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This afternoon's DMYC dinghy frostbite series has met the same fate as this morning's DBSC Turkey Shoot due to gale force winds on Dublin Bay. Racing continues next Sunday.

Published in Dublin Bay

Dun Laoghaire's winter sailing fixtures nearly fell victim to the fine weather yesterday but 'miraculously', according to the Fireball facebook page, DMYC race officer Stuart Kinnear got two races in for the opening of the DMYC Frostbites.

Unfortunately, the DBSC Turkey Shoot sailors were abandoned yesterday morning even though an impressive 50–boat fleet had assembled in otherwise beautiful conditions off the West Pier. Yesterday afternoon the DMYC harbour frostbites for PY, Laser, RS (200&400) and Fireballs got away in only light winds but just enough to set a harbour course. In the Fireball class race mug winners were Noel Butler and Luke Malcolm for race one and Frank Miller and Cormac Bradley in race two.

Cormac Bradley of the Fireball class adds:

Two races, 6 boats, 16 degrees. Mirror conditions initially but light breeze developed from west for first race. 3 lap trapezoid. Frank Miller & Cormac Bradley led the fleet to the first mark but were overtaken on the second spinnaker leg by Noel Butler and Luke Malcolm. Places remained this way to the finish with Alistair Court and Peter Doherty.

Wind swung for 2nd race and a new course was set. Miller/ Bradley went right on the first beat while the balance of the fleet went left. Miller/Bradley led by a modest distance and stayed ahead of the pack until the last weather mark when Butler/Malcolm briefly took the lead. However Miller/Bradley sailed through their winward side to retake the lead which they held to the finish. Butler/Malcolm were then put under pressure by Cariosa Power and Marie Barry who had closed up on the second placed boat. Ultimately, the ladies succeeded in taking secobd place in a very tight finish.
Given that the conditions looked so unfavourable at the start of the day, Race Officer Stuart Kinnear and his team did exceptionally well to get two races in – the 45th Frostbite Series is under way.

Published in Turkey Shoot

#Racing - The Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club (DMYC) has cancelled its September Series for 2015 due to poor particpation, with only two boats entering the series.

In a statement, the club said: "We cannot in good conscience offer racing with that few boats, nor ask multiple volunteers to give their time."

In the series' stead, the DMYC will be running two Kish races, one for single- and double-handed boats (date to be confirmed) and another for fully crewed vessels scheduled for Sunday 27 September.

