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From the previous Friday morning, the XCWeather website had been consistent in its forecast for Sunday afternoon at 14:00, winds of the order of 17/18 knots with gusts to 28/30 knots from a direction of south or south of south-west. And so, it was! Given the forecast and bearing in mind that very little DMYC “frostbiting” has been had this year, there was an awareness that we should try and get at least one race in and that sense was manifested when the Frostbite Co-ordinator, Neil Colin shared the exact same sentiment by What’sApp on Saturday afternoon.

An early trip down to the harbour and the East Pier suggested that the water inside the harbour was quite flat, as you would expect with a southerly orientated wind and the sense that racing might be possible grew when I saw the Toppers out in training mode – a small group admittedly. Outside the harbour there was other training going on. Next monitor to check – the wind readings from the Dublin Bay Buoy. These were starting to show that the base wind was dropping off marginally, but the gusts were still in the mid to high twenties. The Spring Chicken fleet (keelboats) were enjoying a robust sail in the bay and indeed a Flying Fifteen was racing with them and didn’t seem too distressed ………. from a distance.

The final physical check to see if racing could be possible was a trip out to the main body of the harbour with Neil Colin and DMYC Commodore Frank Guilfoyle, after which the decision was made that we would try to get at least one windward-leeward in and assess the situation with respect to a second.
ddventure forth, 7 in the PY Class, 7 full-rig Lasers, 11 4.7s and 9 Radials enjoyed two Windward – Leeward courses of 3 laps and 2 laps respectively and all boats were ashore by 15:15 which was a specific consideration given that the forecast was for the wind to build later in the afternoon.

The committee boat set up inside the end of the West Pier with a weather mark about 150m East of the entrance to the marina. The wind direction outside of the gusts was reasonably consistent with a mean direction of 210⁰, but the gusts were a law onto themselves, introducing big changes in direction according to the competitors. The leeward gate was just off the mouth of the harbour, closer to the end of the West Pier.

The PY fleet was made up of four Fireballs, two Laser Vagos and a RS200 and Noel Butler & Stephen Oram made the gusts conditions look like a walk in the park as they romped home with a three and a half-minute advantage over the second Fireball of Frank Miller & Ed Butler. In fairness, the winning Fireball flew their spinnaker on all three downwind legs which, given the conditions gave them a huge advantage on the water. Josh Porter & Katie Kane took third on the water followed home by the Laser Vago of Sergei Gordienok which was enough to give them the Frostbite Mug. The “pink ladies”, Louise McKenna and Hermine O’Keeffe had an early swim a few hundred meters off the start but righted themselves and still managed to complete the course.
In the second, shorter race, Noel & Stephen’s winning margin was slightly less, and second place went to Miller & Butler, who as they approached the leeward gate for the second time were hit by the biggest recorded gust of the day on the committee boat – 26knots. The leeward gate was approached at a very fast rate of knots! However, they stayed upright to take the second-place finish and were followed home by Tom Murphy in the K1. The second Laser Vago, entered under the name Ciara Charleton took the Frostbite Mug.

In the Laser Full Rig, the second series has seen a competition within a competition develop between Peter Fagan and Kenny Rumball where they have traded blows around the course. In yesterday’s two races they each took the same spot on the finish line, Fagan getting two wins and Rumball two seconds. In the first race of the day, Ian Simington took third place while Dun Laoghaire Laser Class Captain Gavan Murphy took the last podium place in the second race. All the Laser full-rig entries have 2018/19 Frostbite Mugs, so none were awarded to this fleet yesterday.

In the 4.7s, the six podium places across the two races were shared by 4 people – Adam Walsh, Conor Gorman, Pepe de Sintas and Hamish Munro. The “odd-men out” were Messrs Gorman and de Sintas with Gorman scoring a 2,3 and de Sintas a 3,1. Charlie Lydon picked up the Frostbite Mug for the first race in the 4.7s and Max Tempany picked it up for the second.

In the Radials the consistent performance of the day came from Sean Craig (again) who picked up two second places. In the first race he was beaten to the line by Marco Sorgassi and in the second he was beaten by the Radial of Conor Clancy which was being sailed by Conor Kinsella, I think. Sean Flanagan took third in the first race and Marco Sorgassi took third in the second race. The second race in the Lasers was also influenced by the same gust which accelerated Miller’s Fireball towards the leeward gate and some place changes resulted as a consequence.

