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Sunday's DMYC Frostbites saw two excellent Fireball races in lively conditions in Dun Laoghaire harbour. According to the DLH weather site the wind was mostly westerly about 10-12 knots but gusting at times more than 20 knots.

In both races the pin end was favoured but given that the start line was in the crook of the East Pier there was arguably an advantage to starting at the committee end to get the benefit of lifting gusts at the harbour mouth and also the advantage of the incoming tide through the mouth of the harbour. Anyway spoiler alert; the two races were dominated by the rockstar team of Gerbil Owens and Phil Lawton standing in for Noel Butler and Stephen Oram.

From the start of race one the pair worked the right side of the course and led around the trapezoid course without their lead ever being under real threat. Closest boat was veteran Louis Smyth with Glen Fisher who were looking good until they capsized in round 2 of the 4 lap course near the leeward mark, where for some reason the wind always seemed to ramp up a couple of notches.

Frank Miller with Ed Butler snatched second place and appeared comfortable in that position until the gybe mark in the 4th round where an all too casual gybe delivered the traditional punishment. When the pair recovered from their turtle they were about last but they closed the gap on those who zoomed past and finished 5th in the end with Alistair Court and Gordon Syme taking 2nd and Neil Colin/Margaret Casey 3rd.

The start of race 2 once again saw the seven boat fleet stretched along the line. For this race Lawton / Owens switched roles but continued to dominate the race with a lead of a least a half leg. The pair started at the (technically unfavoured) committee end with a burst of speed which allowed them to drive low almost reaching across the fleet positioning them for first tack to weather of the fleet on the port layline to the windward mark.

The first reach was always tight but the configuration of the harbour discouraged going too high too soon so for both races it was a tricky and close first reach with a near run on the second and a beam reach for the third.

Following Owens/Lawton were Court/Syme and then Miller/Butler. The latter took over the 2nd place on the beat by taking the lifting gusts available on the right side of the course.

This time they kept their noses clean and their mast in the air and held onto that place till the end. Hot on their heels remained Court/Symes but special mention should go to Dara McDonagh who was never far off the lead in his composite fireball proving that a well maintained 20 year old boat is perfectly competitive in the right hands . Spare a thought for Smyth/Fisher; in the second race they had a close encounter with Louise McKenna/Hermine O’Keeffe which resulted in their outhaul being flicked off the end of their boom and sent them home earlier than planned.

All in all this was a terrific days racing in mild but gusty conditions snatched from the jaws of an Irish February ...

Published in DMYC
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In the build-up to last weekend’s Fireball racing at the DMYC Frostbites, the forecast from Thursday on XCWeather suggested it might not be possible to get a race in, but by early Sunday morning the forecast was down to 12 – 18 knots from the SE writes Cormac Bradley. The Windfinder app and the Met Eireann Sea Area Forecast were showing a similar story of about 12-15 knots. The one thing they all agreed on was that the direction would be from a South-Easterly direction.

On arriving at the boat park the situation on the water was anything but what was forecast and it was damp and chilly to boot! Out on the race course it was another story again but surprisingly warmer than it had been on shore. Marginal trapezing conditions were had at the start of the two-race afternoon, but the wind strength eased as the day grew later and only the bottom reach of the trapezoid course was offering any action in this department by the second race.

An oversize blanket would have covered all seven Fireballs at the start of the first race as they cloistered themselves off the aft quarter of the committee boat. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) very soon made a claim to having the best start as they pulled ahead of the fleet and went to the left-hand side of the course.  This proved to be the critical manoeuvre of the first race as they were never headed though Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061) pushed them close. Another boat to work the left-hand side was Frank Miller & Ed Butler (14713) and they too were rewarded with a good position in the early pecking order. In contrast, Alistair Court & Cormac Bradley (14706) bailed out of the cluster and went right. It proved to be one of the few times when a right hand sortie didn’t pay. They approached the weather mark up the starboard lay-line in close proximity to the lead two boats, but before they could reach the mark two other boats put themselves into the gap, Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691) and Miller & Butler. The leg from 1 to 2 was a broad spinnaker leg and yet again there was a decision to be made at 2, whether to gybe or not. Maybe because he was always in clear air on this leg, Colin always seemed to get it right and in most instances he didn’t gybe until he was almost inside the harbour mouth.

