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Laser Radial Fleet Ticks all the Right Boxes in DMYC Frostbite, Racing Resumes January 5th

2nd January 2020
Dun Laoghaire Frostbiting Radials fan out downwind Dun Laoghaire Frostbiting Radials fan out downwind Photo: Bob Hobby

Laser Radials competing in the DMYC Frostbites are now the largest club Laser fleet in Ireland and look likely to surpass last winter’s 37 boat entry, with weekly turnouts in the mid-20s.

Not bad, given there were just one or two Radials a couple of years ago and it’s a great accolade for the versatility of the mid-sized Laser rig. Series Two kicks off this Sunday, January 5th and sailors can enter here at effectively half price. New arrivals for the second series include Marco Sorgassi (who took a short break after an excellent 5th overall in the 50-boat Italian Masters in October) and John O’Driscoll, SOD and SB20 supremo, who will return after a nasty skiing injury twelve months ago.

With our sibling 4.7 and Standard rigs also out in healthy numbers, total Dun Laoghaire Laser numbers on the water each Winter Sunday are in the 40-50 range.

"Total Dun Laoghaire Laser numbers on the water each Winter Sunday are in the 40-50 range"

Somewhat accidentally, the Radials are also very on-point in terms of the buzzy catchphrases and promotions you hear bandied about. “Women on the Water” ? Box ticked, with ten female entries so far! “Sport for Life” and “Sport for All”? Well, yes indeed, with sailors aged 15-60 + and weights from 50 to (at least) 85 kgs.

Finally, we can rightfully claim some of that much sought-after “Youth Retention”, with graduates from 4.7s, some more experienced Radial Youths practising for the Europeans in Ballyholme in July and also some twenty-somethings getting back in after a few years out.

So….Retirees, Boomers, Generations X to Z, Millennials and even Frostbiting Snowflakes (sorry, couldn’t resist)….we’ve got them all ! The fleet breaks down into 80% adults and 20% youths.

Gavin Murphy LaserGavin Murphy of the RStGYC Photo: Bob Hobby

Anyway, regardless of how we all arrive on the starting line together, it’s certainly been super racing before Christmas, great fun and as competitive back in the twenties as it is in the top ten. Alas for the older guard, the young ‘uns have won the day so far. These guys are in fact anything but “Flaky Snowflakes”! They train hard on Sunday mornings before joining in for the Frostbites, seemingly oblivious to low temperatures. Under the stewardship of rotating DMYC Race Officers, Cormac Bradley and Ben Mulligan, race-management has been top-notch. At the sharp end of the fleet, Conor Gorman and Alana Coakley have taken most race wins. Ex-Topper star Hugh O’Connor has a bullet too, but a “Master” (over 35) has won one race only. Other young guns showing really well are Adam Walsh and Adam Leddy.

Conor Gorman1Conor Gorman of the National Yacht Club Photo: Frank Miller

Overall, it was Conor Gorman (NYC) who took Series 1 with a very commanding points lead, discarding a 2nd place! Judy O’Beirne (RStGYC) was the first lady in 6th overall. Other Master sailors have had their moments and here there’s plenty of newcomers in the more mature category. DBSC Laser Class captain Gav Murphy has been trying out the Radial and plenty of other new Masters have appeared, but are well known in other classes, including Owen Laverty, Pierre Long and Hugh Cahill. Some may be long-term Radial converts, while others will just be staying fit and sharp for Summer campaigns in other fleets.

With mainly light winds so far, the bigger grislier sailors will surely feature when the Sundays turn squally and nasty. Or at least that’s what they’ve been saying in the bar after sailing!

Series 1 Results here

Published in DMYC, Laser, Dublin Bay
Sean Craig

About The Author

Sean Craig

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Sean started sailing when he was 8 years old. He has competed actively in many classes including the Mirror, 420, Fireball, Enterprise, Laser 2, J-24, Flying Fifteen, SB20, RS200, RS Aero and Laser Full and Radial rigs.  Some time ago he was also active in team-racing and match-racing and he was the All-Ireland/Helmsmans Champion (raced in GP14s) in 1993. He has been an Irish and British National Champion in a number of classes and has also had dozens of top-10 European and World Championships results. His transition to single-hander sailing has been late, but he seems to have found his "spiritual" home. This is either due to passing years and crews getting sick of him or, alternatively, a fresh passion for perhaps the purest of all types of sailboat racing.

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