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Despite the modest seascape of the above photograph today's Frostbites in Dun Laoghaire have been cancelled writes Cormac Bradley. The weather station adjacent to where this photo was taken was recording 18 knots of wind with a highest gust of 33 knots from the West.
Elsewhere in the harbour, the keelboats moored between Hell's Gates and DMYC were swinging through 90 degrees when they were hit by squalls on the water.
At various intervals, Dublin Bay has disappeared under rain clouds.
Next Saturday night, the Royal St George Yacht Club hosts a celebration of 50 years of Fireballing in Ireland. The great, the good and a big crowd of over 200 are expected.

Published in Dublin Bay

A review of Met Eireann’s Sea Area forecast on Saturday might have persuaded those who contest Dun Laoghaire’s Frostbites, that there would be little point in going to the harbour on Sunday afternoon – the forecast was for Force6/7 winds.

In reality, those who were on the water – a fleet of 40-odd boats, 3 GP14s, a Wayfarer, the K1, the Finn, 14 Lasers, 5 RS400s, Laser Vagos, Toppers and eight Fireballs – got two races in, initially in light enough conditions but with more wind developing as the afternoon wore on. The weather station on the harbour was recording 4.7 knots of breeze with a gust of 10.6 knots blowing from a southerly direction (173˚) in a balmy 14.4˚ when I arrived at the harbour. So much for F6 -7!

For the last-starting Fireballs, the majority view was to go left, so all eight boats were on starboard tack heading towards the east pier when the starting signal went. The boat on the pin however tacked quite early and crossed the others and on the basis that they were first at the first weather mark, I am going to credit that tactic to Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691). Indeed, the pecking order at the first mark was very interesting – Louise and Hermine led, followed by Class Chairman Marie Barry crewing for Cariosa Power (14854), followed by Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly (14713), Mary Chambers & Brenda McGuire (14865), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775), Dara McDonagh (14330), Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061) and Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706).

At Mk 2 the lead boats sailed on towards the harbour mouth while Neil & Margaret gybed to sail a course towards the centre of the harbour before gybing back again to get around Mk3. I am not sure that they gained anything by that! The pecking order changed dramatically at Mk4 after a tight 3-sailer between Mks 2 & 3, when the fleet concertina-ed into itself. An apparent lack of wind and the presence of other boats at this mark saw a very different order established and manifested even further by the leading two boats getting away. At the second weather mark, Butler & Oram were ahead, followed by Miller & Donnelly, Colin & Casey, Power & Barry and Court & Syme. The lead boat at the first weather mark was now the tail-ender!

The breeze started to get up a little at this stage and the trend now was to sail on at Mk2 before gybing to round Mk3. The leg from 3 to 4 was also getting tighter and on the second lap, Messrs Butler & Oram did an Aussie-drop well before the last mark of the lap. What had been an iffy wind condition turned into a healthier situation so that the crews were now trapezing upwind and the off-wind legs were getting a bit more exciting. For Power and Barry, this resulted in a capsize between 3 and 4 on the third lap which put an end to their race. Butler & Oram built on their led over the latter half of the race to be comfortable winners in the end, followed home by Miller & Donnelly, Colin & Casey, Court & Syme and McKenna & O’Keeffe.

For the second start, in which there were seven boats, again the trend was to go left. Miller & Donnelly were closest to the pin, followed by Court & Syme, but the sense was that Butler & Oram were slightly to windward of both boats. Accordingly, he was the first to go right! All seven boats worked the middle and left and those who were closest to the port lay line seemed to be lifted into the mark. The only boat to be slightly out of kilter with the fleet was McKenna/O’Keeffe who ended up sailing a short distance up the starboard lay line. A more usual pecking order of Butler leading the fleet at the first weather mark was in place with Court and Miller in close company in 2nd and 3rd respectively. McKenna & McDonagh closed out the top five. Legs 1 – 2 and legs 3 – 4 were now much tighter, so much so that some of the lighter combinations two-sailed the top reach. Again, the modus operandi for 3 – 4 was to sail towards the harbour mouth before gybing back to round Mk3.

