greeted the competitors to the DMYC dinghy park and there were plenty of “cats’ paws” on the water. Air temperature was on the cool side, but it was bright.

With the wind out of the west, the longer dimensions of the harbour were available to set a two-lap triangular course with the weather mark set halfway along the inner pier off the West Pier and the gybe mark in the proximity of the HSS gantry. The leeward mark was set off the Boyd Memorial on the East Pier. From the committee boat perspective, the wind was reasonably steady in direction at 270° but my “samplers” of the course told me that the upper end of the beat was gusty and variable and the same could be said for the top reach. However, my Fireball “guinea-pig” was able to report that the angles of the reachs were good.

All the starts were clean and the only complication on the PY fleet was the Fireball of Frank Miller and Neil Cramer (14990) capsizing immediately after crossing the start line. Most of the fleet went left and worked the port hand side of the beat. First to show from a spinnaker perspective was Noel Butler and Stephen Oram (15061) with the Thompsons, Daniel & Harry (15156) not far behind them. Also, conspicuously, the Solo of Shane McCarthy wasn’t far off the lead bunch. This was a quick-fire race as there was plenty of breeze for the top reach and as the leaders sailed down the quieter second reach of the first lap, they had to take a slightly altered course to the leeward mark because of the third start of the day. In the end, less than thirty seconds covered the first three Fireballs at the finish. However, in handicap terms McCarthy turned a 2:30 deficit on the water to a 00:45 win on handicap. That left the first three Fireballs, Butler & Oram, Daniel & Harry Thompson and Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706) sandwiched between McCarthy and the Aero 7 of Alexander Rumball. On corrected time, 1:36 covered the top five boats.

The Laser Standard fleet has become a dedicated fleet of three – Messrs Arrowsmith, Murphy and O’Leary and in Race 1 this was the finishing order. The 4.7 numbers are also under pressure, but Rian Geraghty-McDonnell continued his winning ways in the first race of the day, followed by Luke Turvey and Evan Dargan Hayes. The Radials won the bragging rights for the biggest start of the day with 22 boats (to PY’s 21) and they enjoyed close racing with a finishing order of Adam Walsh, Conor Gorman, Sean Craig, Owen Laverty and first lady, Shirley Gilmore.

Given the short duration of the first race and the fact that the wind was still healthy but starting to drop, a longer four-lap Olympic course was set with time to rugby still not a problem. The weather mark needed slight tweaking, going slightly further south, or to port.

Again, three clean starts were completed and in the PY fleet, the blue and white spinnaker of the Thompsons was first to show. They had a scorching top reach to pull out a comfortable distance from Butler & Oram. Yet again the trend was to go left initially, before working the port side of the beat. The Thompsons held the lead for the first triangle but by the start of the sausage their lead had been cut dramatically by the chasing Butler & Oram. By the next windward mark, the order had changed and Butler & Oram won ultimately by 1:05 over the younger brothers. Frank Miller & Neil Cramer were third over the line, 1:29 down on the brothers. Yet again the handicap finishing order top five was populated by Fireballs and single-handers – Shane McCarthy’s Solo was 6:33 behind the first Fireball but closed to 16 seconds on handicap. And Alexander Rumball brought the Aero 7 home in fourth, 5:20 behind the Fireball but only 1:27 down on handicap.

In the Standard Lasers, Garvan Murphy took the honours with Chris Arrowsmith second and Conor O’Leary third. In the 4.7s, there was a family affair as Luke Turvey won from his brother Hugh, with Rian Geraghty-McDonnell third. And in the Laser Radials, Sean Craig took the win from Adam Walsh, Marco Sorgassi, Conor Gorman and Brendan Hughes.

An amendment to the sailing Instructions had advised competitors of the addition of a separate finishing mark, situated much closer to the committee boat. In the first race the outer limit mark for the start, a candy-striped mark was still in place at the finish and at least one boat used this as the outer limit for the finish. The errant act of sailing through the finish line when the blue flag is flying, indicating the committee boat is “On Station” for a finish, was prevalent again yesterday and in one of the Laser fleets the art of counting to four appeared to be a problem.

