Fourteen Fireballs made the start of the sixth race of the 2012/13 Frostbite Series hosted by Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club. A clean start with the fleet distributed equally along the line saw those who were at the pin end in the early ascendancy.
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The first boat to break ranks was Mick Creighton and Joe O'Reilly who tacked off to the right hand side. Initially it didn't look as though this was going to be beneficial but when some of the others then followed suit, it appeared they weren't out of contention after all. The wind was coming over the East Pier and the weather mark was set just outside the ferry gantry.
The first lap of the race was sailed in light conditions with crews sitting inboard and at the first weather mark the fleet was led by Conor Clancy/James Clancy, with Kenny Rumball/Conor Kinsella in second who both came in from the LHS of the beat, with Gavin Doyle third. Doyle was seen to be doing turns immediately after rounding the mark which allowed Neil Colin/Margaret Casey to go into third. Thereafter the sequence was Eamon Bourke/Robert Slater (14719), Noel Butler/Stephen Oram and Cariosa Power/Marie Barry. The first reach of the course was quite tight but spinnakers were flown. At the first gybe mark, Clancy and Rumball gybed immediately, but Colin/Casey sailed on to the mouth of the harbour before gybing and this propelled them from third to first.
The leaders sailed for varying distances to the right hand side of the second beat before tacking onto starboard. Given that the left hand side had paid so handsomely first time round, I can only surmise that the reason for coming right was to avoid the procession of boats in the other classes coming down the second reach of their triangle. Rumball/Kinsella seemed to have better boat speed and took over the lead from Colin/Casey, with Clancy/Clancy third. At the second weather mark, the sequence was Rumball, Colin, Clancy, McKenna, Doyle, Butler, Murphy, Creighton and Power.
Clancy used Colin's tactics of the first lap on the second reach by going to the harbour mouth and produced the same result, going from third to first. Rumball held off Colin and McKenna stayed where she was!
At the second leeward mark, the wind had increased and gone towards the north. This turned the third beat into a two sail fetch and reduced the first reach to a two-sail leg. This made the first two legs processional with Clancy leading, followed by Rumball, Colin, McKenna, Butler. The wind shift meant that the fleet went down the second reach on starboard tack flying spinnakers. Rumball and Clancy kept close company with each other all the way down the second leg, with both boats pulling out distance on Colin. Rumball rounded the leeward mark as inside boat which allowed him to take the lead over Clancy and Butler replicated the manoeuvre to get past McKenna on the same mark.
The fourth 'windward leg' was now a two sail fetch with crews comfortably on trapeze. Rumball sailed faster than the chasing pack to pull away. Overtaking opportunities were thus restricted to the second reach. The final lap saw little change among the top five. Rumball was comfortably ahead, by 70/80m with Clancy also having some distance between himself and Colin. McKenna dropped a further place to Doyle and Creighton closed the gap on her but she held him off.
|42ndFrostbite Series, 2012/13; Round 6|
|1||Kenny Rumball and Conor Kinsella||15058|
|2||Conor Clancy and James Clancy||15***|
|3||Neil Colin and Margaret Casey||14775|
|4||Noel Butler and Stephen Oram||15061|
|5||Gavin Doyle and Dave Sweeney||14953|
The race was sailed under grey skies that gave way to rain just after the start of the race, with single figure temperatures so this correspondent has assumed the crew combinations on the water, as woolly hats made individual identification difficult! The day's Frostbite Mugs went to Neil Colin and Margaret Casey.
|42ndFrostbite Series, Overall Positions (Provisional)|
|1||Noel Butler and Stephen Oram||DMYC||14pts|
|2 =||Conor Clancy/James Clancy/John Chambers||NYC||21pts|
|Kenny Rumball and Conor Kinsella/David Moran||INSC|
|4||Neil Colin and Margaret Casey||DMYC||35pts|
|5||Louise McKenna and Hermine O'Keeffe||RStGYC||43pts|
As this correspondent wasn't present at the race prize-giving, the following assessment of the overall situation is provisional and assumes that no discards are applied………yet!
The Irish Fireball fleet has their end of season prize-giving at the National Yacht Club this Friday evening, 30th November 2012. At this function, in addition to post-mortems on the season's racing, there will be the award of Class prizes, and recognition of success and contribution to the fleet.
Fireball International website