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2019/2020 Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbite Series - Day 4

by Frank Miller 26 Nov 2019 00:40 PST 24 November 2019

A misty, almost windless start to the day left Frostbiters wondering if they would get afloat at all. Keelboat racing was cancelled on Sunday morning with north-westerly zephyrs peaking at two knots. However by about 12.30 the ghostly air had started to swing in the forecasted direction so dinghy racers gathered at the waterfront clubs and optimistically pulled off covers and prepared their boats in almost zero wind.

Their positivity was rewarded as the air settled into the predicted south easterly and reached five or six knots. So it was that racing got away with only the slightest delay. The mixed PY fleet included nine of the eleven Fireballs entered in the series, along with an assortment of Wayfarers, RS400s, 200s and single handers.

The start line was frankly messy with a favoured pin end and anyone who got away away cleanly counted their blessings! Amongst those were Fireballers Neil Colin (14775) and Alistair Court (14706) who led the mixed fleet most of the way around the course. Ultimately Neil Colin sailing with John McAree prevailed on the water but on handicap Monica Schaefer, with DMYC stalwart Denis Nolan on board, won the Windward-Leeward race in the light airs by impressively steady and fast sailing in patchy conditions.

For Race two the pin end bias on the start line was even more pronounced and again the trick was to get off the line in good shape, with an individual recall flag flying to nag those with a guilty conscience. In this race Newtownards sailor and heroic commuter Josh Porter crewed by Cara McDowell (14695) got clean away and led around the course. Followed by series leaders Noel Butler/Stephen Oram (15061) they held their lead to the finish. Again, in the light airs they were denied the mug which went to Des Fortune in his Finn who maintained a steady, fast and trouble free path around the windward-leeward course.

Amongst the three Laser fleet divisions the races were won in Race one by John Marmelstein (Standard), Conor Gorman (Radial) and Rian Geraghty McDonnell (4.7); and in Race two by Vasily Shamkov, Hugh O'Connor and Rian Geraghty McDonnell.

Special mention for the volunteer race team led by PRO Ben Mulligan (Flying Fifteen) for getting two races under the belt in challenging conditions. The popular series continues until the end of March. Entries at present remain open with more sailors welcome to join the fray.

The Irish Fireball Class have their end of season prize-giving and dinner at the National Yacht Club on Friday 29th and already there are a few former members who have committed to being there on the night... maybe the first embryonic steps towards getting into the boat again for the Worlds which are due to be hosted in August 2020 by Howth Yacht Club on the north side of Dublin Bay.

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