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DMYC Frostbites Sails Between Storms at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

13th January 2020
Frostbite Mug Winner, Hugh O’Connor, Laser Radials, with Frostbites Director, Neil Colin Frostbite Mug Winner, Hugh O’Connor, Laser Radials, with Frostbites Director, Neil Colin Photo: Frank Miller

With wind speeds of 37 knots being recorded off the end of the East Pier at lunchtime on Saturday (on a handheld anemometer) and Storm Brendan blowing hooligans today, the DMYC Dinghy Frostbites of Sunday 12th January could be said to have been sailed in the (relative) calm between the storms! And the wind behaved in accordance with the forecast, starting off quite strong first thing on Sunday morning (09:00) but dropping off in strength as the morning wore on. At about 11:30 it was down to 10/11 knots and during the race it dropped below ten but came back up again. The sun was out as well, but there was a slight coolness in the air.

Numbers were up again from last week with 27 boats in the PY fleet, 10+ in the Standard & 4.7 start and 28 in the Laser radial start. This Sunday we saw the return of the Kona Windsurfers, with Messrs Gibney and Walker, the regulars, joined by Julio David. The RS400s also added on to their fleet with the arrival of Sean and Conor Cleary and Dara McDonagh (and crew) giving Messrs Phelan & Leddy and Brian O’Hare and crew a four-boat race within the PY fleet. A second GP14, sailed by Peter & Stephen Boyle, joined the Flying Fifteen pairing of Ciara Mulvey and Peter Murphy and there were two boats challenges within the PY fleet for the RS Aeros (Brendan Foley & Mark Gavin) and the Wayfarers (Dave Mulvin & Ronan Beirne and Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy). The Sailing in Dublin (SID) Laser Vagos had three or four boats and the Fireballs had eleven starters in their fleet within a fleet.

Daniel L and Harry ThompsonFireballers Daniel (L) and Harry Thompson with their Frostbite Mugs for Race 2 in the PY Fleet. Photo: Frank Miller

Given the weather conditions, the decision was taken to give the fleets a long race first to keep them active on the basis that if time and wind allowed a shorter second race could be provided. Speculation ashore, between the Frostbites “Director” and the Race Officer, was that a starboard-hand course might have to be set with the wind direction, but on getting out to the race area, a normal port-hand course was available. With a mean wind direction of 240º, the committee boat set up close to the end of the East Pier and put the weather mark just to the west of the entrance to the marina. The top reach extended across the windward shore of the harbour to a gybe mark that was to the east of the HSS gantry and the leeward mark sat behind and off to the port-hand side of the committee boat. The Wayfarer of Mulvin and Beirne was out early and sailed the two reaches under spinnaker and gave a healthy “thumbs-up” to Race Officer Cormac Bradley. Shane McCarthy in the Solo also tested the beat, by invitation, and declared that it was “good”. By prior arrangement a Fireball also sampled the course and advised that the start line was biased towards the committee boat – they were right, although the length of the start line was a bigger problem for the PY Fleet.

In contrast to last Sunday, all three starts got away at the first time of asking and while the initial approach to the first beat was to go left, the fleet soon spread themselves across the width of the course – always a good sight for the Race Officer. Five laps of an Olympic course were set and at the first weather mark there was a mix of Fireballs and RS400s in the lead bunch, with the Solo of McCarthy making his presence felt as well. The familiar red spinnaker of Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (FB 15061) was first to show, followed by the blue and white of the Thompson brothers, Daniel & Harry (FB 15156). Butler & Oram did their “normal trick” of sailing away from the fleet, but behind them there was lots of contests on the water. The leeward mark rounding also was a busy spot as the various fleets converged on it, from different angles, especially when the Lasers were added to the mix!

The first race lasted a healthy 43:38 and saw Butler & Oram take the win on the water. In Fireball terms, they were followed home by the Thompsons and Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706), though there were other boats in between. In the RS400 “race within a race”, debutants Sean and Conor Cleary took a “class” win from Dara McDonagh, Phelan & Leddy and Brian O’Hare.

The Kona finishing order was Robbie Walker, Des Gibney and Julio David, while Mulvin/Beirne took the Wayfarer win, the Boyles the GP 14 win, and Butler & Oram the handicap win, followed by McCarthy (Solo), the Boyle GP14, Sarah Byrne & crew in the RS200 and the Thompsons (FB). The winning margin on the water, Fireball to Solo was 9:25, which reduced to 00:38 after the application of handicaps. The Boyle’s performance won the Frostbite Mug for the PY Fleet.

