Menu
Allianz and Afloat - Supporting Irish Boating

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Fireball Frostbiters Pick a number, Any Number at Dun Laoghaire

14th November 2016
Noel Butler & Stephen Oram lead the Fireball Frostbites at the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Noel Butler & Stephen Oram lead the Fireball Frostbites at the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Credit: Afloat.ie

The Irish Fireball “Frostbiters” were almost at full strength for the second Sunday of the 2016/17 Series and were rewarded with a mild day, temperature-wise and a very shifty day wind-wise. In stark contrast to the opening session of the previous Sunday, the fleet launched in mirror conditions with the zephyrs of wind barely rippling the water. This was contrary to the XCWeather forecast which had been projecting winds of 9 – 13 knots from the SW.

The committee boat was located just inside the mouth of the harbour, in readiness for wind from that direction and eventually it came. Not in any huge amount, but certainly enough to get racing underway and a small amount of trapezing was required as the afternoon wore on.

In terms of race winners, you could have put all eight sail-numbers in a bag and drawn a winner out such were the vagaries of wind on the course. That is being a tad disrespectful to Noel Butler & Stephen Oram who won both races but there were times in both races when they found themselves in odd-positions with more boats ahead of them than they might have preferred.

The consensus view of the start was committee boat end so that the option of going right was available. However, not everyone took that option and at the first weather mark of the first race, Owen Laverty and James Clancy (14807), having gone all the way up the left, took the early lead by sailing in to the mark on the port lay-line. They were followed by Butler & Oram (15061) who came in from the right, Louise McKenna & Cormac Bradley (14691) who also worked the right hand side and Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) who worked middle and right. The top reach was short again and at the second mark of the trapezoid, the leading three boats sailed straight on. Colin & Casey gybed and were rewarded by passing out McKenna & Bradley into third. The two lead boats gybed halfway down the leg and retained their positions.

On the second beat, Colin went hard left and picked up stronger breeze to have Casey full out on the wire. This allowed them to get into second place while Laverty/Clancy dropped back to keep company with McKenna/Bradley. However, behind them in turn, Frank Miller & Ed Butler (14713) and Louis Smyth & Joe O’Reilly (15007) had closed the gap with Cariosa Power & Marie Barry (14854) also on their radar. At Mark 3, the first three of this group were sufficiently close for water to be called from various boats going round together.

By Mark 4 of the second lap, Colin had closed on Butler and Laverty, Smyth and Miller had got ahead of McKenna. Smyth lee-bowed Laverty as the latter hailed starboard and these two and Miller went left. McKenna stayed on the right had side of the course and was rewarded by regaining the three places and distance on all of them. On the downwind legs of the last lap, McKenna was keeping an eye on her pursuers but she was able to hold them off to finish third. Colin & Casey picked up the Frostbite Mugs for their second place.

The wind eased for the second race – another three-lapper of the trapezoid course. This time Miller & Butler (14713) were the greyhounds off the start line where this time the fleet was split 50:50 in terms of going right or left. The leaders went left and were followed round the weather mark by Laverty & Clancy, Butler & Oram and Smyth & O’Reilly. Yet again, decisions had to be made at Mark 2 and Butler & Oram went well beyond the boundaries of the trapezoid on starboard tack to stay in breeze. It didn’t seem to do them any harm because they came back into the confines of the course in second place. Power & Barry were having a better race, mixing it in a busy middle section of the fleet, while the father and son combination of Michael & Peter Keegan (14676) were also mixing it with the middle. The fleet became a bit more stretched as Butler & Oram shook off the shackles to go into the lead and while Laverty & Clancy dropped into second, they were comfortably ahead of Smyth & O’Reilly. Miller & Butler must have found every snake on the course as their first place at the first weather mark became a distant memory while McKenna & Bradley found themselves having to fight off last place with Power & Barry, eventually succeeding in a slow approach to Mark 4 and the short hitch to the finish. Laverty & Clancy picked up the Frostbite Mugs for Race 3.

Given the conditions, the committee boat team did a great job in getting two races in. There was a healthy turnout of boats across the whole fleet with eight Fireballs, twenty-five Lasers and a twenty-four boat PY Fleet.
Fireball readers of this article are again reminded that the Class Dinner and Prize-giving takes place in the National Yacht Club on Friday 25th November. Please let Marie know if you are attending.

2016/17 Frostbites, Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club   R1 R2 R3 Tot.
1 Noel Butler & Stephen Oram 15061 1 1 1 3
2 Conor Clancy/Owen Laverty & James Clancy 14807 2 4 2 8
3 Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe/Cormac Bradley 14691 3 3 7 13
4 Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 14775 12 2 4 18
5 Louis Smyth & Joe O’Reilly 15007 12 7 3 22
6 Frank Miller & Ed Butler 14713 12 5 6 23
7 Peter & Michael Keegan 14676 12 8 5 25
8 Cariosa Power & Marie Barry 14854 12 6 8 26

 

Published in Fireball

We've got a favour to ask

More people are reading Afloat.ie than ever thanks to the power of the internet but we're in stormy seas because advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. Unlike many news sites, we haven’t put up a paywall because we want to keep our marine journalism open.

Afloat.ie is Ireland's only full–time marine journalism team and it takes time, money and hard work to produce our content.

So you can see why we need to ask for your help.

If everyone chipped in, we can enhance our coverage and our future would be more secure. You can help us through a small donation. Thank you.

Direct Donation to Afloat button

At A Glance – Fireball Dinghy Specs

Crew 2 (single trapeze)
LOA 16 ft 2 in (4.93 m)
Beam 4 ft 6 in (1.37 m)
Hull weight 175 lb (79 kg)
Mast height 22.3 ft (6.8 m)
Mainsail area 108 sq ft (10.0 m2).
Jib / Genoa area 35 sq ft (3.3 m2).
Spinnaker area 140 sq ft (13 m2).

Featured Sailing School

INSS sidebutton

Featured Clubs

dbsc mainbutton
Howth Yacht Club
Kinsale Yacht Club
National Yacht Club
Royal Cork Yacht Club
Royal Irish Yacht club
Royal Saint George Yacht Club

Featured Brokers

leinster sidebutton

Featured Associations

ICRA
isora sidebutton

Featured Webcams

Featured Events 2022

Featured Sailmakers

northsails sidebutton
uksails sidebutton
quantum sidebutton
watson sidebutton

Featured Marinas

dlmarina sidebutton

Featured Chandleries

CHMarine Afloat logo
osm sidebutton
https://afloat.ie/resources/marine-industry-news/viking-marine

Featured Blogs

W M Nixon - Sailing on Saturday
podcast sidebutton
mansfield sidebutton
BSB sidebutton
wavelengths sidebutton
 

Please show your support for Afloat by donating