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A modest fleet of 25 boats opened the second half of the 2017/18 Frostbite Series hosted by Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club earlier today, Sunday 7th January writes Cormac Bradley. While XCWeather had a forecast for 14:00 of 11 – 16 knots Easterly with an air temperature of 5˚, the weather station inside the harbour was showing 17.3 knots with a maximum gust of 22 knots at 13:45 with a wind direction of 105˚ and an air temperature of 6.4˚. On leaving the my commentary position to repair to the DMYC clubhouse, the wind strength recording was 16 knots gusting 19knots and considering the number of capsizes, I think that this was the more accurate assessment.

Race Officer Ben Mulligan (Flying Fifteens) set a five-lap trapezoid course for the day’s proceedings with his committee boat stationed just to the east of the entrance to the marina and a weather mark in the middle of the harbour. No.2 was situated in the middle of the harbour mouth but probably of the order of 60m inside the mouth itself, while No.3 was close to the West Pier and No.4 was about 30m to leeward of the committee boat.

Of the 25 boats on the water the breakdown was as follows – 10 Lasers (of assorted rigs), three Laser Vagos, three Fireballs, two IDRAs, a Solo, a Wayfarer, a 470, a K1, a Kona Windsurfer , an RS400 and the Hartley 12.2. 

In the Slow PY Fleet, Shane McCarthy in the Solo led for the majority of the race, losing the lead for a short time to the solitary Kona Windsurfer of Des Gibney. Shane started the race on starboard tack towards the pin but not on it and sailed about half the distance from the pin to the end of the West Pier before working his way up the left-hand side of the beat. The majority of the other Slow PY starters were towards the committee boat end and tacked much earlier to work the opposite side of the beat. For most of them this was as close as they got to McCarthy who led comfortably around the weather mark and proceeded to sail away from the other “Slow PY-ers” with the exception of Gibney. Behind the Solo (5302) the pecking order at the first mark was Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy in the Wayfarer (11152), Frank Hamilton & crew, Jenny, in the first IDRA (140), Pierre Long & John Parker in the second IDRA (161) and the KONA (2677) of Gibney.  By Mark 4 of the first lap, the KONA has risen to second and Hamilton had passed out Schaeffer. The places behind McCarthy remained in a state of flux with Long passing out Hamilton in the duel of the IDRAs before Hamilton regained that lead and Long retired. The Wayfarer exercised caution on the off-wind legs by not flying the spinnaker and this left Gibney as the sole chaser of the Solo. Downwind he was able to close significantly and indeed on the penultimate lap he actually overtook McCarthy, albeit briefly, before McCarthy pulled away over the last lap to win by 2 minutes and twenty seconds.  In the Slow PY Fleet the day’s Frostbite Mug went to the first Laser Vago, registered to Nigel Russell but sailed by two others. 

The Fireball turnout was very modest at three boats – work robbing the fleet of one boat, hospitalisation and holidays another boat and a possible sixth boat not appearing.  Despite two late arrivals in the starting area, one of the latecomers seem to get the best start with Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) commanding the committee boat end of the line with Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706) to leeward and Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691) astern. All three headed left initially with Colin going over the top of Court and being the first to tack on to port for a long leg up the middle of the course. Court followed shortly thereafter but now occupied the windward berth relative to Colin. They rounded Mark 1 with Court leading by half a boat-length but neither flew spinnaker down the leg to No.2. McKenna had another challenge with the 470 rounding on her transom and for the rest of the afternoon she was unable to get any significant distance away from the Olympic Class boat. Spinnakers broke out from Mark 2 to Mark 3 but Colin dropped at Mark 3 while Court held it for the early part of the leg, but fell off to leeward relative to the mark as the price. For the second beat all the Fireballs stayed right and left the hitch to the windward mark to much later. By this stage Court had opened up his lead on Colin and both were comfortably ahead of McKenna who was having an alternative race with the 470. No spinnakers featured on the top reach of the trapezoid all afternoon and only sporadically on the bottom reach, with Court the only proponent of that exercise.  Court progressively pulled away from Colin who then went swimming on the third lap between 1 and 2 – a squall arriving with not enough kicker released. This prompted an early retirement, leaving the field wide open for Court & Syme. In the Fast PY Fleet the day’s Frostbite Mugs went to Gerry Ryan & John McAree in the 470.

The tightest racing of the day was in the 10-boat Laser Class. While the fleet was led all the way round by Sean Flanagan (177854/Full Rig) he was closely chased by Alan Hodgins (175809/Full Rig) with Shirley Gilmore (204762/Radial) lurking with intent in 3rd place. The “lurking with intent” paid off, for although she was 1:57 down on Sean Flanagan at the finish and 1:16 down on Hodgins, on corrected time she finished just 25 seconds behind Flanagan and 13 seconds ahead of Hodgins who recorded the same corrected time as Evan Dargan Hayes in a Laser 4.7 in fourth. Thus, the first four Lasers on corrected time were covered by 38 seconds.  The Frostbite Mug went to Sean Flanagan.

