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Viking Marine Frostbite Series 2 at Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club - Day 5

by Cormac Bradley 31 Jan 02:53 PST 30 January 2022

From late Thursday evening to as late as 10:00 on Sunday morning the prospects for the Viking Marine sponsored Frostbites went through a series of iterations as to what might be possible. On Thursday the forecast was for reasonable breeze but through Friday and Saturday the numbers on both XCWeather and Windy were taking on a distinctly red hue.

It wasn't so much that the base wind strength was the problem, more the gusts. During the course of Saturday, the projected wind strength was in the mid-teens, but the gusts were in the upper twenties and even the low thirties. Around 11:00 on Sunday, Dublin Bay buoy was recording 10 gusting twenty.

So, it was a slightly eerie sensation to see the flags in the Coal Harbour hanging limp from their flagpoles when the forecast suggested that racing might be in jeopardy. A decision was taken to try and get one race in and then play it be ear with respect to a second.

As with last Sunday, the wind was out of the south which presents problems with consistency but at least there was wind! A 3-lap Olympic was set wit the weather mark situated about 200m off the entrance to the marina, the gybe mark to the east of the ferry dolphins and the leeward mark just off the end of the West Pier. In the build-up to the start we had a number of gusts come through the race area, the highest of which was recorded at 23.9knots.

Participant level was down slightly on the previous Sunday, mostly I would imagine due to the forecast. The PY and ILCA 6s shared the honours in terms of fleet sizes with 20 boats each, and the breakdown of the PY fleet was 7 x Aero 7s, 1 x Aero 5, 6 Fireballs, the IDRA, the Kona Windsurfer, an RS400, 2 x GP14s and the K1.

All three fleets had a clean start at the first time of asking and the dominant trend was to go left initially on the beat. The favouritism towards the left diminished as the race progressed to give a more even spread across the water.

In the PY Fleet, the Fireball of Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706) was the first to fly spinnaker at the top mark but as the race progressed, he came under pressure from Louise McKenna & Hermine O'Keeffe (15106) with Frank Miller & Ed Butler (14713) lurking with intent a few boat-lengths away. Given the conditions one might have thought the Fireballs would have the advantage but a win on the water for Court & Syme of 36 seconds over the first Aero 7 turned into a deficit of 45 second on handicap, with another Aero 7 and the Aero 5 of Sarah Dwyer getting between the Fireball and the leading Aero 7. Mark Gavin led home the Aero 1-2-3.

In the ILCA 7s, with five boats, the finishing order was Conrad Vandlik, Gary O'Hare and Chris Arrowsmith, while in the UILCA 4s, the finishing order was Max Cantwell, Jessica Riordan and Daniel O'Connor in a fleet of 8 boats.

In the 20-boat ILCA 6s, one senior member of the fleet was the last across the line, muttering that he had got his timing wrong. It didn't seem to phase him as Sean Craig took the winning gun ahead of Conor Galligan, Marco Sorgassi, Adam Irvin and David Williams.

Race 2 saw a drop off in the entries as complicated capsizes, gear failure, temperature and tiredness (potentially) took their tolls. Three Fireballs dropped out, one GP14 was already ashore by the time the second start was under way, the second GP14 didn't finish and the ILCA 6s lost a quarter of their fleet.

The wind had swung further eastwards so while the tailenders were being finished, the Race Officer reset the weather mark and gybe mark and another three-lap Olympic course was set.

Again, all three fleets got away cleanly and the feared wind that was forecast did not appear. Indeed, the sun came out again and those who had decided to stay out got another pleasurable race in. Yes, the upper area of the beat was fluky and there were shifts but when a southerly blows, that is the consequence.

In the PY fleet, the lead boat was an Aero 7, Brendan Foley, who shaved 1:37 off his elapsed time to have a one-minute win on handicap over the IDRA of Pierre Long and his son. Sarah Dwyer had another excellent race to finish third, giving her two podium places on the day. Stuart Harris, sailing under the burgee of Waterford Harbour Sailing Club was rewarded with a 4th to go with his 5th in the first race, while fifth went to Paul Phelan in another Aero 7. The first Fireball could only muster 9th place.

The ILCA 7s showed consistency with the same finishing order as Race 1 - Vandlik, O'Hare and Arrowsmith. In the ILCA 4s, the young ladies of the fleet showed their mettle with Ava Ennis and Jessica Riordan finishing 1st and 2nd respectively ahead of Daniel O'Connor.

In the ILCA 6s, former Fireball helm, Conor Clancy, led home the fleet followed by Adam Irvin, Marco Sorgassi, Sean Craig and David Williams. Another fleet stalwart, Shirley Gilmore claimed a second 6th place on the day.

Viking Marine Frostbites, Series 2, Round 5 Results:

Race 1

PY Fleet (20 boats)
1. Mark Gavin
2. Brendan Foley (both Aero 7s)
3. Sarah Dwyer (Aero 5)
4. Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (Fireball 14706)
5. Stuart Harris (Aero 7)

ILCA 7s (5 boats)
1. Conrad Vandlik
2. Gary O'Hare
3. Chris Arrowsmith

ILCA 4s (8 boats)
1. Max Cantwell
2. Jessica Riordan
3. Daniel O'Connor

ILCA 6s (20 boats)
1. Sean Craig
2. Conor Galligan
3. Marco Sorgassi
4. Adam Irvin
5. David Williams

Race 2

PY Fleet (14 boats)
1. Brendan Foley (Aero 7)
2. Pierre Long & Son (IDRA 14)
3. Sarah Dwyer (Aero 5)
4. Stuart Harris
5. Paul Phelan (Both Aero 7s)
9. Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (FB 14706)

ILCA 7s (5 boats)
1. Conrad Vandlik
2. Gary O'Hare
3. Chris Arrowsmith

ILCA 4s (8 boats)
1. Ava Ennis
2. Jessica Riordan
3. Daniel O'Connor

ILCA 6s (15 boats)
1. Conor Clancy
2. Adam Irvin
3. Marco Sorgassi
4. Sean Craig
5. David Williams

An ever-present competitor in the Frostbites over many seasons underwent a (very) major procedure during the course of the past week that will see him off the water for a sustained period. I hope that as the Frostbite correspondent of recent years I can take the opportunity on behalf of the Frostbite community to wish him a full and speedy recovery and an early return to sailing.

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