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Last week’s DMYC Dinghy Frostbite report opened with a few lines from Keats’ “Ode to Autumn” so the weather gods may have been amused by that because yesterday, after racing was completed it started snowing writes Cormac Bradley. We know that Winter follows Autumn, but it is slightly at odds with the time of year – early March!

The wind forecast suggested that while the morning would be quiet there would be a healthy wind for the 14:00 start of proceedings and that as the afternoon wore on the wind would build. Rain was also in the forecast, but it was not due to arrive until later. By 12:00 the rain was with us and the wind was building, and Frostbites Co-ordinator Neil Colin advised that his car thermometer was only reading 4º on his way to the club. On that basis, and given the forecast, the Race Officer’s plans for two races were changed in favour of a single race afternoon.  

"A phone call to the club asking if racing was going ahead served as a tell-tale sign that not everyone was convinced..."

A phone call to the club asking if racing was going ahead served as a tell-tale sign that not everyone was convinced that racing would go ahead.

Forty-seven entries were recorded across the four fleets with the Fireballs achieving a series high entry of ten boats on the water. The wind direction across the harbour wasn’t as favourable as the previous Sunday, but a reasonable length of beat was achieved with the committee boat just west of the HSS gantry and the weather mark off the weather station on the upper level of the East Pier but outside the lee of the wall as the wind had a dominant direction of 60º - ENE. That left the gybe mark about 60 – 70m inside the end of the West Pier and a similar distance in from the wall and a leeward mark just off the entrance to the marina.

A pre-race check of the course by a volunteer Fireball crew allowed for some tweaking of the gybe mark position though a missing spinnaker pole didn’t allow them to sample the top reach under three sails.

The preferred start was to go to the left-hand side of the course on starboard tack and then work up that side of the course. At the top mark, the Fireball of Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061) took a lead that was never challenged. The wind was already starting to flick left so this made the top reach a challenge for the spinnakers and several the Fireballs either stalled on their hoist or found themselves sailing at a very steep angle in the process of getting the kite set. One of these, from a distance, appeared to be Phil Lawton & Owen Laverty (14990). The Fireball racing behind Butler & Oram was competitive with a number of boats sailing the course in very close company – Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706) sailed the entire race without a spinnaker and still managed to be the fourth Fireball home and the Thompson brothers, Daniel & Harry (1500X), managed to fly spinnaker across the top reach of the second triangle of the four lap Olympic course, when others chose not to. It was a bit hairy getting to the gybe mark, but they were ultimately rewarded with the second Fireball across the finish line position. The two all-lady combinations Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691) and Cariosa Power & Marie Barry (14854) also enjoyed positions well up the pecking order and indeed the former combination rounded the first leeward mark in second position.  The latter combination had a very difficult session on the water the previous Sunday; so, it was good to seem them up and running for the entire race today. The perfect sequence of Fireball finishers was interrupted in handicap terms by the 420 of Morgan Lyttle and Patrick Whyte who finished in second place on corrected time. 

In the full-rig Laser fleet of nine boats, the running order was bit different than usual. Kenny Rumball was the boat to chase for a large part of the course and the normal “rabbit”, Peter Fagan was further down the pecking order, certainly at the finish at least. DL Class Captain, Gavan Murphy, was also having a better day and another to the fore was Gary O’Hare.

The full rigs were joined by only three 4.7s but it was the leading protagonists who were on the water – Conor Gorman, Adam Walsh and Haemish Munro who finished in that order.

Thirteen Laser Radials enjoyed good racing and while Sean Craig seemed to lead for the vast majority of the race, the chasing pack were never too far behind. Marco Sorgassi and Conor Clancy best took up the challenge of chasing Craig, followed by Sean Flanagan, while two ladies, Judy O’Bierne and Shirley Gilmore made sure that everyone ahead of them was kept on their toes. Craig must really have enjoyed the conditions as he was still sailing practice beats and runs after his competitors had gone home!

In advance of the start, boats were advised that there would only be a single race, and nobody had an objection to that prospect at that stage. Again, there were no objections when the blue flag at the finish was flying in tandem with the “A” flag to indicate that the day’s proceedings were concluded. 