Radial Mugs went to Judy O’Bierne for the first race and to Glen Fisher for the second race.

The races were short due to several factors, one of which was the fact that the forecast was for the wind to build later in the afternoon. Sitting inside the DMYC clubhouse after prize-giving it didn’t seem that the heavier weather had materialised until the wind conditions at Dublin Bay Buoy at around 17:00 suggested that it was blowing twenty-five gusting thirty-five knots in the bay. In terms of the decision to race, the conditions inside the harbour were going to be challenging due to the gusts, but the decision to race was taken only after a number of considerations were debated, and after we had gone out to the race area to assess the wind situation.

Special mention should be made of the volunteers who man the committee boat and rescue boats for these Frostbite Sundays. They are a very dedicated and reliable team who turn up every Sunday so that racing can take place. In addition to laying marks for the course, they then double up as rescue and when the occasion demands it tow boats home. Without them, on days like yesterday we wouldn’t contemplate racing. Thanks to one and all!

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Due to the strong winds forecast for today, the DMYC Dinghy Frostbite sailing of Sunday 27th was cancelled yesterday.

As of 10:11 this morning the Dublin Bay weather buoy was recording 25 knots gusting to 35 knots, a wind strength above the capacity of the 100 plus assembled dinghy fleet.

It has been an inauspicious start to 2019 for the country's longest-running dinghy league with three cancellations since the new year began.

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Monitoring the forecast from the Thursday beforehand the weather prognosis for the Frostbites of Sunday 9th December wasn’t good, with the base wind strength in the low twenties but gusts going above 30 knots. Indeed, had the Frostbites been scheduled for the Saturday evening, competitors wouldn’t have taken their covers off their boats, the wind was whistling through the rigging and it was very wet.

Sunday dawned bright but cold and there was a sense that the wind wasn’t quite as vicious as had been forecast! XCWeather was still sticking to its projection of a wind range of 21 – 28-30 knots and indeed at 11:17 the Dublin Bay weather buoy was recording 21 knots with a gust of 28 knots. However, an early walk around the eastern end of the harbour (National & Royal St George end) revealed relatively flat water and three Toppers sailing inside the harbour without too much strife. Walking back towards the DMYC, a group of Optimists were sailing outside the harbour and again didn’t seem to be struggling too much. Finally the steam trail at the Poolbeg Incinerator while blowing horizontally most of the time occasionally had an element of upwards movement.

All of this persuaded the Race Team to go out into the main body of the harbour to get a feel of what might be possible. At that stage the wind was blowing from 280⁰ at between 12 and 18 knots and just as we made our back to the DMYC a top wind speed of just over 21 knots was recorded.

Further discussion ashore with the Frostbites coordinator, Neil Colin, prompted the decision that a single race would be sailed but that if the conditions got worse, even with a course in place, the race committee could abandon proceedings.

Maybe not all the competitors were as enthused as the race team, for a number arrived late and one high profile combination only managed to sail out from their home club in the eastern reaches of the harbour to the pin end of the start line as the gun went. Afterwards there was a “tongue in cheek” reference to the efficiency of their approach, minimising the time spend on the water in advance of the gun. This combination were forced to the right hand side of the course as a consequence of their late arrival at the start line but the absence of choice didn’t seem to impact on their arrival at the top mark. However, they weren’t the first boat there!

Race Officer Cormac Bradley set an Olympic course with three laps. The weather mark was set in the vicinity of the western bight, just north of the entrance to the marina with a gybe mark deliberately set low so that in the squally conditions there was more wriggle-room for those who chose to fly spinnaker. So while the breeze fluctuated in strength, it was relatively steady in direction. Yes, there was movement, but my checking of the wind direction during the pre-start and early stages suggested that the weather mark was in a good compromise position and the sailors who made their way to the DMYC clubhouse afterwards seemed to be happy with the fare that had been served.

