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Cummins keen to secure Irish Olympic nominations

6th December 1996
SYDNEY-BASED champion Skiff sailor David Cummins has been having discussions with ISA officials about a place in the Irish Olympic team. Cummins is said to be keen to secure the nomination in the new Julian Bethwaite-designed 49er Skiff dinghy discipline introduced for the 2000 regatta. The 35-year-old Dubliner was a successful Irish Laser champion until he emigrated to Australia in his early 20s. He soon won the Australian class championships before moving on to Sydney Harbour's professional Skiff circuit. More recently he competed with the world match racing champion Russell Coutts. Cummins discussed his intentions with the chairman of the ISA's Olympic Committee, Richard Burrows, during an ISA fact finding mission to Sydney last month, and is said to be keen to compete for his native country. In 1995, Cummins was 12th overall at the Fremantle-hosted Dragon World championships with Mick Cotter and Simon Brien as crew.
Back home, strong winds on the east coast and the reduction of the traditional Frostbite course have done nothing to sap interest from the 26th outing of the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club's Frostbite series, which reached its limit of 110 entries on the very first Sunday race. Only three out of a total of five races scheduled have been completed with gale force winds forcing the abandonment of racing for the past two weeks. When racing has taken place it has occurred in far from ideal conditions but 25 knot winds have provided good sport for those who could stay upright. The Portsmouth Yardstick class (PY), as in most years, boasts the largest fleet and within it a healthy 420 class turnout of 20 boats marks the tenacity of this class in Irish waters. The movement of the Stena HSS car ferry has meant that a much smaller area of the harbour is now available for racing and as a result more laps of a smaller course are being sailed. This has led to mark rounding congestion and a vociferous level of protest, particularly at weather marks where, on occasion, the three fleets arrive simultaneously. Fireball helmsman Mick Creighton made most use of his crew Donal Sweeney in the trapeze conditions to win race one. Creighton, who now leads overall, capsized in race three to allow fellow Fireballers Pat Kiersey and Michelle Egan to take the lead and win their first Frostbite individual race prize in nine years of competition. In the same race, rescue boat personnel who spotted a sailor swimming in the chilly harbour waters, were waved away by 420 crewman Andrew Davitt, who had fallen overboard. Davitt, instead of being rescued, made his way back to helmsman Neill Spain on board the crewless 420 in order to finish the race without the penalty of outside assistance. Despite the mishap, the pair still managed eighth place. An American-designed dinghy, the JY15, sailed by Neil Colin and Michael Keatinge of the host club is currently second in the 52-boat PY fleet. A heavyweight battle is emerging between Bryan Maguire, Ciaran Crummey and Frank Cronin in the 31-boat single-handed Laser class with Crummey and Cronin lying first and second respectively in the heavy winds. In a fleet of 27 Mirror dinghies, brothers Andrew and Ben Greer will lead Louise Foley and Noeline Owens, both of the host club, into race six of the country's longest-running Frostbite series at 2.0 p.m on Sunday. Now in its second year, the eight-race Electrolux Skiff League at Howth YC draws to a close tomorrow. With three races left to sail, Michael Evans and Conor Roche lead in their A Wear-sponsored B14. Maurice O'Connell and David Spears are second in Electrolux, with Dan O'Grady and Conor Barry in third place in the 14-boat fleet. Racing over windward leeward courses through an obligatory gate, all scheduled races have been completed. A fun race and prize-giving dinner will take place on Saturday, December 14th, and an invitation is extended to all dinghy sailors interested in joining the new breed of dinghy sailors. Team

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