DMYC Frostbites: Sunday 3rd March: PY Fleet

Elapsed

Time

Corrected

Time

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram

Fireball 15061

27:36

28:58

Morgan Lyttle & Patrick Whyte

420

55807

32:17

29:03

Daniel & Harry Thompson

Fireball 1500X

29:32

30:59

Phil Lawton & Owen Laverty

Fireball 14990

29:46

31:14

Alistair Court & Gordon Syme

Fireball 14706

29:49

31:17

DMYC Frostbites: Sunday 3rd March: Laser Fleets

Laser Class

1

2

3

4

5

Laser Full Rig.

Kenny Rumball

Ian Simington

Gary O’Hare

Gavan Murphy

Peter Fagan

4.7s

Conor Gorman

Adam Walsh

Haemish Munro

   

Radials

Sean Craig

Marco Sorgassi

Conor Clancy

Sean Flanagan

Judy O’Bierne

In terms of the Frostbite Mugs, the PY award went to Patrick Hassett in his 2.4m, while in the Laser Radials, the host club’s Dave Coleman picked up the award. After the day’s prize-giving and with the day’s post-mortem well underway, the snow started falling!

Frostbiters are reminded that there will be no sailing on 17th March and the series will conclude with a single race on March 31st.

Special mention should be made of today’s volunteers who were a bit short-handed, but still manged to get the course set up and rendered assistance when required – Bob & Michael (weather mark), Gerry (gybe mark), Brian (leeward mark) with an assistant, Declan (pin-end), Frank, Trish, Avril & Brian (committee boat, driver & recorders) and Kevin (results).  

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Sunday, February 24th was more akin to the opening lines of John Keats’ “Ode to Autumn”

“Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness,

Close bosom friend of the maturing sun,

Conspiring with him how to load and bless

With fruit, the vines that round the thatched eaves run”

for even though there was a healthy breeze forecast, Dun Laoghaire Harbour was shrouded in mist. Nor was the temperature in compliance with the forecast – a spring-like 12/13º but there was a distinct autumnal coolness in the air.

Despite these atmospheric setbacks, the good news was that the wind was blowing from a direction, 150-160º, that allowed us to use the maximum width (East – West) of the harbour. We debated the menu for the day before going out – three races were deemed unlikely given the air temperature, but two races could certainly be had and given that there was a rugby match of some significance taking place, a prompt return to shore would be well received!

Two races were completed – the first was a three-lap Olympic configuration with a wind that started in the mid-teens’ knots-wise, built to 19knots and then started to fade away getting down to just over 2knots before the race was finished. The weather mark was off the bandstand on the East Pier with the gybe mark in the approximate vicinity of the end of the East Pier, but about 60-70m off the wall. The leeward mark was near the green INSS raft, off the Block House on the West Pier.

There was a good turn-out of boats, in excess of fifty, and the Fireballs, in particular, had an excellent turnout of 8 boats and that was with one regular missing! Also making a welcome return was the IDRA of Frank Hamilton and the Enterprise of Aidan Geraghty and Bernadette Fox. The two Kona Windsurfers were also in attendance, no doubt attracted by the forecast of brisk breezes.

The PY Class had eighteen boats and off the first start-line all but one got away cleanly, Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (FB 15061) were OCS on the committee boat end but came back immediately and got to the first weather mark just behind the leaders – Phil Lawton & Owen Laverty (FB 14990) and Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (FB 14706), but most of the Fireballs were in close company at this stage. One or two fell foul of a gust that came in halfway up the opening beat. The top reach had been checked out before the race and had stayed true to the designs of the Race Officer – a “spinnaker-able reach”. By the gybe mark, Butler & Oram had taken over the lead which they would hold all the way to the finish, winning by a margin of 2:09 over the Thompson Brothers, Daniel & Harry, sailing Louis Smyth’s loaned boat 15007 and Lawton & Laverty. In handicap terms Shane McCarthy was down in 6th place, a victim of the lighter winds of the latter half of the race.

In the Laser Classes, there was also a good turnout of numbers. The ever-consistent Peter Fagan took the win in the full rigs, followed home by Chris Arrowsmith and Gary O’Hare. In contrast to the PY Class, where spinnakers and different rigs make it easier to identify boats, I am lost with the Lasers, so apologies for the lack of a blow-by-blow account.

In the Radial fleet, the first win of the day went to Sean Craig, followed home by Marco Sorgassi and Shirley Gilmore. Judy O’Bierne came home 4th. In the 4.7s, the youngsters were again to the fore with a 1-2-3 of Conor Gorman, Adam Walsh and Evan Dorgan Hayes.

