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A fine fleet of mixed sailing cruisers braved south–westerly winds gusting to gale force on Dublin Bay today for the ten–mile Round Kish Lighthouse Race. The DMYC race started at 11am and included many Dublin Bay boats but also visitors from Greystones and Howth. Photo gallery below: 

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The DMYC in Dun Laoghaire are reminding sailors that online entry for its Kish race on Dublin Bay closes tomorrow at 19.00 on 24th September.

Looking at the weekend forecast – sailing tomorrow may will be for the heavy weather brigade, but Sunday shows some easing even though the WindGuru is predicting gusts in the low 20’s. Does it suggest a spin around the Kish on Sunday would be an ideal way to close out the season?

'The Kish might not be the Vendee Globe, but it still presents a challenge all sailors like', says DMYC's Neil Colin.

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The DMYC will hold its annual Dun laoghaire to Kish lighthouse (and back) race on Sunday 25th September.

The DMYC have been staging this race since the early 1980’s when it was a single–handed affair and over more recent years it has become a two–handed race, but in this instance the club hopes there will be a greater participation as a fully crewed race, which might suit the potential autumn conditions better than the historic mid-summer conditions.

The race is also being run under Echo Standard, as compared to the adjusted echo for two reasons. Firstly, so that crews who have had their handicaps reduced due to performance, can enjoy a chance to race on the yachts design handicap, and have a chance of glory. Secondly, To encourage the cruising sailors who shy of formal racing and don’t have IRC or current Echo handicaps to participate.

The online entry form is also designed to accept entries from yachts who are not aware of their ECHO, as additional encouragement to sailors who may be more cruising orientated.

The event is open to all yachts, subject to insurance and standard DBSC Safety Requirements, which all competent yachtsmen should be meet in any event. The DMYC encourages entries from the greater Dublin Bay and East Coast area along with the White Sail fleets.

The Notice of Race and Entry form is here

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The DMYC say a late surge in entries means nearly 100 boats will race for their King of the Bay Challenge tomorrow, offering the cruisers a semi–coastal race and the dinghies a combination of a pursuit race and a standard handicap race. The on line entry system shuts down at 22.00 hours, so some time left this evening.

The question of whether a foiling moth can catch an IDRA with a forty two minute head start, after the IDRA has raced eighty three minutes will be answered. Who wins the Tortoise or the Hare ?

Published in DMYC
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A touch of cradle-snatching on Saturday at DMYC where Fireballs threw out an open invite to sailors to try out the dinghy. Daniel Hrymak (12) and his friend Mark Henry (12) rocked up and went out for a spin.The light winds and hazy sunshine provided a gentle introduction for the duo whose main experience to date was Toppers and Laser 4.7s.They took to the boat like proverbial ducks and before long had got the hang of trapezing, stretching out into the gusts like experienced crews, hands free.. Both young sailors also got to helm and quickly found their stride.

Off wind spinnakers were set and they got their first taste of trimming gybing and dropping the kite. Meanwhile another participant Micheal Matulka sailing with Stephen Oram was put through his paces.

The regular keelboat sailor was enjoying his second outing in a Fireball and was seen quickly improving his trapezing and crewing techniques. On this occasion he got out on the wire with kite up, surely the most fun phase of sailing for any crew. The only things missing were decent waves and a bit more wind to add extra spice. This fun day was designed to get new sailors out in Fireballs to let them see what an exciting, yet stable and fun boat the Fireball is. The class, who are keen to attract new sailors, intend to run a couple more open sessions during the summer.

Published in Fireball
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The 45th hosting of the Frostbite Series in the 51 years of the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club came to a close yesterday in sunshine and light wind conditions and a turnout of seven Fireballs in a very busy Dun Laoghaire harbour which also had Oppie training on the go and the ISA’s J80s racing inside the harbour. 

A four-lap course of a modest trapezoid was set for the last race of the series and of the seven boats starting, four were OCS – Butler, Miller, Court and Colin. The remaining three boats which were closest to the committee boat then had the luxury of picking whichever way they wanted to go on the course. Louis Smyth and Joe O’Reilly (15007) made the most of this opportunity and went right in the company of the “ladies in pink”, Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691) and Dara McDonagh and Neil Duke (14340). These three went round the first weather mark, situated just inside the harbour mouth, in this order, with the miscreants following behind – Butler, with a substitute crew in the absence of Stephen Oram (15061), Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) and Frank Miller & Cormac Bradley (14713). 

Smyth led to the bottom mark and again went right along with McKenna, who according to the post-mortem after the race “strayed” onto the adjacent race-course of the J22s in order to out-manoeuvre Smyth and take over the lead of the race, a position she and Hermine declined to relinquish. Butler in the meantime “got the bit between his teeth” and started working through the top order. In the light conditions, Colin & Casey were able to do the same and while Miller & Bradley passed Court & Syme, on the next beat, the tables were turned and Court regained his position ahead of Miller. McDonagh got caught by boats as the race progressed. The conditions were lighter than had been forecast resulting in no upwind trapezing that I saw.

It was a slightly subdued finish to the Series but nevertheless a pleasant way to close out the 45th Frostbites.  The finishing order was McKenna, Butler, Smyth, Colin, Court, McDonagh, and Miller. This is the longest run of absence from the 1st place that Noel suffered throughout the entire series – 3 consecutive races!

