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Timing is Everything at DMYC Frostbites

19th March 2013
Timing is Everything at DMYC Frostbites

#frostbite – Racing on St. Patrick's Day should have been a sunny green affair. The weather forecast on Saturday was for a nice breeze, moderate temperatures and sunshine. The DMYC committee took the sensible approach of planning to race outside the harbour and to complete two races if at all possible.

Sadly, the morning of St. Patrick's Day in Dublin had snow and sleet and very light winds forecast. Ah well...

The fleets drifted slowly towards the starting boat, which was set in a similar location to March 3rd and which was flying the postponement flag. Many boats set out to find the right tuning for the day, tacking off upwind from the boat and hunting for the right settings while the committee set up a 2-lap course.

The OK Dinghy and GP14 went furthest and were then horrified to hear the horns ending the postponement and beginning the starting sequence. The OK Dinghy was fortunate to make it back and rounded the committee boat at the gun to get a half decent start just behind the Ryan brothers in Richard Tate's RS400. The GP14 was still 30-45 seconds from the line. The IDRA14s and O'Hare's RS400 started closer to the pin end.

Up the first beat it seemed that the start and the course were reasonably fair. The two RS400s lead the way with the 470 next and the OK Dinghy leading the IDRA14s. So far it was pretty standard stuff, but that wasn't going to last.

The angles on the reaches suited the RS400 nicely and the Ryans disappeared into the distance really quickly, with O'Hare next. The 470 led the OK Dinghy which itself was struggling to keep the IDRA14s behind it on the reaches. Rounding the leeward mark ahead of them was vital for a decent result, particularly with the GP14 making a storming charge up the field.

The 2nd beat was where things started to get interesting. The Ryan RS400 easily made it around the windward mark and onto the reaches, but the wind started to ease for the rest of the fleet. The 470 slowed dramatically (pinching?) and the OK Dinghy started to catch up. The GP14 was still charging, overtook the two IDRAs and seemed to be holding or even closing on the OK Dinghy.

Apart from the wind dropping, the tide was now starting to run upwind, adding further complication. The Ryan RS400 was nearing the leeward mark already and had thus missed most of the problem, but for the rest of the fleet the positions were won and lost on the first reach of the 2nd lap. That reach had now become a super light-wind run, into a strengthening tide....one of the hardest of all courses to sail.

O'Hare had gone left looking for breeze and didn't seem to find it, finally reaching back to the gybe mark at a very high angle. The 470 just about kept moving with the spi filling fitfully, but the OK Dinghy was now very definitely catching up and even overtook a competitive Fireball. Sitting STILL on the foredeck of the OK Dinghy does seem to work!

Meantime, with the wind lighter and lighter, the spinnakers on the GP14 and IDRA14s were now essentially useless and the group of three 14-footers got increasingly dropped off the pace.

A handicap race in a dying wind always suits the fast boats, and that's what we saw this week. The Ryans RS400 took the win by 4:48, a huge margin.

The OK Dinghy was 2nd, having somehow kept moving on the light wind reaches. O'Hare was 3rd a further minute down with the 470 four minutes further back in 4th. The 14-footers finished in a tight bunch more than 11 minutes down on the leaders.

Needless to say, there was no 2nd race.

Overall it's still the OK Dinghy in the lead, 6 points clear of the GP14 with Pierre Long's IDRA14 only 2 points further back in 3rd.

Published in Dublin Bay
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Dublin Bay

Dublin Bay on the east coast of Ireland stretches over seven kilometres, from Howth Head on its northern tip to Dalkey Island in the south. It's a place most Dubliners simply take for granted, and one of the capital's least visited places. But there's more going on out there than you'd imagine.

The biggest boating centre is at Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the Bay's south shore that is home to over 1,500 pleasure craft, four waterfront yacht clubs and Ireland's largest marina.

