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A misty, almost windless start to the day left frostbiters wondering if they would get afloat all at the DMYC Dinghy Frostbites. Earlier DBSC Turkey Shoot Keelboat racing was cancelled on Sunday morning with north-westerly zephyrs peaking at two knots. However, by about 12.30 the ghostly air had started to swing in the forecast direction so dinghy racers gathered at the waterfront clubs and optimistically pulled off covers and prepared their boats in almost zero wind. Their positivity was rewarded as the air settled into the predicted southeasterly and reached five or six knots. So it was that racing got away with only the slightest delay.

The mixed PY fleet included nine of the eleven Fireballs entered in the series, along with an assortment of Wayfarers, RS 400s, 200s and single-handers. The start line was frankly messy with a favoured pin end and anyone who got away cleanly counted their blessings!

Amongst those were Fireballers Neil Colin and Alistair Court who led the mixed fleet most of the way around the course. Ultimately Neil Colin sailing with John McAree prevailed on the water but on handicap Monica Schaefer won the Windward-Leeward race in the light airs by impressively steady and fast sailing in patchy conditions.

"Special mention for the volunteer race team for getting two races under the belt in challenging conditions"

For race two the pin end bias on the start line was even more pronounced and again the trick was to get off the line in good shape, with an individual recall flag flying to nag those with a guilty conscience. In this race, Newtownards sailor and heroic commuter Josh Porter crewed by Cara McDowell got clean away and led around the course. Followed by series leaders Noel Butler/Stephen Oram they held their lead to the finish. Again in the light airs, they were denied the mug which went to Des Fortune in his Finn who maintained a steady, fast and trouble-free path around the windward-leeward course.

Amongst the three laser fleet divisions the races were won in race one by John Marmelstein, Conor Gorman and Rian Geraghty McDonnell; and in race two by Vasily Shamkov, Hugh O'Connor and Rian Geraghty McDonnell.

Special mention for the volunteer race team led by PRO Ben Mulligan for getting two races under the belt in challenging conditions. The popular series continues until the end of March. Entries at present remain open with more sailors welcome to join the fray.

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There has been an early by the DMYC call to scrub Sunday afternoon's dinghy Frostbite racing in Dun Laoghaire to give sailors a chance to make alternative arrangements, "like cheer on the men in green", says series organiser Neil Colin.

There will be no racing next week either on St Patricks Day, leaving two further Sundays to complete the 2019 Frostbite Series.

Overall results to date are here.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mug winners for the day were;

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

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

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

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

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

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With howling gales on Saturday, courtesy of Storm Deirdre, the weather forecast for today was a lot more benign with a base wind of 9 knots with gusts up to 15 knots from a WSW direction. Or at least that’s what XCWeather was saying during the morning. Arriving at the office to get a piece of work done before racing, the view from the 3rd Floor of my office location suggested that the Tukey Shoot participants were having a good race but there was nothing excessive about the wind. They had a fleet in excess of 50 boats.

With a solitary double points scoring race on the Agenda for today, there was a debate as to whether we should go outside, but with hindsight, staying in was the better call. Race Officer Cormac Bradley and Frostbites co-ordinator Neil Colin decided that a long race would fit the bill and we would stick with triangles. Thus a five-lap course was set with the weather mark initially set about two hundred metres west of the former HSS berth. By 13:40 the full course was set and while there was some fluctuation in the breeze, the location of the weather mark held true for quite a while. A well-known Laser Radial sailor advised me that he could almost fetch the mark on port tack and no sooner had that been acknowledged that a substantial shift to the left happened. This, in turn, prompted a call to the mark layer to drag the weather mark eastwards.

Three clean starts were managed today but there were OCSs in the PY fleet, with one of the Kona Windsurfers called back and at least one Fireball going back with him. Somehow or other the K1 (Tom Murphy, NYC) sneaked a star that neither the recorders nor the RO saw and he was not amused to find himself recorded as an OCS at the clubhouse afterwards.