For the upwind legs, Butler seemed to make a point of taking a short port hitch to the right that then allowed him to apply a loose cover on the boats rounding behind him. Thereafter the process was to work left-wards and tack short of the lay-line to pick up the port tack lift into the weather mark.

Butler, Court and Miller had a comfortable gap on the balance of the fleet and at the last weather mark the time intervals were as follows; Butler (00:00), Court (00:50), Miller (01:13), McKenna (01:58), McDonagh (02:48), Chambers (03:22) and Power (03:55).

2015/16 Frostbites: Series 2 Overall (Assumes no discard) R1 R2 R3 R4 R5 R6 Tot
1 Noel Butler & Stephen Oram 15061 NYC 1 4 1 1 1 1 9
2 Frank Miller & Cormac Bradley/Grattan Donnellyu 14713 DMYC 4 2 3 4 2 3 20
3 Conor & James Clancy 14807 RStGYC 2 1 2 2 10 9 26
4 Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 14775 DMYC 3 3 5 3 3 9 26
5 Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keefe 14691 RStGYC 5 5 6 5 5 4 30
Published in Fireball
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Reading XCWeather’s predictions for Sunday afternoon’s Fireball Frostbite racing, one might have expected to be under pressure from the conditions that were being forecast – at 15:00 the projected wind strength was 16 knots with gusts of 23 knots from a SSE direction writes Cormac Bradley. As I type this report, Windfinder is suggesting the same thing for 15:00, but it certainly didn’t feel that way.

With a weather mark inside the HSS gantry, though slightly to the east of it and a short top reach, the Race Committee set a 4-lap trapezoid for the afternoon’s entertainment and a declaration that two races would be sailed.

In a fleet that boasted a Wayfarer, two GP 14s, a Solo, a K1, a Finn, an IDRA 14, RS 200s, RS400s, Lasers, Laser Radials, a Topper, Laser Vagos and a RS Venture, 9 Fireballs answered the race committee’s call.

The first start line was difficult to cross on starboard tack and those who had chosen to go to the pin found themselves in trouble! Lurking to leeward of the start line on port tack with about 20 seconds to go were Messrs Butler & Oram, obviously intent on starting on the pin on port. However, they found the door shut and had to conform with the starboard tack approach to the start line behind Messrs Miller & Bradley who could cross the line ahead of Team Clancy and Colin & Casey who in their quest for the pin found themselves unable to cross the line. After a short hitch to the left, both Butler & Miller went right to the middle of the harbour,  with Team Clancy having being obliged to do the same thing earlier when their pin end start was thwarted. Though he was to leeward of Miller, Butler had better boat speed and was able to eke out a lead ahead of Miller to tack onto starboard and clear him.

At the first weather mark, Clancy and Butler converged with Butler closest to the mark. There was a difference of opinion on the water as to who had right of way at the mark and the mark got “kissed” as a consequence. Rounding in third place, Bradley asked if either boat would be doing turns, to which there was a stony silence.

Behind Miller & Bradley, Cariosa Power & Marie Power (14854) were being pushed by another all-lady combination, Mary Chambers & Brenda McGuire (14865) while the final ladies combination, Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691) weren’t far behind that. A decision on whether to gybe, or not, at Mark 3 was critical to the next leg. Butler sailed on while the two chasing boats did gybe. This allowed Butler & Oram to open a further gap on Team Clancy and leave them in a comfortable position for the remainder of the race. Miller didn’t close on Clancy by any significant distance, and this was as close as the 2nd placed boat came to being overtaken.  On laps 2 & 3 Power & Barry closed and overtook Miller and Bradley, being able to sail that bit faster on the off-wind legs. However, in the gusts the heavier male combination were able to hold them off, but by Mark 3 for the 3rd time, the ladies had got ahead and some cleverness was needed to haul them in. After Mark 3 Miller went high, with a view to powering over Power and while that was partially achieved, both boats went above the straight line course to Mark 4. Though he was effectively sailing by the lee, Miller was inside boat and overlapped at Mark 4 and was able to force the ladies to take the long way round the mark.

