News

Bright & breezy but two races completed!

posted 18 Feb 2019, 04:20 by Stephen Oram

From the previous Friday morning, the XCWeather website had been consistent in its forecast for Sunday afternoon at 14:00, winds of the order of 17/18 knots with gusts to 28/30 knots from a direction of south or south of south-west. And so, it was! Given the forecast and bearing in mind that very little “frostbiting” has been had this year, there was an awareness that we should try and get at least one race in and that sense was manifested when the Frostbite Co-ordinator, Neil Colin shared the exact same sentiment by What’sApp on Saturday afternoon.

An early trip down to the harbour and the East Pier suggested that the water inside the harbour was quite flat, as you would expect with a southerly orientated wind and the sense that racing might be possible grew when I saw the Toppers out in training mode – a small group admittedly. Outside the harbour there was other training going on. Next monitor to check – the wind readings from the Dublin Bay Buoy. These were starting to show that the base wind was dropping off marginally, but the gusts were still in the mid to high twenties. The Spring Chicken fleet (keelboats) were enjoying a robust sail in the bay and indeed a Flying Fifteen was racing with them and didn’t seem too distressed ………. from a distance.

The final physical check to see if racing could be possible was a trip out to the main body of the harbour with Neil Colin and DMYC Commodore Frank Guilfoyle, after which the decision was made that we would try to get at least one windward-leeward in and assess the situation with respect to a second.

A smaller fleet than usual took to the water, unsurprising given the forecast, but those who did venture forth, 7 in the PY Class, 7 full-rig Lasers, 11 4.7s and 9 Radials enjoyed two Windward – Leeward courses of 3 laps and 2 laps respectively and all boats were ashore by 15:15 which was a specific consideration given that the forecast was for the wind to build later in the afternoon.

The committee boat set up inside the end of the West Pier with a weather mark about 150m East of the entrance to the marina. The wind direction outside of the gusts was reasonably consistent with a mean direction of 210, but the gusts were a law onto themselves, introducing big changes in direction according to the competitors. The leeward gate was just off the mouth of the harbour, closer to the end of the West Pier.

The PY fleet was made up of four Fireballs, two Laser Vagos and a RS200 and Noel Butler & Stephen Oram made the gusts conditions look like a walk in the park as they romped home with a three and a half-minute advantage over the second Fireball of Frank Miller & Ed Butler. In fairness, the winning Fireball flew their spinnaker on all three downwind legs which, given the conditions gave them a huge advantage on the water. Josh Porter & Katie Kane took third on the water followed home by the Laser Vago of Sergei Gordienok which was enough to give them the Frostbite Mug. The “pink ladies”, Louise McKenna and Hermine O’Keeffe had an early swim a few hundred meters off the start but righted themselves and still managed to complete the course.

In the second, shorter race, Noel & Stephen’s winning margin was slightly less, and second place went to Miller & Butler, who as they approached the leeward gate for the second time were hit by the biggest recorded gust of the day on the committee boat – 26knots. The leeward gate was approached at a very fast rate of knots! However, they stayed upright to take the second-place finish and were followed home by Tom Murphy in the K1. The second Laser Vago, entered under the name Ciara Charleton took the Frostbite Mug.

In the Laser Full Rig, the second series has seen a competition within a competition develop between Peter Fagan and Kenny Rumball where they have traded blows around the course. In yesterday’s two races they each took the same spot on the finish line, Fagan getting two wins and Rumball two seconds. In the first race of the day, Ian Simington took third place while Dun Laoghaire Laser Class Captain Gavan Murphy took the last podium place in the second race. All the Laser full-rig entries have 2018/19 Frostbite Mugs, so none were awarded to this fleet yesterday.

In the 4.7s, the six podium places across the two races were shared by 4 people – Adam Walsh, Conor Gorman, Pepe de Sintas and Hamish Munro. The “odd-men out” were Messrs Gorman and de Sintas with Gorman scoring a 2,3 and de Sintas a 3,1. Charlie Lydon picked up the Frostbite Mug for the first race in the 4.7s and Max Tempany picked it up for the second.

In the Radials the consistent performance of the day came from Sean Craig (again) who picked up two second places. In the first race he was beaten to the line by Marco Sorgassi and in the second he was beaten by the Radial of Conor Clancy which was being sailed by Conor Kinsella, I think. Sean Flanagan took third in the first race and Marco Sorgassi took third in the second race. The second race in the Lasers was also influenced by the same gust which accelerated Miller’s Fireball towards the leeward gate and some place changes resulted as a consequence.

Radial Mugs went to Judy O’Bierne for the first race and to Glen Fisher for the second race.

The races were short due to several factors, one of which was the fact that the forecast was for the wind to build later in the afternoon. Sitting inside the DMYC clubhouse after prize-giving it didn’t seem that the heavier weather had materialised until the wind conditions at Dublin Bay Buoy at around 17:00 suggested that it was blowing twenty-five gusting thirty-five knots in the bay. In terms of the decision to race, the conditions inside the harbour were going to be challenging due to the gusts, but the decision to race was taken only after a number of considerations were debated, and after we had gone out to the race area to assess the wind situation.

Special mention should be made of the volunteers who man the committee boat and rescue boats for these Frostbite Sundays. They are a very dedicated and reliable team who turn up every Sunday so that racing can take place. In addition to laying marks for the course, they then double up as rescue and when the occasion demands it tow boats home. Without them, on days like yesterday we wouldn’t contemplate racing. Thanks to one and all!   

Cold and blustery!

posted 4 Feb 2019, 00:44 by Stephen Oram

After yet another Sunday lost to adverse weather last week, the Dun Laoghaire Frostbite fleet got another two races in today, Sunday 3rd February. Initially the wind looked to be nicely consistent with a bearing of 210⁰ which set up the course with the committee boat inside the end of the West Pier and a weather mark near the entrance to the marina. The gybe mark was off towards the East Pier and the gybe mark was about a third of the way across the mouth of the harbour, but closer to the end of the West Pier.

