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Zhik 2024 February Outlet - LEADERBOARD

Viking Marine Frostbite Series 1 at Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club - Day 1

by Cormac Bradley 8 Nov 2023 13:27 GMT 5 November 2023
Conor Clancy (L) picks up a Frostbite Mug for Race 1 in the ILCA 6 fleet from Neil Colin © Sarah Dwyer

Despite the forecasts of the early part of the week, that Storm Ciaran was going to be the dominant weather system for the week, by the time the weekend arrived the numbers on XCWeather had dropped significantly and while Saturday, for the Flying Fifteen Frostbites, was grey and cold with winds of 15 - 20 knots, the dinghy version of the Frostbites inside the harbour on Sunday were sailed under blue skies and a modest temperature in winds that started in the mid-teens and dropped to 4/5 knots by the end of the afternoon.

Initially the wind was almost due west which meant that a reasonable beat across the harbour could be set - with a weather mark around 560m from the committee boat. That left the weather mark in the lee of the western breakwater, a gybe mark halfway between the HySpeed ferry berth and the entrance to the marina and a leeward mark just north of the monument on the upper wall of the East Pier.

Reflecting the modest entry to the Frostbites overall to date, 48 boats took to the water for the opening Sunday, with the PY fleet boasting 20 boats, the ILCA 6s 18 boats and the ILCA 7s 10 boats. The very modest presence of ILCA 4s from last year seems to have evaporated completely.

The PY fleet, made up of Fireballs, Aeros, Finns, an IDRA, a couple of RSs and a Laser Vago had a clean start, with Alastair Court & Gordon Syme (15167) starting at the pin end and Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (FB 14998) starting late at the committee boat. The blue spinnaker of Court & Syme was the first to show at the weather mark with Colin & Casey leading the charge behind them.

As to be expected the Aeros were well up on the water as was the Finn (1620) of Brian Sweeney and the IDRA (161) of father and son Pierre & Remy Long. Four Fireballs got ahead/stayed ahead of the Aeros with Court & Syme extending their lead on the water throughout the race, finishing 2:46 ahead of the Aero 7 of Stephen Oram (3288) with Noel Butler in the Aero 6 (3289) 7 seconds astern of Oram.

However, on corrected time the Aeros took all the podium places with the sequence Butler (37:32), Sarah Dwyer (Aero 6 3433) (38:53) and Oram (38:55). Another two places separated the Aeros from the lead Fireball, the Finn of Brian Sweeney and the IDRA of Long & Long).

Ten ILCA 7s had a tight but clean start and stayed in reasonably close company throughout the race. Theo Lyttle (211129) led home the 1-2-3 with Conor Byrne (181204) and Gavan Murphy (212521) in his wake.

There was a struggle to get the eighteen ILCA 6s away and in fact it took three attempts and two black flags to achieve the objective. The first start was a conventional "blue peter" but the congregation at the pin with seconds still to go meant that it couldn't possibly have been a fair start, nor could all the premature starters be identified. With time being of more essence for the Frostbite starts than in normal racing, the decision of the RO was to go direct to "Black Flag".

However, with 30 seconds to go, a well-known ILCA 6-er was completely over the line, soon to be joined by another and the whole fleet took the bait and crowded onto the pin again. Another "Black Flag" start was signalled and an even more high profile ILCA-er fell foul of that imaginary line but the fleet got away on a reduced race of two laps rather than the three laps the other starts enjoyed around the triangular course.

Having kept his nose clean through the two aborted starts and the one that got away, Conor Clancy (213048) took the bragging rights for Race 1, followed by Justin Geoghegan (165512), Shirley Gilmore (216238), David Cahill (186302) and Ali Robinson (213842).

By the end of the first race the wind had started to move southwards, from the mouth of the marina so the RO rejigged the course bringing the windward mark nearly 100m to the port-hand side of the course, while the balance of the committee boat crew completed the finishing process for the first race. The gybe mark was dropped closer to the Hyspeed ferry while the leeward mark stayed in place.

By now the breeze was starting to fade and the course was changed to a two-lap Olympic configuration.

All three starts got away at the first time of asking and in the PY fleet, the ladies of the Fireball fleet led home the fleet in the lighter airs with Louise McKenna & Hermine O'Keeffe (15016) taking the gun by 22 seconds from Cariosa Power & Marie Barry (14854) who only had 3 seconds on Court & Syme. Next home was the Finn of Sweeney and the Fireball of Colin & Casey, who staged a major recovery from the first triangle lap. Oram led the Aeros home with Dwyer getting in ahead of Butler.

Sweeney took the win on paper, followed by the Longs in the IDRA, the Aeros of Dwyer and Butler and the Fireball of McKenna & O'Keeffe.

In the ILCA7s Conor Byrne went one better to take the race win with Gavan Murphy second and Chris Arrowsmith (201829) third.

In the ILCA6s David O'Connor (211260) took the gun, with the sequence behind him being Judy O'Beirne (216610), Shirley Gilmore, Sean Craig (218154) and Darren Griffin (219867) and one of these had to be reminded that it was a 2-lap course not a three lap!

In the PY Fleet, the position after two races sees three boats tied on 5pts - Brian Sweeney (Finn), Noel Butler (Aero 6) and Sarah Dwyer (Aero 6), with the Longs (IDRA) 3pts astern in 4th, Stephen Oram (Aero 7) on 9.5pts and Court & Syme (FB) on 16pts.

Conor Byrne leads the ILCA7s (3pts) with Gavan Murphy on 5pts and Theo Lyttle on 6pts. Shirley Gilmore leads the ILCA6s on 6pts, with Daniel O'Connor, Conor Clancy and Justin Geoghegan tied on 8pts and David Cahill on 14pts.

Post-racing, Frostbite winners' Mugs were awarded to Noel Butler and Conor Clancy in the host club, Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club, but other Mug winners (4 No.) missed out by not being present.

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