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Series 2 of the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club’s Frostbites started in very hopeful conditions writes Cormac Bradley. However, within 35 seconds of a self-imposed deadline to call proceedings off, the Race Officer decided that a race could be started. The forecast on XCWeather had been promising 6 – 8 knots from the SSW, but the weather station adjacent to my observation post was recording a wind strength of 3.8knots, a gust of 4.9knots and a wind direction of 119˚ with an air temperature of 10.8˚ and there was nothing to suggest these statistics were being replicated on the water. It took the best part of an hour to get a race underway!

Seven Fireballs initiated the second half of the Frostbites with a debut for accomplished “Flying Fifteener” Dave Gorman who teamed up with Margaret Casey in Neil Colin’s absence. Dave got in to his comfort zone quite quickly by executing a port-tack start on the pin while the rest of the fleet lined themselves up on starboard. Gorman & Casey (14775) were challenged by Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly (14713) as the closest starboard-tacked boat. These two went left with a third boat while the balance of the fleet came right to varying degrees. Initially Louis Smyth & Joe O’Reilly (15007) were the furthest right, but at a later stage Mary Chambers & Brenda McGuire (14865) came even further across.

As the zephyrs of breeze alternated left and right so the fortunes of those on either side of the course varies as well, but ultimately, the leaders came from the left hand side of the beat. Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keefe, the “pink ladies” (14691) led around the first weather mark followed by Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061), Miller & Donnelly, Smyth & O’Reilly, Gorman & Casey, Cariosa Power & Marie Barry (14854) and Chambers & McGuire.

Initially, the pink ladies sailed straight to Mark 2, just inside the end of the eastern pier, but they found themselves gybing in towards the centre of the harbour when Butler & Oram executed this manoeuvre half-way down the leg. Miller & Smyth also undertook a gybe-less approach to the leg and this proved to be beneficial to both as they overtook Butler & Oram. At Mark2, the dominant decision was to gybe. However, Smyth & O’Reilly sailed towards the mouth of the harbour and by way of staying in a little more breeze than the others sailed around them and into a lead which they never relinquished. By Mark 4 the new order was Smyth, McKenna, Miller, Butler, Gorman, Power and Chambers.

The lead two boats took a short hitch to the right-hand-side of the course, before taking a long starboard tack to the vicinity of the weather mark. Smyth had a comfortable lead on McKenna who in turn was well ahead of both Butler & Miller who came further right than the lead pair. By the second weather mark, Smyth appeared to have extended his lead, but in the conditions there were no guarantees. Miller & Butler were much closer to each other and would keep in close company all the way to Mark 4 with each in turn taking the lead between them. At Mark 3, Butler seemed to have the advantage, being inside boat but Miller passed them out before they got to Mark 4, before relinquishing his lead again. Butler got ahead at the final mark and held on for third place.

The Frostbite Mugs went to the all-lady combination of Cariosa Power & Marie Barry (14854) who had an interesting race towards the back of the fleet.

DMYC Frostbites 2016/17: Series 2; January – March, Race 1.
1 Louis Smyth & Joe O’Reilly 15007 Coal Harbour
2 Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe 14691 Royal St George Yacht Club
3 Noel Butler & Stephen Oram 15061 National Yacht Club
4 Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly 14713 Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club
5 Dave Gorman & Margaret Casey 14775 Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club

 

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Considering the time of year, it is rather surprising that we have got to the end of Series 1 of the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club’s Frostbites without a cancellation……….until the last Sunday, writes Cormac Bradley. Competitors were greeted with a mirror-like seascape inside the harbour with no motion from the flags around the periphery of the harbour. Those on the flagstaff of the host club were so limp that they couldn’t be recognised. On the opposite side of the inner reaches of the harbour, brand flags from the yacht brokers were likewise hanging limp.

Frostbite co-ordinator Olivier Proveur however decided that with the day that was in it, an attempt should be made to race and slightly behind schedule, understandably, the fleet was ordered to go afloat. Not everyone complied, but those that did faced a long paddle out to the race area. This correspondent was one of the last to go down the slipway but before he needed to get his feet wet, a radio communication was received to the effect that racing was cancelled.

This prompted an early prize-giving where calendars with pictures from the Frostbites were the prizes. Frostbite co-ordinator Olivier added his own form of wit to these proceedings which were preceded by the serving of finger food and soup.

The Frostbites take a break now with no racing on the next two Sundays – Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. We resume on 8th January 2017.

