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Butler's RS Aero Wins in First Race of 2024 Viking Marine DMYC Dinghy Frostbites at Dun Laoghaire Harbour

8th January 2024
Noel Butler in the RSAero broke away from his classmates as the first PY race progressed in the 2024 Viking Marine DMYC Dinghy Frostbites at Dun Laoghaire Harbour
Noel Butler in the RSAero broke away from his classmates as the first PY race progressed in the 2024 Viking Marine DMYC Dinghy Frostbites at Dun Laoghaire Harbour Credit: Afloat

Series 2 of the Viking Marine sponsored Frostbites, hosted by Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, was sailed under glorious conditions for January – 6-8 knots of a breeze that stayed pretty stable throughout the afternoon and air temperatures that peaked at 10° but dropped rapidly once the sun went behind low clouds in the south, to the extent that the committee boat recorded 6.5°at the end of the racing as the last boat finished.

All week, the forecast was for light winds from the East, but at the DMYC, the wind indicators on the boats on the hard were showing a wind direction from the West. Out in the main part of the harbour, this was confirmed with a wind direction that fluctuated modestly around the 280°mark all afternoon. And wind strength was also better than expected at almost double what was forecast.

The fleet size was modest at 40 boats total with the ILCA7s having the biggest percentage turnout of any fleet, 10 boats from 13 entries. However, the biggest fleet of boats was in the PY Class with sixteen entries with the ILCA 6s close behind with fourteen.

The plan was to sail two races but a slow exit from her berth at the Carlisle Pier by the Irish Navy vessel lost us nearly 25 minutes at the start of the afternoon and so the decision was taken on the water to have a longer single race – 4 laps of an Olympic course. The weather mark was close to the INSS’ green raft, the gybe mark between the entrance to the marina and the HySpeed ferry berth and the leeward mark just off the obelisk n the upper deck of the East Pier.

All three fleets got away at the first time of asking and while the wind dropped to a low of approx. 6.5 knots, there was enough breeze to keep everyone moving well.

The PY fleet was dominated at the front by a group of Fireballs, Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14998), Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (15016), Alastair Court & Gordon Syme (15167), and Cariosa Power & Marie Barry (14854), with Pat McGoldrick & Paul ter Horst (14790) and Owen Sinnott & Grattan Donnelly (14865) not far behind them. Not having their best day was Frank Miller & Neil Cramer (14990). Could this be the day when the RS Aero’s stranglehold on the podium places could be broken? Having a better day on the water were the GP14 pairing of Ciara Mulvey & Peter Murphy (11111). However, with the exception of Noel Butler (3289) the Aeros sailed in close company for the majority of the race, maybe just far enough behind the leaders to give the rest of the PY fleet a chance to occupy the podium, with Butler breaking away from his classmates as the race progressed.

Power, McKenna and Colin each held the PY lead on the water with Court recovering places as the race progressed. Colin & Casey yoyo-ed a little but when the crunch came, they played a new game. Rounding the last windward mark off the lead they gybed immediately to sail towards the harbour mouth on port tack before gybing back again to sneak around the last leeward mark in first place with Court and McKenna tight on their transom. Colin eked out a short distance from the chasing pair, enough to apply a covering tack when the boats tacked onto starboard to make their way to the finish. Colin & Casey won on the water by 13 seconds from McKenna & O’Keeffe with Court & Syme a second back from McKenna. Butler (Aero) came home 4:48 behind the first Fireball but took the win on handicap by a margin of 2:56 relative to Colin and to add insult to injury three other Aeros and the IDRA of Pierre & Paul Long finished ahead of Colin. He even lost the Frostbite Mug to Sarah Dwyer (4th) by 1:22.

The ten ILCA 7s got off the start line in a tight bunch and sailed the balance of the race in that style until quite late on. There was a tight finish for the class with boats approaching the line from opposite ends. John Marmelstein (219147) just took the win from Conor Byrne (181204) and Theo Lyttle (211129) third.

The winner in the ILCA 6s said that she had really enjoyed her day on the water – the combination of sunshine, easy winds and a race where she could concentrate on tactics rather than keeping the boat flat were the perfect recipe for a Sunday in January. Shirley Gilmore (216328) enjoyed the lead for the duration of the race but admitted to being hard pushed by the chasing pack of Daniel O’Connor (211260), Conor Clancy (213048) and Hugh Delap (211171). Fifth place was taken by Michael Norman (219126).
Post race a number of people expressed the view that it had been a most enjoyable afternoon on the water.

While Series 2 was opened to new entries (who hadn’t sailed Series 1), the uptake has been such that there are still places available for this latter Series.

Viking Marine DMYC Dinghy Frostbites Series 2; Race 1

PY Fleet
Place, Elapsed Time, Corrected Time
1 Noel Butler (Aero) 53:42 48:36
2. Roy van Maanen (Aero) 55:10 49:55
3. Pierre & Paul Long (IDRA) 56:13 49:58
4. Sarah Dwyer (Aero) 55:14 49:59
5. Stephen Oram (Aero) 54:16 51:03
6. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (FB) 48:54 51:22

1. John Marmelstein (219147)
2. Conor Byrne (181204)
3. Theo Lyttle (211129)

1. Shirley Gilmore (216328)
2. Daniel O’Connor (211260)
3. Conor Clancy (213048)
4. Hugh Delap (211171)
5. Michael Norman (219126)

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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