The PY fleet had a healthy turnout of 20 boats with good Fireball numbers, Shane McCarthy’s Solo, Tom Murphy’s K1, two Kona windsurfers, an RS200, an Enterprise, the IDRA of Frank Hamilton & Jenny, a clatter of Wayfarers and some Laser Vagos. The Laser numbers were good as well though there may not have been as many Full Rigs as has ben the case in previous weeks. They did however, have a high-profile debutant in Kenny Rumball from the neighbouring sailing school. 

As start time approached the wind started to get “twitchy”, flicking initially to the right before a big swing left came in. However, it eventually settled again and while the weather mark may not have been perfect it was a good compromise.

The PY fleet got away cleanly with the Fireball of Noel Butler and Stephen Oram (15061) having a very good start along with Shane McCarthy in the Solo.  At the weather mark others would be at the front end of the fleet with Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) well up as was Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706). While the top reach may have been a bit tighter than intended, it was loose enough to allow spinnaker to be flown. Court & Syme were pushing Butler and Oram around the first lap and they were in close company at the first leeward mark.

Meanwhile back at the start area, the errant Laser & 4.7 fleet were filled with enthusiasm for starting to the extend that the blue and yellow flag had to be broken out with two sound signals – General Recall. It wasn’t even marginal with many the fleet over the line at the starts signal. Their enthusiasm saw them relegated behind the Radials in the starting sequence.

The Radials also got away cleanly and Sean Craig would proceed to dominate proceedings with two race wins. Kenny Rumball took a little while to master the Laser, but he too would enjoy a good day on the water – winning the Frostbite Mug in the first race and taking second place in the second. However, Peter Fagan would have an even better day, winning both races but he and Kenny had a “good ding-dong” in the second race.

Butler & Oram pulled away from the fleet in the first race and by the finish had a 3:11 advantage over who they perceive to be their closest opposition in overall terms, the Solo of McCarthy. By the time the results were calculated the 3:11 advantage turned into a 50 second deficit. The Kona windsurfer of Des Gibney took the third place in the first race. By this stage the wind had gone right again and piped up to a 20-knot high for the afternoon. It meant that the PY fleet were drifting around in the worst of the wind.  A decision to move the weather mark westwards for the second race had to be undone almost immediately when the wind switched back again.

For the second race the Lasers and 4.7s were given a black flag start immediately to make sure there was no temptation to “jump the gun” – it worked. By now the wind was starting to ease and as the race progressed its strength would drop to less than four knots. It also started to swing eastwards making the later beats of the course, a three-lap Olympic, a fetch and the leg to the gybe mark a sort of beat. That opened the door for McCarthy to close in on Butler & Oram en route to the gybe mark and by the leeward mark, McCarthy had gone into the lead on the water to take the race win.

In the 4.7s race wins were shared between Hugh O’Connor and Pepe de Sintas, but the best performance of the day goes to Emily Riordan who scored two seconds. Third places were shared between Adam Walsh and Kitty Flanagan.

Monica Schaeffer and Miriam McCarthy in the Wayfarer took second place overall in the second race and were followed overall by Tom Murphy in the K1. This gave Tom the Frostbite Mug. In the first PY race that honour went to Frank Hamilton and Jenny in the IDRA.

Other Frostbite Mugs went to Kei Walker (4.7s, Race 1), Brendan Hughes (Radials, Race 1), Conor Duffy (Laser, Race 2) and Shirley Gilmore (Laser Radial, Race 2).

Frostbites, Sunday 3rd February 2019.

Race 1; PY Fleet: Shane McCarthy (Solo), Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (Fireball), Des Gibney (Kona)

Race 2; PY Fleet: Shane McCarthy (Solo), Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy (Wayfarer), Tom Murphy (K1).

Race 1; Laser: Peter Fagan, Brian Hall, Chris Arrowsmith

Race 2; Laser: Peter Fagan, Kenny Rumball, Gary O’Hare

Race 1; 4.7s: Hugh O’Connor, Emily Riordan, Adam Walsh

Race 2; 4.7s: Pepe de Sintas, Emily Riordan, Kitty Flanagan

Race 1; Radials: Sean Craig, Moss Simington, Finn Walker

Race 2; Radials: Sean Craig, Jack Fahy, Jack Hall.

 

  

Series 2 gets underway in Dun Laoghaire!

posted 21 Jan 2019, 04:04 by Stephen Oram

After two successive Sundays were lost to the vagaries of the weather, with 6th January lost to no wind at all and 13th January abandoned on the Saturday due to a pessimistic forecast of 30 knot gusts for the Sunday, the Dun Laoghaire Frostbites finally got underway yesterday with three races inside the harbour.

A XCWeather forecast of 15 – 17 knots with gusts in the low twenties from a direction just west of north suggested that sailing would be possible and so it proved. There was a healthy turnout for all three starts and even though the temperature was only around 6/7⁰ there was no sense of ”shock and horror” when the Race Officer, Cormac Bradley, suggested that a three race programme might be possible.

A two-lap triangular course was set for the first offering of the day, with the committee boat anchored in front of the Royal St George Yacht Club and the weather mark inside the end of the West Pier and just to leeward of the green INSS raft.  The gybe mark was set just outside the fairway entrance to the marina.

While the pin end of the line had been set in accordance with what was a pretty steady wind direction of 330⁰, at least from the committee boat’s perspective, that end was hotly favoured in the first two races and this led to a number of individual recalls in the first two races and a general recall for the Laser and 4.7 combined start.

When the Frostbites Co-ordinator pointed out that crossing the line on starboard was a challenge and that was followed up by a robust accusation of the same thing from a well-known Laser sailor, the pin end had to be dropped back for the final start of the day which made crossing the line that bit more easy. Still it wasn’t all gloom for the Race Officer as another high profile Laser told the Race Team on the water that the courses were great and that he had treally enjoyed them. Further commendation came in this morning (Monday) with a very gratifying What’sApp message from the Laser fraternity via the Frostbites Co-ordindator.

Races 2 and 3 were two-lap Windward-Leeward courses and such was the consistency of the wind direction that the only change to the course was the lifting of the gybe mark to form the second half of the leeward gate. In all the three races took just about an hour and forty minutes from the first sound signal of the day to just after a the last finisher of Race 3 as noted by a casual glance at my watch. Some people may have felt that the day’s proceedings compromised their ability to watch the last group game of the Champions Cup rugby in which there would have been a very significant local interest, but in truth the ”home” team of the Frostbiters was already qualified with a home game in the quarter finals and their opposition would only be confirmed on completion of the game. So, to the competitor who made a jovial suggestion as to my rugby affiliation on the water – you were wrong, my team will meet yours in the quarter-final.

