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48th Frostbite Series at Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club - Day 1

by Cormac Bradley 7 Nov 2018 14:56 GMT 4 November 2018

The 48th hosting of the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club's Frostbite Series got underway yesterday, Sunday 4th November with an entry of 93 boats confirmed during the morning of the first Sunday. This represents a huge increase from last year and is due in substantial part to a big influx of Lasers which are in such number that they are now split across two separate starts; Standards & 4.7s followed by the Radials. Another fleet with good numbers was the Fireball Class who had nine boats on the water.

After a review of last year's Frostbites and a survey of the participants a number of changes have been made which will be assessed as the season progresses. Among these are:

  • A desire for more races on the day
  • A move away from the reaching legs of the trapezoid
  • Shorter duration races and faster turnaround times

Yesterday Dun Laoghaire harbour was more akin to Piccadilly Circus, with the Frostbite fleet racing mid-harbour, a group of Toppers being coached in front of the National Yacht Club and a group of INSS sailors sailing in the vicinity of the green pontoon off the western bight. The fact that there was very little wind to achieve any of these ambitions is testament to the perseverance of those who had organised them and those who took part!

Race Officer for the Frostbites, Ben Mulligan, of the Flying Fifteen fleet, had his work cut out for him in trying to set a course for the first race with the wind being very fickle and in very short supply! Eventually he settled on a triangular course with the committee boat set up in the middle of the harbour and a weather mark in the direction of the East Pier.

With a single PY Class the first start of the day, we were treated to a fleet that had Shane McCarthy's Solo, the K1 of Tom Murphy (Flying Fifteen), the Enterprise of Aidan Geraghty & Bernadette Fox, the RS Aero 9 of Paul Phelan, RS200s, RS400s, Frank Hamilton's IDRA, a two-handed Mirror and a single handed Mirror, the returning Kona Windsurfers of Robbie Walker & Des Gibney, a 2.4m sailed by Patrick Hassett, the Wayfarer of Monica Schaefer, one of at least three, and the "Sailing in Dublin's" Laser Vagos and the aforementioned Fireballs.

What had been set out as a beat, turned into a two sail fetch about halfway up the first leg and at the fore was the combination of the Cariosa Power & Marie Barry (FB 14854). Another all-lady combination from the Fireball Class was also well placed in the leading bunch: Louise McKenna & Hermine O'Keeffe (FB 14691) taking advantage of a good start and the lighter winds.

After missing last year's Frostbites due to medical issues, the serial winners of the Fireball Frostbites, Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061) were back on the water but found themselves in the unusual situation of being well back in the fleet and in the pecking order of the Fireballs. For those who were even further back, due to a poor start, the engagement was with the leading Laser who started 3 minutes after the PYs, the Enterprise and Schaefer's Wayfarer.

Power & Barry maintained their lead down what was supposed to have been the first reach which had turned into a broader reach on the opposite tack and rounded the leeward mark in pole position, where they, like everyone else to follow behind them, was greeted with a rib flying the "V" flag and making sound signals: go straight to the finish! They proceeded to do so, scoring a thirty second margin over the second Fireball and finisher – McKenna & O'Keeffe.

On the water, the pecking order was Fireball, Fireball, Solo, RS Aero 9, Fireball (Court & Syme, 14706), Fireball (Butler & Oram), Fireball (Miller & Bradley, 14713), Fireball (Turner & Turner, 14362), Fireball (Colin & Casey 14775) and Kona Windsurfer (Walker, 1989). However, the leading Laser had also infiltrated that finishing sequence.

After a slightly lengthy break waiting for any worthwhile wind to settle in a second race got underway from a new direction, necessitating a complete change of course. The committee boat went northwards and the weather mark moved from a position approximately in front of the National and George Yachts Clubs to a position to the west of the HSS ferry gantry. However, it also had the decency to blow a bit harder and consequently the PY fleet was able to get off the start line cleaner and more efficiently meaning that they were free of the Lasers.

"Proper order" was restored when Butler & Oram led the PY fleet into the first mark and proceeded to do what they normally do – stretch their lead over the rest of the fleet. To put this in context, in a race where their finishing time was 22:59 minutes, they had a 1:07 margin on the next boat, the Fireball of Colin & Casey. A two-lap triangular course was the recipe for the second race and all the component parts were in the right place, two spinnaker reaches and a gybe at the right location and despite the fickle wind some brief moments of off-wind trapezing!!

Further back the mid-class Fireballs were mixing it with the RS400s and the leading Wayfarer.......again, but the breeze that had appeared meant that there was sense that one was in control of one's destiny and some manoeuvres could be contemplated.

The finishing order of the race was; Fireball (Butler & Oram), Fireball (Colin & Casey), Fireball (Court & Syme), Fireball (Power & Barry), Fireball (Turner & Turner), Fireball (Thompson & Thompson, 15007), the beneficiaries of the Louis Smyth loaned boat scheme, Fireball (Miller & Bradley), Solo (McCarthy) and the K1 of Tom Murphy.

At the delayed daily prize-giving in the DMYC clubhouse, there was much anticipation – Could Cariosa and Marie win the first Frostbite Mug of the PY fleet (and the Fireballs) and disrupt an almost seamless sequence of opening race wins by Noel & Stephen? Given that the Fireballs were now racing in PY there was no guarantee that the opening race Mug would go to the Fireballs, but if it did it would be quite a coup for the girls!

And the winner is... Shane McCarthy in the Solo with a corrected race time of 14:23 relative to 16:11 of the Fireball! Cariosa and Marie were the leading Fireball but on corrected time were scored in fourth place behind the Solo, Schaefer's Wayfarer and the IDRA of Frank Hamilton & Jennifer Byrne.

In the second race, the corrected time result also gave the race win to McCarthy but this time by a tighter margin of 3 seconds over the Fireball of Butler & Oram. As McCarthy had the Mug for race won, Butler & Oram took it for the second race and so, the effort to unseat Butler and Oram as the first Mug winners in the Fireball Frostbites runs for another year.

Suggestions that a recount was demanded are categorically refuted!

In the Lasers, the pecking order of results showed an encouraging trend of mixes in the top end results with the 4.7s taking on the Standard Lasers in Race 1 and the Radials doing the same in race 2. The Radial fleet is also populated by Juniors coming out of other classes and the large numbers on the water yesterday was a very encouraging sight.

Race 1 PY Class:

1. Solo, Shane McCarthy
2. Wayfarer, Monica Schaefer & Norman Lee
3. IDRA, Frank Hamilton & Jennifer Byrne
4. Fireball, Cariosa Power & Marie Barry
5. RS Aero 9, Paul Phelan Laser 4.7 Alana Coakley
6. Kona Windsurfer, Robbie Walker

Race 1 Lasers:

1. Standard, Chris Arrowsmith
2. Standard, Gary O'Hare
3. Laser 4.7, Adam Walsh
4. Laser 4.7, Hugh O'Connor
5. Standard, Conor O'Leary

Race 2 PY Class:

1. Solo, Shane McCarthy
2. Fireball, Noel Butler & Stephen Oram
3. Fireball, Neil Colin & Margaret Casey
4. K1, Tom Murphy Standard David Cahill
5. IDRA, Frank Hamilton & Jennifer Byrne
6. Wayfarer, Monica Schaefer & Norman Lee

Race 2 Lasers:

1. Laser Radial, Clare Gorman
2. Standard, Gary O'Hare
3. Standard, Niall Cowman
4. Standard, Chris Arrowsmith
5. Laser Radial, Judy O'Bierne

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