DMYC Frostbites

2017/18: Series 2

Round 1

Helm & Crew

Class

Sail No.

Slow PY

1

Shane McCarthy

Solo

5302

 

2

Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy

Wayfarer

11152

3

Des Gibney

KONA

2677

4

Frank Hamilton & Jenny

IDRA

140

5

A.N. Other & A.N. Other

Laser Vago

816

Lasers

1

Sean Flanagan

Laser

177854

 

2

Shirley Gilmore

Laser Radial

204762

3

Alan Hodgins

Laser

175809

4

Evan Dargan Hayes

Laser 4.7

195270

5

Brendan Hughes

Laser Radial

185105

Fast PY

1

Alistair Court & Gordon Syme

Fireball

14706

 

2

Gerry Ryan & John McAree

470

777

3

Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe

Fireball

14691

4

Tom Murphy

K1

59

5

Niels Warburton

RS400

1138

In elapsed time the Fireball of Court & Syme was the fastest boat on the water, sailing the five laps in 34:40 with Flanagan’s Laser taking 38:47 and McCarthy’s Solo going round in 39:01. Physically, the finishing order on the water was Solo, Fireball and KONA. 

The postponed prize-giving for Series 1, from 17th December, took place in the DMYC Clubhouse after racing with prizes being in the form of calendars with photographs by Frostbite stalwart Bob Hobby. Calendars were liberally handed out to winners and volunteers by “Frostbite Director” Neil Colin – Happy New Year!

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The forecast was for wind! The Frostbite organisers were expecting wind as they posted on Facebook that although the wind in the earlier part of the day was strong, it was due to moderate by the start of the afternoon writes Cormac Bradley. In the dinghy park, as we rigged, there was a sense that the gusts were strong as they whistled through the rigging and on looking out on the seascape of the harbour; it was obvious there was wind on the water. Wind direction was WNW in the range of 280 - 295˚.

In the warmth of the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, post-racing, a review of the wind records for the dlharbour website showed that the base wind strength was in the range of 18 – 20 knots with gusts getting into the high twenties; 27 – 30knots. So much for the moderation!

The Fast PY fleet was made up of five Fireballs, the 470 and the single-handed K1. In the Slow PY fleet the “usual suspects” were present; the Solo of Shane McCarthy, the Wayfarer of Monica Schaeffer and Miriam McCarthy, the RS Feva XL of Conor Galligan, the two KONA Windsurfers of Robbie Walker and Des Gibney and the Hartley 12.2 of Odhran Prouveur & Helen Sheehy. The Lasers had a reasonable turnout as well.

A five lap trapezoid was set as the order of the day and the favoured route up the first beat was a starboard tack exit from the start line, across to the left hand-side of the course before a decision to tack onto port and make one’s way to the weather mark which was again located in the area of the “knee” of the West Pier.  On a windward to leeward basis, Noel Butler & Marie Barry (15061) were closest to the committee boat at the gun and thus occupied the windward slot, below them were Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775), David & Michael Keegan (14676), Louise McKenna & Cormac Bradley (14691) and Frank Miller & Ed Butler (14713). While Miller was furthest to lee, it also meant that h was the first to reach a theoretical port lay-line and thus he had the comfort of being able to tack and clear the fleet. Butler had gone earlier, favouring a middle of the beat approach and these two led the fleet around the first weather, with Miller leading. Behind them the order was McKenna, Colin and Keegan.

In the blustery conditions, particularly around the weather mark, the top reach was too tight to fly spinnaker until the last 50m so most people two-sailed the majority of the leg and started the hoist procedure just before reaching Mark 2 which was situated just outside the approach to the marina. This left the leg from 2 to 3 as a broad spinnaker leg and indeed as the afternoon progressed the gybe into Mark 3 was taking place earlier and earlier up the leg. At Mark 3, most people decided that “flying the bag” was not the way to go………but as the leader, Miller had to set an example so he and Ed flew it to great effect until it came to getting it down when they were forced to fall off to leeward. That gave Butler and Barry the opportunity to power over the top, into the lead. For the balance of the race, Butler stayed well ahead and as usual his race on the water was determined by how many of the earlier starting boats he could pass. Miller too had a comfortable remainder of the race – no-one got close to him. Colin and Casey and McKenna & Bradley were in close company for the first lap but Colin’s race came unstuck when he had the first of two capsizes at the bottom end of the course. However, he got back into the race and indeed caught McKenna on the next beat until a second capsize in the vicinity of the weather mark brought his race to a premature close.

The Keegans set an example for all of us by flying the spinnaker across the bottom reach on all bar one of the laps. However, upwind they lost ground to McKenna & Bradley so that for each lap the gap opened and then closed.  However, up the last beat the distance between them closed dramatically and in the final approach to the weather mark, with Keegans charging up the port lay-line and McKenna closing in on the mark on the starboard lay-line, McKenna got blown over, allowing the Keegans to slip into a well-deserved third place on the water and the daily Frostbite Mug.

At the daily prize-giving afterwards, Principal Organiser, Neil Colin, made the comment that all the starters had finished the race with the conspicuous exception of two Fireballs – a most unusual occurrence. 