The bay is rather shallow with many sandbanks and rocky outcrops, and was notorious in the past for shipwrecks, especially when the wind was from the east. Until modern times, many ships and their passengers were lost along the treacherous coastline from Howth to Dun Laoghaire, less than a kilometre from shore.

The Bay is a C-shaped inlet of the Irish Sea and is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and 7 km in length to its apex at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south. North Bull Island is situated in the northwest part of the bay, where one of two major inshore sandbanks lie, and features a 5 km long sandy beach, Dollymount Strand, fronting an internationally recognised wildfowl reserve. Many of the rivers of Dublin reach the Irish Sea at Dublin Bay: the River Liffey, with the River Dodder flow received less than 1 km inland, River Tolka, and various smaller rivers and streams.

Dublin Bay FAQs

There are approximately ten beaches and bathing spots around Dublin Bay: Dollymount Strand; Forty Foot Bathing Place; Half Moon bathing spot; Merrion Strand; Bull Wall; Sandycove Beach; Sandymount Strand; Seapoint; Shelley Banks; Sutton, Burrow Beach

There are slipways on the north side of Dublin Bay at Clontarf, Sutton and on the southside at Dun Laoghaire Harbour, and in Dalkey at Coliemore and Bulloch Harbours.

Dublin Bay is administered by a number of Government Departments, three local authorities and several statutory agencies. Dublin Port Company is in charge of navigation on the Bay.

Dublin Bay is approximately 70 sq kilometres or 7,000 hectares. The Bay is about 10 kilometres wide along its north-south base, and seven km in length east-west to its peak at the centre of the city of Dublin; stretching from Howth Head in the north to Dalkey Point in the south.

Dun Laoghaire Harbour on the southside of the Bay has an East and West Pier, each one kilometre long; this is one of the largest human-made harbours in the world. There also piers or walls at the entrance to the River Liffey at Dublin city known as the Great North and South Walls. Other harbours on the Bay include Bulloch Harbour and Coliemore Harbours both at Dalkey.

There are two marinas on Dublin Bay. Ireland's largest marina with over 800 berths is on the southern shore at Dun Laoghaire Harbour. The other is at Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club on the River Liffey close to Dublin City.

Car and passenger Ferries operate from Dublin Port to the UK, Isle of Man and France. A passenger ferry operates from Dun Laoghaire Harbour to Howth as well as providing tourist voyages around the bay.

Dublin Bay has two Islands. Bull Island at Clontarf and Dalkey Island on the southern shore of the Bay.

The River Liffey flows through Dublin city and into the Bay. Its tributaries include the River Dodder, the River Poddle and the River Camac.

Dollymount, Burrow and Seapoint beaches

Approximately 1,500 boats from small dinghies to motorboats to ocean-going yachts. The vast majority, over 1,000, are moored at Dun Laoghaire Harbour which is Ireland's boating capital.

In 1981, UNESCO recognised the importance of Dublin Bay by designating North Bull Island as a Biosphere because of its rare and internationally important habitats and species of wildlife. To support sustainable development, UNESCO’s concept of a Biosphere has evolved to include not just areas of ecological value but also the areas around them and the communities that live and work within these areas. There have since been additional international and national designations, covering much of Dublin Bay, to ensure the protection of its water quality and biodiversity. To fulfil these broader management aims for the ecosystem, the Biosphere was expanded in 2015. The Biosphere now covers Dublin Bay, reflecting its significant environmental, economic, cultural and tourism importance, and extends to over 300km² to include the bay, the shore and nearby residential areas.

On the Southside at Dun Laoghaire, there is the National Yacht Club, Royal St. George Yacht Club, Royal Irish Yacht Club and Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club as well as Dublin Bay Sailing Club. In the city centre, there is Poolbeg Yacht and Boat Club. On the Northside of Dublin, there is Clontarf Yacht and Boat Club and Sutton Dinghy Club. While not on Dublin Bay, Howth Yacht Club is the major north Dublin Sailing centre.

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