With this being the ”first day back” some people were ring-rusty and admitted to sailing a triangle-sausage when triangles only were signalled in Race 1, others were seen to go through the finish line when the blue flag was up, others were observed omitting the offset mark at the windward mark, and some admitted to this misdemeanour, and others went around the outside of the leeward gate rather than through the gate. The biggest start line fault is crossing the line in the last minutes which requires the competitor to sail back behind the line by going round one of the ends, as signalled by the flying ogf the ”I” flag for all starts. All competitors should be vigilant about the correct course being sailed and the sailing instructions being observed.

In terms of race results there was a combination of new and old on the water, with Noel Butler and Stephen Oram (Fireball 15061) claiming two race wins. In the middle race they were deemed to be OCS and weren’t able to get back around the pin end as quickly as they might have liked. They still managed a third on the water. That allowed Neil Colin and Margaret Casey (Fireball 14775) and Alistair Court and Gordon Syme (Fireball 14706) to lead a healthy turnout of Fireballs around the course. Colin & Casey were in the ”pound seats” until a snagged spinnaker halyard blighted their last drop allowing Court & Syme a comfortable race win.  Sean Craig picked up two race wins and a second in the Laser Radials, while Gavan Murphy in the Laser Full Rig picked up a 1,2, 6.  A new name in the Laser Full Rig was George Kingston who took a race win as did another new name, Peter Fagan. The Gorman siblings, Conor and Claire, took two of the 4.7 class wins with the third race going to Hugh O’Connor.

On handicap, in the PY Class there were two race wins for Morgan Lyttle & Patrick White in a 420, the first time we have had a 420 in the Frostbites for quite some time and Shane McCarthy in the Solo took a customary win. This meant an unusual ”shut-out” for the Fireball of Butler & Oram from the top of the podium.

Mug winners for the day were;

Race 1: Morgan Lyttle & Patrick White (420), George Kingston (Laser Full Rig), Adam Leddy (Laser Radial), Emily Riordan (Laser 4.7).

Race 2: Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (Fireball), Peter Fagan (Laser Full Rig), Jack Hall (Laser Radial), Pepe de Sintas (Laser 4.7)

Race 3: Josh Porter & Katie Kane (Fireball), Brian Hall (Laser Full Rig), Michael McCormack (Laser Radial), Mary Chambers (Laser 4.7).

 

  

    

Final Frostbite Sunday 2018

posted 17 Dec 2018, 02:36 by Stephen Oram

With howling gales on Saturday, courtesy of Storm Deirdre, the weather forecast for today was a lot more benign with a base wind of 9 knots with gusts up to 15 knots from a WSW direction. Or at least that’s what XCWeather was saying during the morning. Arriving at the office to get a piece of work done before racing, the view from the 3rd Floor of my office location suggested that the Tukey Shoot participants were having a good race but there was nothing excessive about the wind. They had a fleet in excess of 50 bots.

With a solitary double points scoring race on the Agenda for today, there was a debate as to whether we should go outside, but with hindsight, staying in was the better call. Race Officer Cormac Bradley and Frostbites co-ordinator Neil Colin decided that a long race would fit the bill and we would stick with triangles.  Thus a five lap course was set with the weather mark initially set about two hundred metres west of the former HSS berth. By 13:40 the full course was set and while there was some fluctuation in the breeze, the location of the weather mark held true for quite a while. A well-known Laser Radial sailor advised me that he could almost fetch the mark on port tack and no sooner had that been acknowledged than a substantial shift to the left happened.  This in turn prompted a call to the mark layer to drag the weather mark eastwards.

Three clean starts were managed today but there were OCSs in the PY fleet, with one of the Kona Windsurfers called back and at least one Fireball going back with him. Somehow or other the K1 (Tom Murphy, NYC) sneaked a star that neither the recorders nor the RO saw and he was not amused to find himself recorded as an OCS at the clubhouse afterwards.

While the race sequences had started in about 9 knots of breeze, it became apparent that the wind was fading rather than strengthening and there was certainly no sign of the 15 knots that had been promised. The RS Aero was well up the pecking order at the first weather mark in the company of two Fireballs – Noel Butler and Stephen Oram (15061) and the ladies, Cariosa Power & Marie Barry (14854), who after the racing told me of their position at the first weather mark. The tendency to flick left made the first reach tighter than originally intended and Messrs Butler & Oram didn’t gybe at Mark 2 but sailed on for quite some distance before adjusting course to get to Mark 3. Behind these two the remaining Fireballs were in close proximity to each other. Power & Barry had a systems failure with putting up and taking down their spinnaker and while it cost them places and distance on the water, and one imagine huge frustration, it was not the sort of day where it could have been much more catastrophic! The Aero stuck with the Fireballs for the first lap but then more of them caught and passed him. Butler and Oram were racing against the clock, with Shane McCarthy being their principal opposition on the water for the overall Series 1 lead. They “streaked away”, figuratively, not physically, from their own fleet and took a 16:14 winning margin over McCarthy into the results machinations, which converted into a 7:25 win. The next three Fireballs were overlapped on the finish line and in a very tight call the Thompson brothers, Daniel & Harry (1500) got the nod ahead of Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691) who sneaked in ahead of Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775).   

By this stage the wind was down to a measly 3 knots so with Butler & Oram having such a big lead on the water a belated decision was taken to relocate the finish boat at the weather mark. We made it just before the Fireball pair!! At least it meant that the fleet had a much shorter sail home in wind that was rapidly disappearing.   

I am not sufficiently familiar with enough of the Laser fleets to know “Who’s who” so a blow by blow account is not as forthcoming. However, Adam Walsh did lead the 4.7 fleet from start to finish as did Chris Arrowsmith in the Standard Rig. While in the Radials, I can confirm that the leading three boats throughout the race were Conrad Vandlik, Conor Clancy (ex-Fireball) and Sean Craig.