Published in Racing

#fireball – Having had their boats re-weighed in accordance with a change in Fireball Class rules last weekend (18th), the Irish Fireball fleet had a weekend of honing their boat-handling techniques this past weekend under the expert eye of World and European Champion crew, Richard Wagstaff.
A glorious (working) week of sunshine weather here in Dublin prompted the thought that the training would be conducted under blue skies and in warm sunshine. Nothing could have been further from the truth on the Saturday morning with grey skies, rain and breeze. Indeed, so unpleasant was the weather that the original plan to get on the water early gave way to looking at boat set-ups in the dinghy park. In addition to Richard's racing pedigree, we all know of his work in boat-building and boat set-ups so the advice he was able to provide those who had assembled for the training was invaluable.
The rain eventually gave way to drizzle and after a short classroom session to set out the training plane for the morning – short windward-leeward races – 7 boats went out to Scotsman's Bay as the harbour was deemed to be too busy with the first Saturday racing of the DBSC summer racing.
With big seas running due to the northerly wind direction, the sailing was fast and furious, with enough wind to give full-on trapezing conditions upwind and great surfing conditions downwind.
After lunch, we stayed inside the harbour confines where the exercise was to have tactics called by a single voice in each boat – either the crew or the helm. Again a series of short races were held under these conditions. While the tactics were called by one voice, the idea behind the exercise was to promote communication between the helm and crew. A similar division of policing the start line was suggested with the crew taking responsibility for things to windward, allowing the helm to police what was going on to leeward. As the day progressed, the grey skies gave way to the brighter blue colours we had enjoyed during the working week.
After a debrief session with videos, a group of students and the teacher retired to one of the local restaurants for dinner and despite a suggestion that there would be a quick turnaround due to table requirements, the party left after 23:00. Richard's host for the weekend, Neil Colin advised that the "chat" went on to the early hours of the morning.
Sunday morning couldn't have been more different to the preceding day – sunshine, blue skies and a gentler breeze. This allowed time to be spent ashore working on spinnaker handling techniques – hoists, gybes and drops. In recent years we have enjoyed coaching from three different individuals – including Richard – but their mantras on spinnakers are consistent – practice, practice, practice and when you are on the water, preparation and execution. The latter two come from the former. Video footage of the UK's Olympic 470 crew and Richard and Matt Burge in their Fireball, later in the day, showed the virtue of perfecting the techniques and what can be achieved, when the manoeuvres are successfully undertaken.
Sunday morning was taken up with the "gut-buster" exercise – multiple tacks, either side of a mid-course marker on a windward-leeward course, going upwind, with a rounding of the mid-course mark and multiple gybes either side of the same mark and a rounding of the mid-course mark going downwind. Some of the traffic management at the mid-course mark was a bit frenetic! Tacking and gybing techniques then came into focus in this session as the wind started to go light. Commitment to the roll tack was emphasised, minimising rudder movement was a focus (where have we heard that before) and slowing down the techniques to avoid forcing the boat to go through the tack faster than it wants to were the outcomes of this on-the-water impromptu session. Later, the impact of not sailing the boat flat were discussed with the benefit of video footage form the day's proceedings.
Sunday afternoon was rounded off, after lunch, with short races around a "P-shaped" course.
Each of the boats taking part got personal time from Richard on the water and by his own admission there was evidence, within the time-frame of the weekend, of the benefits of his coaching.
As with all such events there are a number of people and organisations who deserve our collective thanks. Richard Wagstaff gave up his weekend to be in Dun Laoghaire with us so we owe him a very big thanks – he gave of his expertise readily and patiently. Neil Colin did all the communications work to bring Richard here for the weekend and hosted Richard. Thanks to Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club we had the use of their clubhouse and two ribs and from a national authority perspective we enjoyed financial support from the Irish Sailing Association, who has revised their funding mechanisms for these types of events to make them more viable for Classes.
We had volunteer rib drivers in Alistair Court, Dave Coleman, Glen Fisher, Mick Creighton, Cariosa Power and Cormac Bradley.
But a coaching weekend also needs participants – so a big thank you to those Fireballers who turned out over the weekend.
With re-weighing out of the way and boat-handling techniques re-visited this weekend, the Irish Fireball fleet can put their time from this weekend into quick use – the first Tuesday night race of the summer takes place tomorrow evening!

Published in Fireball

#vdlr –With an entry list the envy of regatta organisers everywhere, July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta (VDLR) has received a massive entry of  302 boats so far with three months to run to its first gun. Over 63 different yacht clubs are represented in a fleet that will split into 20 different sailing classes for the four day extravaganza at the Irish east coast port. Enthusiastic insiders say the tenth anniversary of the event may yet hit its all time high of 500 boats by July 9 but a more modest reckoning of 400 plus will certainly match the 2013 and 2011 editions of Ireland's largest sailing event.

Run by the four waterfront clubs of the DMYC, RIYC, NYC and RSt.GYC's this year's event is under the stewardship of former Fastnet race winner Tim Goodbody and Dragon Edinburgh Cup winner Martin Byrne. An overview of the biennial event was published by Afloat.ie last weekend in WM Nixon's blog here.

The bulk of entries come from the Dublin Bay area itself but there is also strong interest from along the east coast from Greystones, Arklow, Howth and Skerries. Most encouragingly, the event is proving to be a draw for boats from further afield too with entries from across the Irish Sea some of the first to sign up.

