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September 2022

Viking Marine Frostbite Series 2 at Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club - Day 7

by Cormac Bradley 15 Mar 00:10 PDT 13 March 2022

Pessimistic forecast overcome!

Yet again, without there being a named storm in the vicinity of Ireland's East Coast, the forecast from the middle of the week in advance of yesterday's Viking Marine sponsored Frostbite racing in Dun Laoghaire wasn't great. For the latter half of the week the forecast was for winds in the low twenty knots and gusts in the high twenties/low thirties. The Sea Area forecast at midnight on Friday and the hourly radio forecasts through Saturday, up to midnight on Saturday night (I was driving back from NI!) weren't great. Indeed, the Regatta Director, on holiday for the past week WhatsApp-ed the Race Management Team on Saturday morning suggesting racing looked unlikely.

But, having had so many Sundays cancelled in 2022, we persevered in the hop that something might be possible. An early check (08:00) on Sunday morning suggested that maybe the wind was going to drop to mid-teens and low twenties in terms of base wind strength and gusts. And, from 09:00 onwards, the readings on Dublin Bay Buoy were showing 4knots gusting 15. A check with DMYC's Polish helmed entry to the Spring Chicken entry for keelboats suggested that their race had started out windy but the wind strength had started to drop and then fluctuated up and down for the remainder of the trace.

Temperature-wise it was pleasant, apart from the odd sharp shower that blew over the harbour. A decision was taken that at least we had to try. And so, two races were sailed, each to the Olympic configuration, the first was three laps long and the second four laps.

In terms of the actual wind conditions, it varied from a low of 10knots to a high of 24.7knots, the latter recorded by a handheld about three-quarters of the way through the second race. A later check in the DMYC clubhouse suggested that a 29-knot gust had been recorded in the same period on the harbour's web-based weather recording site. There were capsizes during the afternoon and one ILCA lost its mast and in the Fireball part of the second PY race a lead was lost to a capsize twice - by different boats. However, despite the statistic that says a 29knot gust swept over the harbour there was no sense of a wipe-out of the fleet. Some spinnakers were not flown on the top reaches of the triangles, but it was more a case of discretion being the better part of valour.

Numbers on the water were down to a total fleet size of 36 boats, with the honours being split evenly between the PY Fleet and the ILCA 6 Fleet, each with 14 boats. The ILCA 7s and 4s had 3 and 5 boats respectively.

With the wind fluctuating around the 240 degrees mark, the windward leg was the shortest part of the course from the harbour mouth to the windward shore, but two longer legs were set for the off-wind legs with the gybe mark set off the East Pier and the leeward mark just inside the end of the East Pier.

The Aeros and the Fireballs had their normal interclass challenge with the Fireballs leading on the water only to find that they lost out when the numbers were calculated back ashore. Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (FB 14706) led this race from start to finish and were 1:46 ahead of the first Aero7 on the water. Yet they gave away time to the two Aero 7s and the Kona Windsurfer, another Aero 7 and the Finn were within 20 seconds of their corrected time.

Frostbites: Sunday 13th March; PY Fleet, Race 1:

SkipperClassElapsed TimeCorrected TimeDelta
Paul PhelanAero 723:1421:4901:25
Brendan FoleyAero 723:5722:2901:28
Alistair Court & Gordon SymeFireball21:3122:3601:05
Des GibneyKona Windsurfer24:23:0022:4101:42
Mark GavinAero 724:15:0022:4601:29
Des FortuneFinn24:00:0022:5301:07

In the ILCA 7s, Conrad Vandlik and Gavan Murphy enjoyed some close racing and Conor O'Leary after a late start closed the gap on them on the water.

In the ILCA 6s, Sean Craig led the fleet around the entire course, with Conor Flannigan and Marco Sorgassi chasing him all the way. Zoe Hall did well in the brisker breezes to hold off two male competitors in Daniel O'Conor and Donal Walsh.

Race 1 Results:

PY Fleet (14 boats)
1. Paul Phelan
2. Brendan Foley
3. Alistair Court & Gordon Syme
4. Des Gibney
5. Mark Gavin
6. Des Fortune

ILCA 7 (3 boats)
1. Conrad Vandlik
2. Gavan Murphy
3. Conor O'Leary

ILCA 6 (14 boats)
1. Sean Craig
2. Conor Galligan
3. Marco Sorgassi
4. Sean Flanagan
5. Stephen F.

