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Displaying items by tag: Fireball

#dbsc – CRUISERS 2 - 1. Bendemeer (L Casey & D Power), 2. Black Sheep (E Healy), 3. Utopia (J Healy)

CRUISERS 3 Tuesday - 1. Grasshopper II (K & J Glynn), 2. Yeehaa (McCabe Cramer Carey Whelan), 3. Asterix (Boushel/Meredith/Counihan)

Ensign - 1. NYC1 (A Dooley), 2. INSS 2 (G Williams), 3. NYC2 (B Mathews)

FIREBALL - 1. Licence to Thrill (Louis Smyth), 2. Incubus (C Power/M Barry), 3. Clandog Millionaire (J & C Clancy)

FIREBALL - 1. No Name (S Oram), 2. Clandog Millionaire (J & C Clancy), 3. Elevation (N.Colin/M.Casey)

GLEN - 1. Glendun (B.Denham et al), 2. Glenmiller (P Cusack), 3. Glencoe (Rose Mary Craig et al)

IDRA 14 FOOT Race 2- 1. Dart (Pierre Long), 2. Dunmoanin (Frank Hamilton), 3. Doody (J.Fitzgerald/J.Byrne)

IDRA 14 FOOT Race 1- 1. Dunmoanin (Frank Hamilton), 2. Dart (Pierre Long), 3. Doody (J.Fitzgerald/J.Byrne)

Laser Race 1- 1. Cian Cahill (RSGYC), 2. Rob Cahill (RSGYC), 3. Luke Murphy (RSGYC)

Laser Race 2- 1. Luke Murphy (RSGYC), 2. Dan O'Beirne (RSGYC), 3. Marc Coakley (RSGYC)

PY CLASS Race 1- 1. Noel Colclough (), 2. W Zyszczynsk (Laser Vago), 3. Conor Duffy (RS400)

PY CLASS Race 2- 1. Noel Colclough (), 2. W Zyszczynsk (Laser Vago), 3. Conor Duffy (RS400)

RUFFIAN 23 - 1. Different Drummer (D Tonge), 2. Cresendo (L Balfe), 3. Ruff Diamond (D.Byrne et al)

SQUIB - 1. Tais (Michael O'Connell), 2. Sidewinder (R&R Westrup)

Published in DBSC
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Pleasant evening, modest turnout!

After the respective exploits of those who travelled to the north coast for the Ulster Championships and those who sailed south and west in larger boats from Dun Laoghaire to Dingle, it may have been expected that there would be a modest turnout last night for the DBSC Tuesday Series.

#fireball – The weather forecast for 19:00 suggested winds from WSW of 9 knots with gusts to 14 knots writes Cormac Bradley. I'm not convinced that the three boat Fireball fleet that I was able to watch from the pier inside the harbour, as racing was inside the harbour last night, enjoyed such vigorous breeze, but with a pleasant airtime temperature and a "sunny-ish" outlook, I can think of much worse ways to spend an evening.

From my limited observation of the first of two windward-leeward races set inside the harbour, not too much energy was being expended either upwind or downwind in genteel conditions. The committee boat was located in the middle of the harbour and for the first race the windward mark was located just shy of the channel into DL's marina. The leeward mark was located a short distance upwind of the committee boat and there was a completely separate start/finish line slightly to leeward of the committee boat. For the second race the windward mark was moved closer to the gantry of the HSS.

When I took up my station, Messrs Butler & Oram (15061) were leading by a modest distance with Louise McKenna & Hermine O'Keefe (14691) on the same side of the course as the leaders. Louis Smyth & crew (15007) worked the inshore side of the beat but did not get to the mark before the ladies. However, on the subsequent downwind leg, he was able to pass them out. On the next beat, Butler & Oram stayed on the starboard side of the beat before applying a loose cover on Smyth who took the initiative of going inshore first. He thus found himself sailing a parallel but upwind course to the ladies. Halfway up the beat, an errant spinnaker popped out of the bag and went trawling. The consequent slow-down allowed the girls to pass him out and this remained the position to the finish.

My parenting obligations required me to abandon the second race, so all I can report is that Noel & Stephen won again, while the positions of second and third were reversed with Smyth and crew claiming second place.