While the race sequences had started in about 9 knots of breeze, it became apparent that the wind was fading rather than strengthening and there was certainly no sign of the 15 knots that had been promised. The RS Aero was well up the pecking order at the first weather mark in the company of two Fireballs – Noel Butler and Stephen Oram (15061) and the ladies, Cariosa Power & Marie Barry (14854), who after the racing told me of their position at the first weather mark. The tendency to flick left made the first reach tighter than originally intended and Messrs Butler & Oram didn’t gybe at Mark 2 but sailed on for quite some distance before adjusting course to get to Mark 3. Behind these two the remaining Fireballs were in close proximity to each other. Power & Barry had a systems failure with putting up and taking down their spinnaker and while it cost them places and distance on the water, and one imagine huge frustration, it was not the sort of day where it could have been much more catastrophic! The Aero stuck with the Fireballs for the first lap but then more of them caught and passed him. Butler and Oram were racing against the clock, with Shane McCarthy being their principal opposition on the water for the overall Series 1 lead. They “streaked away”, figuratively, not physically, from their own fleet and took a 16:14 winning margin over McCarthy into the results machinations, which converted into a 7:25 win. The next three Fireballs were overlapped on the finish line and in a very tight call the Thompson brothers, Daniel & Harry (1500) got the nod ahead of Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691) who sneaked in ahead of Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775).

frostbite 2Noel Butler (L) and Stephen Oram – 2nd Overall, Series 1, PY Fleet Photo Frank Miller.

By this stage, the wind was down to a measly 3 knots so with Butler & Oram having such a big lead on the water a belated decision was taken to relocate the finish boat at the weather mark. We made it just before the Fireball pair!! At least it meant that the fleet had a much shorter sail home in wind that was rapidly disappearing.

Chris arrowsmithChris Arrowsmith – Winner Standard Lasers, Series 1 Photo Frank Miller

I am not sufficiently familiar with enough of the Laser fleets to know “Who’s who” so a blow by blow account is not as forthcoming. However, Adam Walsh did lead the 4.7 fleet from start to finish as did Chris Arrowsmith in the Standard Rig. While in the Radials, I can confirm that the leading three boats throughout the race were Conrad Vandlik, Conor Clancy (ex-Fireball) and Sean Craig.

Given that this was the last Sunday of Series 1 the prize-giving for the Series was held in the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club after racing with snacks and soup provided for our sustenance. Thus the tables that follow will detail the day’s winners, followed by the Series results of the same Class.

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites: 16 December 2018

PY Fleet*

1

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram

National Yacht Club

FB 15061

2

Shane McCarthy

Coal Harbour/Greystones Sailing Club

Solo 5-0-

3

Daniel & Harry Thompson

Wicklow Boating & Tennis Club

FB 1500-

4

Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe

Royal St. George Yacht Club

FB 14691

5

Neil Colin & Margaret Casey

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club

FB 14775

  

*Provisional – subject to the K1 being reinstated.

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites: 16 December 2018;

PY Fleet, Series 1 Overall

Class

Sail No.

Club

Nett

1

Shane McCarthy

Solo

5-0-

Coal Harbour & Greystones Sailing Club

11

2

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram

FB

15061

National Yacht Club

14

3

Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy

Wayfarer

111152

Greystones Sailing Club

47.5

4

Daniel & Harry Thompson

FB

1500-

Wicklow Boating & Tennis Club

60

5

Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keefe

FB

14691

Royal St George Yacht Club

66

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites: 16 December 2018

Standard Lasers

1

Chris Arrowsmith

2

Conor O’Leary

3

Garvan Murphy

 

(Only three entries today.)