The Fireballs led the PY fleet home with Messrs Butler & Oram (FB 15061) taking the win on the water followed home by Phil Lawton & Owen Laverty (FB 14990) a short distance behind. Shortly thereafter the Solo of Shane McCarthy came home and he had enough time to go top of the rankings on handicap. The Frostbite Mug for the PY fleet went to the Keegans (FB 146766), with dad Mick crewing for son David. A number of the Fireballs were unusually late for the start, Messrs Butler & Oram arrived “on the starting signal”. But the Thompson brothers Daniel & Harry (15007), and unusually, Frank Miller & Ed Butler (14713) were more significantly disadvantaged by their late arrival, but to give them their due they did sail the whole race.

The Laser fleets also enjoyed a fast circuit of the harbour and finished in quite a tight order. Conor O’Leary from the Royal St George won the Frostbite Mug in the Radial fleet and I recall that Sean Craig was well up the pecking order on the water. Regrettably, my photos of the results sheet in the DMYC are illegible and as I write this report the results are not yet up on the DMYC website. So my apologies for this slightly tardy report!

However, the photos below by Neil Colin should make up for the dearth of “blow by blow details of what happened on the water.

“Frostbiters” are advised that next Sunday’s solitary race will count for DOUBLE points and that the prize-giving for Series 1, November/December will take place in the DMYC Clubhouse after racing. This will close out the Frostbites for 2018.

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More than 40 Lasers have been registered thus far for the DMYC Frostbites, with entries still open online ahead of the series kickoff this Sunday 4 November.

The tally of 46 pledged for the latest Dublin Bay winter series is already way up on last year’s total — and even more interesting is that 24 of them are Laser Radials, showing a boost of interest among women, older and youth sailors.

In particular, the Dun Laoghaire Combined Clubs’ youth training programme is sending as many as eight Radials to this year’s Frostbites, along with a group of 4.7s.

It’s being hailed as a positive sign for the class which has long experienced difficulty in persuading parents and coaches to encourage their children to compete in local racing rather than training.

The impact of the recent Laser Master Worlds in Dun Laoghaire will also be felt with a strong contingent of older sailors in the Radial class this year.

With the final numbers looking to be a field that’s one-third Laser Radials, it could be marking the resurgence of the class often thought of as only a youth boat as one for all ages.

Published in DMYC

Entries for the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club's Dinghy Frostbite series due to commence on Sunday 4 November are growing steadily and are still open at

The Notice of Race was published earlier this month. To date the latest series has a majority of Lasers out of 63 entries, of which 22 are juniors.

“We are delighted to see [juniors’] interest in participating in real races, as a compliment to the training schedules, and are confident the experience on the race course will improve skill levels,” the DMYC says.

The club also welcomes the participation of the Women on Water initiative, using the National Yacht Club's Wayfarers that will also be in training for their own World Championships in Greystones next year.

The cherished Frostbite Mug will be presented to the winner of the day who has not already received one, provided they are present to collect. Organisers hope to see everyone for refreshment after sailing in the DMYC.

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The DMYC has published the Notice of Race and online entry system here for its long-running Winter Dinghy Frostbite Series on Dublin Bay.

In response to feedback from competitors over the past three seasons, gathered from a survey earlier in the year, the format is revised with the intention to;

  • run two shorter races each Sunday, outside the harbour when it is practical
  • run more windward/leeward courses, alongside the traditional triangle courses

Racing for centreboard monohull dinghies will be one design for the Lasers and based on PH handicaps for the mixed dinghy fleet.

In a further move to increase interest, there is an option to enter the pre and post Christmas Series, separately.

Racing commences on Sunday 4th November.

The DMYC Frostbite Series started in 1969, and has been occurring every winter since then.

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During the latter half of last week few would have expected that by Sunday it would be “warm” enough to permit racing in Dun Laoghaire Harbour for the Frostbite Series hosted by Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club. While the “Beast from the East” and Storm Emma wreaked havoc in Irish (and UK) airspace from Wednesday through Friday, dumping inordinate amounts of snow on us all, the thought of “sailing on Sunday” must have been far removed from everyone’s mind. 

