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Lively Fireball Frostbite Race at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

12th March 2017
Frank Miller with guest star crew Ismail Inan Frank Miller with guest star crew Ismail Inan Photo: Miller/Inan

Today saw very lively conditions for the third last weekend of the DMYC frostbites series at Dun Laoghaire writes Frank Miller. The forecast was suggesting up to force five but in fact the wind Gods delivered a bit more. By the start of the race, the wind was a very solid 16–knots gusting 22. A diminished bunch of sailors did a few test laps of the trapezoid in a Norwesterly breeze before racing got underway.

First Fireball out was Frank Miller with guest star crew Ismail Inan in Dublin on a flying visit, wrapped up a mix and match of spare sailing gear. The pair sped around the course in an attempt to settle back into some kind of groove since the last time the pair sailed together was in the Europeans in Shetland. Things were going well enough until the UJ on the tiller extension broke and the pair sailed slowly and painfully back to the DMYC to pick up a spare. Meanwhile Noel Butler/Owen Laverty appeared on the horizon followed by the Keegans, the Clancys and the "pink ladies" Louise McKenna and Hermine O'Keefe.

By the time racing got underway your correspondent was rooting in his car boot for his spare tiller extension and by the time he returned to the fray racing was underway.

Thus Miller/Inan joined in at the back, one lap in, trying not to interfere with the legitimate starters. From this position we can report that Butler/Laverty sailed a cool solid race keeping things under control and the boat flat, no mean achivement in a race where the majority of all fleets had multiple capsizes. This was brought on by gusts of 36 knots about 40 minutes into the race, keeping the rescue ribs on their toes. Butler's laps of honor saw the Clancys nearest, followed by the Keegans, and Miller/Inan. Thus it ended, by the finish the race committee deemed conditions hairy enough to send everyone home, tired but happy.

Though those returning to the DMYC had the additional pleasures of Hells Gates to navigate in alternate massive gusts and complete lulls. The Keegans won the mug for their troubles.

Racing resumes next Sunday, and then one Sunday sees the conclusion of the series

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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).

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