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Viking Marine sponsored Christmas Cracker 2021 at Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club

by Cormac Bradley 28 Dec 2021 17:20 GMT 27 December 2021

From an entry list of 72 boats, a fleet of 45 answered the Race Officer's call and presented themselves in the start area of the Christmas Cracker Race - kindly sponsored by Viking Marine and hosted by the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club.

This event had a very short gestation period, the idea only being floated on the penultimate Sunday of the pre-Christmas Frostbites. The idea was to have a charity race for the RNLI with entry fees capped at €5/boat and a request that competitors donate online to the RNLI.

In the week leading up to the event, the wind forecast varied enormously from the likelihood of no race due to high winds and gusts to a very light affair of less that 3 knots. Fortunately, neither of those scenarios arose and the fleet of 45 enjoyed winds that went up to a maximum of 15 knots, from the East. The air temperature was a balmy 10 degrees.

The course was set as a "Tour of the Harbour" with marks in locations to make shoreside viewing easier. Thus, a mark was laid inside the end of the Carlisle Pier, in front of the National Yacht Club, another mark was set inside the fairway entrance to the marina towards the ice-house and the remaining two marks were set close to the Boyd Memorial on the East Pier and upwind of the western breakwater where it joins the West Pier.

The fleet was set a beat for the opening leg, to the mark off the Boyd Memorial, and they proceeded in an anti-clockwise direction around the harbour thereafter.

The plan was to have the first boat racing for 75 minutes and the Fireball of Frank Miller & Hermine O'Keeffe (14713), bisected the finish line 1.5 minutes inside that target.

Two Fireballs led the fleet all the way round. Miller was the first to fly spinnaker after rounding the weather mark and he was followed closely by Neil Colin & Marjo Moneen (14775). These were initially challenged on the water by the RS400 of Dave Sweeney and Gavin Doyle but as the race progressed the gap to the Fireballs increased. A strong ILCA turnout was led by Eve McMahon in the ILCA 6 (Radial), Gary O'Hare in the ILCA 7 (full-rig) and Max Cantwell in the ILCA 4 (4.7). Eve has had a great 2021 with a win in Lake Garda in the ILCA 6 Youth Worlds and she followed that up with a top 5 place in the Youth Worlds earlier this month. At the finish she was only a couple of boat-lengths behind regular ILCA 7 competitor Gary O'Hare.

While the various ILCA rigs represented the largest element of the fleet, there was a good turnout from the Aeros, (5 and 7), the Fireballs, and there were two each of the GP14s and RS400s. The Irish National Sailing School has eight sailors on the water in the form of School Principal Kenneth Rumball, sailing an Aero 7 and seven RS Feva XLs sailed by the senior instructors. A solitary Flying Fifteen sailed by Robin Hilliard and daughter Dacha also contested the event and the Long household had two boats out - father Pierre, and one son in the IDRA and two other sons in the Mirror. We also had a Pico, sailed two-up.

Christmas Cracker Race Results: (top ten finishers)

1. Eve McMahon, Howth Yacht Club, ILCA 6 (Radial)
2. Max Cantwell, Royal St George Yacht Club, ILCA 4 (4.7)
3. Noel Butler, National Yacht Club, Aero 7
4. Brendan Foley, Royal St George Yacht Club, Aero 7
5. Gary O'Hare, Royal St George Yacht Club, ILCA 7 (full-rig)
6. Kenneth Rumball, Irish National Sailing Club, Aero 7
7. David Williams, Royal St George Yacht Club, ILCA 6
8. Mark Gavin, Royal St George Yacht Club, Aero 7
9. Roy van Mannen, Royal St George Yacht Club, Aero 5
10. Conrad Vandlik, Royal St George Yacht Club, ILCA 7

Prize-winners will be contacted directly about getting their prizes, vouchers from Viking Marine.

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