2016/17 DMYC Frostbites – Series1: After 2nd Discard. R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 Nett
Noel Butler/Phil Lawton & Stephen Oram/Ger Owens 15061 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 7
Conor Clancy/Owen Laverty & James Clancy 14807 2 4 2 4 3 13 1 1 4 17
Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 14775 13 2 4 2 2 5 3 3 6 21
Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe/Cormac Bradley 14691 3 3 7 7 5 4 4 4 7 30
Frank Miller & Ed Butler/Cormac Bradley/Grattan Donnelly 14713 13 5 6 8 6 2 6 5 2 32
Alistair Court & Gordon Syme/Cormac Bradley 14706 13 13 13 5 4 3 5 9 5 44
Louis Smyth & Joe O’Reilly/Glenn Fisher 15007 13 7 3 3 7 11 13 13 3 47
Cariosa Power & Marie Barry 14854 13 6 8 6 8 7 13 13 13 61
Peter & Michael Keegan 14676 13 8 5 13 13 8 8 7 13 62
Mary Chambers & Brenda McGuire 14865 13 13 13 9 9 11 7 6 13 68
Darragh McDonagh & Crew 15058 13 13 13 13 13 6 13 13 13 84
David Turner & Peter Doherty 14362 13 13 13 10 10 13 13 13 13 85

From this correspondent, Happy Christmas to all!

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Having reeled off eight Fireball wins in a row, it wouldn’t have been an unreasonable assumption to suggest that Tom Gillard and Richard Anderton (GBR15127) were odds-on to make a clean sweep of all ten races in the Worlds that have been just concluded in Mossel Bay, South Africa. That is not to belittle the efforts of the rest of the fleet which included the current European Champions, Claude Mermod and Ruedi Moser (SUII 14799) and Ben Schulz and Jack Lidgett (AUS 15113).
However, the ninth race was lost to the aforementioned Aussie pair before the 2016 World Champions claimed the last race of the series to claim a significant points victory.
The European Champions finished second overall followed home by the Aussies. In 4th place was the leading South African combination, 16-year old Yogi Divaris and Ferdinand Holm (RSA 14910), followed by the wife and husband pairing of Derian and Andy Scott (GBR 149410).
Facebook posts suggest the next Fireball Worlds will be in France in 2018, with a possible date of late August, but this is a Facebook comment only and should not be considered as anything other than that. A more definite appointment is the 2017 Fireball Europeans which are to be hosted in Lyme Regis in the UK.
The last race day seems to have been the most genteel of the regatta as befits the end of a regatta and the subsequent packing-up of boats.
Competitor comments:
Jean Francois Nouel: 20 Worlds sailed and it was “defo” the best ever.

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British pair, Tom Gillard and Richard Anderton, sailing GBR 15127 have only just retained their Fireball Worlds title from Pwllheli, Wales……………by winning all eight races sailed thus far in the 2016 World Championships in South Africa.

In a Facebook posts around 2pm British time on Thursday afternoon, Tom was able to confirm their success with a day and two races to spare. A more manageable day was had on the water with a South-Easterly of 10 - 12 knots blowing.

In second place, the Swiss pair of Claude Mermod and Ruedi Moser (SUI 14799) also continued their consistent ways with two second places but the Aussie pair of Ben Schulz and Jack Lidgett (AUS15113) while scoring a third in the first race of the day, had a gear problem in the second race and, in Ben’s own words, limped across the line in seventh place.
While the Aussies may be reasonably secure in third place overall they won’t be taking anything for granted because the British wife and husband pair of Andy and Derian Scott (GBR 14941) are sitting in fourth overall and despite a Facebook comment that she was “pooped” after the day’s racing, another lighter session (relative to the start of the week), might just suit Derian and Andy.

The first South African combination in the overall standings is Yogi Devaris and Ferdinand Holm (RSA 14910) in fifth place.
Fireball International Commodore, Steve Chesney, crewing with Hugh Watson (GBR 14791) lies in sixth, with the Kenyans, Alastair Bush and David Carroll (KEN 14535) seventh, the Czechs, Johana Koranva Napravnikova and Jakub Napravnik (Rear Commodore Europe)(CZE 15109), eighth, the Canadians Joe Jospe and Tom Egli (CAN 15024), ninth and South African Fireball legend JJ Provoyeur and Ian MacRobert (RSA 14422) rounding out the top ten.

For Wednesday’s lay-day the fleet had the choice of an organised trip to a local Game Reserve and it would appear that quite a few exercised that option.

The last race of the event commences on the water only eight hours from when this report is being written, 10:00 South African time, 08:00 British (and Irish) time.

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Day 3 of the Fireball Worlds in Mossel Bay, South Africa, saw the competitors treated to a more genteel 10 knots southerly that built during the day to 17 to 20 knots for the third race. Sea conditions were reported as being flat initially but building to 2m swells by the end of the day. Results downloadable below.