On the subsequent beats of the five-lap race, there were a number of approaches as to how it should be sailed. None involved going to the corners of the course but rather going a reasonable distance to one side or other without going out on a limb! Butler & Oram kept Colin & Casey on their toes, but despite getting close, the lead pair always had a handful of boat lengths between them and their chaser.

Where the place changing went on was between 3rd and 5th. Having learned their lesson from the first beat, Court & Bradley decided on a more conservative approach to the beats and with some close quarter spinnaker got to third place at the penultimate rounding of Mark 4, having had a close fight with the pink ladies and Miller & Butler. Up the last beat, they went left with McKenna & O’Keeffe hitting a BIG right! It was the first time in the afternoon that a BIG right paid and it allowed them to reclaim 3rd place on the water and a few boat-lengths of comfort relative to Court & Bradley who had been chased up the left-hand side by Miller & Butler. In the lighter breeze, the heavier all male combination couldn’t catch the ladies. 

The course was tweaked for the second race by a shift to port. Again the fleet was cloistered at the committee boat end of the line but this time Colin & Casey were too early, being a half-boat length clear of the start line before the starting signal went. This caused them to go right after they rounded the committee boat end of the line to restart. The rest of the fleet went left initially before working rightwards further up the beat. The delayed start didn’t have an adverse effect of Colin & Casey as they rounded the weather mark in first place and for the second race of the day they were not headed thereafter. However, at the first weather mark, while Colin had his mitts on 1st, the rest of the fleet could again have been covered by an oversize blanket as they rounded. This time there were new players at the front in the form of Cariosa Power & Marie Barry (14854), while the seventh boat in the fleet, Owen Laverty & James Clancy (14807) were also in the mix. Another “average beat” for Court & Bradley saw them with lots to do in 7th place. Despite the tweaking of the course, the same decision at Mark 2 was in play and again there was a “mixed bag” approach, Colin predominantly favouring sailing on to the harbour mouth before gybing to get round 3.

Close quarter skirmishes were the order of the day for the middle and back of the fleet and by Mark 4, Court had relieved himself of last place. Up the next beat the middle of the fleet condensed and Butler, Laverty, McKenna and Court were soon enjoying spinnaker leg shenanigans on the leg between 3 and 4.

Power & Barry in the meantime were quietly doing their own thing a slight distance apart and soon found themselves in 2nd place. A sparkling final beat by the ladies saw them round the last weather mark in a solid 2nd place behind Colin & Casey, but also ahead of Butler & Oram.  They held onto their position, though it got close at the end to record a fabulous 2nd place. Court also worked hard on the final lap to move into fourth place with Laverty & Clancy in 5th.

Considering the long-term forecast, the immediate forecast and the assessment of the wind in the dinghy park a great afternoon of racing was had by all, with no-one dropping too far off the pace in either race. Colin claimed he hadn’t won a Frostbite race for a while, so with two in one day he and his crew were in great form. Ditto Marie & Cariosa who worked hard and well to secure the 2nd.   

DMYC Frostbites 2016/17: Series 2 08/01 15/01 29/01 Tot.
R1 R2 R3 R4
1 Noel Butler & Stephen Oram 15061 NYC 3 1 2 3 9
2 Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keefe 14691 RStGYC 2 3 3 6 14
3 Frank Miller & Ed Butler 14713 DMYC 4 4 7 5 20
Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 14775 DMYC 5 13 1 1 20
5 Conor & James Clancy 14807 RStGYC 13 2 5 7 27
Cariosa Power & Marie Barry 14854 NYC 6 13 6 2 27
7 Alistair Court & Cormac Bradley 14706 DMYC 13 13 4 4 34
8 Louis Smyth & Joe O’Reilly 15007 Coal Harb. 1 13 13 13 40
Published in Fireball
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Yesterday’s diminished Fireball fleet in DMYC’s Frostbite Series may have been a consequence of the actual weather mirroring the forecast writes Cormac Bradley. XCWeather had been predicting winds of 17 knots with gusts up to 28 knots from a WNW direction and that is what the weather station in the harbour was showing on my arrival – 20.1 knots, a gust of 28.6 knots, a wind direction of 295˚ and an air temperature of 10.6˚. While the air temperature may have been a balmy 10.6˚ for January, it still required a hat coat and gloves to stand and watch proceedings.

