In a week that saw the lowest overnight temperatures in 10 years is most parts of Ireland, the last weekend of the pre-Christmas Series 1 of the Viking Marine sponsored Frostbites came to a mild, wet and windy end yesterday, with racing cancelled on the Saturday evening in view of an adverse forecast.

From a schedule of 14 races for Series 1, only six were sailed with some Sundays blown out altogether and two Sundays where only a single race was sailed. Yesterday, the only Frostbite related activity was a protest hearing, held over a few weeks because of racing being cancelled and both parties having various other commitments.

The Series 1 prize-giving will be held on the first Sunday of Series 2, 1st January, and in between times the “Christmas Cracker” will have a second outing on December 27th following the success of last year’s event. The NoR for this event is available on the DMYC website and the SI will be issued imminently. Suffice to say that the course configuration will take in “all corners” of the harbour.

For Series 1 of the Frostbites, the biggest fleets were the PY fleet and the ILCA 6s who each had 31 boats entered.

In the PY fleet, the Fireballs had a very healthy representation of 12 boats followed by the Aeros with 7 boats. The Fireballs are still enjoying the enthusiasm generated by having the Worlds in Lough Derg in August, while the Aeros have maintained the momentum generated by solo sailing during the Covid shutdowns.

On the water, the better Fireballs have enjoyed success in bringing the PY fleet home, but on paper the handicap results in the PY Class are dominated by the Aeros. Even last Sunday when there was good breeze and good spinnaker conditions the Fireballs could not save their time against the leading Aeros; an approximate 5-minute advantage on the water for the first two Fireballs home still turned into a deficit in handicap terms.

Thus, in the Series 1 PY fleet, Aeros have taken the first five places overall and six places in the top ten, with Fireballs occupying sixth, seventh, ninth and tenth overall. Of the six races completed, Aeros took all bar one on handicap, the exception being the first race which went to Neil Colin and Margaret Casey in their Fireball. The handicap wins for the Aero Class were shared 4:2 between the 6s of Noel Butler and Roy Van Maanen. This left Butler and Van Maanen in 1st and 2nd overall with Stephen Oram in the Aero 7 in third place. Sarah Dwyer was 5th overall in an Aero 6 and first lady in the PY fleet.

In the ILCA 6s, Sean Craig took four race wins in Races 2, 3, 7 and 11 (chronologically speaking) versus two race wins to Darren Griffin. In last Sunday’s race Sean was a comfortable winner on the water and his other results were a 2 and a 4 giving him a five-point advantage over Griffin. Conor Clancy took third overall followed by Brendan Hughes and John O’Driscoll. The leading lady in the 6s fleet was Shirley Gilmore.

The all-male fleet of ILCA 7s saw Gavan Murphy win on two scores – race wins and most race starts/finishes. He claimed three wins on the water, whereas the balance of the race wins went to three different individuals, Sean Bowden, Theo Lyttle and Gary O’Hare, who also finished in this order in overall terms behind Murphy.

A very modest entry of seven ILCA 4s represents a downturn in the Frostbite numbers for this class, resulting in a race only being completed on four occasions, due to insufficient entries. Here, there was a three-way split of race victories between Kate Flood (2), Zita Tempany (1) and Sergei Vasilev (1), with this also being the overall finishing order.

The Fireballs and Aeros had their own “domestic series within a series” and in the Fireballs Frank Miller and Ed Butler/Neil Cramer took the majority of the race wins, three, to Alastair Court’s two and the solitary win of Neil Colin and Margaret Casey in the first race of the series. This division of race wins and other results leaves Miller and Court tied on 9pts apiece at the end of the Series, with Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keeffe in third on 12pts. 

In the Aeros, Noel Butler has a two-point advantage on Roy Van Mannen with Stephen Oram a further two points adrift in third.

This concludes the reporting of Series 1 of the Frostbites. If you’re not on the water on the 27th, Happy Christmas and New Year to you!