DMYC Frostbites 2017/18

Series 1 – Fast PY Overall

Class

Sail No.

R1

R3

R4

R5

R6

R7

R8

Tot

Nett

1

Noel Butler & Marie Barry/Shane Diviney

Fireball 15061

1

2

1

1

1

1

1

8

7

2

Frank Miller & Ed Butler/

Cormac Bradley/Grattan Donnelly

Fireball

14713

2

5

2

3

2

14

2

30

16

3

Neil Colin & Margaret Casey

Fireball

14775

3

14

3

4

3

14

8

49

35

4

David & Michael Keegan

Fireball

14676

4

14

7

6

5

14

3

53

39

5

Tom Murphy

K1

59

5

14

14

7

6

4

5

55

41

(Scores have changed in accordance with final entries – thus a DNC now counts as 14 points whereas in earlier tables this was a lesser score.)

Thus Noel Butler almost made a clean sweep of the Fast PY Fleet and the banter in the club afterwards was to the effect that the only race he managed to lose on the water was when he had the World Champion GP14 helm as his crew. You just can’t rely on reputation!

On the water the only boat that Butler & Barry didn’t pass was the KONA Windsurfer of Robbie Walker which went round the 5 laps in 41 minutes. Noel was next at 46 minutes, followed by the second KONA of Des Gibney and the Fireball of Miller & Butler at 47 minutes while Shane McCarthy took 49 minutes.

This concludes the pre-Christmas Frostbites with racing due to resume on January 7th when the prize-giving for Series 1 is also due to take place – it had to be postponed from yesterday. Accordingly therefore, this correspondent signs off by wishing everyone a Happy Christmas and a Peaceful & Prosperous New Year.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

DMYC Frostbites: Overall Fast PY Fleet

R1

R3

R4

R5

R6

R7

Tot

1

Noel Butler & Marie Barry

FB 15061

1

2

1

1

1

1

7

2

Frank Miller & Ed Butler/CormacBradley/Grattan Donnelly

FB14713

2

5

2

3

2

6

20

3

Neil Colin & Margaret Casey

FB14775

3

7

3

4

3

6

26

4

Alistair Court & Gordon Syme

FB14706

7

3

5

2

8

6

31

4

Hugh Sheehy (Finn)

2

7

1

4

9

8

2

31

6

Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe/Cormac Bradley

14691

7

7

10

5

4

2

35

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The fifth round of the 2017/18 Frostbites, hosted by Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, saw two races held inside the harbour, a four lap trapezoid course to start proceedings followed by a three lap windward-leeward course which I am reliably informed is a first for the Frostbites, so kudos to Race Officer Brian Mulkeen writes Cormac Bradley. It also saw the best turnout of Fireballs, six and a healthy fleet of Lasers, fourteen. In addition to the six Fireballs the Fast PY Class included the 470 and Tom Murphy’s K1. In the Slow PY the fleet was made up of a Wayfarer, a Solo, a solitary KONA (Windsurfer), a Feva, 2 IDRAs, 2 Enterprises, 4 Laser Vago XDs and a Hartley 12.2.

The weather station in the harbour was recording 15.9knots with a gust of 21.8knots from 284˚ with an air temperature of 9˚. This meant that the “on-the-water” situation was pretty consistent with the XCWeather prediction for the afternoon. The afternoon started under partial blue skies but the skyline greyed as the afternoon progressed and there was a lit bit of drizzle later one. For the trapezoid course the weather mark had been set under the West Pier of the harbour at the location of the first “elbow” in the wall – where it changes direction. No.2 seemed to be a long way downwind of the first mark, almost disproportionately so, but during the race mark 1 – 2 was invariably tight. Mark 2 – 3 was an easier sail with some boats electing to gybe before reaching No.3 so as to set themselves up for a very tight 3 – 4 leg. Mark 3 was located off the HSS gantry and Mark 4 was of the order of 120m east of the mouth of the harbour.

In all three starts the fleet went left initially. In the slow PY, the Wayfarer was the weather-most boat and that set Monica Schaeffer and Miriam McCarthy up for the lead and the privilege of leading the Slow PY fleet around the first weather mark. However, they were kept in close company for the first lap by the Solo of Shane McCarthy before he was able to pull away from them. Both would fall victim on the water to the Kona Windsurfer of Robbie Walker who led for the majority of the race.

The Fireballs were stacked windward to leeward on a port tack coming out of the start towards the middle of the harbour. Using headgear and clothing combinations to identify boats it looked as though Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691) were the furthest boat to windward with Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) furthest to leeward. In between were Noel Butler & Marie Barry (15061), Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706), Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly (14713) and David and Michael Keegan (14676).

While the boats which came furthest left seemed to have got in to better wind, Butler & Barry, having tacked earlier were able to get around the weather mark first but it was close with Miller & Donnelly and Court & Syme. Colin & Casey were a short distance behind them while McKenna & O’Keeffe and Keegan & Keegan were a little off the pace.