I think most people got ashore in time for THAT event on TV, but I would argue that the sailing was more enjoyable on the day!!

As this report is being written, there is a very wild Dublin Bay in evidence, and the last readout from the Dublin Bay buoy is: Wind Direction 267°, Gust Direction 315°, Avg. Wind 32 knots, Gust 46 knots. Just as well we were racing yesterday!

Frostbites: 23 February 2020.

PY Fleet; Race 1.

  1. Shane McCarthy, Solo
  2. Noel Butler & Stephen Oram, Fireball 15061
  3. Daniel & Harry Thompson, Fireball 15156
  4. Alistair Court & Gordon Syme, Fireball 14706
  5. Alexander Rumball, Aero 7.

Standard Lasers; Race 1

  1. Chris Arrowsmith
  2. Garvan Murphy
  3. Conor O’Leary.

Laser 4.7s

  1. Rian Geraghty-McDonnell
  2. Luke Turvey
  3. Evan Dargan-Hayes.

Laser Radials

  1. Adam Walsh
  2. Conor Gorman
  3. Sean Craig
  4. Owen Laverty
  5. Shirley Gilmore

PY Fleet; Race 2

  1. Noel Butler & Stephen Oram, Fireball 15061
  2. Shane McCarthy, Solo
  3. Alistair Court & Gordon Syme, Fireball 14706
  4. Frank Miller & Neil Cramer, Fireball 14990.
  5. Alexander Rumball, Aero 7

Standard Lasers

  1. Garvan Murphy
  2. Chris Arrowsmith
  3. Conor O’Leary.

Laser 4.7s

  1. Luke Turvey
  2. Hugh Turvey
  3. Rian Geraghty-McDonnell.

Laser Radials

  1. Sean Craig
  2. Adam Walsh
  3. Marco Sorgassi
  4. Conor Gorman
  5. Brendan Hughes.
Published in DMYC
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Laser Radials competing in the DMYC Frostbites are now the largest club Laser fleet in Ireland and look likely to surpass last winter’s 37 boat entry, with weekly turnouts in the mid-20s.

Not bad, given there were just one or two Radials a couple of years ago and it’s a great accolade for the versatility of the mid-sized Laser rig. Series Two kicks off this Sunday, January 5th and sailors can enter here at effectively half price. New arrivals for the second series include Marco Sorgassi (who took a short break after an excellent 5th overall in the 50-boat Italian Masters in October) and John O’Driscoll, SOD and SB20 supremo, who will return after a nasty skiing injury twelve months ago.

With our sibling 4.7 and Standard rigs also out in healthy numbers, total Dun Laoghaire Laser numbers on the water each Winter Sunday are in the 40-50 range.

"Total Dun Laoghaire Laser numbers on the water each Winter Sunday are in the 40-50 range"

Somewhat accidentally, the Radials are also very on-point in terms of the buzzy catchphrases and promotions you hear bandied about. “Women on the Water” ? Box ticked, with ten female entries so far! “Sport for Life” and “Sport for All”? Well, yes indeed, with sailors aged 15-60 + and weights from 50 to (at least) 85 kgs.

Finally, we can rightfully claim some of that much sought-after “Youth Retention”, with graduates from 4.7s, some more experienced Radial Youths practising for the Europeans in Ballyholme in July and also some twenty-somethings getting back in after a few years out.

So….Retirees, Boomers, Generations X to Z, Millennials and even Frostbiting Snowflakes (sorry, couldn’t resist)….we’ve got them all ! The fleet breaks down into 80% adults and 20% youths.