Three Fireballs were on the start line at the designated time, Messrs Butler and Oram (15061), the Clancy brothers (14807) and the “pink ladies”, McKenna & O’Keeffe (14691). Later they were joined by Frank Miller and (possibly) Ed Butler, but I am not sure if this latter combination would be ranked as a starter. (Official results today confirm they are both a starter and a finisher).

All three boats sailed to the left-hand-side of the course on the first beat with Team Clancy, Conor & James, the first to peel off to go right. From my vantage point it appeared that they had done the right thing by going right that bit earlier, but by hanging in that bit longer on the left, Noel & Stephen gave the impression of being able to sail that bit freer up the port lay-line to power over the brothers. Spinnakers were broken out on the legs from Mark 1 to Mark 2, but in reality the course was such that Mark 2 was almost incidental from an angles perspective. At the first rounding of Mark 2, Butler & Oram gybed, but all this seems to achieve was to set them up for another gybe to get round Mark 3, followed by another gybe at Mark 3 itself. Team Clancy sailed beyond and probably 20 - 30m outside Mark 2 before they put in their gybe to get to Mark 3. The leg from Mark 3 to Mark 4 proved to be too tight for spinnakers.

On the second beat the lead pair, with Butler & Oram comfortably ahead, sailed on the RHS to the harbour mouth, relative to a weather mark that was of the order of 100-120m to the west of the end of the West Pier. This time Butler was the first to cross the course with Team Clancy hanging on to the outer edges of the course. By the time Butler & Oram reached Mark 4 the second time they had a leg lead on the Clancys. On the third beat, the pair split, with Butler going left and early on it looked as though Clancy may have closed the gap. However, when they actually crossed tacks Butler was still comfortably ahead. On the following beat, they took opposite sides again, except Butler went right this time. It made no difference as the lead was maintained.

Mark 2 had less and less of a role to play in the race as the laps passed, increasingly the lead two boats, flying spinnaker, sailed further and further outside of Mark 2, extending the starboard tack three sail reach to beyond the HSS terminal before putting in a gybe for a short hitch to Mark 3 and a spinnaker drop to two-sail to Mark 4. The “pink Ladies”, Louise and Hermine obviously decided that discretion was the better part of valour and kept their spinnaker in its bag for the day. Ditto Messrs Miller & Butler.

DMYC Frostbites 2016/17: Series 2 R1 R2 Tot.
1 Noel Butler & Stephen Oram 15061 NYC 3 1 4
2 Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keefe 14691 RStGYC 2 3 5
3 Frank Miller & Ed Butler 14713 DMYC 4 4 8
4 Louis Smyth & Joe O’Reilly 15007 Coal Harb. 1 13 14
5 Conor & James Clancy 14807 RStGYC 13 2 15
Published in DMYC
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Considering the time of year, it is rather surprising that we have got to the end of Series 1 of the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club’s Frostbites without a cancellation……….until the last Sunday, writes Cormac Bradley. Competitors were greeted with a mirror-like seascape inside the harbour with no motion from the flags around the periphery of the harbour. Those on the flagstaff of the host club were so limp that they couldn’t be recognised. On the opposite side of the inner reaches of the harbour, brand flags from the yacht brokers were likewise hanging limp.

Frostbite co-ordinator Olivier Proveur however decided that with the day that was in it, an attempt should be made to race and slightly behind schedule, understandably, the fleet was ordered to go afloat. Not everyone complied, but those that did faced a long paddle out to the race area. This correspondent was one of the last to go down the slipway but before he needed to get his feet wet, a radio communication was received to the effect that racing was cancelled.

This prompted an early prize-giving where calendars with pictures from the Frostbites were the prizes. Frostbite co-ordinator Olivier added his own form of wit to these proceedings which were preceded by the serving of finger food and soup.

The Frostbites take a break now with no racing on the next two Sundays – Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. We resume on 8th January 2017.