Court & Syme powered over Miller & Donnelly on the tight reach between 1 and 2 and spent the rest of the race chasing Butler & Barry. On the subsequent beats, the addiction to going left was diluted somewhat with a preference to staying on the right-hand side as far as the harbour mouth, before tacking across to the middle of the harbour. The exception to that rule was Colin & Casey who tacked early every time to work the middle and left of the beat. On the third lap, Butler pulled away from Court and both boats put distance between themselves and the remainder of the fleet. By Mark 3 of the penultimate lap, Butler & Barry were the third boat on the water behind the Kona and the Solo and by the penultimate rounding of Mark 4 Court & Syme were ahead of everyone bar the Kona and the Solo. The tightness of the leg from 3 to 4 meant that in Round 3 Butler & Barry went for an Aussie drop two-thirds of the way down the leg while the all male combinations behind them, Court and Miller were able to hold the spinnaker all the way into the mark.

While Butler was comfortably ahead at the last windward mark, he nearly got caught by Court who was able to close in better wind with Syme on full trapeze between 1 and 2 while Barry was sitting inboard with a limp spinnaker. However, a late change in leader did not materialise and Butler & Barry won by 50 seconds with only he Kona ahead of them on the water. Court finished third on the water, getting ahead of the Solo just before the last weather mark. Colin & Casey put together a fast last lap, closing dramatically on Miller & Donnelly in the approach to Mark 4 for the last time, but Miller held on to finish third. In the slow PY fleet, the order on the water was Kona, Solo, Wayfarer, Feva, and Enterprise.

The ice was broken (figuratively) when a second race was set for the afternoon. Marks 2 and 3 were lifted and a windward-leeward was set with Marks 1 and 4 staying “as is”. Again, the majority view in all starts was to go left – there were no dissenters in the Slow PY start, 4 Lasers went right and while all the Fireballs started on port tack, two went right quite early on – McKenna and Keegan. Colin was furthest away from the committee boat at the start. At the top mark, Miller led the fleet around followed by Butler, Court and Colin. While the first three stayed on starboard tack, Colin gybed and sailed towards the harbour mouth. Behind these four, McKenna and Keegan had their own race. Miller held the lead down to 4 and stayed ahead up the next beat. In this regard he was helped by being on starboard with a Laser also being on starboard to force Butler to take evading action relative to both boats two-thirds of the way up the second beat. At the windward mark for the second time, Colin was still in fourth, but took a line that brought him down the right hand side of the run relative to the others who were all to his port-hand side. In this position he managed to sail through Court and close the gap on the first two, but Court nipped in again at the leeward mark to relegate him back to fourth again. McKenna and Keegan were also having a “ding-dong” battle on the downwind leg.

Up the final beat and Court stays right whereas the others come left. Butler gets through Miller and Colin is promoted to third as he, Miller and Butler come in on the starboard lay-line. Court’s race come to an early end when he gets caught up in a melee at the weather mark and decides that discretion is the better part of valour and retires home early. Butler and Miller dice again on the last downwind leg but Butler secures the inside berth on the approach to the leeward mark and has enough room to squeeze Miller out and to enough of a degree to make the short hitch to the finish a “safe bet”.

In the Fast PY fleets, the Fireballs all saved their time on the water in both races which means that the Frostbite Mugs for the day go to Alistair Court and Gordon Syme for the first race of the day and to Neil Colin and Margaret Casey for the second race.

DMYC Frostbites: Overall Fast PY Fleet

 

R1

R3

R4

R5

R6

Tot

1

Noel Butler & Marie Barry

FB 15061

1

2

1

1

1

6

2

Frank Miller & Ed Butler/Cormac Bradley/Grattan Donnelly

FB14713

2

5

2

3

2

14

3

Neil Colin & Margaret Casey

FB14775

3

7

3

4

3

20

4

Alistair Court & Gordon Syme

FB14706

7

3

5

2

8

25

Published in DMYC

The fourth Sunday of the 2017/18 Frostbite Series, hosted by Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, saw blustery conditions from a westerly direction and cool temperatures under a blue sky that clouded up as the afternoon wore on! The XCWeather forecast was for 12/13 knots with gusts of 18 – 20 knots and that was pretty much how it felt on the water. Five Fireballs made the start with a sixth ashore, afflicted by a broken gooseneck, and they enjoyed some close racing on the trapezoid course with five laps set as the course duration. In addition to the five Fireballs there was a Finn (Hugh Sheehy) a 470 (Gerry Ryan & John McAree) and a RS400 (Stuart Harris) making up the PY fleet. 

Two practice laps followed by a reconnaissance of the start line suggested that a) the pin was the place to start and b) that spinnaker flying would be very much dependent on the wind conditions at the time rather than the course configuration and geometry.

Our (Miller & Bradley, 14713) to a pin-end start was thrown awry when Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) came charging down the line from the committee boats end. Additionally we found ourselves a few seconds too early and both boats were obliged to gybe out and start on port tack. Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706) and Noel Butler & Marie Barry (15061) were closer to the committee boat but when Miller cut the start line he had to duck both these transoms on his way out to the right-hand side of the course……..which was not the original plan!

