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Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites: “To race or not to race – that is the question!” (In the RRS it is always the question!)

29th November 2021
Roy van Maanen was a PY Class race winner in the fourth round of the Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites Credit: Afloat

There is no doubt that weather forecasting has come a long way in that we can enjoy much earlier forecasts of what the wind is going to be doing – most typically seven days before the key date. This correspondent has often quoted a forecast from XCWeather in his reports and for the 2021 season, he has added the “Windy” App to his toolkit.

For Sunday 28th November, the early forecasting showed that while it would be blowing “hooligans” on the Saturday, by Frostbite time on the Sunday the wind would be down to 5/6 knots. And XCWeather and Windy were in agreement! From Thursday evening through Friday and Saturday this appeared to be the picture for Sunday afternoon. Then, on Sunday morning, XCWeather suggested 15 knots with gusts in the high teens. This was on the limit of wind strengths for the pre-Series briefing that we had agreed due to the ongoing Covid situation. On arrival at DMYC there was some “whistling in the rigging” but a handheld over the West Pier wall was suggesting 13 – 16 knots. Air temperatures were low in accordance with the forecast.

A final consultation with DMYC’s Neil Colin suggested that we would race one race and then review the situation. As the committee boat, “Goose” made her way out to the main part of the harbour it was obvious that there were more than the 13 -16 knots and on taking up station, just inside the harbour mouth, the handheld was showing gusts in excess of 20 knots of westerly blowing across the harbour. The base wind strength was 15/16 knots and so a radio consultation took place with rib crews and Neil Colin still on shore. By 13:40 a decision had been taken to proceed with racing but a Windward-Leeward of 3 laps was declared in view of the conditions. That was vindicated when the GP14 of David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne seemed to get upwind reasonably comfortably in the blustery conditions.

A weather mark was set well outside the wind-shadow of the western breakwater and a leeward gate was set up by attaching the marks to hand-buoys of the now vacated summer moorings. This gave a reasonable length of course for the 56 boats that answered the starter’s call. In the lead up to the first start countdown, the Fireballs were sporting spinnakers on the offwind leg and looking comfortable upwind. By this stage the high knot guts were less frequent, and the base wind was steady around the 15-knot mark.
A 22-boat PY fleet opened the proceedings with a healthy fleet of RS Aeros, a slightly reduced fleet of Fireballs, two Kona Windsurfers, the solitary K1, a solitary GP14, a couple of RS 200s and a couple of the double-handed Lasers. The Fireballs led on the water but were unable to do enough to save their time on handicap.

The ILCA 7s (full rig) had their regular seven starters, the ILCA 4s (4.7s) had nine boats to make up a single class of 16 boats and the ILCA 6s (Radials) had a start of 18 boats.

Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites 28th November 2021 (Round 4)

(Round 3 was cancelled due to high winds)

PY Class
1st Roy van Maanen (Aero 5)
2nd Noel Butler (Aero 7)
3rd Mark Gavin (Aero 7)
4th Stephen Oram (Aero 7)
5th Des Gibney (Kona Windsurfer)
6th Frank Miller & Neil Cramer (Fireball 14713)
7th Robert Walker (Kona Windsurfer)
8th Sarah Dwyer (Aero 5)
9th David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (GP14)
10th Jemima Owens & Henry Start (RS200)

1st Gavan Murphy
2nd Chris Arrowsmith
3rd Conor O’Leary

1st Jessica Riordan
2nd Zoe Hall
3rd Donal Walsh

As the first race progressed, the blustery conditions subsided but the base wind stayed at the 15-knot mark. On that basis, a decision was taken to have a second race and the first triangular course of the Series made its debut. The wind direction had stayed fairly stable, so the windward mark was pushed further towards the western breakwater and a gybe mark was set about 100m downwind from the entrance to the marina. The remaining half of the leeward gate, after the removal of one mark to set the gybe mark, stayed as was.

In order to avail of the conditions a 3-lap course was set and a straw poll of boats sailing past the committee boat confirmed satisfaction with the first race and the decision to have a second.

For the PY Fleet, the Fireballs were to the fore again, on the water, but handicap-wise the results went to the Aeros. First-time starts were achieved by the PY fleet and the combined fleet of ILCA 7s and 4s but the ILCA 6s “blew” their first start and got away at the second time of asking under a “U” Flag.

PY Class
1st Noel Butler
2nd Robert Walker
3rd Roy van Maanen
4th Brendan Foley (Aero 7)
5th Stephen Oram
6th Paul Phelan (Aero 7)
7th Frank Miller & Neil Cramer
8th Kieran Harken & Michael Keegan (Fireball 14676)
9th Des Gibney
10th Jemima Owens & Henry Start

1st Gary O’Hare
2nd Gavan Murphy
3rd Chris Arrowsmith

1st Jessica Riordan
2nd Donal Walsh
3rd Brian Carroll

1st Archie Daly
2nd Brendan Hughes
3rd Mark Henry

While two boats had retired between the races, there was no on the water questioning of the decision to run a second race. So, on that basis, the decision to proceed seemed to have been vindicated. Always easier to go ashore under that assumption!

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

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