Looking at the official results on the DBSC website this afternoon, I think there is information missing, so I am going to list my interpretation of the overall situation, at risk of being shot down for getting it wrong!

DBSC Tuesday Nights: Series 2[1]
1 Noel Butler & Stephen Oram 15061 National Yacht Club 4pts
2 Louise McKenna & Hermine O'Keeffe 14691 Royal St. George Yacht Club 8pts
3 Louis Smyth & crew 15007 Coal Harbour 13pts

Published in Fireball
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#fireball –  Barry McCartin and Conor Kinsella have retained the Ulster Fireball Championships trophy after six races over two days in Cushendall. Second were Noel Butler and Stephen Oram and third were Kenny Rumball and Brian Tedz Byrne. Day one of the event saw lively NW winds of 12-18 knots. McCartin/Kinsella posted three wins that day on Olympic Triangular courses. Frank Miller and Ed Butler benefitted from the windy conditions and lay in fourth place overnight with two fourths and a fifth putting them ahead of team Clancy and Niall McGrotty & Neil Cramer. Further back Louise McKenna and Hermine O'Keeffe kept ahead of Mary Chambers and Brenda McGuire and local pairing of James Farrell and Terry Rowan who were sailing their first competitive event in a Fireball. Numbers at the event were disappointing at nine boats when a couple had to drop out at the last minute but for those who travelled it was a really great event.

Day two saw the winds drop a bit lighter and by the time the fleet was afloat it was quite light and a somewhat patchy, north easterly in direction. Race one saw a big shift right on the second beat and Rumball/Tedz came out of this best and led to the finish of the windward-leeward race. Miller/Butler also benefitted from that shift but threw away a second place to team Clancy by not tacking immediately at the final leeward to cover to the finish. The next 2 races took place in similar conditions but there were patches of decent wind; finding them was the trick.

Rumball/Tedz showed their talent for wind sniffing and won the third race. McCartin/Kinsella kept a solid grip on the event with two seconds on day 2 though they got badly caught by the shift in race one leaving them 6th in that discarded race. The Clancys showed better pace on day 2 and pulled ahead of Miller/Butler overall while McGrotty/Cramer didn't achieve their usual form for the conditions. The silver trophy was won by locals James Farrell and Terry Rowan, the latter sailing a Fireball for the first time. Hospitality at the club was remarkable with free food laid on after racing on Saturday night. The setting for the racing could not have been prettier this surely must be one of the nicest places to sail on the island and with the motorway making it less than 3 hours drive from Dublin it's safe to say the Fireball fleet will be back, next time with better numbers.


The silver trophy was won by local James Farrell


Brian Tedz Byrne and Kenny Rumball were third 


Second were Noel Butler and Stephen Oram

Published in Fireball

#fireball – A smaller Fireball fleet than we would all prefer have made their way to the island's north coast and Cushendall Sailing Club, to contest the Irish Fireball Ulster Championships. Three races have been completed on Day 1 and current National Champions Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsella (15114) took all three bullets. They are being chased by Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061) who took three second places and Kenny Rumball & Brian Byrne (15058) who scored three third places.
Competing correspondent, Frank Miller (14713) reports that winds were of the order of 12 – 18 knots from the NW, with sunshine, but air temperatures were a bit on the cool side. A strengthening ebb tide meant that going offshore was risky but the offshore shifty breeze meant that it was necessary to take that route on occasion.
Miller & Ed Butler (14713) scored two fourths and a fifth.
Cushendall have been exemplary hosts and this evening the fleet was treated to a hearty chilli dish. It would appear that a hard session was had on the water as Frank advises that weary limbs are being rested this evening.

Published in Fireball
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#fireballdbsc – Tuesday night's DBSC Fireball race was predictably tricky as one might have expected from the forecast of light winds dropping even lighter. The race committee wisely set up in the harbour and dropped marks for a windward-leeward course. Before the start the easterly wind shifted 20 degrees left creating a major port end bias on the quite long line and making the first beat a reach. The eight boat fleet got quite tangled up near the pin but a few got away cleanly notably Neil Colin and Margaret Casey who led to the windward mark. Those who sailed a bit high on the reach closed the gap but on the run the fleet spread out as boats picked their angles and placed their bets on where there might be a better puff or two.