As previoulsy reported by Afloat.ie, the following events are confirmed as part of the event:

Royal Dee Yacht Club Irish Sea Offshore Championship
J109 Irish National Championship
RS Elite Irish National Championship
Beneteau First 21 Irish Championship
Wayfarer Irish National Championship
GP 14 Leinster Championship
J24 Leinster Championship

In encouraging news for dinghy sailing (that has separately been given a shot in the arm this year by local DBSC organisers), it looks like VDLR will also see a lift for centreboard classes. 2015 will see a record number of dinghies classes participating. In addition to the regular one designs such as the Mermaid, Flying 15, Squib, Fireball, IDRA 14 – organisers are welcoming the GP14, Wayfarer, RS200/RS400, Laser classes to the regatta with their own starts.

It is the first visit to the Regatta for the GP14 fleet and organisers are very much looking forward to welcoming the class, all of whom will be from visiting clubs from around the country. An expected entry of 40 GP14's are expected and they will be hosting their Leinster Championships as part of the Regatta.

The Wayfarers are returning after running their a successful UK Nationals within the 2011 Regatta and this year they will be running their Irish Nationals, an expected entry of 20 visiting Wayfarers are expected.

Big entries are also expected from both the Laser and RS fleets. It still remians to be seen if the PY class can muster sufficient numbers

VDLR had issues recently with its online payment. To accommodate anyone who has had difficulties it has extended the early bird discounted entry fee offer deadline to Friday, April 17th.

Published in Volvo Regatta

#fireball – The 44th hosting of the Frostbites by Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club was brought to a close yesterday with the prize-giving for the Series taking place in the clubhouse.

Racing had been programmed for the day, but an adverse forecast, which manifested itself with a very windy seascape saw the racing cancelled by Facebook notification late in the morning and N over A flying from the clubhouse flagpole.
DMYC Commodore, Kevin Burke, opened proceedings by recording a vote of thanks on behalf of DMYC and the competitors to Olivier Proveur for the successful completion of another Series and for the time and effort he puts in to organising the Series.

Kevin also advised the audience gathered in the clubhouse that DMYC is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and indicated that there will be a variety of celebrations throughout the year. Additionally, on the weekend of 27/28 June, the club will host a celebratory regatta in tandem with Dublin Bay Sailing Club who manage the racing on Dublin Bay over the summer months. In his closing remarks, Kevin drew attention to the range in age of the Frostbite participants – from Olivier's 12-year old son, Oisin, to Louis Smyth in the Fireballs.

Olivier took over the microphone from Kevin and said how pleasing it was to see the Frostbite fleet grow again this year. Involved since 2000, when he took over from Valerie Kinnear, Olivier advised that this year the Frostbites had an entry of 103 boats in total. This year a number of changes had been implemented resulting in four separate starts. He suggested that the weather had not been as kind to them as in recent years with only 18 races completed – not 18 Sundays. Series 1 had only five races, from the first Sunday of November to the last Sunday before Christmas. He also asked the competitors to acknowledge the volunteer core of the Frostbites and proceeded to list 18 people ranging from the Race Officer, Kevin Cullen, through timekeepers, recorders, mark-layers and rescue personnel. Two people were given special mention – Dave Coleman (Fireballs) who hadn't missed a single Sunday of the Series as a rib driver and Bob Hobby who, in addition to mark-laying duties posted photographs of each Sunday's proceedings to Facebook. Photographs from the Frostbites have been viewed by 3,460 people. The closing thanks went to DMYC's boatman Richard who prepares all the equipment for each Sunday's racing and Fiona and Carlos in the clubhouse who look after everyone post-racing with soup and a bar service.

The prize-giving then took place with two sets of prizes for each class – Series 2 and the overall Series. For the Fireballs Series 2 was another close run affair for the first two boats overall. As the individual reports for the races have advised, the distance between Messrs Butler and Rumball was never very much apart from one exception that comes to mind. They seemed to be in a constant state of watching out for the other boat!

DMYC Frostbites: Series 2; 13 Races sailed, 3 Discards.
1 Noel Butler & Stephen Oram 15061 National Yacht Club &
DMYC. 15
2 Kenneth Rumball & Brian Byrne 15058 Irish National Sailing Club 17
3 Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 14775 Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club 45
4 Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly 14713 Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club 47
5 Louise McKenna & Hermine O'Keeffe 14691 Royal St. George Yacht Club 52

In terms of the overall Frostbite title, the gap between the first two boats was a bit more pronounced, courtesy of a perfect Series 1 for Rumball & Byrne that saw them undefeated over the five-race series. And this performance is what probably set them up for the overall title.

