Irish Fireball Frostbite Series at Dun Laoghaire -

Weather allows Frostbite racing outside the harbour

For the second Sunday of the 2012/13 Frostbite Series hosted and organized by DMYC, weather conditions allowed the fleet to race outside the harbour. The weather was a lot better than last weekend with less wind and consequently a warmer air temperature. As the start time for the racing coincided with the bottom of the ebbing tide, the fleet wouldn't be at risk of being swept away in the lighter winds. The Fireballs were given a separate weather mark to the other fleets – a mechanism adopted last year to help with race management.

As it was the first race, which boasted 17 starters was sailed in trapezing conditions, at least upwind! A 'log-jam' of Fireballs at the pin end of the first start prompted a General Recall for the fleet and for the second start, a black flag was brought into the proceedings. A clean start was had by most but by this time the lead boats in the PY Class which had started first, were just outside the pin and they too influenced proceedings.

At the first weather mark we saw a change in the normal attendance at the front of the fleet with Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) taking the honours, followed by Mick Creighton & Joe O'Reilly (14937). Also in this lead bunch were the usual suspects of Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061), Kenny Rumball & Conor Kinsella (15058), John Chambers & James Clancy (15***), joined by Cariosa Power & Marie Barry (14854), Ciaran Hickey & Ed Butler (14990), Gavin Doyle (14953) and the Ryan brothers, Emmet & James, sailing Dogbolter (1469*).

The two spinnaker legs were broad which meant that the crews had work to do to take advantage of the small swell going downwind. On the second beat, those who went left did well and some place changing took place as a consequence. Louise McKenna & Hermine O'Keefe (14691) came through to reach the upper levels of the pecking order, whereas their fellow all-lady crew, Cariosa & Marie went the other way. On the second lap, the final three did the work that would bring them to the front of the fleet, with Rumball/Kinsella and Butler/Oram in particular, getting away from the body of the fleet, chased by Chambers/Clancy who led a tight sequence of boats behind them.

Race 3 Results:


PosHelm & CrewClub
1 Kenny Rumball & Conor Kinsella INSC
2 Noel Butler & Stephen Oram DMYC
3 John Chambers & James Clancy NYC
4 Ciaran Hickey & Ed Butler RStGYC
5 Neil Colin & Margaret Casey DMYC

There was at least one victim of an OCS declaration by the Race Committee, so their significant effort on the water was undone!

A second short race with 15 boats was started in breeze that was starting to drop off in strength. Obviously conscious of the time factor, the declaration to make use of a black flag start was conveyed to the fleet before the sequence of starts began. A two lap race was set this time round. At the start everyone went left, with two distinct groups on the line – clustered at either end of the line. The group at the pin end went hard left, giving them an advantage over the others and setting them outside the PY and Laser fleets coming down their first reach.

The running order, at the first weather mark was Rumball, Butler, Colin, McKenna, Ryan, Power, Louis Smyth & Cormac Bradley, Alastair Court & Gordon Syme. With the tide now turned and the wind dropping off, the conventional approach of straight line sailing to the gybe mark was abandoned as some went inshore, towards the harbour, while others stayed out. The leg between the gybe mark and the leeward mark also saw a variety of approaches, with some staying very wide and low before gybing and approaching the leeward mark on port tack. Others went out left to get into better breeze and approached the leeward mark on starboard tack, rounding the mark in gybing mode. Going left up the beat paid again and the first reach was sailed conventionally by most people. Court/Syme went left on the second reach, Colin/Casey hung low and right while Rumball/Kinsella, Butler/Oram & McKenna/O'Keefe almost sailed a straight line between the two. This observer was convinced that McKenna/O'Keefe went into the lead at the leeward mark, but if they did, they then lost two places on the short leg to the finish, because the final results are as follows.

Race 4 Results:


PosHelm & CrewClub
1 Kenny Rumball & Conor Kinsella INSC
2 Noel Butler & Stephen Oram DMYC
3 Louise McKenna & Hermine O'Keefe RStGYC
4 Neil Colin & Margaret Casey DMYC
5 Louis Smyth & Cormac Bradley Coal Harbour

At the finish line, tide was the dominating influence and one Fireballer got caught on the anchor warp of the committee boat... it proved to be a costly error of judgment!

This second Sunday of the Frostbites saw the debut of some Fireballers we haven't see for a while. Ciaran Hickey teamed up with Ed Butler, Ian O'Gorman made his seasonal debut sailing with Frank Neylon (14740) and out for the first time in this series were Mick Creighton & Joe O'Reilly and Jonathon Nicholson & Vivian Besselar (14781).

It was also encouraging to see the new combinations of Emmet & James Ryan (1469*) and Eamon Bourke & Robert Slater (14719) back for the second Sunday.

Results after Day 2: (four races)


PosHelm & CrewClubPts
1 Noel Butler & Stephen Oram DMYC 8
2 Conor Clancy/John Chambers & James Clancy NYC 16
3= Kenny Rumball & David Moran/Conor Kinsella INSC 18
3= Louis Smyth & Cormac Bradley Coal Harb. 18
5 Neil Colin & Margaret Casey DMYC 23

* The provisional nature of these results is due to a perceived incorrect entry in yesterday's results sheet which is corrected in this report but is subject to DMYC confirmation.

The day's Frostbite mugs went to Chambers & Clancy in Race 1 and McKenna/O'Keefe in Race 2.

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