2016/17 DMYC Frostbites – Series1: After 2nd Discard. R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 Nett
Noel Butler/Phil Lawton & Stephen Oram/Ger Owens 15061 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 7
Conor Clancy/Owen Laverty & James Clancy 14807 2 4 2 4 3 13 1 1 4 17
Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 14775 13 2 4 2 2 5 3 3 6 21
Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe/Cormac Bradley 14691 3 3 7 7 5 4 4 4 7 30
Frank Miller & Ed Butler/Cormac Bradley/Grattan Donnelly 14713 13 5 6 8 6 2 6 5 2 32
Alistair Court & Gordon Syme/Cormac Bradley 14706 13 13 13 5 4 3 5 9 5 44
Louis Smyth & Joe O’Reilly/Glenn Fisher 15007 13 7 3 3 7 11 13 13 3 47
Cariosa Power & Marie Barry 14854 13 6 8 6 8 7 13 13 13 61
Peter & Michael Keegan 14676 13 8 5 13 13 8 8 7 13 62
Mary Chambers & Brenda McGuire 14865 13 13 13 9 9 11 7 6 13 68
Darragh McDonagh & Crew 15058 13 13 13 13 13 6 13 13 13 84
David Turner & Peter Doherty 14362 13 13 13 10 10 13 13 13 13 85

From this correspondent, Happy Christmas to all!

Published in DMYC
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The penultimate Sunday of Series 1 of the DMYC’s Frostbite Series 2016/17 saw a mirror-like appearance on the inner reaches of Dun Laoghaire harbour and the light air nature of the day was confirmed as the” keelers”, sailing their Turkey Shoot race were only just moving outside the harbour.

Despite this scenario, the principal organiser of the racing was heard to say that a single race would be sailed, of five laps, but that a shortened course signal would be close at hand. This correspondent, sailing with Alistair Court, was towed out to the race area by RIB and other Fireballs paddled & sailed in order to get to the start area. Given that the principal organiser, Olivier Proveur, is French, it seemed appropriate to say “Nous somme ici, mais pourquoi”, which I hoped translated to “We are here now, but why” as we drew alongside the committee boat. There was no apparent wind on the water and the Race Officer & Olivier were on the bow with a burgee, seeking some form of indication as to where a weather mark might go!

Eventually a few zephyrs made their presence felt and a weather mark was put in place just to the north of the approach to the marina, suggesting that what little wind there was was coming from a westerly direction. Mark No. 2 was located just off the HSS gantry with Marks 3 & 4 down towards the East Pier Wall, with 4 about 50-60m inside the end of the East Pier.

No-one was straying too far from the start line in the fickle winds that were blowing and our assessment was to pick a spot to start and see how the wind gods treated us. Clearly, we got this wrong as minutes after the start, we were stone last. Three boats hogged the pin-end on port tack, Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly (14713), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) and Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061). Slightly behind them, also on port were the Clancy brothers, Conor & James, (14807), and between the pin and the committee boat end were Louis Smyth & Glenn Fisher (15007) and the “pink-ladies”, Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691), so called because of their matching pink woolly hats.

For a change, Butler & Oram were not the leading boat; that went to Colin & Casey, who also lead the fleet round the first weather mark in the second race last Sunday, but weren’t credited for the achievement in the corresponding report. Next came Miller & Donnelly followed by Butler & Oram, but as the wind switched off, the tail-enders caught up with the leaders and all seven boats rounded in a relatively short window. No-one bar Smyth & Fisher tried to fly spinnakers and Miller, taking a hitch to windward was rewarded when he overtook Colin to lead around Mark 2.

In the lightest of winds, places changed quite regularly between Marks 1 & 3 with a wide variety of approaches being taken to Mark 3. Colin for example gybed immediately at Mark 2 to sail a course inside the trapezoid. Court went out wide with Clancy, towards the East Pier, while Smyth and McKenna sailed more of a straight line course to Mark 3. By 3, Clancy had gone ahead of Court who then found that both Smyth and McKenna had water on him at the mark so he took a slow rounding for his pain. Colin had dropped further back.

