Four Fireballs raced in the third of the Tuesday DBSC series in Dun Laoghaire last night.
Once again the harbour was the setting due to Covid19 restrictions on rescue personnel.
Any fears that the enclosed waters may have resulted in dull racing were blown away by the weather conditions. What initially looked like a quiet night proved to be anything but with 11 knot westerly winds gusting up to 20 knots and beyond during the two windward-leeward races. For the Fireballs, starting alongside the mixed PY fleet which included a sprinkling of Aeros, Finns and IDRA 14s it was an effective 5 lap burn around the harbour with a downwind finish.
For both races, the committee led by Suzanne McGarry set a slight pin end bias though with big wind shifts that could change as the clock counted down. Frank Miller sailing with Neil Cramer chose the pin with Owen Sinnott and Grattan Donnelly starting nearby while Cariosa Power/Marie Barry and Peter ter Horst sailing Nick Miller's boat started near the committee boat. Sinnott/Donnelly found very good speed and height to edge just ahead of Miller/Cramer at the weather mark. The latter had a marginally faster hoist and harassed the leaders down the run but despite a minor gybing match Sinnott/Donnelly led around the leeward. On the beat, with steadily increasing winds, Miller/Cramer got into the lead, a position they held to the finish, albeit with Sinnott/Donnelly hot on their heels, and at times Power/Barry chasing that pair down.
For race two the winds increased a notch but so efficiently did the race team turn things around that the Fireballers had to sail with their original lighter settings. This made for another hectic spin around the harbour, led by Miller/Cramer with several near capsizes for the Fireballs and baths for some of the surrounding Lasers. Power/Barry and Peter ter Horst both sat this one out and Miller/Cramer prevailed again, with Sinnott/Donnelly not far behind.
Once again there was a huge Laser fleet of 49 boats with various rigs, adding to the challenge of getting around the course cleanly. With two Tuesday nights of successful racing so far under the belt this curtailed season is proving a lot more interesting than many imagined it could.