Team GBR, Gillard & Anderton (GBR 15127), were in a class of their own winning all three races very comfortably. The Swiss pairing of Mermod and Moser (SUI 14799) made a clean sweep of the second places and Schulz & Lidgett (AUS 15113) taking two of the three third places. While the leaders were in a class of their own, the regatta Facebook site reports that there was competition in a number of groups throughout the fleet. While the fleet was tired by the time they got ashore, at least they had three races completed without the “survival instinct” being the dominant sentiment of the day.

Today, Wednesday, see the fleet enjoy a well-deserved rest day and judging by some of the individual Facebook posts, some of them are only too glad to see a day of no sailing……….and not necessarily due to on the water exhaustion.

Australian – Franco international relations have been put to the test at this regatta with the very late pairing of Jean-Francois Nouel and Scott Lidgett. Jean-Francois’ crew had to pull out of the event at very short notice due to a horse-riding accident and Scott flew in from Australia to team up with the Frenchman. They have had a challenging time in the big seas with capsizes and gear failure. But in his latest comment he says “I don’t know why everytime Scott K Lidgett pulls a rope it breaks down! Is he a monster man? It could not be a lack of maintenance on the French boat obviously.”

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The big breeze of Day 1 was still around for the second day of the Fireball Worlds in Mossel Bay, South Africa. The Facebook site for the regatta reports that the fleet launched into a stiff south-westerly accompanied by a swell from the east. The Swiss combination of Mermod & Moser (SUI 14799) led at the first weather mark, followed closely by the British combination of Gillard & Anderton (GBR15127), Schulz and Lidgett (AUS 15113) and the South African combination of Yogi Divaris & Ferdinand Holm (RSA 14910).

By the next rounding of the weather mark normal order had been restored with Gillard & Anderton leading and Schulz & Lidgett up to second. After this first race the fleet were taken ashore as the wind was showing no sign of abating though there was a more favourable forecast for the afternoon. At 16:00 the fleet was called out again for a second race in 10 – 14 knots. This time Gillard & Anderton led from start to finish, with Yogi Divaris & Ferdinand Holm second, Mermod & Moser third and Schulz & Lidgett fourth. The leading crews were able to fly spinnakers on the top reach but the chasing pack either sailed high initially and then set bag or two-sailed the reach.

From Ben Schulz:- Day 2 was wilder than yesterday. Sailed the runs flat on the wire with no kite for a second place finish! They gave us a two-hour break then sent us out again in 20 knots to reach the start area in zero knots. Finally sailed in a building breeze in with way too upright a rake; struggling in for fourth. The programme is for three races tomorrow.

Yogi Divaris has the privilege of being the youngest helm at the Worlds at the tender age of just 16 years.

2016 Fireball Worlds, Mossel Bay, South Africa

Sunday 11th – Friday 16th December.

R1 R2 R3 Tot.
1 Tom Gillard & Richard Anderton GB5 15127 1 1 1 3
2 Claude Mermod & Ruedi Moser SUI 14977 2 3 3 8
3 Ben Schulz & Jack Lidgett AUS 15113 3 2 4 9
4 Yogi Divaris & Ferdinand Holm RSA 14910 6 4 2 12
5 Alistair Bush & David Carroll KEN 14535 4 8 6 18

 

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The penultimate Sunday of Series 1 of the DMYC’s Frostbite Series 2016/17 saw a mirror-like appearance on the inner reaches of Dun Laoghaire harbour and the light air nature of the day was confirmed as the” keelers”, sailing their Turkey Shoot race were only just moving outside the harbour.

Despite this scenario, the principal organiser of the racing was heard to say that a single race would be sailed, of five laps, but that a shortened course signal would be close at hand. This correspondent, sailing with Alistair Court, was towed out to the race area by RIB and other Fireballs paddled & sailed in order to get to the start area. Given that the principal organiser, Olivier Proveur, is French, it seemed appropriate to say “Nous somme ici, mais pourquoi”, which I hoped translated to “We are here now, but why” as we drew alongside the committee boat. There was no apparent wind on the water and the Race Officer & Olivier were on the bow with a burgee, seeking some form of indication as to where a weather mark might go!

Eventually a few zephyrs made their presence felt and a weather mark was put in place just to the north of the approach to the marina, suggesting that what little wind there was was coming from a westerly direction. Mark No. 2 was located just off the HSS gantry with Marks 3 & 4 down towards the East Pier Wall, with 4 about 50-60m inside the end of the East Pier.

No-one was straying too far from the start line in the fickle winds that were blowing and our assessment was to pick a spot to start and see how the wind gods treated us. Clearly, we got this wrong as minutes after the start, we were stone last. Three boats hogged the pin-end on port tack, Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly (14713), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) and Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061). Slightly behind them, also on port were the Clancy brothers, Conor & James, (14807), and between the pin and the committee boat end were Louis Smyth & Glenn Fisher (15007) and the “pink-ladies”, Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691), so called because of their matching pink woolly hats.