Gavin Murphy LaserGavin Murphy of the RStGYC Photo: Bob Hobby

Anyway, regardless of how we all arrive on the starting line together, it’s certainly been super racing before Christmas, great fun and as competitive back in the twenties as it is in the top ten. Alas for the older guard, the young ‘uns have won the day so far. These guys are in fact anything but “Flaky Snowflakes”! They train hard on Sunday mornings before joining in for the Frostbites, seemingly oblivious to low temperatures. Under the stewardship of rotating DMYC Race Officers, Cormac Bradley and Ben Mulligan, race-management has been top-notch. At the sharp end of the fleet, Conor Gorman and Alana Coakley have taken most race wins. Ex-Topper star Hugh O’Connor has a bullet too, but a “Master” (over 35) has won one race only. Other young guns showing really well are Adam Walsh and Adam Leddy.

Conor Gorman1Conor Gorman of the National Yacht Club Photo: Frank Miller

Overall, it was Conor Gorman (NYC) who took Series 1 with a very commanding points lead, discarding a 2nd place! Judy O’Beirne (RStGYC) was the first lady in 6th overall. Other Master sailors have had their moments and here there’s plenty of newcomers in the more mature category. DBSC Laser Class captain Gav Murphy has been trying out the Radial and plenty of other new Masters have appeared, but are well known in other classes, including Owen Laverty, Pierre Long and Hugh Cahill. Some may be long-term Radial converts, while others will just be staying fit and sharp for Summer campaigns in other fleets.

With mainly light winds so far, the bigger grislier sailors will surely feature when the Sundays turn squally and nasty. Or at least that’s what they’ve been saying in the bar after sailing!

Series 1 Results here

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After a Bumper DMYC Dinghy Frostbite on Dublin Bay last year with approximately 70 Lasers spread over three rig sizes and approximately 40 various Portsmouth Yardsticks  (PY) taking part, the DMYC has set its stall out again to replicate the format and success of last year’s series, with a few “lessons learnt” adjustments writes series organiser Neil Colin.

Starting on Sunday 3rd November, series 1 runs to Sunday 15th December, and Series 2 from Jan 5th to March 29th.

The option is there to enter either the series before Christmas, after Christmas, or both on a reduced entry fee.

While we hope to race inside and outside the harbour, the emphasis will be on shorter multiple races on each day, with the objective of at least two races per afternoon.

Subject to numbers we hope to run the same start order as last year, with the Radials having a dedicated start.

Entries are online here where we can also view the entries to date. The entry list currently stands at 33 of which 12 are Radials.

Entries will be capped at 120, almost reached last year!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Published in DMYC
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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.

Published in DMYC
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Monitoring the forecast from the Thursday beforehand the weather prognosis for the Frostbites of Sunday 9th December wasn’t good, with the base wind strength in the low twenties but gusts going above 30 knots. Indeed, had the Frostbites been scheduled for the Saturday evening, competitors wouldn’t have taken their covers off their boats, the wind was whistling through the rigging and it was very wet.

Sunday dawned bright but cold and there was a sense that the wind wasn’t quite as vicious as had been forecast! XCWeather was still sticking to its projection of a wind range of 21 – 28-30 knots and indeed at 11:17 the Dublin Bay weather buoy was recording 21 knots with a gust of 28 knots. However, an early walk around the eastern end of the harbour (National & Royal St George end) revealed relatively flat water and three Toppers sailing inside the harbour without too much strife. Walking back towards the DMYC, a group of Optimists were sailing outside the harbour and again didn’t seem to be struggling too much. Finally the steam trail at the Poolbeg Incinerator while blowing horizontally most of the time occasionally had an element of upwards movement.

All of this persuaded the Race Team to go out into the main body of the harbour to get a feel of what might be possible. At that stage the wind was blowing from 280⁰ at between 12 and 18 knots and just as we made our back to the DMYC a top wind speed of just over 21 knots was recorded.

Further discussion ashore with the Frostbites coordinator, Neil Colin, prompted the decision that a single race would be sailed but that if the conditions got worse, even with a course in place, the race committee could abandon proceedings.