The passage from 3 to 4 was “trying”. Miller & Donnelly led past 3 and onto 4 where, assuming a beat to 1, they dropped spinnaker. Butler & Oram decided that bag could be flown thus giving the hint to everyone else. The Clancys, sailing higher than the rest of the fleet, carried it the furthest, but no-one managed to hold it all the way. Smyth & Fisher having sailed a positive 2 to 3 to 4 were now in third place, without really closing on the front two where Miller was still the rabbit to Butler’s greyhound. The top leg of the trapezoid was a “two-sailer” again and had more of a beat to it as more than one boat took a hitch to try and get into clear wind. Miller was still leading at 2 and held that until very late on when Butler was able to make a faster manoeuvre at Mark 4 when a shortened course was signalled.

Smyth & Fisher took third, Clancys fourth and Court & Bradley and Colin & Casey were overlapped going over the line with Court getting the nod.

2016/17 DMYC Frostbites – Series1: After 2nd Discard. R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 R7 R8 R9 Nett
Noel Butler/Phil Lawton & Stephen Oram/Ger Owens 15061 1 1 1 1 1 1 2 2 1 7
Conor Clancy/Owen Laverty & James Clancy 14807 2 4 2 4 3 13 1 1 4 17
Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 14775 13 2 4 2 2 5 3 3 6 21
Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe/Cormac Bradley 14691 3 3 7 7 5 4 4 4 7 30
Frank Miller & Ed Butler/Cormac Bradley/Grattan Donnelly 14713 13 5 6 8 6 2 6 5 2 32
Alistair Court & Gordon Syme/Cormac Bradley 14706 13 13 13 5 4 3 5 9 5 44
Louis Smyth & Joe O’Reilly/Glenn Fisher 15007 13 7 3 3 7 11 13 13 3 47
Cariosa Power & Marie Barry 14854 13 6 8 6 8 7 13 13 13 61
Peter & Michael Keegan 14676 13 8 5 13 13 8 8 7 13 62
Mary Chambers & Brenda McGuire 14865 13 13 13 9 9 11 7 6 13 68
Darragh McDonagh & Crew 15058 13 13 13 13 13 6 13 13 13 84
David Turner & Peter Doherty 14362 13 13 13 10 10 13 13 13 13 85

 

Next Sunday, 18th, sees the last race of Series 1. 

Meanwhile in sunny South Africa, the Fireball Worlds got underway in strong wind, big seas and sunshine in Mossel Bay on the country’s Garden Route.

At the Pre-Worlds last week, which doubled up as the South African Class Nationals, the Swiss pair of Claude Mermod & Ruedi Moser, current European Champions, (SUI 14799) had a perfect week winning all bar one of the races, the last, which they didn’t need to sail. The last race win went to Ben Schulz and Jack Lidgett (AUS 15113), allowing them to finish second overall, ten points adrift of the Swiss. Third overall were Johana Koranva Napravnikova & Jakub Napravnik (CZE 15109) who scored two seconds in a nett score of 17 points. The early part of the Pre-Worlds was heavy winded with Day 1 seeing no racing. However, it seems that by the end of the week a lack of wind was the bigger problem.

After a flag-raising ceremony yesterday morning, the Worlds fleet went out in big winds and even bigger seas. The Swiss paid “second fiddle” to reigning World Champions, Tom Gillard & Richard Anderton (GBR 15127), with Schulz & Lidgett, third. Facebook posts show huge seas, high speed Fireballing and Fireballs cresting waves with half their hulls out of the water. The matching reports suggest an exhilarating day but tired bodies as a consequence.

Published in DMYC
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The 2016/17 Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites got off to a blustery start this afternoon in Dun Laoghaire. The weather station adjacent to my observation point had the various weather parameters as follows; Wind Direction - 345˚, Wind 19.6 knots, Gust 28.5 knots and Air Temperature 9˚. In truth it didn’t appear to be as cold as the Saturday when this correspondent sailed three races in a Flying Fifteen wind while there was more sunshine for that session, the weather today was cloudy but seemed to be a little warmer – but it wasn’t “shirt sleeve weather” by any means.

Three Fireballs graced the opening day of the Series – Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061), Conor & James Clancy (14807) and Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691). The overnight Met Eireann forecast didn’t hold out much hope of racing with a projected Force 5 – 8 for all parts of the Irish Seas and indeed by Sunday morning a Facebook post to the fleet suggested that some consideration had been taken as to whether racing would be possible.

Noel & Stephen comfortably won the race from Conor & James with the ladies finishing third. In truth I missed most of the action on the water as I was delayed getting to the harbour. It was a day of discretion being the better part of valour with respect to spinnaker flying.