On the fourth beat, they went their separate ways, Power going left, Miller right. When they crossed again, Miller had pulled out some distance on the other boat and a good hoist at the last weather mark allowed him to extend that lead even further. Power held on to 4th and fifth went to Neil Colin and Margaret Casey which represented significant progress considering they had to duck the pin at the start.

Before the start of the next race there was a sense that the increase in wind strength predicted by the web-based XCWeather was starting to happen. However, it flattered to deceive and while there was a bit more wind it wasn’t that severe. The pin end was moved for the second start and that made the line a bit more negotiable with the usual suspects at the pin – Butler, Clancy, Miller and Colin. Miller stayed left longest while Butler went right after Clancy. Colin worked the middle of the course and by the first weather mark, the running order was Butler, Clancy, Miller and Colin with the latter two being in close company. This meant that Miller had to keep an eye on what was happening behind him, at least on the off-wind legs. The script was fairly mundane for the balance of the race – Butler wasn’t really challenged by Clancy, who wasn’t challenged by Miller, but Miller was very aware of Colin. For the second lap there was no change, but on the third and final beat, Bradley, having to tack backwards with Miller’s set-up, found a trapeze line in the wrong place halfway through the tack and fluffed the tack. This allowed Colin to edge ahead on the beat so that by the time they reached the weather mark for the last time, Colin & Casey were ahead a couple of boat-lengths. Colin led to the last mark where Miller was convinced he had water on the other boat. Colin was determined not to give way and as there was no contact between the boats, all that Miller could feel was aggrieved. Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe “came into the equation” on the short hitch to the finish such was the skewness of the line relative to mark 4, but Miller held on to take fourth.

Frostbites 2015/16, Series 2, Day 2 R1 R2
1 Noel Butler & Stephen Oram 15061 NYC 1 1
2 Conor & James Clancy 14807 RStGYC 2 2
3 Frank Miller & Cormac Bradley 14713 DMYC 3 4
4 Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 14775 DMYC 5 3
5 Cariosa Power & Marie Barry 14854 NYC 4 6
6 Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe 14691 RStGYC 6 5

In the race for the Frostbite Mugs, the first pair was won by the Keegans (14676) while the second set went to Dave Coleman & Glenn Fisher (14407).

2015/16 Frostbites, Dun Laoghaire, 2nd Series* R1 R2 R3 R4
Conor & James Clancy 14807 RStGYC 2 1 1 1
Noel Butler & Stephen Oram 15061 NYC 1 4 2 2
Frank Miller & Cormac Bradley 14713 DMYC 4 2 3 4
Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 14775 DMYC 3 3 5 3
Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe 14691 RStGYC 5 5 6 5

* Subject to confirmation.