As the breeze died so it also changed direction, initially quite a bit to the north, before coming back again. However, it meant that the course had to be re-jigged with the committee boat moving from the outer edge of the harbour to the entrance to the marina. This necessitated the weather mark being moved northwards as well, so that the axis of the weather leg was from the entrance to the marina to just north of the Boyd Memorial on the upper level of the East Pier. Given that the temperature hadn’t risen and with at least one crew complaining of being frozen, a quickly re-jigged course saw an even quicker warning signal for the first start of the second race. The breeze got up a bit again and the PY fleet had good breeze for their race with the lead boats arriving at the leeward mark and start for the Radials, with the first Laser start, Full Rigs and 4.7s, having prompted the flying of the “General Recall” at their first attempt. Messrs Butler and Lawton negotiated the hazard with varying degrees of success! The Radials got away cleanly at their first attempt, but the full rigs and the 4.7s also “botched” their second attempt at a start and racing was abandoned for them. Interestingly, there were no vociferous objections on the water to being sent home early. The “charge” to the line was led, on both occasions, by one of the younger 4.7s who with more than a minute to go to the start was positioned within an arm’s length of the transom of the committee boat. His skill in staying there was commendable but it left him very little “wriggle-room” to negotiate staying on the right side of the start line in the last minute – especially with a Black Flag start. Once he went, the fleet followed, and the pin end of the start line disappeared in multiple blankets of white sails.

The breeze stayed up for the duration of the second race and the leading Fireballs had a good “dice”, arriving at the leeward mark for the second and last time very close. I thought the approach of Phil Lawton was slightly incongruous, coming from what I thought was the wrong side of the committee boat, whereas Noel Butler was on the “right” side. In the very short hitch to the finish, Lawton was compromised by a Laser, allowing Butler to get over the line first. It then transpired that Lawton had sailed a sausage rather than a second triangle which explained his odd approach to the leeward mark, so he duly retired.

In overall terms, Butler & Oram took the win on handicap by the very tight margin of 4 seconds over Shane McCarthy’s Solo with the Aero of Paul Phelan, third, 9 seconds adrift of McCarthy. This was enough to give Paul the Frostbite Mug for Race 2.

In the Radials, Sean Craig scored a double, winning Race 2 to go with Race 1, followed home by Marco Sorgassi and Conor Clancy.

Mug winners on the day were Dave Dwyer for the Radial’s first race of the day and Aidan Geraghty and Bernadette Fox in the Enterprise for the PY’s first race. In the second race for the Radials, Hal Fitzgerald took the Frostbite Mug.

“Frostbiters” are again reminded that when the blue flag is flying to indicate that the committee boat is on station for a finish, you may NOT sail through the finish line.

Frostbite Co-ordinator, Neil Colin also advised the prize-giving attendees that there will be no sailing on the 17th March, St Patrick’s Day.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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With the Dublin Bay Buoy recording 23 knots gusting to 34 knots seconds ago, the decision to cancel today's DMYC Dinghy Frostbites was vindicated. 

The forecast for the afternoon was for winds in the high teens/low twenties but with gusts in the thirties getting up to the forties by 16:00

Unfortunately, the series has only sailed once so far since Christmas due to weather.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Frostbites, Sunday 3rd February 2019.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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After two successive Sundays were lost to the vagaries of the weather, with 6th January lost to no wind at all and 13th January abandoned on the Saturday due to a pessimistic forecast of 30-knot gusts for the Sunday, the DMYC Dun Laoghaire Frostbites finally got underway yesterday with three races inside the harbour.

An XC Weather forecast of 15 – 17 knots with gusts in the low twenties from a direction just west of north suggested that sailing would be possible and so it proved. There was a healthy turnout for all three starts and even though the temperature was only around 6/7⁰ there was no sense of ”shock and horror” when the Race Officer, Cormac Bradley, suggested that a three-race programme might be possible.

A two-lap triangular course was set for the first offering of the day, with the committee boat anchored in front of the Royal St George Yacht Club and the weather mark inside the end of the West Pier and just to leeward of the green INSS raft. The gybe mark was set just outside the fairway entrance to the marina.

While the pin end of the line had been set in accordance with what was a pretty steady wind direction of 330⁰, at least from the committee boat’s perspective, that end was hotly favoured in the first two races and this led to a number of individual recalls in the first two races and a general recall for the Laser and 4.7 combined start.