Given that this was the last Sunday of Series 1 the prize-giving for the Series was held in the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club after racing with snacks and soup provided for our sustenance. Thus the tables that follow will detail the day’s winners, followed by the Series results of the same Class.

 

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites: 16 December 2018

PY Fleet*

1

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram

National Yacht Club

FB 15061

2

Shane McCarthy

Coal Harbour/Greystones Sailing Club

Solo 5-0-

3

Daniel & Harry Thompson

Wicklow Boating & Tennis Club

FB 1500-

4

Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe

Royal St. George Yacht Club

FB 14691

5

Neil Colin & Margaret Casey

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club

FB 14775

  

*Provisional – subject to the K1 being reinstated.

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites: 16 December 2018;

PY Fleet, Series 1 Overall

Class

Sail No.

Club

Nett

1

Shane McCarthy

Solo

5-0-

Coal Harbour & Greystones Sailing Club

11

2

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram

FB

15061

National Yacht Club

14

3

Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy

Wayfarer

111152

Greystones Sailing Club

47.5

4

Daniel & Harry Thompson

FB

1500-

Wicklow Boating & Tennis Club

60

5

Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keefe

FB

14691

Royal St George Yacht Club

66

 

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites: 16 December 2018

Standard Lasers

1

Chris Arrowsmith

2

Conor O’Leary

3

Garvan Murphy

 

(Only three entries today.)

 

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites: 16 December 2018;

Laser Standard Rig, Series 1 Overall

1

Chris Arrowsmith

20

2

Gary O’Hare

30

3

Niall Cowman

36

4

Garvan Murphy

42

5

Alan Hodgins

43

 

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites: 16 December 2018

4.7s

1

Adam Walsh

2

Conor Gorman

3

Kitty Flanagan

 

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites: 16 December 2018;

Laser 4.7s, Series 1 Overall

1

Alana Coakley

15

2

Adam Walsh

19

3

Conor Gorman

25

4

Hugh O’Connor

29

5

Haemish Munro

59

 

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites: 16 December 2018

Radials

1

Conrad Vandlik

2

Conor Clancy (Mug winner)

3

Sean Craig

 

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites: 16 December 2018;

Laser Radials, Series 1 Overall

1

Marco Sorgassi

37

2

Conrad Vandlik

38

3

Sean Craig

56

4

Jack Hall

73

5

Shirley Gilmore

78

 

Frostbites Co-ordinator Neil Colin MC-ed the prize-giving and in addition to the 1-2-3 overall prizes in each fleet, there was recognition for the Laser Radials and 4.7s who have managed to swell the numbers of entrants to the Frostbites to over 100 boats this year. The “junior” Laser sailors were invited to take a small token prize from the “top table” to acknowledge their participation.

Given the onset on the festive season, there was also a prize today for “Best-dressed boat”. Two of the Junior Lasers were given special mention by way of using festive bows and suitably coloured tinsel, but the easy winner of the “concours d’elegance” in a festive theme was the Wayfarer of Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy.

The Fireball Worlds in 2020 are coming to Howth Yacht Club and part of the sponsorship package for the event involves Tyrconnell Whiskey. A donation of three bottles of this gold elixir was made by Judith Malcolm and her husband for a draw with all Fireball crews eligible and a draw for all the volunteers. Marie Barry and Cariosa Power picked up the competitor prize, while the volunteer prize went to Liam O’Brien.

This concludes the Frostbites for 2018. Racing resumes in January, so from this correspondent, “Happy Christmas and a Peaceful & Prosperous New Year”!

Fast and furious!

posted 11 Dec 2018, 03:19 by Stephen Oram

Monitoring the forecast from the Thursday beforehand the weather prognosis for the Frostbites of Sunday 9th December wasn’t good, with the base wind strength in the low twenties but gusts going above 30 knots. Indeed, had the Frostbites been scheduled for the Saturday evening, competitors wouldn’t have taken their covers off their boats, the wind was whistling through the rigging and it was very wet.

Sunday dawned bright but cold and there was a sense that the wind wasn’t quite as vicious as had been forecast! XCWeather was still sticking to its projection of a wind range of 21 – 28-30 knots and indeed at 11:17 the Dublin Bay weather buoy was recording 21 knots with a gust of 28 knots. However, an early walk around the eastern end of the harbour ( National & Royal St George end) revealed relatively flat water and three Toppers sailing inside the harbour without too much strife.  Walking back towards the DMYC, a group of Optimists were sailing outside the harbour and again didn’t seem to be struggling too much. Finally the steam trail at the Poolbeg Incinerator while blowing horizontally most of the time occasionally had an element of upwards movement.

All of this persuaded the Race Team to go out into the main body of the harbour to get a feel of what might be possible. At that stage the wind was blowing from 280⁰ at between 12 and 18 knots and just as we made our back to the DMYC a top wind speed of just over 21 knots was recorded.

Further discussion ashore with the Frostbites coordinator, Neil Colin, prompted the decision that a single race would be sailed but that if the conditions got worse, even with a course in place, the race committee could abandon proceedings.

Maybe not all the competitors were as enthused as the race team, for a number arrived late and one high profile combination only managed to sail out from their home club in the eastern reaches of the harbour to the pin end of the start line as the gun went. Afterwards there was a “tongue in cheek” reference to the efficiency of their approach, minimising the time spend on the water in advance of the gun. This combination were forced to the right hand side of the course as a consequence of their late arrival at the start line but the absence of choice didn’t seem to impact on their arrival at the top mark. However, they weren’t the first boat there!   

Race Officer Cormac Bradley set an Olympic course with three laps. The weather mark was set in the vicinity of the western bight, just north of the entrance to the marina with a gybe mark deliberately set low so that in the squally conditions there was more wriggle-room for those who chose to fly spinnaker. So while the breeze fluctuated in strength, it was relatively steady in direction. Yes, there was movement, but my checking of the wind direction during the pre-start and early stages suggested that the weather mark was in a good compromise position and the sailors who made their way to the DMYC clubhouse afterwards seemed to be happy with the fare that had been served. 