For a change, Butler & Oram were not the leading boat; that went to Colin & Casey, who also lead the fleet round the first weather mark in the second race last Sunday, but weren’t credited for the achievement in the corresponding report. Next came Miller & Donnelly followed by Butler & Oram, but as the wind switched off, the tail-enders caught up with the leaders and all seven boats rounded in a relatively short window. No-one bar Smyth & Fisher tried to fly spinnakers and Miller, taking a hitch to windward was rewarded when he overtook Colin to lead around Mark 2.

In the lightest of winds, places changed quite regularly between Marks 1 & 3 with a wide variety of approaches being taken to Mark 3. Colin for example gybed immediately at Mark 2 to sail a course inside the trapezoid. Court went out wide with Clancy, towards the East Pier, while Smyth and McKenna sailed more of a straight line course to Mark 3. By 3, Clancy had gone ahead of Court who then found that both Smyth and McKenna had water on him at the mark so he took a slow rounding for his pain. Colin had dropped further back.

The passage from 3 to 4 was “trying”. Miller & Donnelly led past 3 and onto 4 where, assuming a beat to 1, they dropped spinnaker. Butler & Oram decided that bag could be flown thus giving the hint to everyone else. The Clancys, sailing higher than the rest of the fleet, carried it the furthest, but no-one managed to hold it all the way. Smyth & Fisher having sailed a positive 2 to 3 to 4 were now in third place, without really closing on the front two where Miller was still the rabbit to Butler’s greyhound. The top leg of the trapezoid was a “two-sailer” again and had more of a beat to it as more than one boat took a hitch to try and get into clear wind. Miller was still leading at 2 and held that until very late on when Butler was able to make a faster manoeuvre at Mark 4 when a shortened course was signalled.

Smyth & Fisher took third, Clancys fourth and Court & Bradley and Colin & Casey were overlapped going over the line with Court getting the nod.

2016/17 DMYC Frostbites – Series1: After 2nd Discard. R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 Nett
Noel Butler/Phil Lawton & Stephen Oram/Ger Owens 15061 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 7
Conor Clancy/Owen Laverty & James Clancy 14807 2 4 2 4 3 13 1 1 4 17
Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 14775 13 2 4 2 2 5 3 3 6 21
Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe/Cormac Bradley 14691 3 3 7 7 5 4 4 4 7 30
Frank Miller & Ed Butler/Cormac Bradley/Grattan Donnelly 14713 13 5 6 8 6 2 6 5 2 32
Alistair Court & Gordon Syme/Cormac Bradley 14706 13 13 13 5 4 3 5 9 5 44
Louis Smyth & Joe O’Reilly/Glenn Fisher 15007 13 7 3 3 7 11 13 13 3 47
Cariosa Power & Marie Barry 14854 13 6 8 6 8 7 13 13 13 61
Peter & Michael Keegan 14676 13 8 5 13 13 8 8 7 13 62
Mary Chambers & Brenda McGuire 14865 13 13 13 9 9 11 7 6 13 68
Darragh McDonagh & Crew 15058 13 13 13 13 13 6 13 13 13 84
David Turner & Peter Doherty 14362 13 13 13 10 10 13 13 13 13 85

 

Next Sunday, 18th, sees the last race of Series 1. 

Meanwhile in sunny South Africa, the Fireball Worlds got underway in strong wind, big seas and sunshine in Mossel Bay on the country’s Garden Route.

At the Pre-Worlds last week, which doubled up as the South African Class Nationals, the Swiss pair of Claude Mermod & Ruedi Moser, current European Champions, (SUI 14799) had a perfect week winning all bar one of the races, the last, which they didn’t need to sail. The last race win went to Ben Schulz and Jack Lidgett (AUS 15113), allowing them to finish second overall, ten points adrift of the Swiss. Third overall were Johana Koranva Napravnikova & Jakub Napravnik (CZE 15109) who scored two seconds in a nett score of 17 points. The early part of the Pre-Worlds was heavy winded with Day 1 seeing no racing. However, it seems that by the end of the week a lack of wind was the bigger problem.

After a flag-raising ceremony yesterday morning, the Worlds fleet went out in big winds and even bigger seas. The Swiss paid “second fiddle” to reigning World Champions, Tom Gillard & Richard Anderton (GBR 15127), with Schulz & Lidgett, third. Facebook posts show huge seas, high speed Fireballing and Fireballs cresting waves with half their hulls out of the water. The matching reports suggest an exhilarating day but tired bodies as a consequence.

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While the forecast on XCWeather had looked good from the late part of Friday afternoon through to Sunday morning, the reality on the water was that it didn’t deliver. Instead of a healthy 14 – 19 knots of South-Easterly, we got less writes Cormac Bradley. While the bulk of the first race offered trapezing conditions upwind and off-wind in the harder puffs, the second race was characterised by a breeze that started to fade.