However, by Saturday the thaw had set in and by Sunday the temperature had gone up a notch or two to make racing semi-attractive from a shore-side perspective. Race Officer, Cormac Bradley, in consultation with Frostbites Co-ordinators Neil Colin and Olivier Prouveur decided that the challenge for the day was to get a race in and the fleet ashore promptly! In that regard a decision (in principle) to have a triangular course of three laps was taken before the committee boat left the pontoon at the DMYC.

A steady wind out of the East made the setting of the weather mark a relatively easy task. The committee boat anchored just beyond the exit from the marina which allowed a beat the length of the harbour to be set.  A gybe mark was set about 60m inside the harbour mouth but midway between the ends of the two piers while the leeward mark was about twenty metres off the transom of the committee boat. The ambition was to have two off-wind spinnaker legs but the normal guinea-pig for that test spent a large part of the pre-race period undoing wine-glass knots in their red spinnaker, leaving the acid test of spinnaker flying on the top reach to the RS400 of Niels Warburton and Peter Doherty. The appropriateness of the spinnaker leg was confirmed by radio via the gybe mark boat.

The Slow PY Fleet had nine starters – two KONA Windsurfers, the Enterprise, the Wayfarer, with a replacement helm, Norman Lee, the IDRA of Pierre Long, the Feva XL of Conor Galligan, the Hartley 12.2 of Odhran Prouveur and two Laser Vago XDs and in a very conservative start all nine went left initially before spreading themselves across the width of the course. The IDRA 14 of Pierre Long and John Parker led around the first weather mark and flew spinnaker. Behind them the red- sailed Kona of Robbie Walker and the Wayfarer followed. The IDRA led to the gybe mark but surprisingly dropped spinnaker which allowed the Wayfarer to close the gap. Up the second beat the Wayfarer took the lead which it held to the finish, recording a race time of 29:58. In 2nd place, forty-four seconds later, was Walker in the first KONA, followed by his class-mate, Des Gibney, forty-nine seconds later, with the IDRA next, forty-one seconds behind. However, on handicap they were all outdone by the junior crew in the Feva XL, with Conor Galligan helming, who converted a race time of 33:18 into a handicap time of 26:51 and a 21-second winning margin over the Wayfarer.

The biggest fleet of the day were the Lasers with 13 boats on the water. Their start was more competitive than the Slow PYs but was still a clean start and again they all resolved to go left initially. However, they too spread themselves across the course going upwind and rounded the top mark with regularity to provide a well spread-out fleet with no single boat very far ahead or very far behind. At the close of the first lap, the lead was held by Chris Arrowsmith (201829) with Gavin Murphy (173062) about a boat-length off his transom. Sean Flanagan (177854) was in close proximity, waiting to pounce on any mistakes by the front two. In contrast to the Slow PY fleet the Lasers approached the leeward mark on a much higher line to windward before ducking off to leeward to round the mark. On the second lap, Murphy had moved into the lead with Arrowsmith the chasing boat.  The finishing order was Murphy (30:37), Arrowsmith (30:56), Flanagan (31:30), Coakley (31:32), O’Leary (31:53) and Ella Hemeryck (Rad) (31:54), but on corrected time the sequence changed to Murphy (27:55), Hemeryck (28:00), Arrowsmith (28:12), Shirley Gilmore (Rad) (28:32) and Flanagan (28:43).

Four fast PY boats took to the start – three Fireballs and the RS400. While it may have been the smallest start it was the most competitive in terms of the clock counting down. Yet again Noel Butler & Marie Barry (15061) had an easy race, leading from start to finish, but the other two boats, Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly (14713) and Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691) had a race all the way round the course. Indeed, the position of “chasing Fireball” changed a number of times during the race. At the end of the first lap it was Miller & Donnelly, who had been relegated to third on the water, but by the time they were rounding the leeward mark for the second time, negotiating their way around Lasers, Miller & Donnelly had gone into the “chase boat” position. They retained that positon for the finish, but only by a margin of 15 seconds.  While the official results had the result the other way round, I heard Miller claiming afterwards that he and Donnelly had finished second……..the ladies didn’t appear to be challenging that assertion. The favourable spinnaker legs – spinnakers were flown on both reaches with the two chasing Fireballs going to windward of the committee boat on the second lap en route to the leeward mark –allowed a Fireball to take the fastest corrected time. That honour went to Butler & Barry by a margin of 14 seconds.