The other four Fireballs went hard left and as the two contingents converged on the weather mark it appeared as though the left-hand side had paid off. Miller crossed behind Butler but ahead of Court as he came across on starboard and by the time he had tacked to finalise his approach to the mark on the port lay-line, Court had also eked ahead. Meanwhile Colin & Casey were not too far away and as the first four boats rounded the mark the order was Butler, Court, Miller, Colin though only about eight boat-lengths separated 1st to 4th. Butler’s spinnaker hoist got snagged which allowed Court and Miller to go through his wind while Colin also closed the gap from behind. While Mark 2 was geometrically in the right location, and in the channel leading to the inner marina, the wind had gone slightly forward and the leg from 1 to 2 was a tight reach. Mark 2 to Mark 3 was broader and the places changed again with Court consolidating his place at the front and the other three boats closing in on each other. Court led around Mark 4 and went right initially. Butler rounded second and took an early hitch to the left. Miller rounded third and followed Court, while Colin also went left.

Miller was obliged to tack away to the left as he was starting to suffer from Court’s dirty wind and this proved to be an astute move because when the fleet converged again in the vicinity of the second weather mark, Miller had taken the lead followed by Court and Butler with Colin only just behind them. Again the wind was variable in direction, relative to the geometry of the course, and this time the legs from one to two and two to three were broader than before. Miller led for the next two laps (3 & 4) until the penultimate rounding of Mark 3. At this stage Colin had moved into second place, followed by Butler while Court had dropped off the pace. Later it transpired that Court’s outhaul on the main had come undone and while he got it back in place it wasn’t perfect. On the leg from 2 to 3, Colin occupied the inside berth relative to Miller with the boats overlapped. Rather than gybing immediately at Mark 3, Colin sailed on for a short distance, pinning Miller on the outside. Butler rounded behind them, unfettered, gybed immediately and sailed off inside the two boats to lead the race round the last lap. Colin’s spinnaker gybe went skewwhiff allowing Miller to get to windward and into second place though Colin came back with a vengeance to close the gap at Mark 4 to half a boat length.

While Butler sailed the last lap in clear air, Miller kept an eagle eye on Colin and at the finish the time intervals were:- Butler to Miller, 25 seconds, Miller to Colin, 10 seconds, Colin to Court, 38 seconds.

While the conditions had started blustery and gusty they eased as the afternoon wore on but the crews were “full-trapezing” on the upwind legs.  In real-time terms Butler had 4:25 on the Finn and 5:14 on the 470 on the water but after the application of handicaps this reduced to 56 seconds and 4:48 respectively. The Fireballs finished 1, 2, 3, 5, and 7 with the Finn fourth on corrected time and the 470 in sixth. As Butler & Barry had won the Frostbite Mugs on the first Sunday, the day’s Mugs went to Miller and Bradley.  

DMYC Frostbites: Round 4; 26/11/17:

Fast PY Fleet

1

Noel Butler & Marie Barry

15061

NYC

2

Frank Miller & Cormac Bradley

14713

DMYC

3

Neil Colin & Margaret Casey

14775

DMYC

4

Hugh Sheehy (Finn)

2

 

5

Alistair Court & Gordon Syme

14706

DMYC

6

Gerry Ryan & John McAree (470)

777

 

7

David & Michael Keegan

14676

RStGYC

DMYC Frostbites: Overall Fast PY Fleet

R1

R2

R3

R4

Tot

1

Noel Butler & Marie Barry

1

Cancelled

2

1

4

2

Frank Miller & Ed Butler/Cormac Bradley

2

5

2

9

3

Hugh Sheehy (Finn)

7

1

4

12

4

Neil Colin & Margaret Casey

3

7

3

13

5

Alistair Court & Gordon Syme

7

3

5

15

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After having to call off last Sunday’s racing due to an excess of wind at the DMYC dinghy Frostbite Series, the challenge today was to get a race in in a dearth of wind writes Cormac Bradley. Though the forecast was for 10–knot southerlies, the water inside the harbour was mirror-like though that too proved deceptive as, on launching, there was enough wind to get out to the race area unassisted. Direction-wise it was also out of synch as a southerly was predicted but it was in the eastern quarter for the entirety of the afternoon.

A fleet of just over thirty boats took to the water with the Lasers and slow PY the largest fleets. A reduced fast PY fleet was made up of a Finn, three Fireballs, a 470 and an RS 400. Race Officer for the day was Ben Mulligan of the Flying Fifteen Class who set a course of 4 laps of a triangular configuration, with a weather mark in the vicinity of the HSS docking station and a gybe mark just inside the end of the East Pier. The first two starts suggested that the place to start was at the committee boat end which is where the three Fireballs located themselves. Unusually, Noel Butler, crewed by sailing globetrotter Shane Diviney, was late to the start but it turns out this was due to the later finish of the keelboats who were also adversely impacted time-wise by the light winds.