The Fireballs led the PY fleet home with Messrs Butler & Oram (FB 15061) taking the win on the water followed home by Phil Lawton & Owen Laverty (FB 14990) a short distance behind.  Shortly thereafter the Solo of Shane McCarthy came home and he had enough time to go top of the rankings on handicap. The Frostbite Mug for the PY fleet went to the Keegans (FB 146766), with dad Mick crewing for son David. A number of the Fireballs were unusually late for the start, Messrs Butler & Oram arrived “on the starting signal”. But the Thompson brothers Daniel & Harry (15007), and unusually, Frank Miller & Ed Butler (14713) were more significantly disadvantaged by their late arrival, but to give them their due they did sail the whole race.

The Laser fleets also enjoyed a fast circuit of the harbour and finished in quite a tight order. Conor O’Leary from the Royal St George won the Frostbite Mug in the Radial fleet and I recall that Sean Craig was well up the pecking order on the water. Regrettably, my photos of the results sheet in the DMYC are illegible and as I write this report the results are not yet up on the DMYC website.  So my apologies for this slightly tardy report!

However, the attached photos by Neil Colin should make up for the dearth of “blow by blow details of what happened on the water. 

“Frostbiters” are advised that next Sunday’s solitary race will count for DOUBLE points and that the prize-giving for Series 1, November/December will take place in the DMYC Clubhouse after racing. This will close out the Frostbites for 2018.

 

 

Fireballers mark the close of the season with prize-giving and dinner

posted 3 Dec 2018, 03:30 by Stephen Oram

The Irish Fireball Class Association marked the close of the summer season with their annual prize-giving dinner at the National Yacht Club on Friday 30th November. There was a good turnout for the dinner with a combination of young and not-so-young, active and retired Fireballers, at least one of whom has been based outside of the country for the recent past. A party of Fireballers from north of the Liffey got through passport control to spend the evening in Dun Laoghaire and were rewarded by taking away the biggest prize of the evening – the Travellers’ Trophy.

Class Chairman Neil Cramer of Skerries Sailing Club opened the proceedings with a review of the season and started that review by noting the passing earlier in the year of the international and domestic stalwart of the class Louis Smyth. Neil noted that Louis had raced his Fireball “Licence to Thrill” into his eightieth year and Neil intimated that this gave the rest of us “no excuse” not to continue racing into our senior years!

He further noted that Louis’ presence in the fleet was being carried on by way of his family’s donation of the boat to a Youth combination to campaign over the 2018/19 Frostbites and towards the Worlds in Howth in 2020. Eight combinations had applied to get the use of Louis’ boat but it had been allocated to the Thompson brothers Daniel & Harry and Neil advised that their commitment to the cause was mirrored by a typical weekend in winter with Saturday and Sunday sailing in Malahide and Dun Laoghaire, from a home base in Wexford.    

He provided some report back from the Carnac Worlds (France) where there had been a very positive reaction to the Worlds in Howth in 2020. Possibly influenced by a very generous donation of whiskey from the primary organisers of the event in Howth for the competitors in France, there were lots of undertakings to be in Ireland for this regatta.

Winners on the night

Travellers’ Trophy

1.       Niall McGrotty & Neil Cramer; IRL 14938, Skerries Sailing Club

2.       Frank Miller & Ed Butler; IRL 14713, Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club

3.       Jon Evans & Aidan Caulfield; IRL 14718, Sligo Yacht Club

 

Travellers’ Trophy Silver Fleet

Daniel & Harry Thompson, Wexford Boat & Tennis Club

 

India Trophy (Most Improved)

                Daniel & Harry Thompson (3rd at Fireball Nationals, Skerries)

 

Asterix Trophy (Significant Contribution)

                Frank Miller – for general promotion of the class and his coaching in Killaloe

 

Lady Helm

Louise McKenna – for her performance (with crew Hermine O’Keeffe) at the Worlds in Carnac, France

 

Liam Bradley Trophy

Awarded to Neil Colin for his volunteer efforts on behalf of the Irish Fireball fleet – organising events (Leinsters), hosting training events, organising the Frostbites, enjoying success in the Flying Fifteen fleet (winner Thursday Series overall in 2017) and qualifying for the 2019 Worlds and for recently taking on a fleet role with the Dun Laoghaire FF fleet.

               

  

A Challenging Day!

posted 3 Dec 2018, 03:19 by Stephen Oram   [ updated 3 Dec 2018, 03:27 ]

The fifth round of the DMYC-hosted Frostbites provided the fleet with the most challenging conditions yet and even then what was forecast didn’t really materialise. On Friday at the Fireball dinner and prize-giving the speculation was that we mightn’t get out at all. At that stage the forecast was for 6 knots gusting to 30 knots. On Saturday the harbour was reduced to mirror-like conditions, but the forecast for Sunday was starting to show that there would be wind the following day with the base wind strengthening but the gusts staying as severe as before. An early reconnaissance of the harbour in the committee boat suggested that the forecast conditions weren’t in place and the wind was blowing at 12 knots.   

At the stage of the check on the conditions, the wind direction was 240⁰, but when we went out to set up the race course the wind had changed to a median direction of 180⁰ and the strength was showing signs of dropping.

This also meant that the original plan – to have a windward –leeward course to open proceedings, across the harbour in on east-west axis had to be abandoned in favour of an Olympic course with a weather mark situated to the west of the old HSS berth. That left the leeward mark sitting just inside of but in the middle of the harbour mouth and the gybe mark in towards the middle of the harbour.

Race Officer Cormac Bradley set a three-lapper for the first race and the PY fleets and Laser Radials both enjoyed clean starts. However, the combined Laser and 4.7 fleet found themselves in trouble with the Race Officer again, with another General Recall resulting in a restart under a black flag. Surprisingly………or not, the youngsters in the fleet were the principal culprits in “jumping the gun”.

In the PY fleet, Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061) led the fleet out to the left hand-side of the beat before working their way back to the right hand-side for the final approach to the weather mark on the starboard lay-line.  A newcomer to the front end of the fleet was Dave Turner, sailing with Fireball stalwart “Cas” who rounded in second place. In close company was the remainder of the Fireball fleet, Phil Lawton & Owen Laverty (14990), Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775), the Thompson brothers (15007), another newcomer to the fleet, Josh,  sailing with Class Chairman, Neil Cramer,  in Frank Miller’s boat (14713) and Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691). Also enjoying a place well up the pecking order on the water \was Shane McCarthy in the Solo.  The Wayfarers had three boats on the water but their “champion” was in trouble with a premature start which necessitated going back – with the standard round the ends rule applying.

