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Butler Leads PY Fleet at Viking Marine DMYC Frostbite Racing

14th November 2022
Noel Butler leads the PY fleet of the Viking Marine-sponsored DMYC Frostbite racing
Noel Butler leads the PY fleet of the Viking Marine-sponsored DMYC Frostbite racing Credit: Afloat

From mid-week, the prospects for the Viking Marine-sponsored DMYC Frostbite racing this past Sunday were a source of discussion between Regatta Director Neil Colin and Race Officer Cormac Bradley as XCWeather was suggesting winds in the high teens with gusts in the low thirties from a direction just east of south. On arrival at DMYC, having driven the long way around through Dun Laoghaire to check conditions in the main part of the harbour, it looked more favourable than the forecast had suggested and Neil advised that a walk to the end of the West Pier earlier in the morning had convinced him that racing should proceed. However, the recommended recipe for the day was to have one long race and get the fleet home.

On setting up the committee boat, “Goose”, in the race area, it became apparent that a weather mark would be required about 60m inshore from the bandstand, with a gybe mark set in line with the red lighthouse of the East Pier but 100m inshore from the harbour entrance and a leeward mark in the proximity of the green INSC raft off the western inner breakwater. The advantage of this set-up is that it gives the longest beat available in the harbour.

The wind conditions were brisk in the time period before the starts, with a base wind strength of 18/19 knots and gusts in the low twenties. A reduced fleet took to the water, with the ILCA 6s taking the biggest class honour with ten boats, followed by the PY Class with 9, the ILCA 7s with six and the ILCA 4s with six, a big jump from the previous Sunday when only one ILCA 4 started.

Prompted by the discussion ashore, the RO set the fleet a five-lap Olympic course, the premise being to get the race in and the fleet back ashore in case more inclement weather came in. It appears, post-race, that this may have been a popular decision.

All three starts were clean, with the RO learning the lesson from last week by having a generous start line in place. The preferred option was to take a long starboard hike off the start line before working rightwards towards the RHS of the course. For the PYs, the first to show at the weather mark was the Fireball of Frank Miller & Ed Butler (14915) and theirs was the first spinnaker to show as well. This pair scorched around the course and took the win by a margin of 5:01 from the Aero 6 of Noel Butler who was closely followed until the last gybe mark by the Aero 7 of Stephen Oram. A swim at this gybe mark allowed Butler to get away from Oram. Despite this sizeable gap in time on the water, the handicaps would convert Butler’s 5:01 deficit to a 1:22 advantage and the PY win. Oram finished 5:58 behind Miller & Butler but lost out by only 47 seconds on time to Miller to take third on handicap.

Viking Marine DMYC PY mug winners Frank Miller (left) and Ed Butler (centre) with DMYC Commodore Ian CutliffeViking Marine DMYC PY mug winners Frank Miller (left) and Ed Butler (centre) with DMYC Commodore Ian Cutliffe

Of the four Fireballs racing, only two flew spinnaker, Miller/Butler and the new combination of Glen Fisher & Michael Keegan (14676). Frank Cassidy (14934) sailed with his son for the second time in a Frostbites and given the conditions, they did very well, especially as Frank broke a tiller extension during the race. Miller & Butler’s big margin was down to two factors – flying the spinnaker on the reaches……...and staying upright.

Among the ILCAs there was some “tight cluster” racing on the water in the 6s, with Sean Craig leading home from Conor Clancy and Darren Griffin, while the six-boat fleet of 7s saw Gavan Murphy occupy the top step of the podium ahead of Gary O’Hare and Niall Cowman.

Laser Radial mug winner Conor Clancy (left) with DMYC Commodore Ian CutliffeLaser Radial mug winner Conor Clancy (left) with DMYC Commodore Ian Cutliffe

And, after a “one-boat, no race” scenario last week in the ILCA 4s, they mustered a six-boat fleet to make sure they had a race this Sunday. Kate Flood led home Sam Legge and Matilda Murray.

Viking Marine Frostbites – hosted by DMYC Round 2 – 13.11.22

Viking Marine Frostbites – hosted by DMYC Round 2 – 13.11.22Viking Marine Frostbites – hosted by DMYC Round 2 – 13.11.22

In the individual class fleets in PY, Miller & Butler lead the Fireballs with 7pts, a single point ahead of Louise McKenna, who sailed with Hermine O’Keeffe (15016) in Round 2 and Alastair Court & Gordon Syme (15167) (10pts) who were absent. Miller & Butler are sixth overall in PY with 27 points.

A quintet of Aeros led by Butler (4), with Van Mannen (10), Oram (12), Paul Phelan (Aero 7) (14pts) in 2nd to fourth and Sarah O’Dwyer in her Aero 5 (23) occupy the first five places in PY.

Race Results

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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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