His late arrival only served to delay his assumption of the lead, halfway up the second beat. He trailed behind Frank Miller & Cormac Bradley (14713) and Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706). Initially, Miller & Bradley pulled away from the other two and Butler & Diviney were the first to break ranks, going right for a short distance. Shortly afterwards, Court & Syme did the same while Miller & Bradley persevered with a starboard tack approach to the weather mark.

Court was able to close the gap and then take advantage of the proximity of the Finn to Miller’s weather, blocking a tack by Miller, to round the weather mark first. Going down the two spinnaker legs Miller was able to eke out a short lead and surprisingly Butler wasn’t able to close the gap too Miller.

On the second beat Butler went hard left, whereas the other two went right. Court broke first but Miller went that bit further. When he crossed tacks he was still ahead of Court, but Butler was gone!

Court managed to recover to round the weather mark marginally ahead of Miller but just behind the Finn. A luffing match then ensued between Court and the Finn which took them on a course almost at ninety degrees to the straight line to the gybe mark. This allowed Miller to assume second place which he held to the leeward mark. Up the third beat and Miller managed to hold off Court to the weather mark, but only just. Court “powered” over Miller and was never passed again.

The finishing order over the line was Fireball, Fireball, RS 400, Fireball, and Finn. However, on corrected time the win went to the Finn and the first two Fireballs filled the podium positions. The 470 beat Miller to fourth and the RS 400 closed it out.

In Fireball terms this leaves Butler with two first places followed by Miller with a 2nd and a 3rd.

In the slow PY fleet, the handicap win was taken by the Wayfarer of Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy ahead of the Solo of Shane McCarthy and the Kona (windsurfer) of Robbie Walker. What makes McCarthy’s performance all the more commendable is that he sailed the second lap as a sausage but sailed all the way back to the gybe mark to correct his mistake.

In the Laser Class, six full rigs led the charge before the first Radial and first lady featured – Shirley Gilmore. The Class win went to Jeff Brouder, followed by Alan Hodgins and Luke Dillon.

The Fireball Class have their end of season dinner and prize-giving this Friday coming in the National Yacht Club. Due to a coinciding event a number of Fireball regulars will be attending another Class dinner at the same venue so they will play a part-time role in the Fireball occasion. If you want to come along to the Fireball dinner, please let us know so that we can add you to the numbers. In terms of the regatta planning for next season, a number of options have been developed and we are hopeful of getting the calendar closed out in the reasonably near future.

Published in DMYC
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The 47th running of Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club’s Frostbite Series got underway yesterday in blue sky, sunny conditions and a brisk N-Westerly that reduced in strength as the afternoon wore on writes our special correspondent. Stalwart of the event, Olivier Prouveur, who announced at the conclusion of the 2016/17 Series that he would be taking a less prominent role in the managing of the event was in attendance, but in an observer role!

The Race Officer duty was undertaken by Frostbite RO debutant Cormac Bradley of the Fireball Class and for his first foray into the Frostbite Race Management the first decision was to decide if racing would take place. An early departure from DMYC with a suggestion that a postponement would be advised, if necessary, was vindicated when the assessment was that racing could proceed.

In a departure from previous formats, three starts were provided – Slow PY, (PY1), Lasers and Fast PY (PY2). And in a significant development, two windsurfers of the KONA Class joined in the racing.

Given the conditions and the “first day back” nature of the day, a single race was proposed and sailed with 5 laps of a trapezoid course used to wash away the cobwebs. Given that the keelboats, sailing their Turkey Shoot Series earlier in the morning, did not seem to be excessively hard pressed and taking into account the physical condition of the waters inside the harbour, the postponement wasn’t required and racing got underway on schedule, at 14:00.

shane mccarthySolo sailor Shane McCarthy (left), the Slow PY Class winner with DMYC's Neil Colin Photo: Frank Miller

As an experiment the two windsurfers were put in PY1, the argument being that if they were as fast as we thought they might be they would get away from the rest of the fleet and have less traffic to deal with on the race course. Their contemporaries on the first start were a Solo, an IDRA 14 and four Laser Vagos. One of the Konas led at the first weather mark, sitting about 60m inside the harbour mouth and closer to the end of the West Pier, but the Solo was not far behind. By the time they got to the end of the five laps, the windsurfer had a good lead on the Solo on the water, but was unable to save his time in handicap terms. In third place on the water was the IDRA of Pierre Long & John Parker. Marks 2 and 3 were in the vicinity of the approach to the marina and just east of the ferry terminal respectively and while spinnakers were a rarity on the top leg of the trapezoid, they were flown on the leg from 2 to 3. Again, only the asymmetrics had any real joy with spinnakers on the bottom leg of the course. Mark 4 was in the approximate location of the memorial on the East Pier.

