A fleet in the mid-fifties braved a chilly Dun Laoghaire harbour today for the third race of Series 2 of the 2019/20 DMYC Frostbites. Wind strength during the morning in advance of racing wasn’t as brisk as forecast but the direction was right – westerly. The team racers were enjoying good conditions to confirm that the stronger winds forecast for the day hadn’t arrived.
However, the dominant weather feature was the chill factor and some preliminary soundings in the DMYC dinghy park suggested that the idea of a single long race to keep everyone active wasn’t a bad call. And so, the dye was cast! A five-lap Olympic course was signalled by Race Officer Cormac Bradley.
The committee boat set up just off the weather station on the East Pier and the 270° wind direction allowed a weather mark to be set just off the leading starboard leading light into the marina. The first reach took the fleet eastwards beyond the HSS gantry to a position off the Carlisle Pier, leaving the leeward mark between the weather station and the Boyd Memorial.
The PY fleet numbered 23 boats and included Wayfarers (2), GP 14s (2), Kona Windsurfers (3), RS Aeros (3), RS 200s (3), RS 400s (2), the Paralympic 2.4 (1), a Solo, and Fireballs (6). They had a General recall to start, one of the Aeros and one of the Fireballs leading an early charge over the line, causing the limit mark to disappear. That relegated them to the back of the queue! When they did get away, the trend seemed to be to go left into the middle of the harbour before picking a port-hand tack to get upwind towards the weather mark. The first rounding of the weather mark by the PY fleet looked busy and it wasn’t a red spinnaker that was first to break. Instead it was the blue of Alistair Court and Gordon Syme (14706) and another couple of reds were seen before Butler & Oram (15061) showed! Following what looked like two good reaches under spinnaker, the pecking order was Court, Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly (14990), Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (15016) and Ciaran Harken and Michael Keegan (14676) may have been ahead of the aforementioned Butler & Oram. Court/Syme lost their lead with a subsequent capsize on a beat and McKenna/O’Keeffe took on the mantle of leaders though they were hard-pressed by Miller/Donnelly. This latter combination also led the race for a period. However, it seemed that everyone in this race within a race was waiting for the “fat lady to sing”. Rounding the weather mark for the last time, two red spinnakers were well ahead of the fleet, followed by a third red spinnaker. It seems (in the post- race banter) that the first two reds were McKenna and Miller, who it was claimed had a double-digit lead of boat-lengths over Butler. For reasons that weren’t forthcoming, a severe luffing match ensued and there may have been turns taken, which opened a huge door of opportunity for Butler & Oram – which they availed of with both hands to take a win on the finish line. A “squeaky-bum” performance by the pair!!
However, the result on the water wasn’t good enough for them to occupy the podium places on handicap – those places went to the GP14 of Peter & Stephen Boyle (1st), followed by the Solo of Shane McCarthy and the Wayfarer of Dave Mulvin and Ronan O’Beirne. The three RS Aeros (7s) were led home by Kenny Rumball in 5th, followed by Brendan Foley in 6th and Mark Gavin in 7th respectively. Sarah Byrne led the two-person RS contingent home in 4th place while the Fireball of Butler & Oram had to be satisfied with 8th. There was some consternation at the handicap results with the GP 14 finishing 6:25 down on the Fireball but winning by 2:14 on handicap. The Solo was 55 seconds down on the GP14 but 42 seconds ahead of the Wayfarer. The “delta” between the Wayfarers on the water was 1:02, but on handicap, seven boats got in between them.
The three-boat Laser Standard fleet had three starters but only two finishers with Alan Hodgins taking the honours over David Field.
Four 4.7s raced with Kitty Flanagan taking the wing over siblings Luke and Hugh Turvey and Eimear Farrell closed the account in 4th place.
Twenty-six Radials assembled at the start line for racing with a transfer from the 4.7s in the form of Rian Geraghty-McDonnell. This young man has dominated the 4.7s thus far so clearly has decided to up his game for the balance of the series. He started off where he left off with another win on the water, but it was a very close race at the front with the lead boats overlapped every time they cam down past the committee boat on the sausage leg. There were no raised voices throughout any of the manoeuvres to get around the leeward mark and if there had been “fun and games” the senior fleet in this fleet, one Sean Craig would be quick to restore proper order. As it was, he finished in third behind the Geraghty-McDonnell and Kate Fahy. Behind him, in turn, were Judy O’Beirne and Alanna Coakley, leaving the males in the minority of the top five places.
Only one Laser seemed to be disappointed that there wasn’t a second race – everyone else seemed to be happy to go home.
DMYC Frostbites: Series 2; Round 3
1st Peter & Stephen Boyle (GP14), 2nd Shane McCarthy (Solo), 3rd David Mulvin & Ronan O’Beirne (Wayfarer).
1st Alan Hodgins, 2nd David Field.
1st Kitty Flanagan, 2nd Luke Turvey, 3rd Hugh Turvey, 4th Eimear Farrell.
1st Rian Geraghty-McDonnell, 2nd Kate Fahy, 3rd Sean Craig, 4th Judy O’Beirne, 5th Alanna Coakley.
A quieter than usual DMYC clubhouse saw Peter & Stephen Boyle pick up a Frostbite Mug for their endeavours. There were other Mugs available for collection, but the rule is that you have to be there to get it!