For the remainder of the race, an extended game of snakes and ladders was played with Turner falling to last at one stage.  While Butler & Oram won on the water, they didn’t do enough time-wise to fend off McCarthy in the Solo who took another handicap win, followed home by Butler & Oram and Olympian Phil Lawton crewed by Owen Laverty, for whom this was enough to take the Frostbite Mug.   Behind them the “new” Fireball combination of Josh and Neil Cramer came fourth, followed by the RS 200 of Sarah Byrne.  The KONA Windsurfers were separated by a second in 6th and 7th respectively.

In the Laser fleets, race wins went to Niall Cowman (Standard), Conor Gorman (4.7s) and Finn Walker (Radials).  Conor Kinsella, a very successful Fireball crew in recent times, made his Frostbite debut in a Laser Radial and finished just behind another class stalwart in Shirley Gilmore.

Given the prevailing conditions, of good breeze and a bright sky another Olympic was set, this time with four laps. However, the breeze soon increased as a rain shower made its presence felt and while the race course was on the fringe of the storm, a high wind speed of just under 20 knots was recorded.  It also started flicking more significantly but the mean direction was still close enough to the original position of the weather mark. Yet again in the PY fleet, Butler & Oram were the boat to chase on the water, but Lawton and Laverty made it a much tighter chase with only 16 seconds separating them at the finish. McCarthy came home 4:16 behind Butler & Oram but on corrected time this was converted into a 57-second win. Court & Syme were an OCS who didn’t go back, while Tom Murphy in the K1 was a similar transgressor, who did take his punishment and went back to restart.  The strengthening wind made for some interesting off-wind legs and a few of the Fireballs had “technical issues” as a consequence.

In the Laser fleets, wins were shared by Alan Hodgins (Standard), Alana Coakley (4.7s) and Conrad Vandlik (Radials).  As the afternoon progressed the skies got greyer and it started raining making it the least comfortable afternoon of the series thus far. But after two races of the Olympic configuration there were no loud complaints about the day’s proceedings.

With two Sundays left before the Christmas break, the overall situation in the three classes is as follows;

2018/19 Frostbites hosted by DMYC: PY Fleet, 10 Races sailed; 2 Discards.

Total

Nett

1

Shane McCarthy

Solo

1

1

7

1

1

2

2

2

1

1

19

10

2

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram

Fireball (15061)

12

2

1

2

7

1

1

1

2

2

31

12

3

Monica Schaeffer & Miriam McCarthy

Wayfarer (11152)

2

6

2

3

15

10

5

5

8

6.5

62.5

37.5

4

Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe

Fireball (14691)

7

23

4

10

12

8

4

7

10

8

93

58

5

Daniel & Harry Thompson

Fireball (15007)

24

13

5

5

6

6

7

41

11

5

123

58

 

2018/19 Frostbites hosted by DMYC: Laser Standard Rig, 10 Races sailed; 2 Discards.

Total

Nett

1

Chris Arrowsmith

1

4

3

1

2

10

5

3

4

3

36

21

2

Gary O’Hare

2

1

1

9

13

13

2

5

3

4

53

27

3

Niall Cowman

7

2

5

6

7

4

3

4

1

6

45

31

4

Alan Hodgins

5

7

6

2

5

6

6

7

5

1

50

36

5

Ian Simington

13

13

2

5

4

1

1

1

13

13

66

40

 

2018/19 Frostbites hosted by DMYC: Laser 4.7 Rig, 10 Races sailed; 2 Discards.

Total

Nett

1

Alana Coakley

3

1

3

6

2

2

1

1

3

1

23

14

2

Adam Walsh

1

9

1

16

1

1

3

3

4

5

44

19

3

Conor Gorman

7

3

5

16

3

3

2

2

1

2

44

21

4

Hugh O’Connor

2

4

2

6

5

4

4

4

2

3

36

25

5

Haemish Munro

8

5

10

6

4

5

10

16

7

4

75

49

 

2018/19 Frostbites hosted by DMYC: Laser Radial Rig, 9 Races sailed; 2 Discards.

Total

Nett

1

Marco Sorgassi

21

5

14

2

2

3

4

2

3

56

21

2

Conrad Vandlik

3

2

14

35

35

4

2

8

1

104

34

3

Sean Craig

21

1

14

1

1

35

35

3

4

115

45

4

Jack Hall

7

12

14

12

3

6

6

6

7

73

47

5

Shirley Gilmore

10

16

4

8

4

11

10

9

9

81

56

 

   

Healthy winds again!

posted 26 Nov 2018, 01:16 by Stephen Oram

The fourth round of the 2018/19 offered to be a healthy affair with a projected forecast of 10 – 14 knots from the east, a bit of sunshine and an air temperature of 6/7⁰. After a round of capsizes last weekend in the strongest winds of the series so far, a refresher on procedures was undertaken in the clubhouse before the racing. Some unique scenarios had arisen which needed a sharing of minds as to how to best manage them on the water.

Today’s complication on the water took the form of a barge carrying a large tonnage of granite rocks into the harbour, potentially, I think for repairs to the east pier seawall after the storms of last winter and beyond. While ribs were dispatched to manage the launching boats from the Royal St George and National Yacht Clubs, the barge made its way safely and unobstructed from the harbour mouth to St Michael’s Pier.

Race Officer Cormac Bradley (Fireball) decided on a three-lap windward-leeward course to start the proceedings as there was a good breeze on the water and it was a bright afternoon.  With a weather mark set inshore of the Boyd Memorial on the East Pier, the 17-boat PY fleet favoured the outer half of the line and headed towards the harbour mouth.  The fleet, made up of 8 Fireballs, the K1, the Wayfarer, the Solo, 2 RS200s and 2 RS400s, an Enterprise and Laser Vago worked the left hand side of the course but then found that they had forgotten the Sailing Instructions with respect to the leeward gate, with one high profile individual, who should know better, going round the outside of one of the two marks making up the gate as opposed to going through the gate………no names given, what happens on the water stays on the water! 

