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Hyde Sails 2017 Dinghy Show

Kinsale Yacht Club Frostbite Series - Day 3

by Michele Kennelly on 21 Feb 19 February 2017
Kinsale Frostbite Series © Michele Kennelly

Light conditions saw a fleet of 29 boats leave KYC Marina and Dinghy Park on Sunday morning for Week 3 of the Osean74 Frostbite Series. No racing took place last week due to 29 knots blowing off Charles Fort. Such a change in conditions, the AP had to be flown at 10.55 hrs as there was no wind in the harbour. However it filled in as forecast from WNW and at 11.15 hrs the Mixed Dinghy fleet got underway in a very light 4 knots, followed by the Toppers and Squibs.

Racing was extremely challenging for all sailors on the water today. The first race saw all 3 fleets having difficulty reaching the finish line as by now there was a strong ebbing tide and the wind was dying. Several squibs bunched together when only a few dozen metres from the finish line, including several frontrunners, and having taken a higher line from the leeward mark, Bateleur, John Stanley, who today sailed with Mary Claire O'Keeffe, got clear air and line honours, followed closely by Eala, John & Bill Thuillier, and Espresso, Victor Fusco & Ruth Ennis in 3rd. Newcomers to the Squib Fleet in Mucky Duck, Michael and Sean O'Sullivan sailed a great race to come 4th. In the Mixed Dinghy Class Sean Murphy, Laser, Sean Collins, Laser Radial and Chris Baker, Laser are all jockeying with the 420 sailed by Micheal O'Suilleabhain & Michael Carroll for positions at the top of the leaderboard.

With the wind now blowing from SSW the second race got underway at 12.35 hrs. However after just a few minutes it died so the N flag went up. All three fleets returned to the starting area and we waited. Patience is a virtue – especially when sailing – and the breeze filled in nicely. Mixed Dinghies and Toppers went off together at 12.52 hrs followed 5 mins later by the Squibs. In the Mixed Dinghy Fleet Sean Murphy, Laser, and Sean Collins, Laser Radial, were only 1 second apart on the finish line which gave Sean Collins the race on PY. Gary Horgan, Laser, sailed a great race to take 3rd on the line and 3rd on corrected time.

In the Squib Fleet, Allegro, Colm Dunne & Super Sub Fiona, came around the windward mark and took a higher line than the rest of the fleet which saw them able to gybe and come in to the leeward mark on starboard, while the rest of the fleet were still on port. The Squib Fleet is so competitive in KYC this year that almost half the fleet arrived to the leeward mark together which resulted in a lot of jockeying for position – as attached photo shows. Allegro got clean away and after that the race was hers. Fuggles, Jeff Condell & Shawn Kingston put in a good performance and came 2nd with Viking Gold, Jeff Cochrane & Seb Tretter, taking 3rd. Pulpo, Commodore Tom Roche & Finbarr O'Regan put in a great race to take 4th and keep them right up the leader board.

The 3rd race of the day was the most frustrating for all concerned. It started in 7 knots of breeze but after 1 round of the W/L course it became apparent that the S was needed. PRO John Stallard, and his trusty scribe (me), hopped in a RIB to be taken to the leeward mark and transferred to the Fiona to finish the Squibs and Toppers on their run.

The Mixed Dinghy Fleet were able to complete their course. Sean Murphy, Laser, was far enough ahead of his nearest rival to take both line honours and corrected time. The 420 with Micheal and Michael were right up there with Sean and took 2nd in both as well. Sean Collins, Laser Radial, came 3rd which means that this class is wide open now.

The Squib Fleet were now heading for the leeward mark with a ESE wind behind them however the tide was proving to be stronger than the wind. Allegro came across the line for honours with Breakaway, Dave Matthews & Elizabeth Bond, a mere 9 secs behind them to take 2nd, Pulpo came 3rd and Sensation, Denis & Brid Cudmore, in 4th. Unfortunately the time limit had to be applied so there were only the 4 finished.

The Topper Fleet, which is new to KYC, saw some good competitive sailing today with Francesca Lewis putting in a very solid performance with a 1st and 2nd which sees her take overall lead. Maeve Buckley got a 2nd and 4th today which has kept her up in 2nd place. Emer Heery had a very good day on the water with a 4th and 1st which has seen her climb into 3rd overall. Lellie Collins had two great 3rd place finishes and David Carter is staying in the running by getting finishes each day. All to play for in this class with only 3 weeks left.

It wasn't only the sailors who found conditions challenging today. A WNW wind that was barely blowing 3-4 knots, which backed to SW, went flat calm and then a southerly sea breeze kicked in at 7-8 knots saw all flags put to good use on the instructions of PRO John Stallard – from AP to N to S... there wasn't a flag left in the box by the time we finished the day.

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