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites: 16 December 2018;

Laser Standard Rig, Series 1 Overall

1

Chris Arrowsmith

20

2

Gary O’Hare

30

3

Niall Cowman

36

4

Garvan Murphy

42

5

Alan Hodgins

43

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites: 16 December 2018

4.7s

1

Adam Walsh

2

Conor Gorman

3

Kitty Flanagan

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites: 16 December 2018;

Laser 4.7s, Series 1 Overall

1

Alana Coakley

15

2

Adam Walsh

19

3

Conor Gorman

25

4

Hugh O’Connor

29

5

Haemish Munro

59

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites: 16 December 2018

Radials

1

Conrad Vandlik

2

Conor Clancy (Mug winner)

3

Sean Craig

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites: 16 December 2018;

Laser Radials, Series 1 Overall

1

Marco Sorgassi

37

2

Conrad Vandlik

38

3

Sean Craig

56

4

Jack Hall

73

5

Shirley Gilmore

78

 

Frostbites Co-ordinator Neil Colin MC-ed the prize-giving and in addition to the 1-2-3 overall prizes in each fleet, there was recognition for the Laser Radials and 4.7s who have managed to swell the numbers of entrants to the Frostbites to over 100 boats this year. The “junior” Laser sailors were invited to take a small token prize from the “top table” to acknowledge their participation.

frostbites 3Marco Sorgassi – Winner Laser Radials, Series 1 Photo Frank Miller

Given the onset on the festive season, there was also a prize today for “Best-dressed boat”. Two of the Junior Lasers were given special mention by way of using festive bows and suitably coloured tinsel, but the easy winner of the “concours d’elegance” in a festive theme was the Wayfarer of Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy.

dMYC volunteerLiam O’Brien, Volunteer winner of the Tyrconnell Whiskey Photo Frank Miller

The Fireball Worlds in 2020 are coming to Howth Yacht Club and part of the sponsorship package for the event involves Tyrconnell Whiskey. A donation of three bottles of this gold elixir was made by Judith Malcolm and her husband for a draw with all Fireball crews eligible and a draw for all the volunteers. Marie Barry and Cariosa Power picked up the competitor prize, while the volunteer prize went to Liam O’Brien.

This concludes the Frostbites for 2018. Racing resumes in January, so from this correspondent, “Happy Christmas and a Peaceful & Prosperous New Year”!

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54 Lasers across three divisions, out of 86 overall entries to date has prompted a rethink of starts for tomorrow's first race of the DMYC Frostbite Series in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. An amendment to the Sailing Instructions has been made and it is downloadable below.

The Dun Laoghaire Combined Clubs’ youth training programme is sending as many as eight Radials to this year’s Frostbites, along with a group of 4.7s. It’s being hailed as a positive sign for the class which has long experienced difficulty in persuading parents and coaches to encourage their children to compete in local racing rather than training.

"We contemplated an indicator for boats OCS before the start, but we remind all the One Minute Rule, operates on all starts" organiser Neil Colin told Afloat.ie

Entries for the series remain open and sailors can join the fun whenever they like, Colin says.

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All the weather forecasts were suggesting that there should have been wind for yesterday’s Frostbites in Dun Laoghaire Harbour! XCWeather was projecting 7 – 12 knots of SSW, the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Weather station was showing 6.6 – 10 knots from 163˚ and even worse, the Dublin Bay buoy was showing 13 – 16 knots with a wind direction of 167˚. However, in the inner reaches of the harbour it was a lot less exciting. The “low rains” reference is to describe a drizzly afternoon where it was damp but it never actually rained while we were on the water.

A declaration to the rib crews and committee boat team by Race Officer Cormac Bradley that we would try for two races, given last week’s postponement, seemed optimistic but everyone agreed that it was the thing to do.  

On arrival at the start area, the wind was blowing a healthy 4 knots and was reasonably steady in direction. With the committee boat situated off the block house towards the end of the West Pier, the windward leg initially looked like it could extent the full length of the harbour with the weather mark in the location of the bandstand on the East Pier. With the light wind, which was to get lighter, a triangular course of 3 laps was set with the intention of shortening if the wind didn’t play ball. A late alteration to the weather mark saw it go northwards and a short postponement was flown to allow the stragglers a bit more time to get to the start area.

Twenty-six boats were registered as starters, with ten each in the Slow PY and Laser Classes and six in the Fast PY Class. Notable absentees were the two KONA Windsurfers, maybe deciding that there wasn’t enough wind to warrant getting their feet wet and the Solo of Shane McCarthy, though he was spotted afterwards from a distance with his boat in the carpark at the Coal Harbour, either returning from or packing up to go to a regatta.

