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Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsella Crowned Irish Fireball Champions at the DMYC

25th July 2021
Barry McCartin winner of the Irish Fireball Nationals with DMYC Commodore Dermot Reidy
Barry McCartin (right) winner of the Irish Fireball Nationals with DMYC Commodore Dermot Reidy

Barry McCartin and Conor Kinsella are the new Fireball National Championships after eight races in Dublin Bay over the weekend. Second-placed at the event, hosted by the DMYC, were Noel Butler and Stephen Oram while the Thompson brothers Daniel and Harry took third. The event was compressed into two days of racing when Friday was lost to zero breeze.

Saturday proved the best day in terms of wind with a solid North-Easterly providing decent pressure and full trapezing conditions. Principal race officer Suzanne McGarry and her team did a brilliant job in getting four solid races under the belt by mid-afternoon when the sea breeze showed signs of weakening. Two windward-leeward courses were followed by two Olympic Triangular courses with exemplary turnarounds.

McCartin/Kinsella dominated the 13 boat fleet on Saturday though they didn't have things entirely their own way with the Thompsons posting a win in race two. The pair showed great coordination and teamwork around the race track. While they squeezed the optimum VMG out of the boat upwind they were exceptionally fast offwind, especially on the triangular courses.

On the Sunday morning a different set of conditions greeted sailors who initially roasted ashore in high temperatures but zero breeze. After a postponement of an hour, however, the sea-breeze started to fill and racing got underway in lightish but very sailable conditions. Again race officer Suzanne McGarry started with windward-leeward courses and followed up with two Olympic Triangles. McCartin/Kinsella again led the fleet for the first two bullets but the third race was led by Butler/Oram while the series leaders headed ashore to fulfil a work commitment.

Noel Butler and Stephen Oram were secondNoel Butler (right) and Stephen Oram were second

Daniel and Harry Thompson who were third overallDaniel and Harry Thompson who were third overall

Race 8 took place without the event leaders and Butler/Oram posted another win. However, McCartin/Kinsella had done enough with five races wins and a second to discard the last two races and still win the overall by a margin of 5 points. Further back in the fleet there was great close racing all the way through. Lizzy McDowell sailing with her cousin Chara in a borrowed boat were right on the pace and came in into their own on day two. They were unfortunate to be U-flagged in the final race but they were in good company as the Thompsons and Louise McKenna/ McKenna/Hermine O'Keeffe suffered the same fate. Frank Miller/Ed Butler had a better first day than second but managed to hold onto 4th overall.

The McDowell cousins placed 5th and took the silver prize while second silver was Colm Breen with his son Cormac and third were Dave Coleman sailing with Aidan Caulfield.

Colm Breen and son Cormac (2nd silver)Colm Breen and son Cormac (2nd silver)

Aidan Caulfield (3rd silver) (left) with DMYC Commodore Dermot ReidyAidan Caulfield (3rd silver) (left) with DMYC Commodore Dermot Reidy

There were notable new faces at the event with youngsters Daniel Hrymac crew Harvey, young Robin Nash sailing with her father Glen and veteran Ciaran Hickey returning to the fray. All in all a great event in semi-tropical conditions and all credit to the race team who managed to squeeze 8 races in to complete the series.

Next up for the Fireballers is the Ulsters in Newtownards on August 21/22 and on September 18/19 the fleet head to Dromineer to sample the conditions at Lough Derg YC, the venue of the Fireball World Championships next year.

Published in Fireball
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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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