Maybe not all the competitors were as enthused as the race team, for a number arrived late and one high profile combination only managed to sail out from their home club in the eastern reaches of the harbour to the pin end of the start line as the gun went. Afterwards there was a “tongue in cheek” reference to the efficiency of their approach, minimising the time spend on the water in advance of the gun. This combination were forced to the right hand side of the course as a consequence of their late arrival at the start line but the absence of choice didn’t seem to impact on their arrival at the top mark. However, they weren’t the first boat there!

Race Officer Cormac Bradley set an Olympic course with three laps. The weather mark was set in the vicinity of the western bight, just north of the entrance to the marina with a gybe mark deliberately set low so that in the squally conditions there was more wriggle-room for those who chose to fly spinnaker. So while the breeze fluctuated in strength, it was relatively steady in direction. Yes, there was movement, but my checking of the wind direction during the pre-start and early stages suggested that the weather mark was in a good compromise position and the sailors who made their way to the DMYC clubhouse afterwards seemed to be happy with the fare that had been served.

The Fireballs led the PY fleet home with Messrs Butler & Oram (FB 15061) taking the win on the water followed home by Phil Lawton & Owen Laverty (FB 14990) a short distance behind. Shortly thereafter the Solo of Shane McCarthy came home and he had enough time to go top of the rankings on handicap. The Frostbite Mug for the PY fleet went to the Keegans (FB 146766), with dad Mick crewing for son David. A number of the Fireballs were unusually late for the start, Messrs Butler & Oram arrived “on the starting signal”. But the Thompson brothers Daniel & Harry (15007), and unusually, Frank Miller & Ed Butler (14713) were more significantly disadvantaged by their late arrival, but to give them their due they did sail the whole race.

The Laser fleets also enjoyed a fast circuit of the harbour and finished in quite a tight order. Conor O’Leary from the Royal St George won the Frostbite Mug in the Radial fleet and I recall that Sean Craig was well up the pecking order on the water. Regrettably, my photos of the results sheet in the DMYC are illegible and as I write this report the results are not yet up on the DMYC website. So my apologies for this slightly tardy report!

However, the photos below by Neil Colin should make up for the dearth of “blow by blow details of what happened on the water.

“Frostbiters” are advised that next Sunday’s solitary race will count for DOUBLE points and that the prize-giving for Series 1, November/December will take place in the DMYC Clubhouse after racing. This will close out the Frostbites for 2018.

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Published in DMYC
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More than 40 Lasers have been registered thus far for the DMYC Frostbites, with entries still open online ahead of the series kickoff this Sunday 4 November.

The tally of 46 pledged for the latest Dublin Bay winter series is already way up on last year’s total — and even more interesting is that 24 of them are Laser Radials, showing a boost of interest among women, older and youth sailors.

In particular, the Dun Laoghaire Combined Clubs’ youth training programme is sending as many as eight Radials to this year’s Frostbites, along with a group of 4.7s.

It’s being hailed as a positive sign for the class which has long experienced difficulty in persuading parents and coaches to encourage their children to compete in local racing rather than training.

The impact of the recent Laser Master Worlds in Dun Laoghaire will also be felt with a strong contingent of older sailors in the Radial class this year.

With the final numbers looking to be a field that’s one-third Laser Radials, it could be marking the resurgence of the class often thought of as only a youth boat as one for all ages.

Published in DMYC
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Ireland's Offshore Renewable Energy

Because of Ireland's location at the Atlantic edge of the EU, it has more offshore energy potential than most other countries in Europe. The conditions are suitable for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.

Offshore Renewable Energy FAQs

Offshore renewable energy draws on the natural energy provided by wind, wave and tide to convert it into electricity for industry and domestic consumption.

Offshore wind is the most advanced technology, using fixed wind turbines in coastal areas, while floating wind is a developing technology more suited to deeper water. In 2018, offshore wind provided a tiny fraction of global electricity supply, but it is set to expand strongly in the coming decades into a USD 1 trillion business, according to the International Energy Agency (IEA). It says that turbines are growing in size and in power capacity, which in turn is "delivering major performance and cost improvements for offshore wind farms".