Butler & Oram (FB 15061) did their normal thing when the breeze is up – they consistently sailed away from the fleet, winning by a margin of 2:18. One other Fireball, with an Olympian on board, forgot to go round the spreader mark at the top of the course; another Fireball went round the outside of the gate rather than through it. Between errors and retirements, the attrition rate in the PY fleet was quite high and Frank Miller & Ed Butler (FB 14713) sailed into second place on the water, followed by Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (FB 14691) who finished ahead of Shane McCarthy in the Solo. While the Solo went up the pecking order on handicap, the Fireball was still a comfortable winner on corrected time. The Frostbite Mug went to the Fireball ladies, Louise and Hermine after a steward’s enquiry   in the clubhouse afterwards.

The Lasers (Standard Rig) and 4.7s gave the race committee lots of grief today with a General Recall required in both races. Seven Standard Lasers had a good race with Ian Simington having a good win in the first race, but further down the pecking order three boats crossed the line overlapped, with Garvan Murphy picking up the first slot of those three. Unfortunately for him it was too far down the pecking order to be in the 1-2-3, those latter positions going to Gary O’Hare and Niall Cowman. That gave Cowman the Frostbite Mug. In the 4.7s, a young lady led the fleet home with a win for Alana Coakley, followed by Conor Gorman, (Dad happy for the second week in a row) and Adam Walsh. Hugh O’Connor picked up the Frostbite Mug.

In the Laser Radials, there was a win for another young lady in Claire Gorman, (the cup runneth over, Dad), followed by Jack Fahy and Marco Sorgassi. The second place was enough to get the Frostbite Mug for Fahy.

Race2 was a three-lap Olympic course in a slightly lighter breeze, for although the weather still wasn’t too bad, for the PY fleet there had been a long break between races.  The reduction in the number of marks to be rounded made the race easier for most and a more ordered rounding of the race course resulted. Again the outer end of the line was preferred and again, Butler and Oram did their thing. This time however, the rest of the Fireballs gave them a bit more company before they fell back to have their own race for the podium places on the water.  Eventually the finishing order on the water would be Butler, Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (FB 14775), Phil Lawton & Owen Laverty (FB 14990), McKenna & O’Keeffe (FB 14691), Miler & Butler (FB 14713), the RS200 of Sarah Byrne & Helen Craig and the Solo of McCarthy.  The latter two did enough on the water to form a handicap podium of Butler, McCarthy and Byrne to give the Frostbite Mug to the RS 200 crew. Colin was fourth on handicap ahead of the Wayfarer of Monica Schaeffer and Norman Lee.

In the Standard Lasers, there was a repeat win for Ian Simington, but Gavan Murphy had a better race to finish second, ahead of Chris Arrowsmith and Niall Cowman. In the 4.7s there was another “double” when Alana Coakley again led the fleet home, followed by Gorman, Walsh and Hugh O’Connor. As these were all Mug winners already, the Mug went to Oisin Hughes in fifth.

In the eleven-boat Radial fleet, the younger generation found the slighter lighter wind conditions more favourable and they led the fleet home – Jack Fahy, Conrad  Vandlik and Claire Gorman, were the 1-2-3, followed by Marco Sorgassi and Moss Simington. This fifth place earned Moss the Frostbite Mug.

While this column isn’t generally intended to be a notification for issues associated with the Sailing Instructions, it enjoys a healthy readership when it appears on the Afloat website. On the assumption that a lot of those readers are from the fleet, with the agreement of the principal organiser of the Frostbites, Neil Colin,  a piece of advice, when the blue flag is flying to indicate that the committee boat is on station for a finish, competitors still racing are NOT allowed to cross the line.

 

 

A busy harbour!

posted 19 Nov 2018, 05:47 by Stephen Oram

With the Irish Universities having a team racing event in Dun Laoghaire Harbour over the weekend, with 71 races completed on Saturday and various training initiatives taking place inside (and outside) the harbour, Race Officer Neil Colin (Fireball) was challenged to get his race course in yesterday for the third round of the 2018/19 Frostbites, with an easterly of 10 – 16 knots forecast for the day. Earlier in the morning the keelboats’ Turkey Shoot had attracted a record entry of 75 boats (a statistic gleaned from another article on a popular website) but not to be outdone, the dinghy fraternity mounted a robust attendance for the first race of the day with 55 entries across the three starts. The start area was in the outer western corner of the harbour, between the mouth and the western bight with the committee boat no more than 50 – 60m upwind of the inner wall. Given a heavy swell that was washing up on the rocks, it was a slightly unnerving feeling to have so many boats sailing up and down in such a confined area.

Race 1 of the day was a two-lap Windward – Leeward and the bulk of the fleet went off on starboard tack towards the end of the West Pier.  As to be expected, Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (FB 15061) were quick out of the blocks, but your correspondent, crewing for Alistair Court (FB 14706), also got away cleanly pulling away from Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly (FB 14713). The longer tack was the port tack up the length of the harbour towards the East Pier with the weather mark in the approximate vicinity of the Boyd Memorial.  With that bit more weight on the wire, Court was able to sail a higher line and had closed to a distance that necessitated a call of starboard when Butler & Oram came across on what they thought was an approach to the weather mark. Except, they chose the wrong mark, going for what was a sizeable spreader mark and on rounding it, launched their kite. Court and Bradley went round the weather mark and found that they were in company with Miller & Donnelly.  The initial part of the downwind leg was a broad reach to the western end of the harbour mouth, followed by a gybe to get towards the leeward gate. Except that was like getting through the rush of a train platform as the Lasers were making their way upwind and going through the start line was taboo……….though some may have done this.

Court rounded in the lead and up the next upwind leg was able to stretch his advantage again with Bradley’s bigger weight on the wire, though he is lighter than this time last year! However, Miller & Donnelly were not to be outdone and came back at them on the off-wind leg. A poor drop by Bradley going through the gate allowed Miller to close even more but Court squeezed the win on the water by a margin of 4 seconds over Miller, with the Thompson brothers, sailing Louis Smyth’s boat, 14007, next 16 seconds later and the unusually errant Butler & Oram next home in 15:27 minutes only 40 seconds behind the winners. The question was did Court’s Fireball have enough on Shane McCarthy’s Solo to take the win and maybe a Frostbite Mug.  The answer was No on both counts, despite being just short of two minutes down on Court’s finishing time, McCarthy won by 1:14 on handicap and the Kona Windsurfer of Des Gibney took second and the Mug by a four-second margin on the Fireball.   

