January

3

Grafham Grand Prix
Grafham Water SC

03/01/2021 - 03/01/2021
January

23

King George Gallop
King George SC

23/01/2021 - 23/01/2021
February

6

John Merricks Tiger Trophy
Rutland SC

06/02/2021 - 07/02/2021
February

13

Oxford Blue
Oxford SC

13/02/2021 - 13/02/2021
February

27

VIRTUAL EVENT RYA Dinghy Show - Farnborough

27/02/2021 - 28/02/2021

News

Irish Fireball Munsters at Waterford Harbour SC

 

Strong wind conditions bring the curtain down on Irish Fireball domestic regatta season

The recent visits of the Irish Fireball Class to Dunmore East have been characterised by light to medium winds but both the Sea Area Forecast and local knowledge suggested that there would be a break in this trend when we again visited one of our favourite locations this weekend past.

Promises of a 30-boat fleet were achieved when the core of the fleet, together with two new recruits and some of those that we haven’t seen much of this past season, gathered in the SE corner of the country for the last regatta of the season.

Saturday saw three races sailed in winds that started around the 15-knot mark and rose progressively as the day wore on. Two Olympic courses started the day’s proceedings and in excellent reaching conditions with surfing seas and good reaching angles race wins were shared between Kenny Rumball & Dave Moran (14962) and Simon McGrotty & Ruairi Grimes (14981). However, they were playing second and fourth fiddle to local Fireballer Michael Murphy & Alex Voye (14908) who scored two seconds in the challenging conditions.

A W/L was set for race three to give the fleet an easier time of it and this was completed in a growing breeze that signaled the end of the day’s proceedings on the water as the attrition rate was also growing. This race was subsequently thrown out by protest on an omission by the race committee and so the fleet had an early opportunity to gather itself for the Class AGM and subsequent dinner at the Club.

Superb hospitality is a by-word in Dunmore East and this year was no exception as Commodore Andy Torres and his wife Margaret put on another culinary delight.

The Sea Area forecast at midnight on Saturday night didn’t offer much relief from the winds of the late afternoon and so the fleet was greeted with grey seas and lots of whitecaps when they made their way to the Club on Sunday morning.

The Race Committee made the decision to set two shorter windward-leeward course closer into the shore to try and alleviate the physicality of the conditions on Sunday morning. Initially wind strengths were up to 18 knots with occasional spikes into the low twenties. The fleet “hared” downwind, many with bags set, on their way to the start area. However, starters were down to 22 boats!

Two races were completed with Rumball/Moran taking the critical fourth race and Noel Butler and Shane McCarthy (14894) the third. Murphy/Voye scored a 2nd in Race 3 to retain the overall lead but the fourth race saw that lead undone with a fourth place on the water.

McGrotty/Grimes had some expensive capsizes on Sunday which rather undid their charge to the top of the pecking order. These would see them drop out of the 1-2-3 overall into fourth. Butler/McCarthy had the best day on the water with a 1-2, but this was not enough as Rumball/Moran’s 1-3 was enough in the overall scheme of things to put them at the pinnacle.

Laverty/Butler had a consistent series 5,6,4,6, to finish 5th overall, with Conor Clancy and Francis Rowan (14996) back in 6th – a DNF in Race 3 (due to gear failure) being an expensive result.

In the Silver fleet, newcomers Luke Malcolm and Shane Divney (14790) sailing their own boat for the first time finished a very creditable 11th. Their Silver fleet chasing pack finished 13th (Ciaran Harkin & Walter Walsh) and 24th (Cearbhaill Daly & Martina Michels).

“Honorary Irish woman” Hannah Showell who sailed an Irish Fireball in Barbados was a very welcome visitor to this event, contesting the regatta with new Silver Fleet Class Captain Barry MacDevitt.

This close of season regatta presented the most physical conditions we have sailed in all season with strong winds and big seas. While they combined to give exhilarating conditions on the Saturday, it became more challenging on the Sunday and the number of starters in Races 3 & 4 suffered accordingly.

A vigorous discussion on the fixture list for next season took place at the AGM with some concerns being expressed by the fleet on the proposals for next year’s events with the Worlds scheduled for Sligo in middle to late June.

Frostbite racing will now take centre stage for the Irish Fireball fleet in the forthcoming months and this racing is restricted to inside the harbour in Dun Laoghaire.

In overall terms the Irish fleet has seen a very nominal rise in the entry level of the regattas taken as a whole over the entire season. We have seen an injection of youth into some of our events and have seen a number of combinations back on the water for the first time in a while. We have strongly marketed the Sligo Worlds to our own members to ensure that this event has a local character to it.

Results

 



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