After the five-lapper of last Sunday (27th), the Race Committee reverted to type – based on an online poll – and gave us two three-lap trapezoid races. The South-Easterly part of the forecast was “about right” and saw the committee boat just outside the approach to the marina, a weather mark up towards the East Pier wall, No.2 just inside the end of the East Pier, No.3 inside the end of the West Pier and No.4 about 50/60m astern of the committee boat. Fireball numbers were down marginally from last week’s high, with a number of notable absentees, but at least one of those loaned out his boat to two of our Olympians. Phil Lawton and Ger Owens (470) sailed 15061 in the absence of Noel Butler and Stephen Oram, but with Phil helming.
The early starts of the PY and Laser fleets suggested that the tactic would be to go left initially off the line and then tack onto port to take a long hitch up the middle of the harbour. The Clancys (14807) didn’t appear to fancy that as they were the first to go off on port and it paid dividends as they rounded the weather mark first and like Butler & Oram do on most Sundays, they sailed in their own wind until quite late on in the race. Behind them Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691) backed up all the recent talk of their regular season accomplishments by rounding in second place in close company with Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775), followed by Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly (14713), Lawton & Owens, Alistair Court & Cormac Bradley (14706), Mary Chambers & Brenda McGuire (14865) and Peter & Michael Keegan (14676).

While the beats would prove to be “tricky” all afternoon, the legs between 1 and 2 and 2 and 3 were similar. Possibly as a consequence of being parallel to the pier wall, the wind was playing fun and games with those trying to fly spinnakers – ranging from almost too tight to fly, to powering off in the gusts. Contrary to Adam Bower’s best advice, spinnaker poles were tight against the forestay in many instances. At Mark 3 the decision was whether to gybe or not. And there were no clear indicators! On the second and third lap of the first race, this correspondent and Alistair Court lost places by gybing immediately, only to see those outside them go past. Yet, in the first lap of the second race, the reverse happened when an early gybe allowed Court & Bradley to ghost past the first and second boats who had gone wide. 3 to 4 was an easier spinnaker leg.

On the second beat McKenna was reeled back in by the chasing pack which now consisted of Lawton, Colin and Court and while Court had closed the gap on the two boats ahead of him on the beat, he scored again on the top reach when he caught up to McKenna as well. Colin got further ahead by gybing to go “inside the trapezoid”, Court held a straight line course to Mark 3, but Lawton and McKenna went wide to the harbour mouth and sailed around Court to have the sequence at the bottom Mark as Clancy, Colin, Lawton, McKenna, Court, Miller, Chambers, Keegan. Lawton then stepped up a gear on the last lap to dispense with the chasing pack and to close significantly on the Clancys who hadn’t seen a Fireball at close quarters since the start. While the Olympian got closer, he didn’t get quite close enough.

The Race Committee swung the course northwards for the second race and the hope was that the varied conditions at the top of the course might improve. However, with hindsight, it appeared that 2 – 3 was still being influenced by its proximity to the wall and that leg didn’t evolve into a more comfortable 3-sailer.

The start was a scramble at the pin with Clancys trying to command the pin but being over the line in their attempt. There may have been at least one other OCS at that end but the principle culprit was Court and Bradley who broke the line in the minute before the start signal and didn’t comply with the consequent “round the end” penalty. They sailed off with the X flag flying convinced that the debacle was at the pin. Team Clancy did go back and found themselves in the polar opposite to the first race – fighting their way back through the fleet. The “rabbit status” thus fell to the ladies, Louise & Hermine who rounded ahead of the Olympians and Court & Bradley who felt that at last they had got a beat right. Their situation improved further when having gybed immediately at 2, they went into the lead when McKenna and Lawton went off towards the harbour mouth. However, by the approach to 3, the latter two had gybed back, set a course inside Court & Bradley and all three rounded 3 overlapped with Court on the outside. That was as good as it got for Court and Bradley who eventually found themselves fighting off the Keegans for 2nd last place after Chambers & McGuire had passed them out. Chambers & McGuire then went behind when someone illegally slammed the door shut on a mark rounding with Chambers adamant that she had an inside overlap.

Team Clancy progressively worked their way through the fleet and Lawton & Owens were also in the groove until late on I saw them taking turns. Colin usually revels in the more fickle conditions that were manifesting themselves as the race progressed. There didn’t seem to be any tell-tale signs on the water as to which way to go up the beat, but Neil managed to get himself into third by about the half-way stage of the race. McKenna & O’Keeffe were also enjoying the lighter conditions and showing their transom to the heavier all-male combinations. Miller & Donnelly had one fouled spinnaker hoist which didn’t do them any favours but they were nipping at those ahead of them all the same. Team Clancy went into the lead on the last lap and my recall is that they were closely followed over the finish line by the Olympians. A good day for them!