The mixed Standard Lasers & Laser 4.7s is the smallest fleet, made up yesterday of three Standards and five or six 4.7s. The Standards finished in a tight sequence with Chris Arrowsmith winning from Alan Hodgins and David Field, Field’s performance good enough to get the Frostbite Mug. Rian Geraghty-McDonnell continued his domination of this Class with another win, followed home by Christian Ennis, a new name in the podium frame, Hugh Turvey and Archie Daly, another new name.

The Radial Fleet is a good mix of adults and Juniors with the adults represented by the likes of Sean Craig, Shirley Gilmore, Judy O’Beirne, Mary Chambers and Owen Laverty. However, in the lighter winds that we have had thus far the Juniors have been very prominent in the podium places and yesterday saw a mix of adults and Juniors in the top five finishers. The racing in this fleet can get very tight at the front and it is encouraging to see clusters of boats sailing “bow to transom” downwind with helms carefully watching those closest to them. Juniors don’t seem to be intimidated at all when Sean Craig, for example, sits on their transoms, hunting them down, waiting for a mistake! Yesterday, in Race 1, two Juniors took the honours with Hugh O’Connor winning and taking a Frostbite Mug, followed by Conor Gorman, Sean Craig, Judy O’Beirne and Shirley Gilmore.

Finishes on the water were offered to the stragglers to allow a second short race to be run. However, the first two marks had to be reset as the wind went southwards. This time the course was two triangles and having learned the lesson from the first time, the start line was lengthened. This time the contest on the line was even tighter, but again the three fleets got away at the first time of asking. The wind dropped below 10 knots but then came back up again and a race of half the duration of the first was completed.

In the PY fleet, class winners were Fireball – Butler & Oram, RS400 – Cleary & Cleary, GP14 – Boyle & Boyle, Wayfarer – Mulvin & Beirne, “by a nose” on the finish line, Kona – Walker, RS Aero – Brendan Foley. In handicap terms, a race time of 21:05 for Butler & Oram and a 00:59 second margin on the water was enough to take the PY win followed by a second Fireball, the Thompsons. On corrected time the handicap order was Butler & Oram (FB), Daniel & Harry Thompson (FB), Cleary & Cleary (RS400), Boyle & Boyle (GP14) and Patrick Hassett (2.4). Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) were the third Fireball home.

In the Standard Lasers the order was Hodgins, Field and Arrowsmith, while in the 4.7s, there was an “upset” with Rian Geraghty-McDonnell not winning! That honour went to Christian Ennis, from Eimear Farrell and Archie Daly, a performance that gave him the Frostbite Mug.

Hugh O’Connor scored a double with a second race win in the Radials, followed by Sean Craig, Conor Gorman, Adam Leddy and Owen Laverty, the latter taking the Frostbite Mug.

DMYC Frostbites: Series 2; 12th January 2020

PY Fleet; Race 1.

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (FB), Shane McCarthy (Solo), Peter & Stephen Boyle (GP14), Saran Byrne & crew (RS200), Daniel & Harry Thompson (FB).

PY Fleet; Race 2.

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram, Daniel & Harry Thompson, Sean & Conor Cleary (RS 400), Peter & Stephen Boyle, Patrick Hassett (2.4).

Standard Lasers; Race 1

Chris Arrowsmith, Alan Hodgins, David Field.

Standard Lasers; Race 2

Alan Hodgins, David Field, Chris Arrowsmith.

Laser 4.7s; Race 1

Rian Geraghty-McDonnell, Christian Ennis, Hugh Turvey, Archie Daly.

Laser 4.7s; Race 2

Christian Ennis, Eimear Farrell, Archie Daly.

Laser Radials; Race 1

Hugh O’Connor, Conor Gorman, Sean Craig, Judy O’Beirne, Shirley Gilmore.

Laser Radials; Race 2

Hugh O’Connor, Sean Craig, Conor Gorman, Adam Leddy, Owen Laverty.

Published in DMYC
Cormac Bradley

About The Author

Cormac Bradley

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Dublin Bay Fireballer Cormac Bradley was appointed Rear Commodore of the International Fireball Class in 2017. He is a regular dinghy and one design correspondent on Afloat.ie

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