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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
Tagged under

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
Tagged under

#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

#DMYC - The Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club is "not for moving", the club's commodore has declared after its most recent AGM.

Commodore Barry Kenny was commenting on the DMYC's efforts to negotiate a new lease of the clubhouse and slipway in Dun Laoghaire Harbour since the previous long-term agreement expired in 2009.

"Although we continue to pay rent, the lack of a lease causes a degree of insecurity and makes it difficult to attract the much needed grant funds, which other clubs have secured," he writes in the latest club newsletter.

The most recent push "to bridge the gap and agree a lease along the lines established by Liam Owens when he was commodore" resulted in a lease from the Dun Laoghaire Harbour Company that was deemed "unacceptable in that it seemed based upon the proposition that the harbour company own our building."

Kenny adds: "These new terms were introduced without consultation, which will make good faith negotiations in the future difficult."

It is hoped that Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council's moves to assume control of the harbour would bring clarity to the situation in the near future.

But in the meantime, as Kenny writes, "it is the intention of the incoming committee to take steps to assert our rights to our clubhouse and slipway."

In other DMYC news, the AGM on 4 November heard that the decline in core membership is "coming to an end" thanks to a significant influx of new members since 2014, most of whom renewed for 2015.

"New members, many of whom are boat owners, tend to be active whether they are racing or cruising, crewing or fishing in Dublin Bay," writes Kenny. "Many have added value to the club by volunteering or serving on committee, and this will stand to DMYC in the future."

The AGM agreed new membership rates in line with the wish to bring ordinary rates down and retain new members for the long term.

This afternoon's DMYC dinghy frostbite series has met the same fate as this morning's DBSC Turkey Shoot due to gale force winds on Dublin Bay. Racing continues next Sunday.

Published in Dublin Bay

Dun Laoghaire's winter sailing fixtures nearly fell victim to the fine weather yesterday but 'miraculously', according to the Fireball facebook page, DMYC race officer Stuart Kinnear got two races in for the opening of the DMYC Frostbites.

Unfortunately, the DBSC Turkey Shoot sailors were abandoned yesterday morning even though an impressive 50–boat fleet had assembled in otherwise beautiful conditions off the West Pier. Yesterday afternoon the DMYC harbour frostbites for PY, Laser, RS (200&400) and Fireballs got away in only light winds but just enough to set a harbour course. In the Fireball class race mug winners were Noel Butler and Luke Malcolm for race one and Frank Miller and Cormac Bradley in race two.

Cormac Bradley of the Fireball class adds:

Two races, 6 boats, 16 degrees. Mirror conditions initially but light breeze developed from west for first race. 3 lap trapezoid. Frank Miller & Cormac Bradley led the fleet to the first mark but were overtaken on the second spinnaker leg by Noel Butler and Luke Malcolm. Places remained this way to the finish with Alistair Court and Peter Doherty.

Wind swung for 2nd race and a new course was set. Miller/ Bradley went right on the first beat while the balance of the fleet went left. Miller/Bradley led by a modest distance and stayed ahead of the pack until the last weather mark when Butler/Malcolm briefly took the lead. However Miller/Bradley sailed through their winward side to retake the lead which they held to the finish. Butler/Malcolm were then put under pressure by Cariosa Power and Marie Barry who had closed up on the second placed boat. Ultimately, the ladies succeeded in taking secobd place in a very tight finish.
Given that the conditions looked so unfavourable at the start of the day, Race Officer Stuart Kinnear and his team did exceptionally well to get two races in – the 45th Frostbite Series is under way.

Published in Turkey Shoot

#Racing - The Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club (DMYC) has cancelled its September Series for 2015 due to poor particpation, with only two boats entering the series.

In a statement, the club said: "We cannot in good conscience offer racing with that few boats, nor ask multiple volunteers to give their time."

In the series' stead, the DMYC will be running two Kish races, one for single- and double-handed boats (date to be confirmed) and another for fully crewed vessels scheduled for Sunday 27 September.

