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Weather Relents & Dun Laoghaire Dinghy Frostbite Racing Returns!

24th February 2020
Sean Craig was the winner of the second Laser Radial race Sean Craig was the winner of the second Laser Radial race Photo: Afloat

After three Sundays of no racing due to the ongoing storms of winter, the Dun Laoghaire DMYC Frostbite fleet was able to take to the water yesterday in what were still quite brisk winds but nothing like what we had seen over the past three weekends. During the week before, the forecast had been for quite light winds but late on Friday, XCWeather was showing a change and by late Saturday afternoon, the predictions were up to the high teens in terms of base wind strength. A positive sign for the afternoon was the bigger boats going out in the morning for their DBSC Spring Chicken Series and not being blown over.

The race start was brought forward by an hour to accommodate those armchair fans of a particular rugby match………of which there will be no further reference in this article/report. A brisk westerly greeted the competitors to the DMYC dinghy park and there were plenty of “cats’ paws” on the water. Air temperature was on the cool side, but it was bright.

With the wind out of the west, the longer dimensions of the harbour were available to set a two-lap triangular course with the weather mark set halfway along the inner pier off the West Pier and the gybe mark in the proximity of the HSS gantry. The leeward mark was set off the Boyd Memorial on the East Pier. From the committee boat perspective, the wind was reasonably steady in direction at 270° but my “samplers” of the course told me that the upper end of the beat was gusty and variable and the same could be said for the top reach. However, my Fireball “guinea-pig” was able to report that the angles of the reachs were good.

All the starts were clean and the only complication on the PY fleet was the Fireball of Frank Miller and Neil Cramer (14990) capsizing immediately after crossing the start line. Most of the fleet went left and worked the port hand side of the beat. First to show from a spinnaker perspective was Noel Butler and Stephen Oram (15061) with the Thompsons, Daniel & Harry (15156) not far behind them. Also, conspicuously, the Solo of Shane McCarthy wasn’t far off the lead bunch. This was a quick-fire race as there was plenty of breeze for the top reach and as the leaders sailed down the quieter second reach of the first lap, they had to take a slightly altered course to the leeward mark because of the third start of the day. In the end, less than thirty seconds covered the first three Fireballs at the finish. However, in handicap terms McCarthy turned a 2:30 deficit on the water to a 00:45 win on handicap. That left the first three Fireballs, Butler & Oram, Daniel & Harry Thompson and Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706) sandwiched between McCarthy and the Aero 7 of Alexander Rumball. On corrected time, 1:36 covered the top five boats.

The Laser Standard fleet has become a dedicated fleet of three – Messrs Arrowsmith, Murphy and O’Leary and in Race 1 this was the finishing order. The 4.7 numbers are also under pressure, but Rian Geraghty-McDonnell continued his winning ways in the first race of the day, followed by Luke Turvey and Evan Dargan Hayes. The Radials won the bragging rights for the biggest start of the day with 22 boats (to PY’s 21) and they enjoyed close racing with a finishing order of Adam Walsh, Conor Gorman, Sean Craig, Owen Laverty and first lady, Shirley Gilmore.

Given the short duration of the first race and the fact that the wind was still healthy but starting to drop, a longer four-lap Olympic course was set with time to rugby still not a problem. The weather mark needed slight tweaking, going slightly further south, or to port.

Again, three clean starts were completed and in the PY fleet, the blue and white spinnaker of the Thompsons was first to show. They had a scorching top reach to pull out a comfortable distance from Butler & Oram. Yet again the trend was to go left initially, before working the port side of the beat. The Thompsons held the lead for the first triangle but by the start of the sausage their lead had been cut dramatically by the chasing Butler & Oram. By the next windward mark, the order had changed and Butler & Oram won ultimately by 1:05 over the younger brothers. Frank Miller & Neil Cramer were third over the line, 1:29 down on the brothers. Yet again the handicap finishing order top five was populated by Fireballs and single-handers – Shane McCarthy’s Solo was 6:33 behind the first Fireball but closed to 16 seconds on handicap. And Alexander Rumball brought the Aero 7 home in fourth, 5:20 behind the Fireball but only 1:27 down on handicap.

In the Standard Lasers, Garvan Murphy took the honours with Chris Arrowsmith second and Conor O’Leary third. In the 4.7s, there was a family affair as Luke Turvey won from his brother Hugh, with Rian Geraghty-McDonnell third. And in the Laser Radials, Sean Craig took the win from Adam Walsh, Marco Sorgassi, Conor Gorman and Brendan Hughes.

An amendment to the sailing Instructions had advised competitors of the addition of a separate finishing mark, situated much closer to the committee boat. In the first race the outer limit mark for the start, a candy-striped mark was still in place at the finish and at least one boat used this as the outer limit for the finish. The errant act of sailing through the finish line when the blue flag is flying, indicating the committee boat is “On Station” for a finish, was prevalent again yesterday and in one of the Laser fleets the art of counting to four appeared to be a problem.

I think most people got ashore in time for THAT event on TV, but I would argue that the sailing was more enjoyable on the day!!

As this report is being written, there is a very wild Dublin Bay in evidence, and the last readout from the Dublin Bay buoy is: Wind Direction 267°, Gust Direction 315°, Avg. Wind 32 knots, Gust 46 knots. Just as well we were racing yesterday!

Frostbites: 23 February 2020.

PY Fleet; Race 1.

  1. Shane McCarthy, Solo
  2. Noel Butler & Stephen Oram, Fireball 15061
  3. Daniel & Harry Thompson, Fireball 15156
  4. Alistair Court & Gordon Syme, Fireball 14706
  5. Alexander Rumball, Aero 7.

Standard Lasers; Race 1

  1. Chris Arrowsmith
  2. Garvan Murphy
  3. Conor O’Leary.

Laser 4.7s

  1. Rian Geraghty-McDonnell
  2. Luke Turvey
  3. Evan Dargan-Hayes.

Laser Radials

  1. Adam Walsh
  2. Conor Gorman
  3. Sean Craig
  4. Owen Laverty
  5. Shirley Gilmore

PY Fleet; Race 2

  1. Noel Butler & Stephen Oram, Fireball 15061
  2. Shane McCarthy, Solo
  3. Alistair Court & Gordon Syme, Fireball 14706
  4. Frank Miller & Neil Cramer, Fireball 14990.
  5. Alexander Rumball, Aero 7

Standard Lasers

  1. Garvan Murphy
  2. Chris Arrowsmith
  3. Conor O’Leary.

Laser 4.7s

  1. Luke Turvey
  2. Hugh Turvey
  3. Rian Geraghty-McDonnell.

Laser Radials

  1. Sean Craig
  2. Adam Walsh
  3. Marco Sorgassi
  4. Conor Gorman
  5. Brendan Hughes.
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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