Published in Fireball
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The early morning forecast told the waking masses that snow had fallen on high ground overnight and on coming ashore after two races, the hills behind Dun Laoghaire had a light dusting of the white stuff.
But for the Fireballs racing on the first Sunday of the second half of the Frostbite Series, the predominant weather was sunshine and blue skies. The wind was a “bit all over the place” with some strong gusts sweeping over the race course but the average wind strength was quite modest. The weather app, “Windfinder” has recorded the wind as being 12 – 18 knots from the SW, with an air temperature of 6˚.
The reconnaissance of the course in advance of the race suggested that there was better wind on the right hand side of the course, the problem with going left was that you got under the lee of the land that bit sooner. The bias of the line favoured a pin-end start so the debate was whether to commit to that end or to hedge one’s bets and start on the middle of the line to facilitate an early departure to the right.
Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061) and the Clancy Brothers, Conor and James were in close company at the pin end and at the starting signal they both tacked onto port to set off for the weather mark. Those closer to the committee boat did the same thing but at slightly different times to the two boats mentioned. The starting manoeuvre by Butler & Clancy effectively sealed the race for them as they were never headed thereafter. On days such as these, Neil Colin and Margaret Casey (14775) come into their own and they worked the left hand side of the course as well to round the weather mark in 3rd place. 4th place at this first mark of the course went to Frank Miller and Cormac Bradley (14713) who had tacked off the line earlier than most and were looking good on the right hand side until a header on starboard tack allowed the aforementioned Colin & Casey to get ahead of them. The first reach of the 4-lap trapezoid course was tight but spinnakers were flown. On the next leg there were a variety of approaches to getting to Mark 3 Butler, Clancy, Miller went right, Colin and Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706) went left as did some of those who were immediately behind Miller at Mark 1. This led to a convergence at Mark 3 with two boats exchanging views of the applicability of water at the mark to the rounding. Miller & Bradley couldn’t catch Colin & Casey and for the balance of the race, the first four boats weren’t challenged on the race course.
The top reach of the trapezoid became tighter as the wind shifted eastwards and on the second lap no spinnakers were flown, but the wind eased again and three sail reaches reverted to being the order of the day.
Behind the first four boats the competition was between Court/Syme, the all-lady crew of Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691) and Darragh McDonagh (14330).
A second, shorter race was sailed in wind that was starting to ease in strength with less frequent gusts. The weather mark stayed where it was, just off the approach to the marina in the harbour, but No. 2 was dropped a little further into the harbour to make the reaches less testing.
Colin & Casey stole the march on the fleet for the second start with a port tack start on the pin. They managed to clear the “cluster” of boats at that end of the line and headed off with a distinct advantage on the rest of the fleet. Miller & Bradley has a poor start, having to duck transoms but the advantage was that they got out to the right hand side. Colin held the lead to the weather mark, chased by Butler & Clancy with Miller pulling in to 4th place. Behind them the other all-lady team of Mary Chambers & Brenda McGuire (14865) were leading the chase. Again the first four places stayed stable for the first lap. At Mark 4 Butler & Clancy decided to work the left hand side of the course while Colin stayed right, as did Miller. Halfway up the beat it appeared that the left hand gamble hadn’t paid off as Miller stayed in better breeze on the right. At the weather mark for the second time, Colin was still in charge but now Miller was in 2nd. Past Marks 2, 3 and 4 and Miller was able to stay ahead of Clancy who has passed out Butler.
Up the third and last beat, Butler and Clancy took the same left-ish approach. Miller, sailing between these two and Colin to his lee, but ahead, picked up his own independent supply of wind to sail through Colin’s weather and through the lee of the other two, and was lifted in to the mark. Now sitting in the lead, Miller & Bradley had to keep a watching brief on the Clancy brothers who had “squeaked” into 2nd place just ahead of Colin. From 1 to 2 to 3 Miller didn’t lose distance to the brothers but after the gybe at Mk. 3, taking a slightly windward course to 4, Miller ran out of breeze and despite having to go to leeward of two-single-handers, the brothers slipped into the lead just before Mk.4 and covered Miller up the short hitch to the finish.
2015/16 Frostbites, Dun Laoghaire, 2nd Series R1 R2
Conor & James Clancy 14807 RStGYC 2 1
Noel Butler & Stephen Oram 15061 NYC 1 4
Frank Miller & Cormac Bradley 14713 DMYC 4 2
Neil Colin & Margaret Casey 14775 DMYC 3 3
Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe 14691 RStGYC 5 5

Published in Dublin Bay
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By any reasonble logic it should not have been possible to sail in Dun Laoghaire today Sunday for the final race in part one of the Frostbite Series. Wind Guru was predicting gusts of forty knots and there was nothing in the morning conditions to suggest that they were wrong. It was a beautiful fresh morning but the gusts were indeed savage, the kind capable of upending dinghies in the boat park, never mind afloat. By midday however all had changed and it was looking not just very sailable but warm and pleasant too.