The start area was in the vicinity of the dormant berth for the HSS with a weather mark towards the end of the West Pier. The top and bottom reaches of the trapezoid course were moderately short in comparison to the beat and run. Given the news of the revised planning permission for a cruise liner berth in the harbour this past week, it will be interesting to see how this impacts on the Frostbite and other sailing activity inside the harbour.

In other Fireball news the Class had its AGM on the Saturday night of the last regatta of the year. As had been signposted there was a change of Chairman with Marie Barry standing down after a three-year stint. In terms of falling numbers at events, Marie has not had it easy, but she has put a lot of effort into the Class and is due our collective thanks. Marie is replaced as Class Chairman by Neil Cramer of Skerries Sailing Club. Regatta participants would know Neil as the crew to Niall McGrotty. Margaret Casey had also indicated her intention to retire as Class Secretary. By my reckoning Margaret has been Secretary to at least three Chairmen, Marie, Neil Colin and I, and this period alone accounts for 9 years of service. Marie Barry has taken on the mantle of Secretary. Conor Clancy will continue as Treasurer.

Since the AGM there has been a committee meeting and individual activity in getting the calendar fixed for next year. In addition to our normal roster of events, with 2017 being an odd-numbered year, there will be a three day Volvo Dun Laoghaire event over the first weekend of July. Next year’s Fireball Europeans are scheduled for August in Lyme Regis on the English South Coast. Given their proximity, there is an expectation of Irish participation.

Finally, the end of year prize-giving will take place in the National Yacht Club on Friday 25th November.

Published in Fireball
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Today's winner of the DMYC Kish race from Dun Laoghaire harbour reached the lighthouse on the edge of Dublin Bay in approximately 51–minutes. The J109 Jalapeno may have completed what organisers believe is a course record in the blustery westerly conditions that prevailed. A full photo gallery is here.

On the return leg, a squall blew through the course with 30–plus knots recroded, resulting in 14 boats retiring.

The 41–boat fleet included a wide variety of craft, including many cruisers who never normally race, according to race organisers, Olivier Prouveur and Neil Colin.

Results are below as a PDF file. Photo gallery is here.

 

Published in DMYC

A fine fleet of mixed sailing cruisers braved south–westerly winds gusting to gale force on Dublin Bay today for the ten–mile Round Kish Lighthouse Race. The DMYC race started at 11am and included many Dublin Bay boats but also visitors from Greystones and Howth. Photo gallery below: 

Published in DMYC
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The DMYC in Dun Laoghaire are reminding sailors that online entry for its Kish race on Dublin Bay closes tomorrow at 19.00 on 24th September.

Looking at the weekend forecast – sailing tomorrow may will be for the heavy weather brigade, but Sunday shows some easing even though the WindGuru is predicting gusts in the low 20’s. Does it suggest a spin around the Kish on Sunday would be an ideal way to close out the season?

'The Kish might not be the Vendee Globe, but it still presents a challenge all sailors like', says DMYC's Neil Colin.

Published in DMYC
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The DMYC will hold its annual Dun laoghaire to Kish lighthouse (and back) race on Sunday 25th September.

The DMYC have been staging this race since the early 1980’s when it was a single–handed affair and over more recent years it has become a two–handed race, but in this instance the club hopes there will be a greater participation as a fully crewed race, which might suit the potential autumn conditions better than the historic mid-summer conditions.

The race is also being run under Echo Standard, as compared to the adjusted echo for two reasons. Firstly, so that crews who have had their handicaps reduced due to performance, can enjoy a chance to race on the yachts design handicap, and have a chance of glory. Secondly, To encourage the cruising sailors who shy of formal racing and don’t have IRC or current Echo handicaps to participate.

The online entry form is also designed to accept entries from yachts who are not aware of their ECHO, as additional encouragement to sailors who may be more cruising orientated.

The event is open to all yachts, subject to insurance and standard DBSC Safety Requirements, which all competent yachtsmen should be meet in any event. The DMYC encourages entries from the greater Dublin Bay and East Coast area along with the White Sail fleets.

The Notice of Race and Entry form is here

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Page 9 of 17

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.

Competitions

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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