In the Slow PY Class, the performance of the day went to Pierre Long & John Parker in the IDRA who got into “breeze” off the start line and waltzed away with the race. By the time they rounded the leeward mark, the chasing pack in Slow PY were in the vicinity of the gybe mark, or just past it. Round the weather mark the sequence in Slow PY was the Enterprise of Aidan Geraghty & Eilis O’Donnell, the Wayfarer of Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy and the second IDRA of Frank Hamilton & crew. The Laser Vagos were also well up the pecking order. However, the leading Fireball in Fast PY was already in the company of the Wayfarer and the Enterprise.

In the Lasers, a 2018 Frostbite debutant led the way off a cluttered start with one boat being “pinged” for an OCS. While he returned to the right side of the course, he did so by dipping the line rather than going round the ends, so would sail the balance of the race in vain. Having established that he could retrospectively pay an entry fee, Chris Arrowsmith found that the premium for a retrospective entry grew as he crossed the line first and then qualified for the Frostbite Mug for the Laser Class.

Three Fireballs, a Finn a 470, a RS400 and a K1 made up the Fast PY fleet. Frank Miller & Ed Butler (14713) started at the pin end on port and headed to the right hand side of the course. Noel Butler & Marie Barry (15061) and the “pink ladies” Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691) both started on starboard close to the committee boat but Butler went right initially. His final approach saw him coming into the weather mark on the port lay-line and he appeared to be enjoying a healthy lead. By now the conditions had gone light with wind strength down to 2.2 – 2.5 knots. The top reach “held its shape” by allowing the spinnaker boats to fly bags, but the second reach saw a much more varied approach to getting to the leeward mark. For example, Butler & Barry were tight reaching into the middle of the course on port tack before they gybed to get down to the leeward mark.

With Long & Parker (IDRA) just rounded the leeward mark and with the wind Gods deciding we weren’t going to get anything more, the decision was taken to shorten course at the weather mark. The committee boat upped anchor and relocated itself in time to allow Long & Parker (IDRA) a very VERY comfortable win on the water. The second boat home was the Fireball of Butler & Barry (15061) with Chris Arrowsmith the first Laser.

The ambition to have a second race evaporated in the millpond like environment of the harbour and the consensus afterwards appeared to be that the right call had been made – a race had been achieved.   The fastest race time on corrected time went to the IDRA of Pierre Long and John Parker.

DMYC Frostbites – 18th February 2018

Slow PY

 

1

Pierre Long & John Parker

IDRA

 

2

Aidan Geraghty & Eilis O’Donnell

Enterprise

 

3

Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy

Wayfarer

Lasers

 

1

Chris Arrowsmith

Laser

 

2

Brendan Hughes

Laser Radial

 

3

Luke Dillon

Laser

Fast PY

 

1

Noel Butler & Marie Barry

Fireball

 

2

Hugh Sheehy

Finn

 

3

Frank Miller & Ed Butler

Fireball

The Fast PY Mug went to Tom Murphy in the K1 but the Mug for the Slow PY was withheld pending the provision of a PY Number for a single-handed Laser Vago. The Vagos of “Sailing in Dublin” are a stalwart element of the Frostbite Series and in recent weeks a number have been sailed single-handed. Another competitor brought this to the attention of the race committee yesterday so the class has been asked to provide the relevant PY Number so that the results can be reviewed.

Given the number of postponements we have had this year, yesterday was a bonus. It wasn’t a thriller, but everyone who wanted a race got a race………..with the exception of one retiree who obviously had too much excitement for the day!

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After two Sundays of excessive wind, the wind gods looked more favourably on the Frostbites in Dun Laoghaire Harbour and allowed two races to be sailed. However, the waterscape at the DMYC end of the harbour did not lend itself to the idea that racing would be possible – on arrival it was mirror flat. Fortunately, the Race Officer for the day, Cormac Bradley, had checked the main body of the harbour and was able to see two 1720s sailing well in the vicinity of the Carlisle Pier, before he got to the DMYC. That allowed him to speculate as to the possibility of having two races, a view endorsed by Frostbites Director, Neil Colin.