There was a scramble in several quarters for sailing bags and a rush to the clubs but many regular racers had read the earlier predictions and taken on Pre-Christmas duties instead. So it was that four Fireballs lined up in the harbour for the final dance. It was still very gusty however and the conditions were tricky with a capsize to windward the greater danger as pressure was liable to vanish as quickly as it arrived. This saw Frank Miller and Grattan Donnelly take a pre-start swim and was enough to persuade Cariosa Power/Marie Barry head for shore. Two of the three boats which started headed left up the first beat but Miller/Donnelly having won the start at the favoured pin end tacked clear of the other two and took a hitch in. This turned out to be a big mistake as the lift to the mark across the breakwater entrance was not enough to make up for the reduced pressure in that corner of the harbour. By the windward Noel Butler/Stephen Oram had a commanding lead on Miller/Donnelly who were just ahead of Louise McKenna/Hermine O’Keeffe. There followed a chasing game around the frostbite version of a trapezoid course. Miller/Donnelly gained marginally on Butler/Oram on the second beat and McKenna/O'Keeffe closed to within a boat length of Miller/Donnelly but over the course of the 5 laps the leaders pulled away again and the middle boat pulled well clear of the pursuit team thanks mainly to one very windy reach under kite. At the DMYC prize-giving event organiser Oliver Prouvier reminded sailors that with the harbour sheltered from the South West sailing was often possible even in extreme conditions.

Winners of part one of the series were Butler/Oram, with the Clancy Brothers taking second and Neil Colin/Margaret Casey third. McKenna/O'Keeffe took the mug for the day's racing. The main prizes were very attractive bespoke calendars featuring photography of the event by Bob Hobby, our heroic double - jobber who acts as rescue driver and official photographer. The series resumes for more adventures on Sunday 10th of January. With at least one extra Fireball threatening to join the fray the new year is already looking very positive for the fleet.


Published in Fireball
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Eleven Fireballs lined up on a dank light air day afternoon today to contest the penultimate race in the first DMYC series in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. Sadly the wind did not live up to the billing suggested on Wind Guru – the pressure was patchy and shifty to say the least, with crews frequently sitting fully out to leeward. Neil Colin/Margaret Casey probably pulled off the best start at the committee end but the conditions were so flat that the first beat could arguably be anyone’s. In the event the Clancy Brothers sailed a cool steady beat to edge ahead at the windward followed by Noel Butler/Stephen Oram, Louis Smyth/Ed Butler and a posse of chasing drifters. The off-wind legs proved especially tricky in the flat stuff and several boats sailed extremely high angles just to keep things moving, notably on the first reach of the now almost standard Frostbite version of a trapezoid.

The squarish course maximises the available space in the harbour and spreads the mixed fleets as well apart as could be hoped for. On the first off-wind a couple of boats sailed almost directly away from the mark towards the harbour wall where a phantom breeze appeared to beckon. Although that wind never really materialised the diversion made little difference to the positions. On the next reach however Butler/Oram and the Clancy’s decided to play a luffing game and this allowed Alistair Court/Gordon Symes to slip ahead at least for a while. Frank Miller/Grattan Donnelly snuck in at the next mark to take up third place behind the Clancys but ahead of Butler/Oram. Then the predicted shift from ESE to S kicked in and spinnakers came down quickly. Miller/Donnelly tacked too eagerly at the next mark and fell victim to the windage of a Laser 2, allowing both Butler/Oram and Neil Colin/Margaret Casey catch up. In the distance could be heard the sensible sound of a shortened course signal and all realised they were on the final leg of a tricky journey. Miller/Donnelly tacked left to clear their air and kept going while the Clancy Bros leaders took a hitch right towards the shifted wind, along with most of the opposition.