In the Laser Full Rig Class the race win and Mug went to the Dun Laoghaire Laser Class Captain Gavan Murphy followed home by Chris Arrowsmith and Conor O’Leary, the latter having sailed 6 one-lap Flying Fifteen Frostbite races the day before in the last round of 2018 racing for the DL Flying Fifteen fleet. 

In the Radials, the race win and Mug went to Sean Craig, ahead of Marco Sorgassi and Conor Clancy, formerly of the Fireball Class. In the 4.7s, the race win and Mug went to Adam Walsh, followed by Alana Coakley and Conor Gorman.

For the second race of the day a four-lap Olympic configuration was set and the attrition rate started to kick in as the combined entry for this race was down to 44 boats. The weather mark stayed pretty much where it was and the spreader mark was converted to a gybe mark and located just inside the end of the West Pier. Again the consensus was to get off the start line on starboard and head towards the West Pier. The Thompson brothers and Butler & Oram had the best starts of the second race while others were adversely affected by the presence of a Laser 4.7 who was in the wrong place at the wrong time…….in irons. We were all genteel in our language in advising him what he should be doing. Having broken free of the melee, Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (FB 14691), Miller and Court found themselves in VERY close company but Court was able to power out between the two. Butler & Oram were never headed off the start line and the race for second, on the water featured Court, Miller and the Thompsons.  Upwind, Court held the upper hand being able to sail much closer to the wind without losing boat speed whereas Miller and Thompson sailed that bit further off the breeze. It invariably meant a coming together in the vicinity of tacking for the starboard lay-line, with Court being “Starboard- hailed” on more than one occasion on the beat. But over the first three beats, Court eked out a lead going upwind which Miller and the Thompsons reduced on the downwind legs. It had been blustery all day, not wipe-out strength, but there were upturned boats on the course as gybes and windward rolls took their toll. On the last beat Court and Bradley were knocked over and filled the cockpit with water, enough to cause their good work earlier to evaporate.

Butler & Oram won by 1:35 on the water over Miller & Donnelly in a race that lasted 24:12, with the Thompsons next home in 26:30, 43 seconds behind Miller and just nine seconds ahead of Court & Bradley who had a second on McKenna & O’Keeffe. McCarthy was 2 seconds short of being five minutes behind Butler & Oram on the water, but on corrected time closed that gap to just seven seconds. With Des Gibney third, Miller & Donnelly picked up the PY Mug for the second race. 

In the Lasers, the win and Mug in the Standard Rig went to Ian Simington, followed by Peter Fagan and Gavan Murphy.  Adam Walsh took the Laser 4.7s on the water, followed home by Alana Coakley and Conor Gorman.  That was good enough to give Conor the Race Mug and considering he has recently come out of Optimists, on the basis of age, this is a great result. His sister is a previous Mug winner in this Series (Day 1 Radials) so Dad Dave, the current Flying Fifteen National Champion, must be “chuffed” at their success. In the Radials, the one-two was repeated by Craig and Sorgassi but this gave Marco Sorgassi the Race Mug, with Jack Hall in third place.

 

DMYC FROSTBITES REPORT - NOVEMBER 11TH

posted 12 Nov 2018, 01:46 by Stephen Oram

‘Louis is coming to get us" exclaimed Noel Butler to crew Stephen Oram. Looking over his shoulder he was watching the young Thompson brothers, Daniel and Harry, and perhaps a ghost, closing in rapidly during the second PY race in yesterday’s DMYC frostbite series. The Thompsons are sailing the Fireball of late veteran dinghy racer Louis Smyth who died in June. The pair have been awarded the youth boat for the Frostbites series in an initiative by Louis’ family and the Irish Fireball Association. While the Wexford based pair, who normally sail 420s, had a slow start the previous Sunday yesterday’s races saw them begin to find their stride. In race one they narrowly missed 2
nd place to Louise McKenna and Hermine O'Keeffe. In race two the pair were close on the heels of leaders Butler/Oram and by the finish were just a few seconds behind. Aldo back in action in Fireballs is the class boat, a composite Winder on loan for the winter to SID member Nick Miller sailing with an enthusiastic range of crews and helms from the Sailing in Dublin stable. Sunday’s racing in Dun Laoghaire harbour saw challenging conditions for all participants. The challenge wasn’t so much the wind strength as the variations in pressure and direction around the course. The game for all fleets was one of snakes and ladders.  For this winter season the fleets are divided between three Laser starts and a very mixed PY start, dominated by the ten Fireball entries. With a Met Eireann small craft warning in force some crews expected decent wind but in the event the Wind Guru forecast proved the more accurate one and with the exception of the occasional gust winds were relatively light. While the line bias may have pointed towards the pin those who started at the committee end of the line tended to come out best at the windward mark with the breeze, when it did occasionally fill, coming from the south. The fleets remained well spread out around the triangular courses though the PY fleet occasionally had to work around a delayed laser start after the leeward mark– a first world complaint and a symptom of the growing frostbites numbers in a confined harbour. For race two the wind shifted right just before the start making the first beat a near fetch and the second reach quite tight. Nevertheless the usual suspects managed to find their way to the front. On handicap the ever consistent Butler/Oram won the first PY race in a Fireball while  Shane McCarthy won the second PY race in his Solo. PY mug winners were Fireballers Louise McKenna and Hermine O'Keeffe for race one and Monika Schaefer and Miriam McCarthy in their Wayfarer for race 2. The large fleet of Lasers with multiple starts challenged the recorders but the results show the 4.7s races were won by Adam Walsh and Alana Coakley respectively, Ali Robinson and Sean Craig won the Radial divisions and Gary O’Hare and Chris Arrowsmith won the full rig divisions. The series, growing again in popularity, continues until late March with intermissions at Christmas and the New Year.

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