The race team departed the shore with a view to seeing what was possible and were greeted with a light wind coming out of the eastern quadrant of the compass. From a position in the roads of the marina approach, the wind was initially coming off the Boyd Memorial on the East Pier, and then went further left to the weather station on the upper walkway of the pier. A median position between the two seemed to be the safe bet!  The balance of the triangular course was set leaving the ribs free to help get the fleet out to the start area. While this was underway the wind went right to the extent that the weather mark had to be re-set.

Thirty-one boats came under starter’s order for the first race, 3 laps of a triangular course with a weather mark set beyond and outside the ferry gantry, a gybe mark in the middle of the harbour and a leeward mark just outside the entrance to the marina.

In Slow PY, eleven boats took part with the early action on the water being between the Wayfarer, the IDRA of Pierre Long and John Parker and the KONA of Robbie Walker.  Frank Hamilton & Jenny in the second IDRA and Aidan Geraghty & Eilis O’Driscoll had a separate race. While both off-wind legs were spinnaker legs, the wind strength wasn’t overly strong and the KONAs struggled in the lighter stuff. As the race progressed the Wayfarer of Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy eked out a comfortable lead having a 1:43 lead at the finish with the IDRA of Pierre Long coming home second. The second IDRA came home six seconds under three minutes behind Long with the Enterprise and the first KONA of Walker separating the two IDRAS.  On corrected time, the wayfarer took the wind by 29 seconds with the IDRAS second and third.

In the Lasers, Shirley Gilmore (Rad) set the early pace and led the fleet round the first lap, however, by the finish she had been overhauled by debutant Mark Coakley (Full, 201888) who took the win by thirty-four seconds. In third was the full rig of Justin Geoghegan (Full, 165512), just thirty-five seconds behind Gilmore and only ten seconds ahead of Alan Hodgins (Full, 175809). On handicap, Gilmore took the win, followed by Coakley, Geoghegan, Hodgins and Sean Flanagan (Full, 177854).  The Lasers had a close race with nobody breaking significantly away.

The seven-boat Fast PY fleet saw a Frostbite debut for Fireball 15007, sailed by Dave Coleman and Glen Fisher as part of the 5-boat Fireball contribution to this fleet, the odd-ones-out being the Finn of Hugh Sheehy and the RS 400 of Neils Warburton. Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly (14713) led the fleet around the first lap but with the exception of the debutants the Fireballs kept close company around the course.  Thus, while Miller led, Noel Butler & Marie Barry (15061) and Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) were in very close company and Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706) were probably of the order of a boat length and a half off them.   At the end of the first lap, my recall is that Miller and Butler went left almost immediately while Colin went right. And while Butler would claim afterwards that he gained whether he went left or right, at different times, and I don’t dispute that, the consequence of going right was that Colin & Casey came out on top at the second weather mark. However, they had no sense of comfort as Miller and Butler were breathing down their necks. Court couldn’t quite close the gap on the boats ahead of him. Butler & Barry were shut out of leading the fleet until the very end of the race when the Enterprise of the Slow PY fleet entered the fray of rounding the leeward mark. There is no suggestion that the Enterprise shouldn’t have been there or did anything wrong, but as the second Fireball on the water, behind Colin and the Enterprise, Butler was able to execute a more efficient rounding and with a short hitch to the finish was able to take the lead of the race when it mattered most – just before the finish line. He beat Colin home by 18 seconds with only 1½ minutes need to finish the first four Fireballs. Despite the fact that the Finn came in five seconds short of three minutes behind the first Fireball his corrected time gave him a win by 19 seconds over Butler, Colin and Court with Miller in fifth.

As an additional feature of the results, the team gave the list of fastest elapsed times on the water, corrected to reflect the three different start times.

