Popular winners of Frostbite Mugs on Day 3

Post date: Nov 18, 2013 4:48:4 PM

Mary Chambers & Brenda McGuire (14865) were the very popular winners of the Mugs in the Fireball Class on the third day of the 2013/14 Frostbite Series sailed in slightly soggy and difficult conditions in Dublin Bay yesterday. The two ladies were delighted to have picked up their Mugs before the end of November with a second place on the water behind Ed Butler & Conor Kinsella (14990).

Both the Race Committee and the competitors had a difficult time on the water. We were able to go outside the harbour again thanks to favourable conditions – a modest breeze from the SE quarter but with an ebbing tide. The sea condition was slightly lumpy with a wind against tide situation.

The Race Committee had set themselves up slightly to the east of the harbour mouth with a trapezoid course that was set into Scotsman’s Bay. However, just before the scheduled “kick-off” they put up a postponement flag – a good call as the wind initially evaporated and then came in from the opposite direction before reverting to a direction similar to where it had started. The tell-tale signs of a fickle wind were manifested when a Laser training session further east in Scotsman’s Bay saw Lasers sailing away from us in healthy winds and further offshore Oppies doing the same thing.

The subsequent course had a slight soldier’s course about the upwind leg. The fourteen Fireballs on the water all tried to hog the committee boat end of the first start that was then signaled as a General Recall. Most unusually, but understandably, Race Officer Stuart Kinnear subjected them to a black flag start for the second attempt which saw them get away cleanly.

The assessment afterwards in the DMYC was that the aforementioned ladies had the perfect start, one that even Adam Bowers with his emphasis on “Wumpeta” would have been proud of! They stayed on the left hand side of the course making one short hitch rightwards on their way to 2nd place at the weather mark. Messrs Butler & Kinsella led the fleet round and the sequence after the two ladies was Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly (14713), making their Frostbite debut, Conor Clancy, sailing with Owen Laverty (14807), Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061), Kenny Rumball & David Moran (15058), Alistair Court & Gordon Syme (14706), Mick Creighton & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775), Andy Boyle & Teddy Byrne (14934), Louis Smyth & Cormac Bradley (15007), Luke Malcolm (14790).

Unlike last week when only two of the three subsequent legs of the trapezoid accommodated a spinnaker leg, this week legs 2, 3 and 4 of the trapezoid were three-sailers, but the last leg was very tight and no-one sailed the coloured sail all the way.

The second and third beats of the race offered a limited amount of choice, take the hitch right at the start of the leg, or tack immediately and take the hitch later on. Speaking to the ladies afterwards they did the latter on the second beat and the former on the third beat. The limited choices upwind meant that there was no real change in the running order of the fleet. The offwind legs offered the option to do things differently with some boats gybing at Mark 1 to get a different line into Mark 2 and some boats sailing well beyond Mark 2 to provide a different angle into Mark 3. Some did make gains, the rest of us were just grasping at straws!! Mary and Brenda however sailed an exceptionally good race to not only hold onto their second place but to extend their lead over Miller & Donnelly, who will also be pleased with their third place.

Fourteen of the fifteen Fireballs registered for the Frostbites were on the water yesterday a 93% turnout. We had two boats “debuts” Miller & Donnelly (14713) and Glenn Fisher and Dave Coleman (14740) and two individual debuts, Owen Laverty (14807) and Mick Creighton (14691).

After three races the overall situation is as follows;

The Irish Fireball fleet gets together for their seasonal dinner and Class Prize-giving on Friday next (22nd) in the National Yacht Club. At this gathering the Travellers’ Trophy winners will be recognized as well as the individual award winners – Most Improved (India Trophy), Significant Contribution (Asterix Trophy), Captain’s Prize, Liam Bradley Memorial Trophy and Best Lady.

On the following Saturday (30th), the Fireball Class will have an Open Day based at the Irish National Sailing School in Dun Laoghaire to promote the Class to newcomers or those who want to take their racing in a different direction.