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Dun Laoghaire Dinghies Gets Blustery Conditions for DMYC Summer Regatta

14th June 2022
The winning Fireball sailed by Josh Porter and Cara McDowell at the 2022 DMYC Regatta
The winning Fireball sailed by Josh Porter and Cara McDowell at the 2022 DMYC Regatta Credit: DMYC

After the Covid enforced hiatus, the first one-day regatta hosted by a Dun Laoghaire harbour yacht club in four years took place last Saturday, with the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club “breaking the ice” for the other three clubs.

Despite a good deal of sunshine on the day, the wind forecast wasn’t so benign and a South-Westerly of 15 knots gusting to 23/24 knots was “on the cards” from early in the week before. Indeed, on the morning of the regatta, the three Race Officers, Susanne McGarry (DBSC Hut), Barry O’Neil (Green Fleet), Cormac Bradley (Dinghy Fleet) and Regatta Co-ordinator, Ben Mulligan, contemplated an hour-long postponement in the hope that the predicted and apparent breeze might ease. It didn’t and the Race Officers and their RIB entourages set out to provide the day’s racing. The dinghies, comprising Fireballs (5), Aeros (4) and ILCA 6s (5) represented about half of the starting roster with Squibs and Mermaids absent and no other ILCAs coming out to play.

The dinghy course was set off Salthill inshore of the Green Fleet and well to the West of the DBSC Hut Fleet who initially set out westwards before peeling off on a spinnaker leg to the East. While a hand-held was recording regular wind speeds of 15 – 17 knots, the numbers went up on a routine basis to record gusts in the low twenties and their arrival was heralded by darker clouds passing overhead. A postponement was flown to allow the dinghy participants more time to get to the race area but even those who did make it decided that there was to much “oomph” on the water and hightailed it home almost as soon as they arrived.

Racing in winds in the high teens/low twenties can be challenging enough, but couple that with multiple gear failures and the day goes from potentially intimidating to downright frustrating. One well-known Fireballer suffered a broken main halyard before the racing started. Having taken some time to resolve that and present himself on the start line he would go on to suffer a broken spinnaker sheet and a shredded mainsheet, proving that even multiple throws of the dice by an experienced hand can still produce ones.

The five-boat Fireball fleet saw both races won by Josh Porter & Cara McDowell (14695), though they did get a slice of luck in the second race when the boat leading into the last leeward mark capsized giving them the win. Adrian Lee (14713) took second place ahead of Frank Miller & Neil Cramer (14915). On a day when staying upright was key, the level of competition within the fleet was modest and exchanging tacks on the course was not a primary activity. However, Porter & McDowell showed what a light crew can do on a heavy-duty day and looked very comfortable, both upwind and downwind. Spinnakers were flown in both races but not on both reaches of either race.

Another to score a pair of aces was Hugh Cahill (216594) in the ILCA6 fleet which also had five boats racing. Hugh was well placed in the first race, but not leading, when the lead boat went for a swim, allowing Hugh to take the first gun. In the second race he didn’t have to rely on others making errors in order to cross the line first. In overall terms he was followed home by Damien Delap (183295), and Michael Norman (219126).

The Aero fleet mustered 3 Aero 7s and an Aero 5, the latter sailed by Roy van Maanen. This added a bit of intrigue to their racing as it meant there was a handicap race going on within their fleet. Stephen Oram indicated that they enjoyed close racing by way of the lighter van Maanen in the smaller rig being competitive relative to the “bigger helms” sailing the Aero 7. Three of the four Aeros enjoyed relatively close racing with the fourth boat being off the pace. Brendan Foley took the regatta win in the Aero 7, followed by Roy van Maanen (Aero 5) and Stephen Oram (Aero 7).

With two races in the bag and a recent gust of 26 knots recorded on the handheld and given that the Green Fleet had shut up shop for the day, the dinghies were dispatched to the harbour where the day’s proceedings were assessed under a blue-sky afternoon.

DMYC Regatta 2022.

Fireballs
1. Josh Porter & Cara McDowell, 14695 (2)
2. Adrian Lee & crew, 14713 (5)
3. Frank Miller & Neil Cramer 14915 (6)

ILCA6s
1. Hugh Cahill 216594 (2)
2. Damien Delap 183295 (4)
3. Michael Norman 219126 (7)

Aeros
1. Brendan Foley Aero 7, 1321 (3)
2. Roy van Maanen Aero 5, 3822 (3)
3. Stephen Oram Aero 7, 3288 (6)

Published in DMYC, Fireball
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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