The global offshore wind market grew nearly 30% per year between 2010 and 2018, according to the IEA, due to rapid technology improvements, It calculated that about 150 new offshore wind projects are in active development around the world. Europe in particular has fostered the technology's development, led by Britain, Germany and Denmark, but China added more capacity than any other country in 2018.

A report for the Irish Wind Energy Assocation (IWEA) by the Carbon Trust – a British government-backed limited company established to accelerate Britain's move to a low carbon economy - says there are currently 14 fixed-bottom wind energy projects, four floating wind projects and one project that has yet to choose a technology at some stage of development in Irish waters. Some of these projects are aiming to build before 2030 to contribute to the 5GW target set by the Irish government, and others are expected to build after 2030. These projects have to secure planning permission, obtain a grid connection and also be successful in a competitive auction in the Renewable Electricity Support Scheme (RESS).

The electricity generated by each turbine is collected by an offshore electricity substation located within the wind farm. Seabed cables connect the offshore substation to an onshore substation on the coast. These cables transport the electricity to land from where it will be used to power homes, farms and businesses around Ireland. The offshore developer works with EirGrid, which operates the national grid, to identify how best to do this and where exactly on the grid the project should connect.

The new Marine Planning and Development Management Bill will create a new streamlined system for planning permission for activity or infrastructure in Irish waters or on the seabed, including offshore wind farms. It is due to be published before the end of 2020 and enacted in 2021.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE.

There are a number of companies aiming to develop offshore wind energy off the Irish coast and some of the larger ones would be ESB, SSE Renewables, Energia, Statkraft and RWE. Is there scope for community involvement in offshore wind? The IWEA says that from the early stages of a project, the wind farm developer "should be engaging with the local community to inform them about the project, answer their questions and listen to their concerns". It says this provides the community with "the opportunity to work with the developer to help shape the final layout and design of the project". Listening to fishing industry concerns, and how fishermen may be affected by survey works, construction and eventual operation of a project is "of particular concern to developers", the IWEA says. It says there will also be a community benefit fund put in place for each project. It says the final details of this will be addressed in the design of the RESS (see below) for offshore wind but it has the potential to be "tens of millions of euro over the 15 years of the RESS contract". The Government is also considering the possibility that communities will be enabled to invest in offshore wind farms though there is "no clarity yet on how this would work", the IWEA says.

Based on current plans, it would amount to around 12 GW of offshore wind energy. However, the IWEA points out that is unlikely that all of the projects planned will be completed. The industry says there is even more significant potential for floating offshore wind off Ireland's west coast and the Programme for Government contains a commitment to develop a long-term plan for at least 30 GW of floating offshore wind in our deeper waters.

There are many different models of turbines. The larger a turbine, the more efficient it is in producing electricity at a good price. In choosing a turbine model the developer will be conscious of this ,but also has to be aware the impact of the turbine on the environment, marine life, biodiversity and visual impact. As a broad rule an offshore wind turbine will have a tip-height of between 165m and 215m tall. However, turbine technology is evolving at a rapid rate with larger more efficient turbines anticipated on the market in the coming years.

 

The Renewable Electricity Support Scheme is designed to support the development of renewable energy projects in Ireland. Under the scheme wind farms and solar farms compete against each other in an auction with the projects which offer power at the lowest price awarded contracts. These contracts provide them with a guaranteed price for their power for 15 years. If they obtain a better price for their electricity on the wholesale market they must return the difference to the consumer.

Yes. The first auction for offshore renewable energy projects is expected to take place in late 2021.