2016/17 DMYC Frostbites – Series1: After 1st Discard. R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 Nett
Noel Butler/Phil Lawton & Stephen Oram/Ger Owens 15061 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 8
Conor Clancy/Owen Laverty & James Clancy 14807 2 4 2 4 3 13 1 1 17
Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 14775 13 2 4 2 2 5 3 3 21
Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe/Cormac Bradley 14691 3 3 7 7 5 4 4 4 30
Frank Miller & Ed Butler/Cormac Bradley/Grattan Donnelly 14713 13 5 6 8 6 2 6 5 38
Alistair Court & Gordon Syme/Cormac Bradley 14706 13 13 13 5 4 3 5 9 52
Louis Smyth & Joe O’Reilly/Glenn Fisher 15007 13 7 3 3 7 11 13 13 57
Cariosa Power & Marie Barry 14854 13 6 8 6 8 7 13 13 61
Peter & Michael Keegan 14676 13 8 5 13 13 8 8 7 62
Mary Chambers & Brenda McGuire 14865 13 13 13 9 9 11 7 6 68
Darragh McDonagh & Crew 15058 13 13 13 13 13 6 13 13 84
David Turner & Peter Doherty 14362 13 13 13 10 10 13 13 13 98

 

The two all-lady combinations won the Frostbite Mugs, Louise & Hermine for the first race and Mary & Brenda for the second.

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Ten Fireballs answered the starter’s call on Sunday afternoon with none of them showing any adverse signs from the season’s prize-giving at the National Yacht Club on the preceding Friday night. However, one individual did say that he wasn’t at his best having been at a family function till late on Saturday night.

The forecast was for an easterly, which duly arrived but there were varying forecasts as to what strength it would be. In the end we had our best racing for the Series thus far, proper trapezing upwind and off-wind on the short top reach.

In a break with recent practice we had a single race, a 5-lap trapezoid course with the start area just outside the entrance channel to the marina, a weather mark in the vicinity of the Boyd Memorial – an obelisk built into the upper Pier wall, Mark No.2 just inside the end of the East Pier, No. 3 just to the north of the Marina West Breakwater and No. 4 about ⅓ of the way between the end of the Marina West Breakwater and the HSS berth.

In assessing the course before the start, we had watched a Finn from the PY starts get into a very favourable angle relative to the weather mark by going to the right-hand side of the beat but the majority of Fireballs decided to go left initially, on starboard tack towards the harbour mouth. Two specific exceptions to this were Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) and Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691) who went right from the start and were both rewarded by rounding in 2nd and 3rd respectively a short distance behind perennial leaders Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061). Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706) were also well up as were the other all-lady team of Cariosa Power & Marie Barry (14854). Frank Miller & Cormac Bradley (14713) were a bit further back despite being favourably disposed, weight-wise, to the stronger, though not excessive, breeze. Season-debutant Darragh McDonagh was close on Miller’s tail, too close from 1 to 3! The top reach was a three-sailer and for the first lap it was quite comfortable. The question was whether to gybe immediately at Mark 2 or to sail on towards the end of the west pier before gybing onto a long leg towards Mark 3. For the early stages of the race the immediate gybe was the preferred option. The advantage of having Noel & Stephen lead is that it gives the rest of us an indication of what is possible on the next leg. It was clear that 3 to 4 was not going to be a spinnaker leg for anyone.

Up the second beat the early pecking order didn’t change much except that miller managed to shake off McDonagh and closed the gap on the boats ahead to the extent that from 2 to 3 on the second lap, Colin, Court, McKenna and Miller were in a tight grouping with McKenna exerting aggressive but legal influence on the outside of the bunch as Mark 3 came into play. As inside boat Miller got squeezed by Court who rounded ahead of Miller but Miller had managed to get ahead of both Colin and McKenna. The leg from 3 to 4 was now tighter as the immediacy of boats caused them all to go high. Halfway across the leg the angle of attack was eased and it became a short reach to bear down on the mark.

Having gone right on the second beat and closed the gap, Miller & Bradley stayed right again, this time taking Court and Syme before they reached the weather mark, but Court wasn’t giving up that easily and kept company with Miller all the way to Mark 3. However, at 3, Miller opened a gap that he extended across to 4 leaving him in a position to watch Court with some comfort. The priority was to stay ahead of Court rather than trying to catch Butler & Oram.

Further back, some of the other boats were struggling a little; Smyth & Fisher (15007) were not showing the same form as the previous Sunday and eventually retired with a broken main halyard and possible a bit of swimming. Mary Chambers & Brenda McGuire (14865) also had their fair share of trouble with a capsize on the beat in the fluky approach to the weather mark and getting blown over on the top reach which had become decidedly tighter. They too retired. McDonagh, after his early pace, fell back through the fleet and the Keegans, Peter & Michael (14676) were also off the pace.