The finishing order on the water was Kona, Solo, IDRA, but after handicap correction the win went to the Solo of Shane McCarthy with the windsurfer second and the IDRA third.
Ten Lasers answered the starter’s call, with three Radials in the bunch. And it was one of the Radials, helmed by Clare Gorman who set the pace for the first half of the course. Eventually she was reeled in by Gary O’Hare who went on to win on the water by 24 seconds, but after handicap correction, Gorman took the first Laser Frostbite Mug by a margin of 1:09. In third place was Richard Tate.

marie barry noel butlerFireballers Marie Barry and Noel Butler (right) the fast PY Class winners with DMYC's Neil Colin Photo: Frank Miller

 

Six Fast PYs populated the last start of the day, four Fireballs, a K1 and an RS400. Noel Butler with new crew, Marie Barry (15061) led the fleet from start to finish and won with a 1:24 margin. They weren’t seriously troubled at any stage of the race and even tired spinnaker on the top reach but the blustery nature of the wind coming over the wall suggested that discretion was the better part of valour. Behind them, the battle was for second and third and was populated by Frank Miller & Ed Butler (14713) and Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775). While the former pair had the better start and led during the early part of the race, they were undone by an incident with a Laser at one of the leeward mark roundings. The Laser went the wrong side of the mark and got his mainsheet snagged on the mark. This cause him to go into a slow painful capsize with his mast and main snagging the trapeze wire of crew Ed Butler who subsequently went swimming. However, Miller & Butler recovered to take second place back from Colin & Casey. They cut it very fine though, only six seconds separating the two boats. The Fireballs, Butler & Barry, Miller & Butler, Colin & Casey and son and father combination, David & Michael Keegan (14676), were the first four boats home and on handicap. Tom Murphy (K1) only just beat the RS400, helmed by Stuart Harris, on the water, but beat them more comfortably on corrected time.

During the hour’s racing the wind eased as forecast and the blue sky conditions made for a good day out. Frostbites 2017/18 is up and running.

DMYC’s Frostbites 2017/18 – Day 1.
PY1 – Slow Handicap
1 Solo Shane McCarthy Coal Harbour 5302
2 Kona TBA 1969
3 IDRA Pierre Long & John Parker DMYC 161
4 Kona Des Gibney 2677
Lasers
1 Radial Claire Gorman NYC 207800
2 Full Gary O’Hare RStGYC 201364
3 Full Richard Tate 186300
4 Full Gavan Murphy 173062
PY2 – Fast Handicap
1 Fireball Noel Butler & Marie Barry NYC 15061
2 Fireball Frank Miller & Ed Butler DMYC 14713
3 Fireball Neil Colin & Margaret casey DMYC 14775
4 Fireball David & Michael Keegan RStGYC 14676
5 K1 Tom Murphy NYC 59

For a first day of the series, the entries were down on previous years, this was assumed to be a combination of the forecast, the preceding week’s mid-term break for schools and the usual need to get momentum developed. The organisers would welcome more entries in the forthcoming Sundays.

Published in Dublin Bay

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club (DMYC) starts its 47th Season of dinghy frostbite racing in Dun Laoghaire Harbour this Sunday with a warning signal at 01.57 hrs.

The series is open to monohull centre board dinghies and attracts entries from clubs in the greater Leinster area.

The Winter 2016 series saw 19 races over the period November to the end of March. Organiser Neil Colin of the DMYC says the popular series 'offers great value for money, and with the discard system in the results, eases the pressure to turn up every week'.

In response to the changing dynamic of the entrants, with exception of the Lasers, the balance of the fleet will race in two PY fleets with the cut off set at 1068 between fleet 1 & 2, as further detailed in the Sailing Instructions.

Daily “Mug” prizes will be presented after racing in the DMYC, with soup and refreshments available along with the post race chatter.

The DMYC have limited dinghy parking for visiting entries on a “first come” basis. Full details are available here. Download the poster below.

Published in DMYC
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The Irish Fireball regatta season came to an end with a four-race Munster Championships in Dun Laoghaire yesterday (Saturday 14th). The irony of course is that Dun Laoghaire isn’t in Munster at all, of course, but the Association is cutting its cloth according to its numbers and an offer from the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club to host the event was readily accepted. With an expectation of low numbers, the regatta organisation structure was minimised to two ribs and 3 people and the course configuration was reduced to a windward-leeward option.

Race Officer, Cormac Bradley, ably assisted by Alistair Court and Charles Dunn, was tasked with getting four races in and watching the weather forecast during the week before, the challenge would be to get them in before the weather closed in. While XCWeather was suggesting that the base wind strength would be of the order of 12 – 15 knots, the gusts were projected to start off at 20 knots and grow to 27 knots as the day wore on. At the briefing the six-boat fleet were made aware of the forecast , the impending gustiness of the day and the programme to get 4 races in and to get off the water before the weather got “hooligan”…………and this was not due to the impending blast of Ophelia!

The saving grace on the day was that the wind direction was SSW meaning that the sailing area was in flat water. The sailing area was to the west of Dun Laoghaire harbour and with the slimmed down organisation the start, finish and gate of the windward-leeward course were coincident. This meant that the windward mark could be moved relative to the other two fixed points of the course.