DMYC Frostbites; Overall; 18 Races sailed, 5 Discards.
1 Kenneth Rumball & Brian Byrne 15058 INSC 17
2 Noel Butler & Stephen Oram 15061 NYC/DMYC 23
3 Conor & James Clancy 15113 RStGYC 58
4 Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 14775 DMYC 61
5 Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly 14713 DMYC 62

The 1-2-3 overall received plaques which made reference to the 50th anniversary of the DMYC.

On completion of the prize-giving, Pat Shannon and Jonathan O'Rourke of the Dublin Bay Sailing Club give a very short presentation on DBSC's plans for the summer's racing – new classes/starts, new courses, more midweek races and a plan for 18 nights of Tuesday racing and 20 Saturdays of afternoon racing. There is an undertaking to provide more races with quicker turnaround times between races. Entry fees for the DBSC have been reduced and online entry will now be accessible. DBSC gets underway on 23rd April 2015.

For the Fireball fleet, there is now a break from the on-the-water activities. A class rule change allows for the removal of 3kg of lead weight corrector form the boats and this has resulted in the Irish Class setting up a "weighing day" for the fleet on 18th April. The consequence of this activity is that boats will have to be stored under dry conditions in advance of the weigh-in. A separate notification has gone out from the committee in this regard. Immediately after this session, we have a UK Fireballer undertaking a coaching session, the following weekend, April 25/26th.

Summer regattas are scheduled for May (Skerries), June (Cushendall), July (Dunmore East), September (Lough Ree) and October (Dun Laoghaire). Interspersed with these Class events there is the Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta (9 – 12 July) and the Fireball Worlds (15 – 30 August, Pwllheli, Wales, with an International Week beforehand). Fireballers should also be aware of a Dinghy Week type event in Cork from 21 – 23 August.

Published in Fireball

#rssailing – Last Sunday, no one was quite sure what wind to expect with Windguru forecasting a 8-14 knots and the Atlantic charts saying otherwise. Racing got underway in the harbour where the tide was exceptionally high due to the recent ecclipse.

Race 1 got underway in a South Easterly breeze of around 12 knots. The fleet had a clean start and immediately split with Rumball, Emmet opting for the left side and Cleary going for the right side. Rumball and Emmet reached mark a good distance ahead leaving Cleary to play catch up. The racing eventually settled down with Emmet/James crossing the line first followed by the Rumball and Cleary boat respectively after the race was shortened.

The wind was beginning to drop and back whilst waiting for race 2 which was to a starboard rounding course. The line was quite biased to the pin end(now on the right) which led to a bit of a queue to round the pin.

This time, the fleet stayed more compact with the patchy wind not allowing anyone to get too far ahead.

A broken Wing-Wang line saw the Rumball boat retire. Riding on the last bit of wind on the last lap, Cleary closed the gap to Emmet. However, the last phase of the race was to be in slow motion with a nice pile-up at the out-loop leeward mark involving a few Kamikaze lasers fire their way in! Emmet/James finished first just 2 seconds clear of Cleary/Donal!

 

