With only one session left in the series, a final discard shakes the Frostbites leaderboard

03 March 2023
With only one session left in the series, a final discard shakes the Frostbites leaderboard

27 boats took to the water for the penultimate week of the HYC Dinghy Frostbites. A brisk 12-15 knot easterly breeze welcomed the sailors to the race course, where Harry Gallagher got 2 races away cleanly. A triangular course followed by a windward leeward, with separate starts for the ILCA and PY fleets. This week’s racing gave the competitors their 4th and final discard, which has shaken up the leader boards! All the fleets have podium spots still to fight for, setting up what will be a hotly contested final week next week! The winter season isn’t quite over though, the annual Round the Island Race takes place on Saturday 11th March, which gives the ultimate bragging rights for the HYC winter sailing.

The ILCA 7s saw Dan O’Connell demonstrating why he was crowned National Champion in Tralee Bay 6 months ago, closing the day with two wins from two. He led each race the whole way around, keeping Ronan Wallace at arms length, only allowing Ronan 2nd in each race. Conor Costello delivered his strongest day of the series, clinching a 4th and a 5th. Richard Tate swapped the 4th and 5th with Costello while Zander took home 6th in each race. Dan’s two wins aren’t enough to unseat Ronan from the top spot in the series overall, while Conor Murphy fills in 3rd. Oisin Hughes and Rory Lynch will be fighting with Murphy for the final podium place, unfortunately gear failure just before race 1 precluded Lynch from taking part today.

ILCA 6s saw the same finishing order of Dave Kirwan, Marco Sorgassi and Charlie Savage in both races. They showed remarkable speed to keep in the mix with the ILCA 7s around the course in both races. Marco holds an insurmountable lead in the series overall, regardless of what happens next week. The rest of the fleet will need the next 2 races to straighten out, with Kirwan, Darragh Peelo and Fiachra Farrelly fighting for the final two podium places, each are on 50 points.

The ILCA 4s had the strongest turnout of the day, with 9 sailors showing their skills that they’ve been learning from HYC’s Aoife Hopkins in recent weeks. Charlie Keating took 1st in both races, while the rest of the top 6 saw plenty of changes between the two races. Glenda Gallagher and Aisling Kelly took a 2nd each, while Viktor Samoilovs and Ciara McMahon took home a 3rd each. Kelly leads the series overall with 31 points, followed closely by Samoilovs and Riaghan Boardman.

The PY fleet had a range of classes making up the 8 boats on the water today, and the results show an apparent preference that the different classes have for the different courses. The fast reaches of the triangle favour the RS Aeros, leading to Daragh Sheridan’s win in race 1, followed by the GP 14s of Alan Blay and Conor Twohig. Race 2’s windward-leeward course favoured the GP14s, with their symmetrical kites giving them the boost they needed downwind to overcome Sheridan’s Aero. Blay took first, followed by fellow GP14s Conor Twohig and Peter Boyle. Mike Evans was joined by HYC’s own ILCA ace Ewan McMahon for the day, but they couldn’t break into the podium places in the handicapped fleet. Sheridan has a safe lead on the series heading into the final weekend of racing, while Blay has moved into 2nd overall, followed by Jeremy Beshoff’s B14 in 3rd.

There’s plenty to play for in the final races of the series next week, and the long-range forecasts are promising some great conditions. The Round the Island Race follows the series on Saturday 11th March, and there are already entries from all over the country for all sorts of boats in addition to our usual classes, including whispers of Mermaids and International 14s coming to compete for the annual prize!

Don’t miss out, make sure to get your entries in!