While the race had started in misty conditions and a cool enough temperature, once the mist lifted there was a sense that it got a bit “warmer” and the committee boat contemplated a second race. However, as no-one seemed to be unhappy at the lack of a signal for a second race, and one prominent helm indicated that he wasn’t unhappy with just a single race after crossing the finish line, it seems that an early departure from the race area was a welcome call. Indeed, only one partially “bare-legged” Laser helm had suggested at the start of the afternoon that two races should be sailed!

DMYC Frostbites – 4th March 2018

Series 2






Slow PY



Conor Galligan & crew

Feva XL




Norman Lee & Miriam McCarthy





Pierre Long & John Parker








Gavin Murphy





Ella Hemeryck





Chris Arrowsmith





Fast PY



Noel Butler & Marie Barry





Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly





Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe




The Mug winners on the day were Odhran Prouveur & Helen Sheehy in the Hartley 12.2 in the Slow PY Fleet and Evan Dargan Hayes in a Laser 4.7 in the Laser fleet. Frostbiters are again reminded that there will be racing, weather permitting on Sunday 18th March; the day after St Patrick’s Day.

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#HYC - Conditions for Howth Yacht Club's  Laser Frostbites yesterday (Sunday 14 January) contrasted those of the opening weekend — with the sun shining and a southerly breeze rising from 12 to 19 knots over the course of the day’s two races.

Twenty-three boats took to the water, comprising 14 standard rigs, seven Radials and a pair of 4.7s. With significant shifts, a wind bend and the tide ebbing across the course, no one was comfortable in their position.

Ronan Wallace got ahead early in the first race and held on to to take a comfortable first, while long-term rivals Ronan Cull and Paul McMahon fought it out for second, Ronan getting to the line ahead.

The Howth Yacht Club website has more on yesterday’s racing HERE.

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For the second round of Frostbite racing in Series 2, Race Officer Cormac Bradley set the 31-boat fleet a triangular course and with the assistance of one of the competitors tried to make sure that the top reach was able to be sailed as a spinnaker leg! Having watched the weather forecast on XCWeather from the start of the weekend, the wind situation inside the harbour wasn’t quite what was predicted. The forecast was for 14 – 17 knots across the afternoon with guts in the range 20 – 28knots. However, on arriving at the scene the flags inside the Coal Harbour were not suggesting those sorts of strengths. The direction of SSW was in accordance with the forecast.

31 boats took to the water, nearly 25% up on the previous Sunday but still with lots of room for more boats to join in. All the usual suspects were in attendance in the Slow PY Fleet; Shane McCarthy’s Solo, the two KONA windsurfers of Robbie Walker & Des Gibney, a second, club Wayfarer from the DMYC helmed by Dave Colman joined the regulars in Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy, the Feva of Conor Galligan was out along with Odhran Prouveur & Helen Sheehy in the Hartley 12.2 and Frank Hamilton was the sole IDR14.
Twelve Lasers took to the water with Conor O’Leary making his 2018 debut after missing last week when taking his recreational activities to Europe.

In the Fast PY Fleet there was a 2018 debut for Hugh Sheehy in the Finn, Noel Butler & Marie Barry and Frank Miller & Class Chairman Neil Cramer and the Keegans, David & Michael in the Fireball Class and a total turnout of ten boats.

fireball DMYCTop reach action between two Fireball dinghies Photo: Bob Hobby/DMYC Facebook

With the committee boats situated just to the West of the harbour entrance, the beat was to a mark in the approaches to the marina and a gybe mark that was to the east of the former docking facility of the high speed ferry but towards the middle of the harbour. Amazingly for the first couple of rounds, the wind appeared to be reasonably steady at 190˚.
Off the start line, the trend across all three fleets was to start on starboard and work one’s way to the left-hand side of the beat before taking a long port tack into the mark. In this respect, the Solo led the Slow PY fleet and rounded first followed by the KONA of Walker and the Wayfarer of Schaeffer. These three occupied the first three slots all the way round with the KONA working its way into the lead. The Solo and the Wayfarer had a closer race but the Solo eventually won out but only by a margin of 10 seconds – 39:30 to 39:40 after five laps.

shirley gilmoreShirley Gilmore leads in the Lasers. The NI helmswoman won the DMYC Laser Class mug. Photo: Bob Hobby

In the Laser fleet there were also three boats that were jostling for the podium positions throughout the race – Justin Geoghegan (165512), Sean Flanagan (177854) and Conor O’Leary (190745). Until, that is the final approach to the leeward mark when O’Leary went through the start/finish line and decided that he had to unwind himself. That dropped him to 6th with Geoghegan taking the win, followed home by Flanagan and Alan Hodgins.

