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Viking Marine Frostbite Series 2 at Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club - Day 15

by Cormac Bradley 5 Mar 17:04 GMT 3 March 2024
- Viking Marine Frostbite Series 3rd March © Alyson Orr

After a week that saw snow fall over large parts of Dublin and further afield on Friday, Sunday was, by comparison, a pleasant spring day with sunshine and a gentler breeze that the previous Sunday. The forecast had been a mixed bag during the latter part of the week, but by midnight Saturday (Met Eireann forecast) and Sunday morning a genteel 6-7 knots from the south was predicted.

Mother Nature did better than that with winds that started around the 14-knot mark and slowly dropped to about 6.5/7knots by the end of racing. Additionally, it came from a direction of 120 degrees initially before moving further south to 130 degrees for the second race, prompting a change of the weather mark.

Given the conditions and forecast, the pre-race speculation onshore was about the number of races we might get in. At the clubhouse the wind was very fickle and we speculated that only one race might be sailed. However, given that three Sundays (in a row) and six races had already been lost, the idea that we might get in an extra race was also on the agenda. It was decided we would wait and see what was on offer before making a definite decision. Getting to the race area, we had a pleasant surprise, good winds from a S-Easterly direction - three races might be possible!

With that in mind the first two races of the day were 2-lap Windward-Leewards with the weather mark about 100m on the sea-side of the bandstand on the East Pier. A leeward gate was set up about 100m outside the end of the western breakwater which gave the fleet the whole East-West axis of the harbour for their race area.

All three fleets, each modest in size - PY 12 boats, ILCA 7s 9 boats and ILCA 6s 13 boats - got away cleanly for Races 1 and 2 with the favoured approach to the beat being a long starboard tack off the line before working across to the starboard lay line on port tack. It was gratifying to see tight roundings of the weather mark in all three fleets - six Fireballs rounded in very close company and proceeded to sail a very tight downwind leg to the leeward gate.

While the Fireballs enjoyed success on the water, the Aeros would take the honours in terms of corrected time. They occupied three of the top five places, 1,2, and five, while the IDRA of Pierre and Remy Long finished 3rd and the Finn of Brian Sweeney took fourth. Fireballs occupied the places 6 - 11 in the twelve-boat fleet, led home by Alastair Court & Gordon Syme (15167) In the second race the corrected time spoils were shared by the same five boats but in a different order - Butler, van Maanen, Dwyer, Sweeney and the Longs, with the Fireballs led home by Frank Miller & Neil Cramer (14915), occupying 6th - 9th places.

The ILCA 7s and ILCA 6s also enjoyed close racing on the two-lap race and with Theo Lyttle absent, Gavan Murphy had a purple patch day scoring 1,1,2 to take the day's honours in the 7s. That "trick" was repeated in the ILCA 6s where Conor Clancy ran up a similar score of 2,1,1.

While there was some movement in the breeze as monitored by the RO, the fleet would advise that the upper end of the beat was quite shifty. It became apparent for the second race that the weather mark would have to move and it went further inshore in accordance with a 10 degrees shift measured at the committee boat. That put it in line with the bandstand, but also meant that the dolphins for the Hyspeed ferry were a slight factor on the starboard side of the beat. Fortunately, going upwind this wasn't a major issue, but downwind those who stayed on that side of the course scored.

Race 2 was another short two-lap Windward-Leeward course and again, the fleets seemed to enjoy close racing. While the upwind approach to the race remained the same, increasing numbers were sailing down the inshore side of the run. This prompted more consideration about what to set for the third race which had been notified to the fleet at the end of Race 1 - move the committee boat or move the weather mark again. The former would take up valuable time gained from having two short duration races, the latter would mean bringing the weather mark to the west of the dolphins which would also affect the quality of the beat.

The wind appeared to go back left which prompted the RO to stick with what he had and the fleets were given a three-lap Olympic course to close out the afternoon. The wind strength stayed up for the majority of this final race and the spinnakered boats certainly appeared to enjoy some good three-sail reaches. Among the Fireballs there was very close racing and continuous place-changing at the front end of the fleet.

Yet again on corrected time, the Aeros occupied the top steps of the podium - Butler and Dwyer, with Sweeney getting into third before two Fireballs, Miller & Cramer and Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14998/775) took fourth and fifth, Miller breaking away from Colin after the leeward mark being the vehicle by which he went from second to first in the "on the water" race.

The ILCAs also enjoyed some good racing but the ILCA 6s got a bit spread out as the race progressed. Despite the three-race agenda, the fleets were all finished by 16:15.

Frostbite Mugs were awarded on the day to Dave Coleman in the ILCA 6s and to Neil Colin & Margaret Casey in the Fireball. There was a full roster of Mugs available for the day's racing, but the rule is that you don't get if you're not there and you only get two chances to collect.

Frostbiters are reminded that there are only three Sundays of Frostbite racing left and we will be racing on St Patrick's Day.

The turnout was low for what was a pleasant Sunday but those who made the commitment got in three races with reasonable turnarounds between the races.

There was one General Recall on the day, a lady leading the ILCA 6s over the line early in Race 3. On the restart there was a single OCS.... who didn't return. He took his medicine in a gentle manner!

Overall results, and those for fleets, are available at

PY race 1:

1. Noel Butler
2. Sarah Dwyer
3. Pierre & Remy Long

PY race 2:

1. Noel Butler
2. Roy van Maanen
3. Sarah Dwyer

PY race 3:

1. Noel Butler
2. Sarah Dwyer
3. Brian Sweeney

ILCA 7 race 1:

1. Gavan Murphy
2. Gary O'Hare
3. Sean Flanagan

ILCA 7 race 2:

1. Gavan Murphy
2. Chris Arrowsmith
3. Gary O'Hare

ILCA 7 race 3:

1. John Marmelstein
2. Gavan Murphy
3. John O'Driscoll

ILCA 6 race 1:

1. Sean Craig
2. Conor Clancy
3. Darren Griffin

ILCA 6 race 2:

1. Conor Clancy
2. Shirley Gilmore
3. Sean Craig

ILCA 6 race 3:

1. Conor Clancy
2. Mary Chambers
3. Judy O'Beirne

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