Two-race bonus!

Post date: Mar 17, 2015 3:26:49 PM

According to the weather station adjacent to the HSS Terminal, yesterday’s wind for the Frostbites was very consistent. Just before I took up my observation position it was recording a wind direction of 106˚ and as I left, with two races completed, it was still recording a wind direction of 106˚. The strength of the wind fluctuated between 16.7 knots at 14:00 and 13.5 knots at 16:00, with gusts of 20.6 and 17.0 knots respectively. Temperature-wise there was much change, or any real warmth for that matter, at 6.7˚. In between 14:00 and 16:00 (approximately), the six-boat fleet had two races though a number of capsizes in the second race reduced the fleet in size.

In Race 1 the fleet jostled for the pin and it looked as though Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly (14713) won it only for them to go back for a second start when an individual recall was signalled. With the weather mark just off the weather station on the East Pier, the five boats that didn’t go back at the start all went left, Miller, with nothing to lose, went right.

At the weather mark the rounding sequence was Kenneth Rumball & Brian Byrne (15058), Louis Smyth & Joe O’Reilly (15007), Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061), Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775), Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly (14713) and Mick Creighton & Hermine O’Keeffe (14691). The weather mark appeared to be under the lee of the East Pier because the last two boats struggled to get around the mark and one of them suffered a near capsize in their effort to get on to the second leg. Rumball extended his lead between Marks 1 and 2, a nice three sail reach on full trapeze. The leg from 2 – 3 was also a nice spinnaker leg but the lead pair dropped their spinnakers for the leg from 3 to 4. Behind them Butler & Colin three-sailed the leg.

On the second beat Rumball went right then left to apply a loose cover on the next two boats, Smyth and Butler who both went left. By the 2nd weather mark, Butler had gone in to 2nd place to initiate a chase of Rumball around the balance of the 4-lap course. On the third beat the lead pair went right, whereas third and fourth, Smyth & Colin went left. By Mark 2 of this third lap Rumball had a 40 second lead on Butler and this pair was comfortable relative to the rest of the fleet.

On the final beat, Rumball went left, sailed beyond the committee boat then bore off and went through the start/finish line, possibly thinking it was a finish. As he was greeted with silence (even from my vantage point), he continued up the beat. At this stage it didn’t appear to have cost him distance relative to Butler. But, by the weather mark, the distance had closed dramatically, and they rounded the last weather mark in very close company. Sailing higher than Rumball, Butler looked very close to overtaking him but after two tight gybes in very short sequence by each boat, Rumball managed to round Mark 2 still leading. Behind them, at the approach to the weather mark, Smyth & O’Reilly had an expensive capsize which saw them loose both Colin and Miller on the water.

With a short hitch to the finish, the lead pair went separate ways, Rumball going right, Butler, left. They finished in an over-lapped condition and I think that Butler got it. Butler & Oram seemed to think so as well as, quite by coincidence, they sailed past my observational perch, on shore, and we exchanged views on the finishing sequence.

Colin & Casey took third place, with Miller & Donnelly, fourth.

For the second race of the day, the weather mark was pulled into the body of the harbour, out of what seemed to me, from the opposite side of the course to be a wind shadow created by the East Pier.

With the advantage of my shore-side position I was able to watch two IDRAs in the PY start work the opposite sides of the course, with the boat that worked the right-hand side gaining a substantial lead over its opposition and mixing it with the two Finns at the weather mark.

Again, the Fireballs hovered around the pin and this time Butler & Oram claimed it. Smyth & O’Reilly were dead astern of Butler and Oram, and the boats furthest to leeward were Creighton & O’Keeffe and Colin & Casey. The fleet went left initially before Butler and Rumball peeled off right with Butler occupying the windward berth relative to Rumball. At the top mark the order was Butler, Rumball, Miller, Colin, Creighton and Smyth, the latter having another capsize which effectively put paid to his race. The lead two had their own race, but behind them, Miller, Colin and Creighton were having a separate race with the three boats in close company until a capsize at Mark 4 terminated Colin & Casey’s activities for the day. This effectively killed the race for third place as Miller put distance between himself and Creighton up the next beat.

The lead two eventually got to the stage where they had the best part of the leg from 1 to 2 as their lead over the third placed boat. Butler led all the way round and while at time the two boats were close, he ultimately had the comfort of a 20-second lead at the finish.

The overall results for Series 1 and 2 have now been posted by DMYC on their website and are as follows, with four discards counting.