Published in Racing

#fireball – Having had their boats re-weighed in accordance with a change in Fireball Class rules last weekend (18th), the Irish Fireball fleet had a weekend of honing their boat-handling techniques this past weekend under the expert eye of World and European Champion crew, Richard Wagstaff.
A glorious (working) week of sunshine weather here in Dublin prompted the thought that the training would be conducted under blue skies and in warm sunshine. Nothing could have been further from the truth on the Saturday morning with grey skies, rain and breeze. Indeed, so unpleasant was the weather that the original plan to get on the water early gave way to looking at boat set-ups in the dinghy park. In addition to Richard's racing pedigree, we all know of his work in boat-building and boat set-ups so the advice he was able to provide those who had assembled for the training was invaluable.
The rain eventually gave way to drizzle and after a short classroom session to set out the training plane for the morning – short windward-leeward races – 7 boats went out to Scotsman's Bay as the harbour was deemed to be too busy with the first Saturday racing of the DBSC summer racing.
With big seas running due to the northerly wind direction, the sailing was fast and furious, with enough wind to give full-on trapezing conditions upwind and great surfing conditions downwind.
After lunch, we stayed inside the harbour confines where the exercise was to have tactics called by a single voice in each boat – either the crew or the helm. Again a series of short races were held under these conditions. While the tactics were called by one voice, the idea behind the exercise was to promote communication between the helm and crew. A similar division of policing the start line was suggested with the crew taking responsibility for things to windward, allowing the helm to police what was going on to leeward. As the day progressed, the grey skies gave way to the brighter blue colours we had enjoyed during the working week.
After a debrief session with videos, a group of students and the teacher retired to one of the local restaurants for dinner and despite a suggestion that there would be a quick turnaround due to table requirements, the party left after 23:00. Richard's host for the weekend, Neil Colin advised that the "chat" went on to the early hours of the morning.
Sunday morning couldn't have been more different to the preceding day – sunshine, blue skies and a gentler breeze. This allowed time to be spent ashore working on spinnaker handling techniques – hoists, gybes and drops. In recent years we have enjoyed coaching from three different individuals – including Richard – but their mantras on spinnakers are consistent – practice, practice, practice and when you are on the water, preparation and execution. The latter two come from the former. Video footage of the UK's Olympic 470 crew and Richard and Matt Burge in their Fireball, later in the day, showed the virtue of perfecting the techniques and what can be achieved, when the manoeuvres are successfully undertaken.
Sunday morning was taken up with the "gut-buster" exercise – multiple tacks, either side of a mid-course marker on a windward-leeward course, going upwind, with a rounding of the mid-course mark and multiple gybes either side of the same mark and a rounding of the mid-course mark going downwind. Some of the traffic management at the mid-course mark was a bit frenetic! Tacking and gybing techniques then came into focus in this session as the wind started to go light. Commitment to the roll tack was emphasised, minimising rudder movement was a focus (where have we heard that before) and slowing down the techniques to avoid forcing the boat to go through the tack faster than it wants to were the outcomes of this on-the-water impromptu session. Later, the impact of not sailing the boat flat were discussed with the benefit of video footage form the day's proceedings.
Sunday afternoon was rounded off, after lunch, with short races around a "P-shaped" course.
Each of the boats taking part got personal time from Richard on the water and by his own admission there was evidence, within the time-frame of the weekend, of the benefits of his coaching.
As with all such events there are a number of people and organisations who deserve our collective thanks. Richard Wagstaff gave up his weekend to be in Dun Laoghaire with us so we owe him a very big thanks – he gave of his expertise readily and patiently. Neil Colin did all the communications work to bring Richard here for the weekend and hosted Richard. Thanks to Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club we had the use of their clubhouse and two ribs and from a national authority perspective we enjoyed financial support from the Irish Sailing Association, who has revised their funding mechanisms for these types of events to make them more viable for Classes.
We had volunteer rib drivers in Alistair Court, Dave Coleman, Glen Fisher, Mick Creighton, Cariosa Power and Cormac Bradley.
But a coaching weekend also needs participants – so a big thank you to those Fireballers who turned out over the weekend.
With re-weighing out of the way and boat-handling techniques re-visited this weekend, the Irish Fireball fleet can put their time from this weekend into quick use – the first Tuesday night race of the summer takes place tomorrow evening!

Published in Fireball

#vdlr –With an entry list the envy of regatta organisers everywhere, July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta (VDLR) has received a massive entry of  302 boats so far with three months to run to its first gun. Over 63 different yacht clubs are represented in a fleet that will split into 20 different sailing classes for the four day extravaganza at the Irish east coast port. Enthusiastic insiders say the tenth anniversary of the event may yet hit its all time high of 500 boats by July 9 but a more modest reckoning of 400 plus will certainly match the 2013 and 2011 editions of Ireland's largest sailing event.

Run by the four waterfront clubs of the DMYC, RIYC, NYC and RSt.GYC's this year's event is under the stewardship of former Fastnet race winner Tim Goodbody and Dragon Edinburgh Cup winner Martin Byrne. An overview of the biennial event was published by last weekend in WM Nixon's blog here.

The bulk of entries come from the Dublin Bay area itself but there is also strong interest from along the east coast from Greystones, Arklow, Howth and Skerries. Most encouragingly, the event is proving to be a draw for boats from further afield too with entries from across the Irish Sea some of the first to sign up.

As previoulsy reported by, the following events are confirmed as part of the event:

Royal Dee Yacht Club Irish Sea Offshore Championship
J109 Irish National Championship
RS Elite Irish National Championship
Beneteau First 21 Irish Championship
Wayfarer Irish National Championship
GP 14 Leinster Championship
J24 Leinster Championship

In encouraging news for dinghy sailing (that has separately been given a shot in the arm this year by local DBSC organisers), it looks like VDLR will also see a lift for centreboard classes. 2015 will see a record number of dinghies classes participating. In addition to the regular one designs such as the Mermaid, Flying 15, Squib, Fireball, IDRA 14 – organisers are welcoming the GP14, Wayfarer, RS200/RS400, Laser classes to the regatta with their own starts.

It is the first visit to the Regatta for the GP14 fleet and organisers are very much looking forward to welcoming the class, all of whom will be from visiting clubs from around the country. An expected entry of 40 GP14's are expected and they will be hosting their Leinster Championships as part of the Regatta.

The Wayfarers are returning after running their a successful UK Nationals within the 2011 Regatta and this year they will be running their Irish Nationals, an expected entry of 20 visiting Wayfarers are expected.

Big entries are also expected from both the Laser and RS fleets. It still remians to be seen if the PY class can muster sufficient numbers

VDLR had issues recently with its online payment. To accommodate anyone who has had difficulties it has extended the early bird discounted entry fee offer deadline to Friday, April 17th.

Published in Volvo Regatta
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