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2019/2020 Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbite Series 1 concludes

by Cormac Bradley 17 Dec 2019 02:44 PST 15 December 2019
Miriam McCarthy (l) and Monica Schaeffer (really!) (Greystones) – winners of the Best Dressed Boat in Dun Laoghaire Frostbite Series 1 © Frank Miller

Series 1 of the DMYC-hosted Frostbites closed with a marathon race, in relative terms, yesterday with a modest turnout of 44 boats, a wind that fluctuated between 170 and 180º with a high of just over 10 knots and some sunshine, though there was a distinct coolness in the air. Indeed, there was a light covering of white on the hills behind Dun Laoghaire.

The PY fleet had the best turnout of the day with nineteen boats - Fireballs, Wayfarers, RS200s, Aero 7s, Laser Vagos, an RS400 and the Solo of Shane McCarthy. This fleet got off to an almost clean start with only one OCS, a Fireball that didn't come back, though another Fireball DID come back. Initially the fleet went left on their way to a weather mark that was located just to the west of the HSS gantry, making the beat one of the shorter legs across the harbour. The first four or five boats around the weather mark were all Fireballs, not quite bow to transom but close enough! Of these, the last in the group was Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) who had returned to the start in response to the flying of the individual recall even though they weren't the transgressors. In contrast to everyone else they took to the right-hand side of the beat and were only just off the leaders at the first mark.

Having had the top reach "sail-tested" by a Fireball before the start, the wind "played ball" in keeping it a challenging "three-sailer" and the Fireballs in particular seemed to enjoy stretching themselves with the crews on trapeze. Inevitably, Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061) were first to show, but the chasing bunch was close behind them - Louise McKenna & Hermine O'Keeffe (15016), Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706), Josh Porter & Cara McDowell (14695) and Frank Miller & Ed Butler (14713). McKenna and Court had their own race within a race all the way round the five-lap Olympic configuration course and at the finish they were overlapped with McKenna getting the result by one second. Butler & Oram simply sailed away from the rest of the fleet and were never troubled on the water.

On corrected time however, it was a different story. Despite being 1:32 ahead of the 2nd and third placed Fireballs on the water and 7:28 ahead of the Solo, Butler & Oram were relegated to third place on corrected time behind the Solo and the 2nd Aero 7, sailed by a Frostbite debutant. There were only 45 seconds between 1st and 3rd on corrected time.

Yet again the two Wayfarers had a great race between themselves. Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy (Greystones) ultimately won out but not by a huge margin and indeed their class competition, David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (National Yacht Club and Flying Fifteens) led them at different stages within the race and at one stage gave up a lead due to a mix-up of the lap they were on! Their performance was significantly enhanced by a fresher set of sails - brand new, but never used from at least fifteen years ago - saved from an ignominious landfill fate! The Standard Lasers and 4.7s had a small turnout of four and three boats respectively. In the larger rigs, the finishing order was Marc Coakley, John Marmelstein, Hal Fitzgerald and Conor O'Leary, the latter helming by way of a rope tied to his tiller when his tiller extension broke off. In the 4.7s, the finishing order was Rian Geraghty-McDonnell, Evan Dargan-Hayes and Jacques Murphy.

Eighteen Radials contested the last day of Series 1 where Sean Craig continues to represent the more mature Laser sailor with aplomb in a fleet of much younger competitors. Yet again, he was pipped at the post by the much younger Conor Gorman with Alana Coakley flying the flag for the girls in 3rd place, ahead of Adam Leddy and Haemish Munro.

The weather forecast was suggesting a much more robust day on the water than actually materialised, with winds of the order of 14 knots, gusting to the low twenties predicted as late as Saturday night/early Sunday morning. This didn't materialise and the decision to have a single long race was prompted by the fact that an early prize-giving was deemed to be the order of the day!

As to be expected with the completion of the Series a larger than normal crowd congregated at the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club for the prize-giving, where in addition to the racing prizes, a number of bottles of whiskey were raffled off, courtesy of Ian and Judith Malcolm who are very involved in Howth's hosting of the Fireball Worlds in August 2020. There was a raffle for the volunteers and a raffle for the Fireball competitors on the day. DMYC's Vice Commodore, Frostbites Coordinator and Fireball Sailor, Neil Colin, officiated at the prize-giving where daily Frostbite Mugs and Series 1 prizes (calendars) were awarded.

Yet again, the subject of going through the finish line with the blue flag flying was a topic of conversation in the clubhouse port-mortems - the ruling is that when the blue flag is flying you may not cross the finish line unless you are finishing. Policing of the rule is down to the competitors.

Frostbites Day 6 Results:

PY Fleet
1. Shane McCarthy (Solo)
2. A. N. Other (Aero 7)
3. Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (Fireball)
4. Louise McKenna & Hermine O'Keeffe (Fireball)
5. Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (Fireball)

Standard Laser
1. Marc Coakley
2. John Marmelstein
3. Hal Fitzgerald
4. Conor O'Leary

Laser 4.7
1. Rian Geraghty-McDonnell
2. Evan Dargan-Hayes
3. Jacques Murphy

Laser Radials
1. Conor Gorman
2. Sean Craig
3. Alan Coakley
4. Adam Leddy
5. Haemish Munro

2019 - 2020 Frostbites Series 1 Overall:

PY Fleet
1. Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (Fireball) 17pts
2. Brendan Foley (Aero 7) 40pts
3. Sarah Byrne & Crew (RS 200) 49pts
4. Jemima Owens & Henry Start (RS 200) 56pts
5. Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy (Wayfarer) 58pts

Standard Laser
1. Chris Arrowsmith 26pts
2. John Marmelstein 26pts
3. Alan Hodgins 28pts
4. Marc Coakley 30pts
5. Conor O'Leary 48pts

Laser 4.7
1. Rian Geraghty-McDonnell 9pts
2. Jacques Murphy 25pts
3. Evan Dargan-Hayes 30pts
4. Kitty Flanagan 31pts
5. Eimear Farrell 42pts

Laser Radials
1. Conor Gorman 13pts
2. Sean Craig 29pts
3. Adam Walsh 35pts
4. Alan Coakley 59pts
5. Adam Leddy 60pts

As this is the last Frostbite Report for 2019, I close by wishing you all a Happy Christmas and a Peaceful New Year! See you on January 5th!

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