Where there are ladders there are snakes and several fell into lighter holes including race leaders Colin/Casey. The Clancys took advantage and sailed a conservative but intelligent race staying ahead of the pack with Butler/Oram on their heels. The only other highlight on the course was provided by Cariosa Power sailing with her young son Odhran who was not tall enough to get the pole on and off the mast. In its place he became a human pole standing on the sidedeck with arm extended.

It may not be top class ISAF stuff but it was very effective and the lightweight family pairing pulled away from some of the heavyweights, and provided entertainment to boot on a pleasant Tuesday outing. Top three downwind finishers were the Clancys, Butler/Oram and McKenna/O'Keeffe.

Published in Fireball
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#fireball – From early on in the day, XCWeather was suggesting that at 19:00, the scheduled start time for Tuesday night racing, wind would be from the west, blowing 23 knots, gusting 33 knots, but that it would be sunny with an air temperature of 12˚ writes Cormac Bradley.
That might explain why, at 18:10 the dinghy park of the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club and the Coal Harbour were devoid of any dinghy activity or personnel. A quick check of the Dun Laoghaire Harbour website weather gave the wind strength as westerly, 16.9 knots with a gust of 27.2 knots. It had a more favourable temperature of 14˚, but that wasn't sufficient to persuade anyone out onto the water. Beyond the harbour walls, viewed from my 2nd floor office window, Dublin Bay to the west of the harbour – the city side – was windswept and covered in white caps even though it was slack water at the bottom of the tide.
So while the DMYC yardarm was not flying the flags of surrender to Mother Nature, it was apparent that everyone had worked out for themselves that racing wouldn't be happening.

As this short report is being typed, it is a lot quieter outside my front room window, too late for racing now!

Published in Fireball
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#dbsc – After a "blow-out" last week and no Fireball racing the previous week, due to a combination of Mother Nature and a cruise liner visit, Tuesday nights DBSC race reverted to form last night.
And with more balmy weather than the past few Tuesday's the bay returned to its seasonal oddities! Despite a forecast of North-westerly, the wind was blowing 8 -10 knots from Dalkey Sound, giving it more of an easterly flavour. The race committee wisely selected the windward/leeward course and on end of the flood tide, racing commenced on time for the PY's Fireballs and after some recalls the Lasers got away a bit later.
With some boats over enthusiastic on the line, as crossing on Starboard was marginal due to the tide effects on the committee boat, Noel & Stephen (15061) led around the first mark, but an early inshore gybe allowed the fleet to overtake them. Neil & Margaret (14775) took over and extended their lead into the downwind run to the finish when the wind started its evening tricks, as the convergence zone moved onto the course area. Despite a nail biting finish, as the fleet closed from behind, Neil & Margaret held on to win on their first DBSC outing of the season.
Fortunately or unfortunately, the delayed Laser start, delayed the commencement of a second race. As the wind then proceeded to become "cyclonic and very variable", a second race would have been a complete lottery! Enough said! Wisely, the race team headed for the bar.

DBSC: Tuesday Nights; Series 1: 26/05/15


Neil Colin & Margaret Casey




Cariosa Power & Marie Barry




Noel Butler & Stephen Oram



DBSC Tuesday Nights; Series 1: Overall.


Noel Butler & Stephen Oram





Frank Miller & Others





Louis Smyth & Glenn Fisher


Coal Harb.


Published in DBSC

#fireball – Fireball dinghy champions Barry MacCartin and Conor Kinsella won the Fireball Open Event at Skerries Sailing Club in a lively two day event. Their narrow victory was won on countback against Noel Butler & Stephen Oram after six races in a competitive 12–boat fleet. The Irish National Sailing Club's Kenneth Rumball was third. Results downloadable below.