The Fast PY fleet had an OCS in the form of Fireball 14706, Alistair Court & Gordon Syme and like the previous starts, the trend was to go left first before working the middle to left of the beat to get to the windward mark. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) did that to best effect to lead at the weather mark and retained that lead to just before the first leeward mark when taking a more upwind line, Noel Butler & Marie Barry (15061) powered over the top of them to take the lead. They subsequently “walked away” from the fleet, leading by just over a leg and 3:44 at the finish. Behind them, the places seemed to be in a constant state of flux, with Court, Miller & Cramer (14713), the “pink ladies”, Louise & Hermine (14691) changing places all the way round. Court & Syme recovered from their premature start to claim second place on the water followed by Colin & Casey, McKenna & O’Keeffe, Miller & Cramer, the Finn of Sheehy and the 470 of Ryan & McAree.

In Frostbite Mug terms, the Fast PY award went to Niels Warburton in the RS400, to Shirley Gilmore in the Lasers and to the Enterprise of Bernadette Fox & Aidan Geraghty in the Slow PY Fleet.

DMYC Frostbites 2017/18: Series 2
Round 2. 

Slow PY

1 Shane McCarthy (Solo)
2 Conor Galligan (Feva)
3 Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy (Wayfarer)
4 Robbie Walker (KONA)
5 Frank Hamilton & Crew (IDRA14)


1 Justin Geoghegan

2 Sean Flanagan
3 Alan Hodgins
4 Gavan Murphy
5 Shirley Gilmore (Radial)

Fast PY

1 Noel Butler & Marie Barry (Fireball)
2 Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (Fireball)
3 Hugh Sheehy (Finn)
4 Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (Fireball)
5 Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (Fireball)

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A modest fleet of 25 boats opened the second half of the 2017/18 Frostbite Series hosted by Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club earlier today, Sunday 7th January writes Cormac Bradley. While XCWeather had a forecast for 14:00 of 11 – 16 knots Easterly with an air temperature of 5˚, the weather station inside the harbour was showing 17.3 knots with a maximum gust of 22 knots at 13:45 with a wind direction of 105˚ and an air temperature of 6.4˚. On leaving the my commentary position to repair to the DMYC clubhouse, the wind strength recording was 16 knots gusting 19knots and considering the number of capsizes, I think that this was the more accurate assessment.

Race Officer Ben Mulligan (Flying Fifteens) set a five-lap trapezoid course for the day’s proceedings with his committee boat stationed just to the east of the entrance to the marina and a weather mark in the middle of the harbour. No.2 was situated in the middle of the harbour mouth but probably of the order of 60m inside the mouth itself, while No.3 was close to the West Pier and No.4 was about 30m to leeward of the committee boat.

Of the 25 boats on the water the breakdown was as follows – 10 Lasers (of assorted rigs), three Laser Vagos, three Fireballs, two IDRAs, a Solo, a Wayfarer, a 470, a K1, a Kona Windsurfer , an RS400 and the Hartley 12.2. 

