Balmy evening on Dublin Bay – not to everyone’s pleasure!

Post date: Jun 14, 2017 1:17:9 PM

A week away from the longest day of the year and we had another balmy evening on Dublin Bay. No reason to complain therefore……..except if you were the Race Officer trying to set a course in a wind that was light, fickle and moving around, even when it did blow! There was a sense that the committee boat was loitering inside the harbour, possibly contemplating racing inside, but a decision to go outside initially looked favourable. There was a sloppy sea running but there was wind from an easterly direction, but the boats that came out to the start area that little bit later were sporting spinnakers under a breeze from a westerly direction. A postponement signal was flown and the fleet of Fireballs, Lasers, IDRAs, two Finns, a K1, two RSes and a couple of Mermaids “lolled” around in lumpy seas at the whims of the tide. While we floated in and around the committee boat, the keelboats to the west of the harbour were enjoying a healthy spinnaker leg sailing aay from the coast! The committee boat relocated about 150m eastwards and soon after lowered its postponement signal to get racing underway with a weather mark set a modest distance in the direction of the 40-foot bathing spot. It was a short course, testimony to the fickle wind that these types of evening produce. The four Fireballs started in close company off the line. Frank Miller & Ed Butler (14713) went to sea on the last hour of ebbing tide. Conor & James Clancy (14807) and Cariosa Power & Marie Barry (14854) went up the middle with the Clancys slightly inshore of the ladies. Louise McKenna & Cormac Bradley (14691) found themselves slightly off the pace off the start line and playing catch-up almost immediately. Two thirds of the way up the beat and Miller crossed from left to right to tuck in behind Clancy with Power a few boat-lengths behind. McKenna had improved her lot, but still had work to do. All four continued on starboard tack under spinnaker past the spreader mark before gybing onto port for a longer leg towards the leeward mark. Some enthusiastic working of the spinnaker in the sea conditions allowed McKenna & Bradley to close on and then pass out Power & Barry and up ahead Miller & Butler were close enough to the Clancys to make the race interesting. Up the second beat and Miller went to sea again. The next time he encountered Clancy was at the weather mark where a tack underneath the Clancys to round the mark may not have been completed in time to prevent Clancy having to take avoiding action……….from my vantage point. Certainly someone seemed to share my view as manifested by the commensurate shouting. The order of running appeared to be settled until McKenna & Bradley sailed to a finish that wasn’t a finish and gave away their hard-earned edge to Power & Barry. The finishing order was therefore Clancy, Miller, Power and McKenna.

For the second race of the evening, under sunny conditions, the race course was swung southwards by nearly ninety degrees – testimony to the challenges the Race Officer faced. This left the weather mark inshore and a races area parallel to the East Pier. Off the second start line, the Clancys went left on starboard tack. Miller & Butler came in on port tack and initially headed inshore. McKenna & Bradley tacked off the line onto port only to find Power & Barry closing down on them on starboard necessitating another tack. Thus for the second start of the evening McKenna & Bradley were playing catch-up. As befits a course created by an inshore mark at the inner end of the East Pier in fickle winds, getting to the mark in “good health” required perseverance, the wisdom of Methuselah and the throwing of two sixes with a pair of dice. The Clancys may have used some or all of these to get there first, but they were closely followed by Power & Barry, with Miller & Butler taking the third slot but a short distance behind. The lead boats continued on starboard for a short distance with Power & Barry gybing first. This gave them an advantage which they held to the finish – a shortened course at the first leeward mark. The finishing order was therefore Power, Clancy, Miller & McKenna.

These were the first two races of Series 2, so the evening’s results reflect the overall results;