ILCA 4 (5 boats)
1. Zoe Hall
2. Daniel O'Connor
3. Donal Walsh

Given that the first race had taken 47 minutes from first preparatory signal to last finisher, and that the wind was not getting dramatically stronger, a second race was signalled with a fourth lap added to the menu. I lip read a high-profile individual's reaction to a fourth lap and then had him advise me, in polite terms, of course, that I should have due regard for his status in setting a four lap Olympic course. I hope he relented, in private, when on reading the corrected results, he found that he was in the top ten of the PY finishers with another credible result, carrying forward his momentum from the previous Sunday's racing. As the weather mark couldn't move any further upwind, the gybe mark was moved closer to the East Pier to give the course a bit more length.

For the Fireballs, the secret to success was staying upright. Frank Miller & Ed Butler (14713) had a better start than in the first race and therefore gave Court & Syme (14706) more competition on the water. In the latter stages of the race, they went to opposite sides of the course having rounded the leeward mark in reasonably close company, but with Miller ahead. Out on the right-hand side of the beat Miller/Butler capsized giving the initiative to Court/Syme who converted their advantage to the length of the top reach. However, at the gybe mark they became a "cropper" capsizing under spinnaker and endured a number of "flip-flops" in trying to right the boat, thereby handing the race to Miller/Butler.

In all the ILCA classes the podium places were occupied by the same people, just in a different order. In the 7s, Gavan Murphy won it on the line from Vandlik with O'Leary not far behind, in the 6s, Craig took a second bullet but by no more than a couple of boat-lengths from Sorgassi. Hugh Cahill, a pandemic convert to ILCA racing from the Flying Fifteen fleet came in 6th, his best result to date (I think) behind the Conors, Galligan and Clancy and Sean Flanagan. And in the 4s the order was Daniel O'Connor, Donal Walsh and Zoe Hall.

Race 2 Results:

PY Class
1. Brendan Foley
2. Des Fortune
3. Paul Phelan
4. David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (GP14 14069)
5. Sarah Dwyer (Aero 5) 6. Stephen Oram (Aero 7)

Miller & Butler's elapsed time for Race 2 was 30:47 and converted to 32:20 on handicap, only good enough for seventh.

1. Gavan Murphy
2. Conrad Vandlik
3. Conor O'Leary

1. Sean Craig
2. Marco Sorgassi
3. Conor Galligan
4. Conor Clancy
5. Sean Flanagan
6. Hugh Cahill

1. Daniel O'Connor
2. Donal Walsh
3. Zoe Hall

After 9 races and with two Sundays to go, the overall situation is as follows.

PY Class (50 boats registered)
1. Brendan Foley (13) Aero 7
2. Paul Phelan (32) Aero 7
3. Sarah Dwyer (36.5) Aero 5
4. Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsella (41) FB 15093
5. Mark Gavin (42) Aero 7
6. Stephen Oram (48.5) Aero 7
7. Frank Miller & Ed Butler (56) Fireball 14713
8. Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (61) Fireball 14706
9. Tom Murphy (66) K1
10. David Mulvin & Ronan Beirne (66) GP14 14069

ILCA 7 (15 boats registered)
1. Conrad Vandlik (8)
2. Gavan Murphy (18)
3. Gary O'Hare (21)
4. Chris Arrowsmith (22)
5. Niall Cowman (36)

ILCA 6 (44 boats registered)
1. Sean Craig (8)
2. Conor Clancy (33)
3. Conor Galligan (37)
4. Shirley Gilmore (38)
5. Marco Sorgassi (41)
6. Adam Irvin (47)
7. Sean Flanagan (49)
8. Justin Geoghegan (58)
9. David Williams (65)
10. Judy O'Beirne (66)

Within the PY Fleet there are 16 registered Fireballs and 11 Aero 7s, so an overall Series 2 has been scored for these two classes.

Fireball (16 registered boats)
1. Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsella (17)
2. Frank Miller & Ed Butler (17)
3. Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (21)
4. Louise McKenna & Hermine O'Keeffe (26)
5. Neil Colin & Marjo Moonen (37)

Aero 7 (11 registered boats)
1. Brendan Foley (10)
2. Paul Phelan (16)
3. Mark Gavin (22)
4. Stephen Oram (27)
5. Stuart Harris (40)

To conclude this report:

a) There will be "Frostbite style racing on Friday 18th, with a first signal at 13:00. A Notice of Race is available on the DMYC website. Entries to the Series 2 or overall Series are afforded free entry but the racing for "others" is accessible by way of a donation to the RNLI. (Check details in the NoR). Weather permitting, two or more races will be sailed. As off Monday 23:00 (as I conclude this report), the forecast for Friday is 11 - 16knots, SE, sunny with temperatures around 10/11 degrees.

b) There are only two Sundays left in the Frostbites, 20th and 27th. I imagine, without specifically checking, that there will be a prize-giving.

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