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2019/2020 Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbite Series - Day 3

by Frank Miller 18 Nov 09:43 PST 17 November 2019

For the third weekend of the DMYC Frostbites series an early call was made that the fleet would race outside the harbour. The move was warmly welcomed by competitors as the wind inside the harbour was quite fragmented. Outside the wind was a fairly steady WNW rather than the anticipated NNW wind forecast.

For race one an Olympic Triangle was set and the PY fleet got away cleanly though the pressure was uneven over the first part of the beat and there were a couple of fairly big shifts before the weather mark was reached. Leading the pack were new entrants Andy Boyle sailing with Tedz Byrne in their Fireball. They were pursued by the rest of the seven-boat Fireball fleet and various PY boats with a more favourable handicap in the semi-trapezing conditions.

Ultimately the pair took line honours by a few seconds over series leaders Noel Butler and Stephen Oram, with Louise McKenna and crew Joe O'Reilly about 30 seconds behind. The winners though on handicap were David Mulvin and Ronan Beirne in a Wayfarer who showed great speed over the course. In the three Laser class divisions the races were won respectively by Marc Coakley, Conor Gorman and Katie Flanagan.

For race two the course was rejigged slightly to allow for a shifting wind and once again the PY fleet crossed the line to the welcome call of "all clear." Louise McKenna and Joe O'Reilly led to the weather mark with Cariosa Power & Marie Barry, Kieran Harkin & Michael Keegan and Frank Miller & Ciaran Hickey all in close pursuit. This time the course was triangles and the wind had improved enough to allow full trapezing for many on the beat.

Due to the shifting wind the first reach was extremely broad and, unsurprisingly, the second extremely tight forcing competitors to drop the kite about two-thirds the way along the leg. At the leeward mark for round two McKenna rounded just ahead of Harkin & Keegan with Miller & Hickey immediately behind that pair. While McKenna & O'Reilly tacked away quickly Harkin & Keegan and Miller & Hickey kept going on port hoping to get into stronger breeze visible to the right.

How wrong they were - the shifting breeze meant that any boat which tacked immediately could more or less lay the weather mark. Thus when Miller & Hickey spotted their error they found the chasing boats including Butler & Oram and Power & Barry under them and happily laying the weather mark. To add insult to injury Boyle & Byrne were also back in the game.

On the next broad reach Miller & Hickey managed to overtake Power & Barry but on the subsequent reach, now tighter than ever, the women pairing were right on their heels, with Boyle & Byrne not far behind. Two-thirds down that reach increased pressure forced everyone to drop their kites though no place-changing occurred.

However at the leeward mark Power & Barry remained on port too long and Boyle & Byrne tacked immediately and managed to catch the women pair on the finish line. The race was well won by McKenna & O'Reilly both in the eleven boat Fireball fleet and in PY, followed home by Fireballers Butler & Oram, Miller & Hickey, Boyle & Byrne, Power & Barry.

On handicap Brendan Foley took second in the RS Aero and Mulvin & Beirne took third in their Wayfarer. In the Laser divisions winners were again Marc Coakley, Conor Gorman and Katie Flanagan. The series continues next Sunday with every sign of more boats pitching into this very popular winter series.

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