Healthy winds again!
Post date: Nov 26, 2018 9:16:0 AM
The fourth round of the 2018/19 offered to be a healthy affair with a projected forecast of 10 – 14 knots from the east, a bit of sunshine and an air temperature of 6/7⁰. After a round of capsizes last weekend in the strongest winds of the series so far, a refresher on procedures was undertaken in the clubhouse before the racing. Some unique scenarios had arisen which needed a sharing of minds as to how to best manage them on the water. Today’s complication on the water took the form of a barge carrying a large tonnage of granite rocks into the harbour, potentially, I think for repairs to the east pier seawall after the storms of last winter and beyond. While ribs were dispatched to manage the launching boats from the Royal St George and National Yacht Clubs, the barge made its way safely and unobstructed from the harbour mouth to St Michael’s Pier.
Race Officer Cormac Bradley (Fireball) decided on a three-lap windward-leeward course to start the proceedings as there was a good breeze on the water and it was a bright afternoon. With a weather mark set inshore of the Boyd Memorial on the East Pier, the 17-boat PY fleet favoured the outer half of the line and headed towards the harbour mouth. The fleet, made up of 8 Fireballs, the K1, the Wayfarer, the Solo, 2 RS200s and 2 RS400s, an Enterprise and Laser Vago worked the left hand side of the course but then found that they had forgotten the Sailing Instructions with respect to the leeward gate, with one high profile individual, who should know better, going round the outside of one of the two marks making up the gate as opposed to going through the gate………no names given, what happens on the water stays on the water!
Butler & Oram (FB 15061) did their normal thing when the breeze is up – they consistently sailed away from the fleet, winning by a margin of 2:18. One other Fireball, with an Olympian on board, forgot to go round the spreader mark at the top of the course; another Fireball went round the outside of the gate rather than through it. Between errors and retirements, the attrition rate in the PY fleet was quite high and Frank Miller & Ed Butler (FB 14713) sailed into second place on the water, followed by Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe (FB 14691) who finished ahead of Shane McCarthy in the Solo. While the Solo went up the pecking order on handicap, the Fireball was still a comfortable winner on corrected time. The Frostbite Mug went to the Fireball ladies, Louise and Hermine after a steward’s enquiry in the clubhouse afterwards.
The Lasers (Standard Rig) and 4.7s gave the race committee lots of grief today with a General Recall required in both races. Seven Standard Lasers had a good race with Ian Simington having a good win in the first race, but further down the pecking order three boats crossed the line overlapped, with Garvan Murphy picking up the first slot of those three. Unfortunately for him it was too far down the pecking order to be in the 1-2-3, those latter positions going to Gary O’Hare and Niall Cowman. That gave Cowman the Frostbite Mug. In the 4.7s, a young lady led the fleet home with a win for Alana Coakley, followed by Conor Gorman, (Dad happy for the second week in a row) and Adam Walsh. Hugh O’Connor picked up the Frostbite Mug.
In the Laser Radials, there was a win for another young lady in Claire Gorman, (the cup runneth over, Dad), followed by Jack Fahy and Marco Sorgassi. The second place was enough to get the Frostbite Mug for Fahy.
Race2 was a three-lap Olympic course in a slightly lighter breeze, for although the weather still wasn’t too bad, for the PY fleet there had been a long break between races. The reduction in the number of marks to be rounded made the race easier for most and a more ordered rounding of the race course resulted. Again the outer end of the line was preferred and again, Butler and Oram did their thing. This time however, the rest of the Fireballs gave them a bit more company before they fell back to have their own race for the podium places on the water. Eventually the finishing order on the water would be Butler, Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (FB 14775), Phil Lawton & Owen Laverty (FB 14990), McKenna & O’Keeffe (FB 14691), Miler & Butler (FB 14713), the RS200 of Sarah Byrne & Helen Craig and the Solo of McCarthy. The latter two did enough on the water to form a handicap podium of Butler, McCarthy and Byrne to give the Frostbite Mug to the RS 200 crew. Colin was fourth on handicap ahead of the Wayfarer of Monica Schaeffer and Norman Lee.
In the Standard Lasers, there was a repeat win for Ian Simington, but Gavan Murphy had a better race to finish second, ahead of Chris Arrowsmith and Niall Cowman. In the 4.7s there was another “double” when Alana Coakley again led the fleet home, followed by Gorman, Walsh and Hugh O’Connor. As these were all Mug winners already, the Mug went to Oisin Hughes in fifth.
In the eleven-boat Radial fleet, the younger generation found the slighter lighter wind conditions more favourable and they led the fleet home – Jack Fahy, Conrad Vandlik and Claire Gorman, were the 1-2-3, followed by Marco Sorgassi and Moss Simington. This fifth place earned Moss the Frostbite Mug.
While this column isn’t generally intended to be a notification for issues associated with the Sailing Instructions, it enjoys a healthy readership when it appears on the Afloat website. On the assumption that a lot of those readers are from the fleet, with the agreement of the principal organiser of the Frostbites, Neil Colin, a piece of advice, when the blue flag is flying to indicate that the committee boat is on station for a finish, competitors still racing are NOT allowed to cross the line.