Dublin Bay Sailing Club (DBSC) has unveiled a range of new courses for its new summer sailing season, the biggest in the country, that starts tomorrow. Arising out of congestion on Thursday's evening races the club has been motivated to separate its blue and red fleets that total nearly 300 boats. Hon Secretary Donal O'Sullivan says there is very little sign of any recessionary drop off among its 1700 members, an indication, were it needed, there is still high demand for local racing on the capital's waters.
There are 17 keelboat fleets, each racing at different speeds, so separating classes is no easy job.
The first of the current phase of course changes happened in 2001 when DBSC acquired a committee boat, MacLir, that has given great flexibility to course changing afloat. Then in 2003 there was a major overhaul and now for next Saturday's first race, building on the experience of the intervening years, there is a 2010 model.
Two new marks have been introduced, Merrion in Seapoint Bay and Molly near Scotsman's Bay to combat the problem, other marks have been moved. (see chart over the fold).
The Blue fleet (Cruiser classes 0, 1,2,3, 31.7s Sigmas and White sail boats) will race in the upper northern part of the racing area on Thursdays.
The overall shape or pattern of the courses remains the same. As before, there will be blue, red and green divisions, with alternating West Pier Hut and MacLir starts.
"The big change is that in order to limit as much as possible the intermingling of different fleets, the blue fleet will tend to race most of the time in the upper, northern section of the racing area while the red fleet will race in the lower, southern section" says new commodore Tony Fox.
On the dinghy course, there are exciting changes as well. This year, besides the usual triangular or windward/leeward courses race officers will be able to select a trapezoid course. This could pose interesting problems for mark-layers but the dinghy organisers have, not unexpectedly, anticipated this. There have been training courses, marks will be laid using GPS, and the team have access to a dedicated website with training videos.