Ultimately this proved the correct course and the Clancy’s took the bullet, followed by Butler/Oram. Colin/Casey edged in ahead of Court/Symes, both of whom nipped in at the boat end just ahead of Miller/Donnelly at the pin. The pecking order after that was Mary Chambers/Brenda McGuire, Louise McKenna/Hermine O’Keeffe, Dara McDonagh and guest crew, Dave Coleman/Miley, Smyth/Butler, and Shergar/Michael Keegan. All in all a slightly frustrating but nonetheless interesting afternoon on the water, boosted by a great turnout of the fleet. Next Sunday sees the final race of series one with prize-giving planned immediately after sailing but at the earlier time of 3pm if the Weather Gods are misbehaving..

Published in Fireball
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The weather gods looked kindly upon the DMYC frostbite series today Sunday and a good sized mixed fleet of dinghies slipped out during the very welcome weather window for a single race inside the harbour. Eight Fireballs lined up for the start at the heavily favoured starboard end, but at least two were OCS under the one minute rule in force for the series and rounded the ends to restart. One of these was the Clancy brothers, forced over by Noel Butler/Stephen Oram in pre-start manoeuvers in a successful bid to put paid early to the main opposition.Thus Butler/Oram led off the line at the favoured end and had a good lead by the windward mark, playing the quite big shifts and managing to stay in the better patches of wind.

The wind was a light WNW but as the race wore on it slowly clocked left and became even more patchy and shifty keeping crews on their toes.

The course was trapezoid and inevitably there was an element of follow the leader although some place changing did occur both on the beats and on the broader legs where a key decision was the timing of a gybe for better wind and inside berth at the next mark. The Clancy's slowly closed the gap on Butler/Oram but not enough to become a real threat. Behind them Louise McKenna & Hermine O'Keefe chased down Louise Smyth/Ed Butler for third place and did in fact catch them only to be pipped on the line by Smyth/Butler who took home the mug. Not far behind Neil Colin/Mary McGuinness were in the mix but on balance found more snakes than ladders. Further back Frank Miller sailing with new Fireballer Tim Crowe diced with Cariosa Power/Marie Barry but lost out when a starboard boat forced them into a wide gybe at a mark allowing the ladies inside berth. Behind them Mary Chambers/Brenda McGuire held back Dave Coleman/Glen Fischer who enjoyed a damp boat thanks to missing transom flaps.

Race officer Stuart Kinnear wisely shortened the race from four rounds to three allowing all boats to finish and most enjoyed a tow back to the various clubs for a welcome cuppa or pint. All in all this was a very pleasant oasis of light air in the wake of the serious storms of the early weekend.

Published in Fireball
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Week 3 of the DMYC Frostbites in Dun Laoghaire Harbour showed a more friendly (wind wise), but less friendly (temperature wise) forecast, this led to many of the RS fleet finally opening their frostbite series despite there being 3 races held already,

The RS fleet was part of over 60 dinghies spread over 4 classes, that raced on Sunday, the harbour was full to the brim, with 20+ RS Fevas doing their Sunday coaching, numerous Oppie and laser squads out training, along with college sailors team racing.

Two races was the order of the day, and a nice 15knots gusting 18 from a cold northwesterly direction greeted the fleet as they made their way to the start area,

There were plenty of new faces on the water, with 2 x Olympian Gerbil Owens making his first outing in his new RS200, crewed by Beijing 2008 Olympic crew Phil Lawton, also new to the class were Maeve Rafferty and Rosanna Cassidy who were joined by Sean and Heather Craig, Greystones pairing of Frank O'Rourke and Sarah Byrne and Marty O'Leary and Rachel Williamson also braved the cold to start their series.