Contrary to the weather forecast, only the first race was a blustery affair that generated a few capsizes, but none of the capsizes I witnessed were due to wind strength, so maybe only one was due to wind strength and that happened before the start. As the day wore on the wind eased, the sun came out and “full-on trapezing” upwind gave way to sitting on the windward deck. Race lengths were of the order of 30 – 40 minutes and 3 or 4 laps, with race times and laps increasing as it became apparent that the projected wind conditions were not going to materialise.

Proceedings on the water were dominated by the usual suspects – Messrs Butler and Oram (15061, NYC) – but they didn’t have everything their own way. Class Chairman Neil Cramer, crewing for Niall McGrotty (14938, Skerries Sailing Club) led Race 2 until the last leeward mark before they were passed before the last weather mark. Indeed, at one stage they had dropped back to third on the water, with Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775, DMYC) getting into second. However, the ultimate measure of success is the sequence across the finish line and in this regard Butler and Oram reigned supreme with four wins.

The competition for second and third was a tighter affair between McGrotty/Cramer and Colin/Casey and went the way of the former combination by way of a more favourable ratio of second places on the water, 3:1. It might even have been a bigger margin if the Skerries combination hadn’t capsized in Race 3 when they were in a strong second place – they finished sixth.

For the balance of the fleet – Frank Miller & Peter Doherty (14713, DMYC), Mick Creighton & Marie Barry (14854, NYC) and Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691, RStGYC), the “pink ladies”, it was a case of sharing the lesser places and two of the three had race capsizes that cost each of them.

2017 Fireball Munsters, Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club

October 14th

R1

R2

R3

R4

Gross

Nett

1

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram

15061

National Yacht Club

1

1

1

1

4

3

2

Niall McGrotty & Neil Cramer

14938

Skerries Sailing Club

2

2

6

2

12

6

3

Neil Colin & Margaret Casey

14775

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club

3

3

2

3

11

8

4

Frank Miller & Peter Doherty

14713

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club

8

4

3

4

19

11

5

Mick Creighton & Marie Barry

14854

National Yacht Club

4

6

5

5

20

14

6

Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe

14691

Royal St. George Yacht Club

8

5

4

6

23

15

 

For 15061 this completes a season “Grand Slam” of all the Provincial titles, the Nationals and the Dublin Bay Sailing Club Series. While Stephen was absent for the Nationals, Noel helmed the boats to each of these titles.

After the racing, prize-giving and post-mortems the Class held its AGM in the DMYC clubhouse.

In his Chairman’s address Neil Cramer highlighted the fact that although Noel & Stephen had dominated the top spot on the podium there had been a wide spread of combinations filling the lowers steps of the podium.  His report also reflected the various formats the regattas of the season had taken – a three-day, nine race Nationals at Lough Derg with SODs, Mirrors and Squibs as part of their Harvest Regatta, a two-day six race Leinsters co-sailed with the Skerries Club Regatta, a one-day four race Open at Greystones, a two-day six race Ulsters in Ballyholme with the 420s and today’s one-day four race Munsters. The Mirrors in particular have expressed an interest in teaming up again with a view to getting their members a taste of Fireballing and a provisional arrangement to do that in Mullingar is on the agenda.

The turnout for the DBSC Tuesday Series was less than last year but was still healthy and the competition ran for the entire season.  A number of the dinghy classes are anxious to get some weekend racing organised under the burgee of DBSC in 2018 and it appears the best way to achieve this objective is to nominate specific Saturdays on which this will happen. 

In terms of the committee structure, there was a resignation and a slight shuffling of the seats around the table – Neil Cramer remains as Class Chairman, Frank Miller takes on the Secretary portfolio and Marie Barry that of Treasurer. Other committee members are staying on. Neil thanked all those who had served in 2017 and thanked them for their continued support.  

An update on the affairs of Fireball International as discussed at the Europeans in Lyme Regis in August was tabled and the meeting was advised that we are in election mode. Current FI Commodore Steve Chesney is not seeking re-election and his successor is likely to be a lady Fireballer from Switzerland. Further discussions revolved around a motion by the UK Association that the class be able to use twin spinnaker poles and it prompted a lively discussion in the DMYC as well.

Given the numbers we have had on the water this season, the meeting closed out with a soul-searching discussion on how we get our numbers back to a respectable level. Some of the issues to be discussed were;

  •        The need to get younger people interested in the class.
  •        Diluting the perception that the Fireball can only be competitive if it is brand new.
  •        Undoing the perception that it is an overly expensive class to get in to.
  •        Marketing the flexibility of the crew combinations that can sail the boat competitively.
  •        Sharing venues with other classes to showcase the class
  •        Putting energy and training into club fleets that aren’t travelling to get them onto their own water.

The meeting was particularly encouraged that a couple had come up from Killaloe for the meeting and were able to report that two Spanish guys had joined their fleet and were keen to get a Fireball presence going again.

The day closed with a gathering of the fleet in the Purty Kitchen, a hostelry around the corner from the DMYC for dinner.

The Frostbite Series starts on the first Sunday of November and this year we will be part of the fast PY Fleet. The expectation is that we will have 6-7 boats contesting the event.

The Class Dinner takes place on November 25th in the National Yacht Club.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Published in DMYC
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