At the prize-giving in the DMYC clubhouse afterwards, proceedings were started with a welcome from the Commodore of DMYC who then handed over to Olivier Proveur who has had a 20-year association with the Frostbites and is their principal organiser. Olivier paid tributes to the teams of people who make the Frostbites possible – Race Officers, Mark-layers, Recorders, the maintenance team who ensure that the committee boats and ribs are kept in working order, the volunteers who provide hot soup every afternoon after racing and the bar and club staff who keep the club ticking over for the Frostbites.

Series II (Post Christmas – March 20th) Pts
1 Noel Butler & Stephen Oram 15061 NYC 15
2 Frank Miller & Cormac Bradley/Grattan Donnelly/Ed Butler 14713 DMYC 36
3 Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe 14691 RStGYC 39
4 Alistair Court & Gordon Syme 14706 DMYC 43
5 Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 14713 DMYC 60
45th Frostbite Series 2015/16 – Overall (Series I & II) 22 races. Pts
1 Noel Butler & Stephen Oram 15061 NYC 21
2 Frank Miller & Cormac Bradley/Grattan Donnelly/Ed Butler 14713 DMYC 61
3 Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe 14691 RStGYC 72
4 Alistair Court & Gordon Syme 14706 DMYC 74
5 Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 14713 DMYC 83

Despite a heavy weather session over the early part of January, a total of 22 races were sailed, achieved by doubling up on Sundays when racing was possible to make up for lost races. Also of significance was the fact that no protests were lodged over the entire series.

2016 03 20 17.24.29

Frank Miller & Cormac Bradley (second Overall) above and “the ladies in pink”, Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (third Overall) below.

fireball sailors DMYC2

Of the 22 races sailed, Noel and Stephen only missed a solitary race, due to a family bereavement on Noel’s side whereas their rivals in the top five each missed or retired from five races. This shows the consistency of performance of Noel and Stephen over the Series with their worst result, probably discarded, being a third place.

Representatives of Dublin Bay Sailing Club advised the prize-giving that summer racing for the dinghy fleets will be on Tuesday evenings and Sunday afternoons with the Sunday racing scheduled for 14:00. The first Tuesday of DBSC will be April 26th, with Sundays starting the following Sunday, 1st May.

For the Fireballs, there is a short break before the summer season kicks in with a training session to be run by Irish Olympian Ger Owens starting off the sunshine months of Irish Fireball sailing. Details of this event will be posted shortly.

Published in Fireball
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With the normal Fireball scribes for the Frostbite racing in Northern Ireland for the day and in the Caribbean for at least a week, the reporting of the penultimate Sunday of the 2015/16 Frostbite Series fell on Neil Colin.

Neil reports thus;

The ladies in pink stole the show with two wins on a beautiful spring day, in gentle 5 - 8 knot breezes, racing inside the harbour.

The ladies started the first beat of race one with a hard turn to the right hand corner and took a healthy 10 boat lead at mark one, to a rousing cheer from their favourite mark layer, and even a photo opportunity, but by the time they had reached mark 4, the pack were upon them and Noel had stolen their crown. But not so fast, another hard right side put them back in the game and they led for the next 3 laps to take the gun. Meantime the rest of the fleet played snakes and ladders, with only Noel and Stephen maintaining a consistent place.

Between races the fleet encouraged the pink ladies to repeat the performance, adding the pressure……..  and they duly delivered a second race win around a smaller course, with fewer rounds in a dying breeze.  Well done!

The “ladies in pink” are Louise McKenna and Hermine O’Keeffe who during the winter months, at least, can be distinguished by distinctive pink woolly hats. We have yet to establish if the ownership and wearing of a pink hat is a prerequisite for sailing in 14691, Goodness  Gracious, but as Neil’s words above suggest they has a superb day on Sunday past.

There was a great symmetry about the results on this second-last Sunday of the winter season with Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061) scoring two seconds, Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) scoring two thirds and Mary Chambers and Brenda McGuire (14865) scoring two fourths.

Seven boats contested the first race of the day and the fleet was reduced to four boats for the second.

With the final Sunday of racing being March 20th, the overall situation is as follows;

DMYC Frostbites 2015/2016; 21 Races sailed, 5 Discards. Total Pts Nett Pts
1 Noel Butler & Stephen Oram NYC 15061 43 19
2 Frank Miller & Cormac Bradley/Grattan Donnelly DMYC 14713 119 54
3 Alastair Court & Gordon Syme DMYC 14706 134 69
4 Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe RStGYC 14691 136 71
5 Neil Colin & Margaret Casey DMYC 14775 144 79
6 Conor & James Clancy RStGYC 14807 153 88
7 Cariosa Power & Marie Barry NYC 14854 159 94

   

The prize-giving on Sunday will be at 17:00 if there is racing and at 15:00 if there is no racing.

Published in Fireball
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Today's in harbour dinghy frostbite series run by the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club (DMYC) was cancelled due to strong winds. Southerly winds, averaging 24kts, gusted to 32kts at race time.

Published in Dublin Bay
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Despite the modest seascape of the above photograph today's Frostbites in Dun Laoghaire have been cancelled writes Cormac Bradley. The weather station adjacent to where this photo was taken was recording 18 knots of wind with a highest gust of 33 knots from the West.
Elsewhere in the harbour, the keelboats moored between Hell's Gates and DMYC were swinging through 90 degrees when they were hit by squalls on the water.
At various intervals, Dublin Bay has disappeared under rain clouds.
Next Saturday night, the Royal St George Yacht Club hosts a celebration of 50 years of Fireballing in Ireland. The great, the good and a big crowd of over 200 are expected.

Published in Dublin Bay

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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