Cost is one difference, and technology is another. Floating wind farm technology is relatively new, but allows use of deeper water. Ireland's 50-metre contour line is the limit for traditional bottom-fixed wind farms, and it is also very close to population centres, which makes visibility of large turbines an issue - hence the attraction of floating structures Do offshore wind farms pose a navigational hazard to shipping? Inshore fishermen do have valid concerns. One of the first steps in identifying a site as a potential location for an offshore wind farm is to identify and assess the level of existing marine activity in the area and this particularly includes shipping. The National Marine Planning Framework aims to create, for the first time, a plan to balance the various kinds of offshore activity with the protection of the Irish marine environment. This is expected to be published before the end of 2020, and will set out clearly where is suitable for offshore renewable energy development and where it is not - due, for example, to shipping movements and safe navigation.

YEnvironmental organisations are concerned about the impact of turbines on bird populations, particularly migrating birds. A Danish scientific study published in 2019 found evidence that larger birds were tending to avoid turbine blades, but said it didn't have sufficient evidence for smaller birds – and cautioned that the cumulative effect of farms could still have an impact on bird movements. A full environmental impact assessment has to be carried out before a developer can apply for planning permission to develop an offshore wind farm. This would include desk-based studies as well as extensive surveys of the population and movements of birds and marine mammals, as well as fish and seabed habitats. If a potential environmental impact is identified the developer must, as part of the planning application, show how the project will be designed in such a way as to avoid the impact or to mitigate against it.

A typical 500 MW offshore wind farm would require an operations and maintenance base which would be on the nearby coast. Such a project would generally create between 80-100 fulltime jobs, according to the IWEA. There would also be a substantial increase to in-direct employment and associated socio-economic benefit to the surrounding area where the operation and maintenance hub is located.

The recent Carbon Trust report for the IWEA, entitled Harnessing our potential, identified significant skills shortages for offshore wind in Ireland across the areas of engineering financial services and logistics. The IWEA says that as Ireland is a relatively new entrant to the offshore wind market, there are "opportunities to develop and implement strategies to address the skills shortages for delivering offshore wind and for Ireland to be a net exporter of human capital and skills to the highly competitive global offshore wind supply chain". Offshore wind requires a diverse workforce with jobs in both transferable (for example from the oil and gas sector) and specialist disciplines across apprenticeships and higher education. IWEA have a training network called the Green Tech Skillnet that facilitates training and networking opportunities in the renewable energy sector.

It is expected that developing the 3.5 GW of offshore wind energy identified in the Government's Climate Action Plan would create around 2,500 jobs in construction and development and around 700 permanent operations and maintenance jobs. The Programme for Government published in 2020 has an enhanced target of 5 GW of offshore wind which would create even more employment. The industry says that in the initial stages, the development of offshore wind energy would create employment in conducting environmental surveys, community engagement and development applications for planning. As a site moves to construction, people with backgrounds in various types of engineering, marine construction and marine transport would be recruited. Once the site is up and running , a project requires a team of turbine technicians, engineers and administrators to ensure the wind farm is fully and properly maintained, as well as crew for the crew transfer vessels transporting workers from shore to the turbines.

The IEA says that today's offshore wind market "doesn't even come close to tapping the full potential – with high-quality resources available in most major markets". It estimates that offshore wind has the potential to generate more than 420 000 Terawatt hours per year (TWh/yr) worldwide – as in more than 18 times the current global electricity demand. One Terawatt is 114 megawatts, and to put it in context, Scotland it has a population a little over 5 million and requires 25 TWh/yr of electrical energy.

Not as advanced as wind, with anchoring a big challenge – given that the most effective wave energy has to be in the most energetic locations, such as the Irish west coast. Britain, Ireland and Portugal are regarded as most advanced in developing wave energy technology. The prize is significant, the industry says, as there are forecasts that varying between 4000TWh/yr to 29500TWh/yr. Europe consumes around 3000TWh/year.

The industry has two main umbrella organisations – the Irish Wind Energy Association, which represents both onshore and offshore wind, and the Marine Renewables Industry Association, which focuses on all types of renewable in the marine environment.

©Afloat 2020

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