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

by Cormac Bradley 19 Dec 2023 15:23 GMT 17 December 2023
Thomas Chaix (Aero 1066) leads the chasing group behind the Fireballs - Viking Marine DMYC Frostbite Series 1 final day © Ian Cutliffe

Series 1 of the DMYC's Viking Marine sponsored Frostbites concluded yesterday in variable wind conditions that saw as much as 16 knots on the course at times and boats stalled due to a lack of wind at other times.

However, the latter condition generally didn't last very long and two brisk races were sailed to give the fleet an eight-race series with a single discard. What had looked like a quiet end to the series from a forecast point of view early in the week changed dramatically by Friday/Saturday when the Principal Organiser and Race Officer, Neil Colin and Cormac Bradley respectively exchanged WhatsApp messages, wondering whether we would get racing in at all.

An early arrival at the Dun Laoghaire waterfront allowed Bradley to see the big boats comfortably sailing the closing stages of their "Turkey Shoot" regatta under full rig and the three Flying Fifteens, ashore after a coaching session advised that while they had varied conditions in terms of wind strength and direction outside, before being towed back to harbour due to a lack of wind, conditions inside were definitely sailable.

At the DMYC the decision was taken to have two brisk races to get the fleet in early for the end of series prize-giving.

With an "average" wind direction of 190 degrees, but with a burgee flicking left and right, the committee boat set up just inside the end of the west pier to give the fleet a beat across the shorter dimension of the outer harbour, with the weather mark in transit with the seasonal ice-rink set up inside the old ferry complex, a gybe mark in the middle of the harbour and a leeward mark close to the end of the west pier.

A line just short of 115m was laid with, in the RO's view an element of bias towards the pin to try and keep the fleet away from the committee boat.........except the wind didn't always co-operate! The first race was set as a 3-lap Olympic course, with three triangles et for the second.

Ten ILCA7s came out to play on the last day, their best turnout of the series and Theo Lyttle positioned himself at the front of the fleet for everyone else to have a swipe at. They were unsuccessful and he led the fleet home in Race 1 of the Day with Niall Cowman and Conor Byrne taking the other podium places.

In Race 2 Lyttle was off the pace and when cajoled from the committee boat admitted that he was feeling the strain. Still, he managed a fifth place with the podium places going to Conor Byrne, Gavan Murphy and Chris Arrowsmith. Chris' performance in this race would see him get a Frostbite Mug for the day.

Eighteen ILCA6s were anxious to get going and as the countdown to the start progressed the RO knew that the majority of the fleet were behind him, meaning that the start was going to be congested. At 30 seconds the near end of the line was almost empty, at 15 seconds there were bows starting to appear and at the gun the pin disappeared from view. General Recall!

Given the agenda for the day, the RO decided to go straight to black and three boats jumped the gun with a minute to go, earning letters on their scorecard rather than numbers - it seems that they were not "au fait" with the relationship between the dropping of the General Recall signal and the Warning signal. The remaining fifteen "6s" got away cleanly and the fleet kept reasonably tight company and found themselves mingling with the "7s" and the PY fleet.

Their price for the General Recall - a two lap race rather than a three-lapper. Daniel O'Connor started the day perfectly with a race win, followed home by Conor Clancy, Ali Robinson, Brendan Hughes and Darren Griffin. Griffin then won the second race with O'Connor second followed by Owen Laverty, Brendan Hughes and Hugh Delap.

The PY fleet saw a new greyhound on the water today with National Yacht Club Coach, Thomas Chaix in an Aero leading the fleet on the water until metres from the finish. On a day when one would have thought the spinnakered boats would have an advantage on the slightly longer reaches it was surprising to see the lead that Chaix had, particularly viewed against the other Aeros. Chaix sailed from the last leeward mark to the finish on starboard tack but on a line that saw him outside the pin end for the finish. His efforts to get back across on port to set up the crossing of the finish line were then thwarted by a stream of ILCAs to the extent that Frank Miller and Caroul in the Fireball were able to steal the win on the water.

The perennial struggle for the Fireballs to save their time on the water against the Aeros continued today when both Miller and Alastair Court & Gordon Syme finished ahead of Noel Butler in the Aero 6, by 33 seconds and 1 second respectively, but were relegated to third and fourth on time behind Butler and Roy van Maanen. Fifth place was taken by father and son Pierre and Paul Long in the IDRA 14.

A reasonably quick turnaround for Race 2 was undone for the PY fleet when they prompted a General Recall, triggered by Fireballs and Aeros. When they did get under way the Aero of Chaix was again prominent at the head of the fleet until a gear failure forced him to retire via a tow home to the NYC. The Fireballs of Miller and Court led the charge around the course and at the finish only three seconds separated the two boats. Butler finished 34 second behind Miller (and 31 behind Court) but romped home by 2:49 leading an Aero 1-6 finishing order of van Maanen, Stephen Oram, Damien Dion, Jeff Fahy and Stuart Harris. The IDRA took seventh ahead of the two Fireballs.

On a weekend which started with some doubts as to whether we would get any racing at all, two races were completed to close out the Series and the organisers were rewarded by a good turnout at the prize-giving in the DMYC clubhouse.

Frostbite Mugs for the day went to Frank Miller and Caroul (PY), Stephen Oram (PY) and Chris Arrowsmith (ILCA7s) and Series 1 prizes in the form of Rick Tomlinson calendars were also awarded.

Series 1 Frostbites, sponsored by Viking Marine

PY Fleet:

1. Noel Butler, Aero 6;11pts
2. Pierre, Paul & Remy Long, IDRA 14; 28pts
3. Roy van Maanen, Aero 6; 35pts
4. Sarah Dwyer, Aero 6; 35pts
5. Alastair Court & Gordon Syme, Fireball; 42pts


1. Theo Lyttle; 13pts
2. Gavan Murphy; 20pts
3. Gary O'Hare; 27pts


1. Conor Clancy; 19pts
2. Darren Griffin; 34pts
3. Shirley Gilmore; 45pts
4. Daniel O'Connor; 52pts
5. Brendan Hughes; 52pts


1. Alastair Court & Gordon Syme, FB 15167; 11pts
2. Neil Colin & Margaret Casey, FB14998; 22pts
3. Louise McKenna & Hermine O'Keeffe; 23pts


1. Noel Butler; 7pts
2. Sarah Dwyer; 17pts
3. Roy van Maanen; 21pts
4. Stephen Oram; 23.5pts

Series 2 of the Frostbites opens on Sunday 7th January 2024 and Principal Organiser, Neil Colin advises that there are spaces available for Series 2, further entries can be accommodated. There will be no special "Frostbite" events over the Christmas break.

From this correspondent, HAPPY CHRISTMAS!!

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