When twelve Fireballs rolled up at Skerries sailing club on Saturday it was a tad breezy, in fact the kind of day when you couldn't put anything down for a second as it would instantly be blown away. Many visitors had forgotten that the club faces almost due west into the eye of the prevailing wind. At 10am Saturday the live WindGuru Skerries hotspot was showing spikes of 34 knots. With the first gun scheduled at a leisurely 12.30pm and no worries about getting quickly to the race area many left their masts down, stuffed anything loose into hedges and behind a high wall and headed indoors for coffee and homemade scones and marmalade courtesy of the Commodore Kieran Branagan's wife Mary. The commodore went further above and beyond the call of duty as he headed out in a RIB when one RIB crew cried off at short notice – and then got a soaking for his trouble slipping between RIB and committee boat. As sailors looked out to sea and wondered what the excess was for broken masts on their insurance policy the wind abated a notch. The race committee took to the water and after a while word came back to launch, conditions were deemed sailable.

So it was that about eight boats ventured out and three very decent windward-leeward races were had in lively conditions with wind averages in the early twenties and the very odd gust spiking thirty knots. The three races each had different winners from amongst the usual suspects with Noel Butler/Stephen Oram, Barry MacCartin/Conor Kinsella and Kenny Rumball/Tedz each taking a bullet. Unfortunately the race committee took a couple of scalps in the first race as an unusual addition to Fireball SI's included an instruction not to sail downwind through the finish line. While the conditions were very windy they were manageable with plenty of rake and cunningham and for those with struts a bit of extra mast bend lower down – it is to the great credit of the Winder Fireball build quality and design that there was no gear failure despite the conditions. Generally it paid to head in left out of the tide but there were fairly big shifts in the mini squalls and the ideal was probably to head in at the least sign of a header on port. In the conditions several people headed out to sea just happy to be going fast and upright. As the afternoon wore on and the wind dropped a notch further some of the lighter teams headed out into the fray including Neil Colin/Margaret Casey and Louise McKenna/Hermine O'Keeffe. Heavyweights Frank Miller/Ed Butler had two good races scoring a 3rd and a 4th but were DSQ in race one for sailing through the finish line.
Day two had an earlier start and less wind than day before but still very gusty & shifty between 10-18 knots.

Racing got underway about 11am this time using the Triangular courses. Race 1 had a heavy pin-end bias so most boats opted for that end with Mick Creighton 14698 getting the best start as most boat headed out to the left. From this group McCartin/Kinsella got to mark first with Butler/Oram and Rumball/Byrne a bit behind setting off on reaching legs. The leaders extended on the fleet in the 18knot conditions on next beat but on the 3rd lap Butler/Oram closed up from 40 boat lengths to 10 boatlengths playing the shifts better however McCartin/Kinsella held on for the win with Rumball/Byrne in 4rd and Clancy brothers a distant fourth and Jon Evans/Aidan Caulfield in 5th.


Noel Butler and Steven Oram were second overall


Kenny Rumball and Ted Byrne were third

The next race followed with slight easing in conditions and another pin end bias opting to get onto port as early as possible with McCartin/Kinsella and Rumball/Byrne getting away followed by Butler/Oram at top mark. The top reach proved tight with leaders requiring an Aussie-drop to make mark with 3rd overtaking 2nd place into the leeward mark. the top 3 were only separated by 10 seconds for the entire next beat keeping the same order down the run and on 3rd lap 3 boats had less than that between them as each boat worked tirelessly to gain over the other as places changed on the upwind. McCartin/Kinsella though squeaked in just ahead at the windward as all boats set down the reaches for a finish in gusty high speed planing conditions. Positions held in that order to the close finish with Clancy brothers in 4th and again Jon Evans rounding out top 5.

Heading into the last race, the title was still not secure due to the closeness of points between top 3 and a race win by Butler/Oram would have given them the title from McCartin/Kinsella. Knowing this the top 2 locked hornsa bit before the start even including a collision and some damage to McCartin/Kinsella's boat near the committee end. Penalty turns were completed by Butler/Oram who made the start albeit at the unfavoured end of line, and then were forced right by McCartin/Kinsella. That duo covered forcing them into a big header as rest of fleet went left to favoured side so that by time next shift came the two leaders were all but dead & buried, playing into McCartin/Kinsella's hands. This time at the front Rumball/Byrne comfortably lead followed By Clancy brothers, McGrotty/Cramer, McKenna/O'Keefe and Colin/Casey. McCartin/Kinsella got back to 3rd at bottom of triangle but playing the middle of course next beat along with Clancys fell way back again to rest of fleet and Butler/Oram who had gone hard left coming back with a 30deg shift back near the top. On next leg Rumball/Byrne continued to have a healthy lead going into last lap with Butler/Oram now in 2nd needing 1 more place for overall win Rumball/Byrne held on to their lead to finish with Colin/Casey coming 3rd, McCartin/Kinsella 4th (and owing some thanks to Rumball) and Clancys in 5th place.

