Only two weeks left and all to play for in Dinghy Frostbites
For the seventh week in a row in the spring series of the HYC Dinghy Frostbites, two races went ahead in the waters north of Howth Harbour. A 11-15 knot southwesterly breeze, with a maximum gust of 23 knots, welcomed the sailors to the start line. Race Officer Liam Dineen got two races away for the ILCA and PY fleets; the first around a windward leeward, then the second around a triangular course. A strengthening ebb tide made the beats long and the laylines difficult to judge, but by the end of the racing the sun had come out, making the racing that bit more enjoyable. With only two more weeks of racing before the season-closing Round the Island Race, the fleets are tight!
The ILCA 7s had some of their closest racing yet. In race 1, there was stiff competition to start at the pin end, however with the ebb tide pushing everyone towards it, Ronan Wallace ended up striking the pin mark as the start gun went. As he did his 360 penalty, the rest of the fleet moved on up the beat. Conor Murphy, Dan O’Connell and Rory Lynch had a very tight battle around the first two laps of the course; however on the third lap, while those three fought it out with each other, Wallace sped cleanly up the beat and got right back in with the pack. By the finish line, Wallace had stolen 1st, Lynch 2nd and O’Connell 3rd. After a 35-minute race, only a few boat-lengths separated the top four. Dave Kirwan was unfortunate to be called OCS, but recovered well in race 2 to take 5th, after the same 1st to 4th places as in race 1. Wallace leads the series overall, but is tied on points with O’Connell. Rory Lynch follows 5 points behind in 3rd, while Conor Murphy and Oisin Hughes fight it out for 4th with only 2 points between them.
Marco Sorgassi continues to show the ILCA 6s what’s what, with another two wins to solidify his overall lead. Daniel O’Hare showed consistency and took two 2nd places. Darragh Peelo took 3rd in race 1 and Fiachra Farrelly took it in race 2. Peelo and Farrelly are tied on 41 points apiece for 2nd place, so with 4 races to go, the rest of the podium -- after Marco -- is all to play for.
The ILCA 4s saw Aisling Kelly solidify her overall lead with a 3rd and a 1st. Des Turvey won race 1, but unfortunately didn’t complete race 2. Viktor Samoilovs and Maedbh Butterly took home the rest of the podium places for the day. Aisling Kelly has a 3.5-point lead over Viktor Samoilovs in the series, who in turn has a 7.5-point lead over Riaghan Boardman.
The PY fleet again saw its now-usual mix of RS Aeros, 600, 800, GP14s, and a B14. Alan Blay’s GP14 and Daragh Sheridan’s RS Aero swapped 1st and 2nd in each race. The windward leeward of race 1 favoured the GP14, allowing Blay to win by over a minute on corrected time. However in race 2, the fast reaches favoured Sheridan’s RS Aero, and he took first by a narrow 11 seconds on corrected time. Tristan Nelson’s single-handed trapezing RS600 took 3rd in both races. Overall in the series, Sheridan still has a healthy lead, but only 9 points separates Jeremy Beshoff and Alan Blay in the fight for 2nd. Four more races and one more discard could make or break the series.
Full results are available here. Make sure to get entries in for the Round the Island Race, taking place on Saturday 11th March!
---Report by Conor Murphy