In the Slow PY Fleet, Shane McCarthy in the Solo led for the majority of the race, losing the lead for a short time to the solitary Kona Windsurfer of Des Gibney. Shane started the race on starboard tack towards the pin but not on it and sailed about half the distance from the pin to the end of the West Pier before working his way up the left-hand side of the beat. The majority of the other Slow PY starters were towards the committee boat end and tacked much earlier to work the opposite side of the beat. For most of them this was as close as they got to McCarthy who led comfortably around the weather mark and proceeded to sail away from the other “Slow PY-ers” with the exception of Gibney. Behind the Solo (5302) the pecking order at the first mark was Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy in the Wayfarer (11152), Frank Hamilton & crew, Jenny, in the first IDRA (140), Pierre Long & John Parker in the second IDRA (161) and the KONA (2677) of Gibney.  By Mark 4 of the first lap, the KONA has risen to second and Hamilton had passed out Schaeffer. The places behind McCarthy remained in a state of flux with Long passing out Hamilton in the duel of the IDRAs before Hamilton regained that lead and Long retired. The Wayfarer exercised caution on the off-wind legs by not flying the spinnaker and this left Gibney as the sole chaser of the Solo. Downwind he was able to close significantly and indeed on the penultimate lap he actually overtook McCarthy, albeit briefly, before McCarthy pulled away over the last lap to win by 2 minutes and twenty seconds.  In the Slow PY Fleet the day’s Frostbite Mug went to the first Laser Vago, registered to Nigel Russell but sailed by two others. 

The Fireball turnout was very modest at three boats – work robbing the fleet of one boat, hospitalisation and holidays another boat and a possible sixth boat not appearing.  Despite two late arrivals in the starting area, one of the latecomers seem to get the best start with Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) commanding the committee boat end of the line with Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706) to leeward and Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691) astern. All three headed left initially with Colin going over the top of Court and being the first to tack on to port for a long leg up the middle of the course. Court followed shortly thereafter but now occupied the windward berth relative to Colin. They rounded Mark 1 with Court leading by half a boat-length but neither flew spinnaker down the leg to No.2. McKenna had another challenge with the 470 rounding on her transom and for the rest of the afternoon she was unable to get any significant distance away from the Olympic Class boat. Spinnakers broke out from Mark 2 to Mark 3 but Colin dropped at Mark 3 while Court held it for the early part of the leg, but fell off to leeward relative to the mark as the price. For the second beat all the Fireballs stayed right and left the hitch to the windward mark to much later. By this stage Court had opened up his lead on Colin and both were comfortably ahead of McKenna who was having an alternative race with the 470. No spinnakers featured on the top reach of the trapezoid all afternoon and only sporadically on the bottom reach, with Court the only proponent of that exercise.  Court progressively pulled away from Colin who then went swimming on the third lap between 1 and 2 – a squall arriving with not enough kicker released. This prompted an early retirement, leaving the field wide open for Court & Syme. In the Fast PY Fleet the day’s Frostbite Mugs went to Gerry Ryan & John McAree in the 470.

The tightest racing of the day was in the 10-boat Laser Class. While the fleet was led all the way round by Sean Flanagan (177854/Full Rig) he was closely chased by Alan Hodgins (175809/Full Rig) with Shirley Gilmore (204762/Radial) lurking with intent in 3rd place. The “lurking with intent” paid off, for although she was 1:57 down on Sean Flanagan at the finish and 1:16 down on Hodgins, on corrected time she finished just 25 seconds behind Flanagan and 13 seconds ahead of Hodgins who recorded the same corrected time as Evan Dargan Hayes in a Laser 4.7 in fourth. Thus, the first four Lasers on corrected time were covered by 38 seconds.  The Frostbite Mug went to Sean Flanagan.

DMYC Frostbites

2017/18: Series 2

Round 1

Helm & Crew


Sail No.

Slow PY


Shane McCarthy





Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy




Des Gibney




Frank Hamilton & Jenny




A.N. Other & A.N. Other

Laser Vago




Sean Flanagan





Shirley Gilmore

Laser Radial



Alan Hodgins




Evan Dargan Hayes

Laser 4.7



Brendan Hughes

Laser Radial


Fast PY


Alistair Court & Gordon Syme





Gerry Ryan & John McAree




Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe




Tom Murphy




Niels Warburton



In elapsed time the Fireball of Court & Syme was the fastest boat on the water, sailing the five laps in 34:40 with Flanagan’s Laser taking 38:47 and McCarthy’s Solo going round in 39:01. Physically, the finishing order on the water was Solo, Fireball and KONA. 

The postponed prize-giving for Series 1, from 17th December, took place in the DMYC Clubhouse after racing with prizes being in the form of calendars with photographs by Frostbite stalwart Bob Hobby. Calendars were liberally handed out to winners and volunteers by “Frostbite Director” Neil Colin – Happy New Year!

Published in DMYC
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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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