Published in RS Sailing
Tagged under

#dbsc – To a racing observer from the shore, the start of yesterday's Frostbite was very odd! At the scheduled start of 14:00, the first two classes the PY Class and the Lasers got away in proper order writes Cormac Bradley. Quite a bit later there was a start for the RS Classes but as soon as they appeared to go over the line they were all called back. The confusion and delay in the starting sequence meant that the Fireball fleet on the start line was doubled in size, going from three to seven boats, and the fleet got a competitive race in!
Initially the three boats in the start area were Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsella (15114), Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061) and Louise McKenna & Hermine O'Keeffe (14691). Having been at a Fireball –connection house-warming the night before I thought that the others had succumbed to the hospitality of the house-warming and decided to give the racing a miss. Because it was gone 14:20 before Kenneth Rumball & Brian Byrne (15058), Louis Smyth & Joe O'Reilly (15007), Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly (14713) and Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) joined the other three starters. It transpired in the clubhouse afterwards that the fleet emerging from the Coal Harbour end of Dun Laoghaire harbour had been stalled by the Race Committee who were considering their options for the day.
The aborted start for the RS Classes was due, it appears, to two class flags being flown, when only one was required. The nett effect was that all seven Fireballs got a race, sharing the one start.
Having observed the previous starts from shore, I imagined that the Fireballs would be fighting for the committee boat end in order to be able to go right, to a windward mark that was just to the west of the harbour mouth. So it was rather surprising to see McCartin & Kinsella halfway down the start line coming up the beat on starboard tack. The error of that approach manifested itself early on when they went behind the transom of Colin & Casey.
The one boat that did go hard right was rewarded with third place around the weather mark – Smyth & O'Reilly having gone all the way right before they took the hitch into the mark. Rumball & Butler rounded first and second and would keep each other in close company for the balance of the race. Behind Smyth came McCartin, who powered over Smyth between Marks 1 and 2. Miller led Colin and McKenna.
What had looked like a broad reach for the PY and Laser Classes between 1 and 2 was now a tight three sail reach for the Fireballs. Rumball held the spinnaker all the way to 2, Butler did an Aussie drop with about 100m to go, McCartin sailed higher managed to bear of in the tougher gusts to hold the bag all the way to 2. Determining when to gybe after 2 was a key factor in the comfort level of the leg between 2 and 3.
On the second beat the fleet all went right to varying degrees but Rumball & Butler pulled out distance on them all to leave themselves having their own race. A cluster of Fireballs rounded after them, one of whom took a 720˚ penalty turn to leave the sequence as Colin, Miller, Smyth, McCartin and McKenna. At Mark 2 McCartin gybed immediately whereas Smyth and Miller delayed with the result that McCartin took them both. However, by the next mark, McCartin had lost his gains again as the others passed him out. His day got even worse when his spinnaker wouldn't come down at Mark 4 so he retired from the race.
On the third beat the fleet was working inside the area defined by the four marks of the course as opposed to sailing on the extremities. By this stage they were each covering the other with the comfort of knowing that the chasing pack were too far back to threaten. At the end of this third lap however, Rumball fell foul of other boats, at Mark 4 and again when he needed to avoid a capsized 29er. The nett effect was that at the fourth weather mark, Butler & Oram had assumed the lead which they held onto until the finish. Colin led the chasing pack home, followed by Miller, Smyth & McKenna.

DMYC Frostbites – Series 2 R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 Tot Nett
Noel Butler & Stephen Oram 15061 NYC/DMYC 2 3 1 2 3 2 1 14 11
Kenneth Rumball & Brian Byrne 15058 INSC 9 1 3 3 2 4 2 24 15
Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsella 15114 RStGYC 1 4 2 14 1 1 9 32 18

These provisional results (by me) are based on the idea of a single discard for Series 2.
After a balmy but very breezy Saturday here in Dun Laoghaire, the fleet enjoyed more modest temperatures of 8˚ with wind out of the NW (313˚) at 12.5 knots with a highest recorded gust of 21 knots, according to the weather station in the harbour.

Published in Fireball
Tagged under

#dbsc – Strong westerly winds gusting to 40 knots put paid to both the DBSC Spring Chicken handicap keelboat series and the DMYC dinghy frostbites on Dublin bay today.
The cruiser event was abandoned just before its first gun this morning. It is the second week running that strong winds have forced cancellation. The plan now, say organisers, is to run an extra race on March 22nd with no race on the 15th due to St. Patrick's weekend.

Published in DBSC

#dbsc – Although Kinsale's natural harbour may have provided the necessary protection for the penultimate round of the south coast town's Frostbite series yesterday, there was no such shelter from the winds on the east coast with both of Sunday's Dublin Bay sailing fixures cancelled. DBSC's cruiser Spring Chicken organisers were forced to cancel in the morning and the DMYC dinghy frostbite series followed suit yesterday afternoon as gusts hit 40–knots off Dun Laoghaire harbour.

Published in Dublin Bay
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