When the Frostbites Co-ordinator pointed out that crossing the line on starboard was a challenge and that was followed up by a robust accusation of the same thing from a well-known Laser sailor, the pin end had to be dropped back for the final start of the day which made crossing the line that bit easier. Still, it wasn’t all gloom for the Race Officer as another high profile Laser told the Race Team on the water that the courses were great and that he had really enjoyed them. Further commendation came in this morning (Monday) with a very gratifying What’sApp message from the Laser fraternity via the Frostbites Co-coordinator.

Races 2 and 3 were two-lap Windward-Leeward courses and such was the consistency of the wind direction that the only change to the course was the lifting of the gybe mark to form the second half of the leeward gate. In all the three races took just about an hour and forty minutes from the first sound signal of the day to just after the last finisher of Race 3 as noted by a casual glance at my watch. Some people may have felt that the day’s proceedings compromised their ability to watch the last group game of the Champions Cup rugby in which there would have been a very significant local interest, but in truth the ”home” team of the Frostbiters was already qualified with a home game in the quarterfinals and their opposition would only be confirmed on completion of the game. So, to the competitor who made a jovial suggestion as to my rugby affiliation on the water – you were wrong, my team will meet yours in the quarter-final.

dmyc frostbite7Mary Chambers, Mug winner Race 3, Laser 4.7 with Frostbite Coordinator Neil Colin. Photo: Frank Miller

With this being the ”first day back” some people were ring-rusty and admitted to sailing a triangle-sausage when triangles only were signalled in Race 1, others were seen to go through the finish line when the blue flag was up, others were observed omitting the offset mark at the windward mark, and some admitted to this misdemeanour, and others went around the outside of the leeward gate rather than through the gate. The biggest start line fault is crossing the line in the last minutes which requires the competitor to sail back behind the line by going round one of the ends, as signalled by the flying ogf the ”I” flag for all starts. All competitors should be vigilant about the correct course being sailed and the sailing instructions being observed.

DMYC frostbites 3Margaret Casey & Neil Colin (Fireball), Mug Winners PY Class Race 2 Photo: Frank Miller

In terms of race results, there was a combination of new and old on the water, with Noel Butler and Stephen Oram (Fireball 15061) claiming two race wins. In the middle race they were deemed to be OCS and weren’t able to get back around the pin end as quickly as they might have liked. They still managed a third on the water. That allowed Neil Colin and Margaret Casey (Fireball 14775) and Alistair Court and Gordon Syme (Fireball 14706) to lead a healthy turnout of Fireballs around the course. Colin & Casey were in the ”pound seats” until a snagged spinnaker halyard blighted their last drop allowing Court & Syme a comfortable race win. Sean Craig picked up two race wins and a second in the Laser Radials, while Gavan Murphy in the Laser Full Rig picked up a 1,2, 6. A new name in the Laser Full Rig was George Kingston who took a race win as did another new name, Peter Fagan. The Gorman siblings, Conor and Claire, took two of the 4.7 class wins with the third race going to Hugh O’Connor.

DMYC frostbites2Katie Flanagan, a winner in the Laser 4.7s from December Photo: Frank Miller

On handicap, in the PY Class there were two race wins for Morgan Lyttle & Patrick White in a 420, the first time we have had a 420 in the Frostbites for quite some time and Shane McCarthy in the Solo took a customary win. This meant an unusual ”shut-out” for the Fireball of Butler & Oram from the top of the podium.

Mug winners for the day were;

Race 1: Morgan Lyttle & Patrick White (420), George Kingston (Laser Full Rig), Adam Leddy (Laser Radial), Emily Riordan (Laser 4.7).

Race 2: Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (Fireball), Peter Fagan (Laser Full Rig), Jack Hall (Laser Radial), Pepe de Sintas (Laser 4.7)

Race 3: Josh Porter & Katie Kane (Fireball), Brian Hall (Laser Full Rig), Michael McCormack (Laser Radial), Mary Chambers (Laser 4.7).

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Due to the pessimistic forecast, a decision to abandon yesterday's racing was taken early at the DMYC Frostbite Series at Dun Laoghaire on Dublin Bay. It's the second week in a row lack of wind has halted the series after the Christmas break. 

A fleet of over 70 dinghies are contesting the long-running series

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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