12 RS's made it to the startline. Race 1 saw the fleet split to both sides of the harbour with the left coming out in front, Alexander Rumball lead the fleet around the windward mark followed closely by Sean and Heather Craig,

The course for race 1 was 4 laps of the trapezoid, giving two great planing reaches and one very square downwind which meant lots of place changes, after the four sprint like laps which were completed in about 33 minutes, it was Marty and Rachel who found some form later in the race to claim victory, with Sean and Heather second and Emmet and James Ryan third. It was all very close with only 28 seconds between 2nd place and Frank and Sarah in 6th place.

Race two saw a fairly sizeable pin end bias and a few boats not naming any names attempted to port tack the fleet, the results were not pretty. The course was to be 3 laps this time, by the windward mark, it was all very close again with Emmet and James taking an early lead, at the leeward mark it was Frank and Sarah who got the early gybe into the lead, by the top of the 2nd beat someone seemed to press that switch that makes all RS 200s turn into magnets and instantly want to join together, this time with Marty and Rachel managing to cause a pile up at the windward mark slowing just about everyone down, including some Sunday walkers on the pier. After unwrapping themselves from the windward mark and taking a penalty turn they rejoined the race. It was much more of the same for the remaining lap and a half with numerous place swapping. Frank and Sarah had managed to break away from the mayhem behind and claim 1st, closely followed by Emmet and James in 2nd and Marty and Rach managed to claw back to 3rd just seconds ahead Sean and Heather, who it turned out were OCS, leaving Gerbil and Phil to take 4th.

The Weekly Mugs went to Marty and Rach for Race 1 and Frank and Sarah for race 2

Published in RS Sailing

Yet again, the race management team of Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club were able to defy the weather forecast and get a race completed in the Frostbite Series in Dun Laoghaire harbour writes Cormac Bradley. From the middle of last week the forecast for the weekend had been bleak as Abigail worked her way eastwards across the Atlantic. The projected wind strengths on XCWeather were in the mid-twenties with gusts in the range of high thirties to mid-forties. And yet a window opened to allow a solitary race to be completed.

I missed the action on the water – being taxi for members of the family – but caught up with race winners Noel Butler & Stephen Oram derigging in the National Yacht Club afterwards.

Only three Fireballs raced with Conor and James Clancy making their Frostbite debut along with team Keegan. Noel Butler had his regular crew back at the front end but it appears that the Clancys set the pace for the four-lap trapezoid course until Mark 3 on the last lap. It seems that the Clancys chose to gybe at this mark whereas Butler & Oram sailed on and overtook them. The Clancys’ disappointment at losing the race will be offset by the fact that they have secured their Frostbite Mugs early, on the second day of racing!

It was a blustery day on the water with huge wind shifts and an “on-off” supply of wind causing a number of windward rolls – one minute on full trapeze, the next no wind at all. While blustery winds are not unusual for November, the temperature was very unusual. Driving to the harbour my car thermometer was reading 17˚ - very unseasonal.

Published in Fireball
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#DMYC - The Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club has a busy winter clubhouse programme ahead despite a slow start to the Sunday Frostbite series.

The flat calms and full-blown gales that have played havoc with the weekend sailing schedules as of late will have little effect on the November supper this Saturday 14 November at 7.30pm, nor the annual Christmas Dinner set for Friday 18 December, also at 7.30pm. Booking for both is available at

Other upcoming events include the new navigation class beginning this Friday 13 November at 7.30pm, running for four weeks. The Thursday Talks programme continues every week at 8pm (see the schedule on the clubhouse noticeboard for details), while Santa makes his visit for the club's younger members on Saturday 12 December at 12.30pm.

The DMYC has also announced its winter opening times, which will see the clubhouse office open Mondays from 10am to 1pm and Tuesdays to Fridays from 10am till 4.30pm.

Launch service is available Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10.30am to 4pm, and 10am to 5pm on Saturdays and Sundays.

Meanwhile the bar will be open on late Thursdays from 6pm till 11.30pm, Saturdays from noon till 8pm and Sundays from noon till 9pm.

Published in Dublin Bay
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