Competition (and weather) heats up in Dinghy Frostbites
Blue skies and gentle winds were a welcome sight at the HYC Dinghy Frostbites, their first appearance in what has been a wet and wild winter so far! The strong turnout across all the fleets brought a new race winner in all the classes, with some long-standing winning streaks coming to an end. A shifty, light southerly breeze brought challenges that most of the competitors haven’t experienced in a while. Thoughts shifted from focusing on keeping the boat flat in weeks gone past, to considering lifts and headers this week. Richard Kissane ran 2 starts, one for the ILCAs and one for the growing PY class. The first race was windward leeward, one of the first of the year, while the second was a triangular course. In the first race, the ILCAs were pushing the line hard and only got away on the 3rd attempt. A “U” flag start followed for all fleets, and while the first race eventually got away cleanly, the 2nd race saw many sailors fall foul of the U flag.
The ILCA 7s were missing some of the series leaders to date, and there were two new race winners in Oisin Hughes and Dave Kirwan. Oisin Hughes made the most of the light weather and established a solid lead in race 1, while Dave Kirwan, Conor Murphy and Stephen Quinn battled it out for 2nd place with a few position shifts within that group as they proceeded around the course. A late surge from Aidan Breen saw him clinch 4th place. Race 2 saw Oisin Hughes, Dave Kirwan and Stephen Quinn establish themselves as the leading pack, but as Oisin was one of the victims of the U flag, Dave Kirwan took home 1st place. He was followed closely by Stephen Quinn, while Conor Murphy was a distant 3rd. Conor Costello made his return to the series, finishing the day just behind Zander Mackay and Richard Tate. While Ronan Wallace still tops the overall table, consistency brings Oisin Hughes up to 2nd place, joint on points with Dan O’Connell in 3rd.
The ILCA 6s saw a new race winner in HYC’s Luke Turvey, who walked away today with two 1st places, beating not only all the ILCA 6s but holding a lead on many of the ILCA 7s for a lot of the racing. Series leader Marco Sorgassi settled for a 2nd and a 3rd, but still has a convincing lead in the overall series. MYC’s Daragh Peelo and Rush’s Daniel O’Hare took the remainder of the podium places for the day’s racing. The fleet was delighted to see the return of Peter Hassett in his first racing of 2023.
The ILCA 4s, most of them fresh from a pre-racing coaching session from HYC’s Aoife Hopkins, were eager to show their new skills in the light weather. They also saw a new race winner in HYC’s Thea Daly, who took home 1st in race 2. Charlie Keating, fresh from winning two races last week, took 1st in race 1, but he, along with three other ILCA 4s, fell victim to the U flag in race 2. MYC’s Glenda Gallagher and Rush’s Aisling Kelly clinched the rest of the podium places on the day in two tight races. Aisling Kelly still leads the series overall with 19 points after 10 races, but Riaghan Boardman and Viktor Samoilovs aren’t far behind.
The PYs welcomed yet more fresh faces to the fleet, adding the RS600 of Tristan Nelson to their numbers this week. The PYs also had a new race winner in Alan Blay and his GP14, ending Daragh Sheridan’s long running streak, after they narrowly snatched victory by 3 seconds on corrected time in race 2. Daragh still leads the series with an impressive 8 points in 10 races after two discards, while Jeremy Beshoff’s B14 sits in 2nd place overall. 3rd place in the series will be hard fought over the coming weeks, with the GP14s of Conor Twohig, Alan Blay and Peter Boyle and Mike Evans’ RS800 not separated by many points.
The growing participation and improving weather are both great to see, and the Club looks forward to welcoming these competitors and more to the Round the Island Race on Saturday, 11th March.
Full results from this week are available here.