Overall winners on countback with three firsts were McCartin/Kinsella over Butler/Oram in 2nd and Rumball/Byrne just 1 point further back. The Clancys were fourth with Colin/Casey in 5th. Another extremely close regatta especially among the top 3 as the build up to the Worlds in Wales August 2015 continues. Next Fireball event is the Ulsters in the stunning location of Redbay in Glens of Antrim Cushendall and the fleet is hoping for a good turnout there.


Top lady pairing and silver fleet winners Louise McKenna & Hermine O'Keeffe

Published in Fireball

Tonight's Fireball dinghy racing in Dublin Bay, under the burgee of DBSC was cancelled due to a combination of factors - natural and man-made writes Cormac Bradley

The advent of the cruise liner season saw another mega-sized vessel anchored in the race course area of Scotsman's Bay. The inability of such vessels to enter Dun Laoghaire's harbour means that passengers are ferried ashore and "back to base" by a combbination of smaller boats and the cruise liner's own lifeboats. This heightened traffic meant that racing inside the harbour was not a possibility. Hence the man-made intervention!

Mother Nature "pitched in" with a stiff westerly that generated whitecaps for most of the day on Dublin Bay and while there was evidence of this dropping in strength as boats were being rigged, a decision to "blow" the evening was taken.

This forthcoming weekend sees the first of our summer regattas, The Open Championships, being sailed out of Skerries, further up the East Coast from Dublin Bay. Breeze, as usual for this location, is forecast. Numbers are a little low with 4 days to go. Thus far it looks like it will be a substantially DL fleet contesting the event. So to the readership of this column (of which there seen to be many), if you have a Fireball, we'd love to see you on the water!

Published in Fireball

#fireballdbsc – For the second Tuesday Fireball race in a row the wind refused to play fair but DBSC triumphed despite the adverse conditions writes Frank Miller. The forecast had been looking dodgy but when Fireballers arrived at their respective clubs conditions looked good. The force 4-6 SW was nowhere to be seen, the evening was relatively balmy with medium conditions and the odd spikey gust. By the time boats launched however a squall had gone through and there seemed to be more where that came from out west. Sure enough on the way out of the harbour at about 18.45 the wind cranked up and boats surged down towards the committee boat in Scotsman's Bay.

Later research shows DLH weather recorded 33 knots at that point. Boats were reaching around the start area, more or less under control, but there was no doubting it was very windy. At this stage the race committee upped sticks and sailors were ordered back inside the harbour. There a windward-leeward course was quickly set and racing got underway. Four Fireballs hung around for the racing while others decided to return to the slip. There followed two races in tricky conditions - the main challenge being some very big shifts rather than the actual wind strength which while lively was manageable. Special mention must go to Tim Crowe a relative novice to sailing who found himself competing in his first race in interesting conditions, sailing with Frank Miller. The main competition on the night was between Noel Butler/Stephen Oram and the Clancy Brothers. Race one saw Butler/Oram pull ahead when the Clancys had a near capsize in one of the huge shifts.

A twisted hoist however saw the Clancys pull through on the downwind leg but Butler/Oram clawed their way back on the next windward leg and they stayed ahead to take the gun. Miler/Crowe managed to beat Louise McKenna and Hermine O'Keeffe when the latter had trouble with a kite drop. Race 2 saw three Fireballs start as the ladies retired following a capsize but with black clouds building to the west Miller/Crowe also decided to head for home while the going was good. Of the two remaining Butler/Oram pulled away from the Clancys and led to the finish. For the second week in a row hats off to DBSC for getting two races away in challenging conditions when it would have been so easy to throw in the towel. The reward for the fleet was great racing and for DBSC it is growing credibility for excellent race management in tricky conditions.

Results HERE

Published in Fireball
Page 13 of 37

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.


The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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