In Race 1 the order of fastest corrected race times is as follows;

Crew

Class

Elapsed time

Corrected Time

Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy

Wayfarer

38:47

35:12

Pierre Long & John Parker

IDRA 14

40:30

35:41

Shirley Gilmore

Laser Radial

41:00

36:00

Mark Coakley

Laser

40:26

36:51

Hugh Sheehy

Finn

39:10

37:29

Noel Butler & Marie Barry

Fireball

36:15

37:48

Given that the last two Sundays were blown out and as there was still enough wind, and sunshine, to have a second race, a windward-leeward course was signalled. Again, there was some fickleness to the breeze in terms of direction, but just before the Race Officer resigned himself from having to move station, the wind settled in to a changed windward mark position.

Again three laps were signalled. In the PY fleet the greyhounds again were the Wayfarer of Schaeffer & McCarthy, the IDRA of Long & Parker, the KONA of Walker and the IDRA of Hamilton & Jenny. Schaeffer & McCarthy and Long & Parker worked their way clear of the fleet and Long stayed ahead for the latter half of the race.  However, despite having a good lead on the water as he sailed down the last leeward leg, he sailed through the finish line with the committee boat flying its blue flag to indicate that it was on station for a finish. Moments later, as Schaeffer passed outside the committee boat, she made it clear that she would be protesting Long for his transgression……….he subsequently retired.

The Lasers meantime decided they would have their indiscretions on the start line with an X-flag being flown at their start. Not all the transgressors returned which meant that they were met with silence when they crossed the finish line. Despite the light airs and her handicap win of the first race, Shirley Gilmore struggled with this one and left the winning on the water to the full rigs of Luke Dillon (166676), Mark Coakley (201888), Conor O’Leary (190745) with Ella Hemeryck in another Laser Radial (210312) the first lady home in fourth. This was enough to elevate her to the class win by a margin of five seconds.

In the fast PY it was all about gybing angles for the Fireballs on the downwind legs and trying to get into perceived wind veins across the course. In truth I saw little of the intimate action as a consequence of my Race Officer duties so all I can report is that Court and Syme nearly transgressed the rule to not sail through the finish line when the blue flag is flying but avoided the scenario with a crash hardening up around the pin end of the finish line.  Butler & Barry took the race win on the water by 1:37 over Court who had forty seconds on Miller who had eleven seconds on Court. But they were all gazumped by Sheehy who finished among the Fireballs and took the handicap win. 

Sheehy also took the fastest corrected time for Race 2, 33:22, followed by Hemeryck, 33:38, Dillon, 33:43 and Butler/Barry 34:19.

Mug Winners on the day included Dave Coleman and Glen Fisher (R1/Fast PY Fleet), Mark Coakley (R1/Laser) and Ella Hemeryck (R2/Laser Radial)

Published in Dublin Bay
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DMYC organiers are studying a dip in entries for its annual Frostbite series.

Numbers have dropped significantly from the typical 80 – 90 boats over recent years to 52 this year, 24 of which are Lasers.

Despite best efforts to promote the event, including contacting class captains, contacting dinghy clubs, early publication of the NOR and ease of entry via the web site the decline has been noticeable. 

'It appears to be lifestyle changes, as the morning cruiser (Turkey Shoot) racing is growing in popularity', says the DMYC's Neil Colin.

One suggestion for change has been made by Afloat.ie reader Peter O'Doherty (see comment via Facebook below) who says 'multiple, shorter races with a variety of courses would make the series more attractive. Five laps of a trapezoid can end up being a bit of a procession'.

The DMYC are making a determined push for series two of the winter event that runs until the end of March.

'We're calling all East Coast Dinghy Sailors to use the Frostbites on Sunday afternoons to keep your “hand in” and ensure you “hit the ground running” at the start of the summer season', Colin told Afloat.ie

The DMYC Frostbites Series II, runs from 7th January to 25th March – potentially there are 11 Sundays left, with double race days when the weather and daylight allows.

Racing is for Lasers and PY fleets (incl KONA windsurfers) with the first gun at 13.57 hours each day.

Entry is available on line here or in the club house after racing, entry fees will be discounted by 50%.

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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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