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North Sails 2021 Innovation - LEADERBOARD

Viking Marine Frostbite Series at Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club - Day 1

by Cormac Bradley 10 Nov 2021 05:35 PST 7 November 2021
Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club © DMYC

After an enforced break due to Covid regulations in 2020/2021, the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club-hosted Frostbites returned to the waters of Dun Laoghaire Harbour with a new sponsor in the form of local chandler, Viking Marine, also based in Dun Laoghaire.

The organisers of the event decided that an entry cap of 120 boats would be put in place so that an awareness of the ongoing Covid situation could be signalled to all potential competitors and that number was reached in advance of the first weekend of racing.

The breakdown of numbers gave us a potential 38-boat entry in the PY Class consisting of Fireballs, Aeros, GP14s, RS400, IDRA and a variety of Lasers - Vago, etc. Laser Radials mustered a 40-boat entry and there were healthy numbers for the Laser 4.7s and Full Rigs.

In the build-up to the first weekend of racing, November 7th, the wind forecast started off as being quite heavy with even heavier gusts, but as we got to the tail-end of the week, a more genteel forecast was evolving. Sunday morning arrived with a forecast that put the wind in the mid-teens with gusts in the low to middle twenties (knots). However, with the wind projected to come out of the West, that would mean a slightly protected harbour and race-course area.

Onshore discussion between Frostbites Director, Neil Colin and Race Officer, Cormac Bradley, in advance of going on the water, resolved that with the forecast and the fact that we had done no Frostbiting for over a year, it would be prudent to run with Windward-Leeward races for the first day of the new series and that would give everyone a chance to re-acquaint themselves with the Frostbites regime.

Mother Nature played her part as well by giving us as close to a steady breeze as she permits which allowed a weather mark to be set just north of the entrance to the marina and that stayed in place for both races. With a Westerly (270 degrees) we are able to use the biggest dimension of the harbour and a leeward gate was set up using the hand-buoys of summer moorings to fix the marks inside the Boyd Memorial on the East Pier.

A PY Fleet of 20 boats opened the proceedings of the 2021/22 Series with the make up being 6 Fireballs, 6 Aeros (7s and 5s), 2 GP14s, an RS400, an IDRA, a Mirror and an assortment of double-handed Lasers.

The Full Lasers and 4.7s, sailing as one fleet, mustered nineteen-boats, eight full rigs and eleven of the smaller rigs respectively.

The Laser Radials won the attendance prize with 23 boats on the water.

With a 62-boat fleet to watch and good breeze to get all the boats around the course, this correspondence is unable to give an account of the racing. Suffice to say that there was no definitive way to sail the beats, which is what a Race Officer wants, but there was some close on the water sailing witnessed across all three fleets.

In the early part of the first series of races the breeze got up to about 15/16 knots, but it was evident that the base breeze was falling though there were enough gusts coming through to see windward rolls from the Lasers and a few flogging spinnakers from the Fireballs.

By the second race, the wind had dropped to around the 10-knot mark and faded a little more as the afternoon wore on. However, there was enough around for everyone to have enjoyed this "first day back at the office".

Race 1 - PY Class:

1st Brendan Foley (Aero 7),
2nd Frank Miller and Ed Butler (FB 14713),
3rd Stephen Oram (Aero 7).
4th Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (FB 14706).
5th Owen Sinnott & Grattan Donnelly (FB 14865).
1st GP14 - David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (7th).
IDRA - Pierre Long & Son (9th).
RS400 - Brian O'Hare & Lucy O'Donoghue (14th).

Race 1 - Full Rig Lasers:

1st Gavan Murphy.
2nd Conrad Vandlik.
3rd Gary O'Hare.

Race 1 - Laser 4.7s:

1st Daniel O'Connor.
2nd Sam Legge.
3rd Donal Walsh.

Race 1 - Laser Radials:

1st Brendan Hughes.
2nd Luke Tierney.
3rd Mark Henry.

Race 2 - PY Class:

1st Brendan Foley.
2nd Mark Gavin.
3rd Sarah Dwyer (Aero 5).
4th Neil Colin and Marjo (FB 14775).
5th Tom Murphy (K1).
1st GP14 - David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne.
Mirror - Paul & Yves Long (19th).

Race 2 - Full Rig Lasers:

1st Chris Arrowsmith.
2nd Conrad Vandlik.
3rd Gary O'Hare.

Race 2 - Laser 4.7s:

1st Sam Legge.
2nd Emily Cantwell.
3rd Daniel O'Connor.

Race 2 - Laser Radials:

1st Luke Tierney.
2nd Brendan Hughes.
3rd Sophie Kilmartin.

In terms of club affiliation, five of the six race finishes were taken by Royal St George Yacht Club members, with Luke Tierney the only race winner from the host club (DMYC).

In compliance with Covid best practice there was no daily prize-giving and the proposal is that there may only be a single prize-giving event at the end of each series, subject to the regulations in place at that time.

Fireball report by Frank Miller

The Fireball winter season got under way with a bang at the Viking Marine DMYC Frostbite series which kicked off in Dun Laoghaire on Sunday.

Seven Fireballs jostled for position on the mixed PY start-line in some 12 knots of breeze occasionally gusting to twenty. While the pin end was favoured the danger of getting pinned under the fleet deterred Alistair Court/ Gordon Syme from that approach and he tacked off right into the stronger breeze, albeit with waves, and arrived at the windward mark just ahead of Neil Colin sailing with Marjo Moonen and Frank Miller/Ed Butler. Chasing down the first downwind leg Miller/Butler managed to overtake Colin/Moonen and closed the gap on Court/Syme. Close behind were Owen Sinnott/Grattan Donnelly and a little further back Paul ter Horst and son Morris, and Nick Miller/Cearbhall Daly.

At the bottom of the second run of the three lap windward-leeward course Miller/Butler and Court/Symes chose alternative sides of the gate, with Miller/Butler finding better pressure on the harbour mouth side of the course. This allowed the pair to take the lead which they held to the finish. While they won the moral victory of the Fireball race Brendan Foley in his Aero won the PY race on corrected time of some twenty seconds.

Race Two got under way in softer conditions with fewer gusts and flatter water throughout the course. The Fireballs were joined by Ciaran Hickey/Ismail Inan who missed the first start due to confusion over timings. Colin/Moonen led the Fireball charge off the line near the pin end but tacked out at the first opportunity and found better breeze on the right side of the course. The pair led from start to finish, sailing their own race in clear air and even banging the right corner near the West Pier wall confident of their reading of the wind conditions.

Those who chose the left side of the course in race two found themselves distinctly underpowered at times. The race for the rest of the fleet wasn't entirely without drama. At the approach to the final leeward mark Sinnott/Donnelly reached across to ensure their overlap on Miller/Butler, leaving the two teams sailing by the lee to make the mark. A sudden sharp gust gybed both boats leaving Sinnott/Donnelly swimming and Miller nursing a sore ear. Second Fireball in race two was Court/Syme. On handicap Brendan Foley again won the PY and in the lighter breeze several Aeros featured in the top five.

All in all, this was a great start to the DMYC winter series and with sponsorship from Viking Marine and with some 14 Fireballs entered and a very full total entry of 120 boats it promises yet again to be one of the best series of the year.

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