Genteel evening in Dun Laoghaire!

Post date: May 11, 2017 8:56:47 AM

Four Fireballs came under the starter’s orders for the third Tuesday night of the DBSC Summer Series. Given the warm conditions during the day and the strong tide outside, the decision was made to keep the dinghy fleets inside – presumably on the basis that the sea breeze would fade as the evening wore on, leaving the fleets exposed to a flooding tide. While it may not have made immediate sense on sailing out to the start area, it was the right thing to do. The four boats were in a close bunch at the pin end of the line when the start signal went and three of the boats stayed on a starboard tack to the extreme left of the course, adjacent to the harbour mouth. Messrs Butler(N) and Clancy (C) with regular crews Oram (S) and Clancy (J) respectively gave all the indications that they were going to stick close to each other and while Butler had the upper hand initially, Clancy took it off him and was never headed thereafter. The ladies, in the form of Cariosa Power and Marie Barry, also went left but having fallen behind the other three off the start, the fourth boat, which went up the middle of the course, Miller (F) and Bradley (C) had hopes that they might slot into 3rd. No such luck and continuing their form of the weekend, this pair found themselves in splendid isolation, ploughing a furrow up the middle. It didn’t get any better for them as the race progressed! During the race the girls closed on Butler & Oram, to within a boat-length at the second windward mark, but on the downwind leg to the finish Butler & Oram sailed away to take a comfortable second to the Clancys.

The Race Officer moved the weather mark to port (northwards) before re-instating it in its original position to get the second race of the evening away. Again the four boats bunched together off the start and this time Miller and Bradley stayed with them. It paid dividends because they rounded the first weather mark in third and that sense of security was enhanced when the recently crowned Ulster Champions, Butler & Oram took a penalty turn on the water, presumably for a mark infringement.

The girls were enjoying the easing wind as they sailed into second but the Clancys were not threatened at all. Up the second and last beat, Clancy took a hitch left to ensure he stayed to weather of the chasing boats. Miller and Power sailed up the middle of the beat and while Power appeared to be going marginally faster, she was also slipping to leeward as well. Butler went left but was initially unable to close the gap. Miller rounded second but his discomfort level was doubled as Power went one way and Butler the other on the downwind leg to the finish. Butler closed initially and then gybed to go into the middle of the course while Miller and Power stayed out towards the harbour mouth. Miller gybed late for the finish and despite being on a converging course with Butler was able to comfortably cross him as Miller finished second at the committee boat end. Power, too, finished ahead of Butler.