Having got past Court on the off-wind legs, Miller extended his lead on the subsequent two beats to finish a comfortable 2nd behind Butler & Oram who ploughed a solitary furrow as race leaders from start to finish.

Court & Syme continued their form of last week as Race 2 Mug Winners to finish 3rd, with McKenna & O’Keeffe 4th and Colin & Casey 5th. Miller & Bradley’s 2nd place on the water was enough to win the day’s Frostbite Mugs.

2016/17 DMYC Frostbites – Series1: After 1st Discard. R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Nett
Noel Butler & Stephen Oram 15061 1 1 1 1 1 1 5
Conor Clancy/Owen Laverty & James Clancy 14807 2 4 2 4 3 13 15
Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 14775 13 2 4 2 2 5 15
Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe/Cormac Bradley 14691 3 3 7 7 5 4 22
Frank Miller & Ed Butler/Cormac Bradley 14713 13 5 6 8 6 2 27
Louis Smyth & Joe O’Reilly/Glenn Fisher 15007 13 7 3 3 7 11 31
Cariosa Power & Marie Barry 14854 13 6 8 6 8 7 35
Alistair Court & Gordon Syme 14706 13 13 13 5 4 3 38
Peter & Michael Keegan 14676 13 8 5 13 13 8 47
Mary Chambers & Brenda McGuire 14865 13 13 13 9 9 11 55
Darragh McDonagh & Crew 15058 13 13 13 13 13 6 58
David Turner & Peter Doherty 14362 13 13 13 10 10 13 59

 

The Class had its season prize-giving on Friday night at the National Yacht Club. New Class Chairman/President/Commodore gave a report back on the season just past, including in his opening comments a tribute to his immediate predecessor, Marie Barry, who has put in sterling work looking after the Class over the past few years. A glutton for punishment, Marie has stepped down from the Chair to take up the role of Secretary!!

While the Travellers Trophy determines the competitive prizes, there are also a number of trophies that are awarded by the Class.

The Asterix Trophy, awarded by committee consensus to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the Class.

Awarded to the retiring Class Chairman, Marie Barry

The India Trophy, awarded by committee consensus to the most improved Fireballer(s).

Awarded to Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691) for their Pwhelli Worlds performance which they followed up with 3rd place overall at the2016 Irish Fireball Nationals in Howth

The Captain’s Prize, awarded at the discretion of the Dun Laoghaire Class Captain, who in 2016 was Hermine O’Keefe.

Awarded to Cormac Bradley for his “Irish Fireball journalism” – writing regatta reports, Tuesday night and Frostbite racing

The Liam Bradley Trophy, memorial trophy awarded by Cormac Bradley in memory of his father.

Awarded to Hermine O’Keeffe for her development as a crew and her subsequent contribution to the 14691 Fireball Team as evidenced in Pwhelli at the Worlds and the subsequent 3rd place overall at the Irish Nationals

Silver Fleet Trophy – awarded to the top placed Silver Fleet entry over the Travellers Series (5 regattas).

Awarded to Cariosa Power and Marie Barry (14854)

The Lady’s Helm – Awarded to the best placed Lady Helm in the Travellers Series.

Awarded to Louise McKenna (14691)

Travellers Series

3rd Place – Niall McGrotty & Neil Cramer, 14938, Skerries Sailing Club.

2nd Place – Conor & James Clancy, 14807, Royal St George Yacht Club.

1st Place – NOEL BUTLER & STEPHEN ORAM, 15061, NATIONAL YACHT CLUB

Published in DMYC
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After the third Sunday of the 2016/17 Fireball Frostbite Series, hosted by Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, the points table is as shown below writes Cormac Bradley. As the numbers show, there is one shining example of consistency – Noel Butler and Stephen Oram have yet to lose a race and while these numbers might suggest they are having it all their own way, at one stage yesterday, after the first beat of the second race, they were second last.

2016/17 Frostbites, Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 Tot.
1 Noel Butler & Stephen Oram 15061 1 1 1 1 1 5
2 Conor Clancy/Owen Laverty & James Clancy 14807 2 4 2 4 3 15
3 Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 14775 12 2 4 2 2 22
4 Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe/Cormac Bradley 14691 3 3 7 7 5 25
5 Louis Smyth & Joe O’Reilly/Glenn Fisher 15007 12 7 3 3 7 32
6 Frank Miller & Ed Butler/Cormac Bradley 14713 12 5 6 8 6 37
7 Cariosa Power & Marie Barry 14854 12 6 8 6 8 40
8 Alistair Court & Gordon Syme 14706 12 12 12 5 4 45
9 Peter & Michael Keegan 14676 12 8 5 12 12 49
10 Mary Chambers & Brenda McGuire 14865 12 12 12 9 9 54
11 David Turner & Peter Doherty 14362 12 12 12 10 10 56

 

If you were to ask me where they got ahead, I couldn’t tell you, because I don’t recall any engagement with them on the remainder of the race, but they did win it, despite the best efforts of both the Clancys and Neil Colin & Margaret Casey in the latter stages of the race. This performance was in stark contrast to the first race when they rounded the first weather mark first and proceeded to extend their lead throughout the race winning by a very comfortable margin.

Wind conditions were at their best on this third Sunday, following very strong winds on Day 1 and variable winds last Sunday, yesterday provided more consistent breeze in terms of strength even if there was quite a bit of diversity to the execution of the beats. The breeze was out of the western quarter and with a start area just inside the end of the East Pier, the weather mark was set to the left of the pier protecting the entrance to the marina. As has been the trend this season, the top and bottom reaches were quite short in length and with this wind direction the leg from Mark 2 to mark 3 was a good length.

The fleet all decided that sailing along the start line on starboard tack was the way to go but even with a pin-end bias, there was some “argy-bargy” as the gun went and two boats returned to restart – Team Clancy & Miller & Bradley. Just ahead of them, along the line, on the pin, was Butler & Oram and this was about as close as anyone got to them in this race. The majority of the fleet went left initially with only two boats going right. Team Clancy & Miller worked a middle of the course route and as the weather mark came into play it was apparent that their start-line “mis-deeds” had cost them places.

Behind the “hare” the greyhounds were being led by Colin & Casey, Court & Syme, and Smyth & Fisher. Miller & Bradley rounded with only two boats behind them, Frostbite debutantes David Turner & Peter Doherty and Mary Chambers & Brenda McGuire. However, the reality was that with the exception of the hares, the balance of the fleet was quite closely grouped. The top reach was tight-ish and would get tighter as the afternoon wore on, so spinnaker handling was at a premium. Between 2 and 3 the decision was how late to leave the gybe after Mark 2 and in most cases it was left quite late. 3 to 4 was another tight reach but invariably those that were fighting for places went higher than they needed to, relative to the mark.

Miller & Bradley redeemed themselves on the next beat by going hard left and working their way up the port lay-line – an exercise that got them into third or fourth place, but on the leg between 3 and 4 they were passed out to windward and leeward to go back down the pecking order. By this stage Smyth & Fisher were snapping at the transom of Colin & Casey who were still second but Team Clancy were also chasing a podium place. Eventually, Smyth & Fisher were able to get sufficiently ahead to control Team Clancy’s ambitions on the short hitch to the finish. Miller & Bradley had a fight for the finish when they didn’t communicate to each other that it was a finish as they were distracted with an errant spinnaker halyard. They only just held off Chambers & McGuire for 8th place.

The breeze appeared to go a little bit further south for the second start of the day which was a clean one with everyone repeating the intent of the first start, sail off the line on starboard and work the left hand-side. For some reason that I didn’t see, Butler & Oram were not part of that set, so it was with some surprise that as the majority of the fleet sailed up the port lay-line, they had the sight of the Series Leaders coming in from the right-hand side to occupy a very unusual spot in the pecking order.

Up front, Colin & Casey were setting the pace with Team Clancy and McKenna & O’Keeffe in close proximity and Court & Syme well placed. Another tight group included Miller, Smyth and Power & Barry and the newcomers Turner & Doherty were showing some signs of getting to grips with proceedings. Like silent assassins, Butler & Oram picked off the fleet to leave themselves snapping at the leaders as the race progressed. Miller then got back into the company of Court and McKenna but at a rounding of Mark 4, McKenna pushed her nose in, to Court’s indignation and Miller was forced wide as a consequence. There was no contact but McKenna took turns and dropped off the pace as a consequence. By the next weather mark, McKenna had undone the damage of turns and Court had got further away from Miller so his recovery died.

Butler & Oram took their fifth gun of the Series ahead of Colin & Casey and Team Clancy.

The Frostbite Mugs went to Louis Smyth and a delighted Glen Fisher for the first race of the day and to Alistair Court and Gordon Syme for the second. Fisher was delighted to get a Mug so soon in the Series, because he claimed he normally has to wait until March. Thus, a Mug on Day 3 and before December was a double bonus!

Friday evening, 25th November sees the Class having its end of year dinner and prize-giving in the National Yacht Club. The evening is always well supported by the active and only recently inactive members and the committee would love to see as many of you as possible at the event. In addition to the Travellers’ Trophy prizes, there are Class Awards to be handed out and in recent years we have been very well looked after by the National Yacht Club’s hospitality team.

Published in Fireball
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Page 7 of 37

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