Wallace and Kilmartin dominate at Frostbites
24 February 2020
Cold, windy weather awaited HYC's Laser Frostbite sailors as they arrived on Sunday morning. All were eager to get some races in after a 3 week drought due to the various storms that have plagued us recently. The Brass Monkey's Race Committee were already afloat and, while there was some initial reluctance to rig, confirmation of a steady 20 knot, 280 degree breeze in the race area stirred the fleet into action.
After a brief AP due to the shore-side deliberation, racing kicked off with a clean start, helped largely by a strong ebb tide. Due to the wind-strength and possible rustiness of the sailors, a triangle-only course was set to save everyone the embarrassment of capsizing on a dead run, near the ever watchful cameras on the Committee Boat. The breeze was mostly in the 16-20 knot range, with occasional gusts up to 23 knots.
The strong ebb tide made for long beats and a tricky rounding at the top mark. Conor Murphy was first to the top mark, with Ronan Wallace and Darach Dinneen closely following. The fast reaches saw Wallace and Dinneen overtake Murphy and so it stayed for the remaining two laps with a large gap separating the top 3 from the remainder of the fleet, where a closely fought battle for 4th took place before Daragh Sheridan ultimately took 4th spot. Gear failure forced Conor Costello to retire with a bent boom - denying him the windy weather racing he has been hoping for all series. The Radials had some close quarters racing between the two Peters with Peter Hassett winning out over Peter Kilmartin and Hugo Micka.
Race 2 saw shortened leg lengths as the selfless race committee sought to ensure all were ashore in time to watch the rugby. Another clean start again saw Murphy lead to the first mark with Wallace and Dinneen just behind. Wallace's superior downwind speed again saw him up to first by the end of the first lap while Murphy and Dinneen fought it out for 2nd place. In the tough conditions small mistakes turned out to be costly but Murphy ultimately claimed 2nd despite a nervous moment at the last gybe mark. Further attrition saw Tom Fox and Mark Kennedy retire and only 7 Standard rigs finishing. In the Radials, the Peters struggled with both the tide and gear failure, allowing Hugo Micka to take first, followed by Peter H and Peter K. The 4.7s managed very well in the tough conditions, keeping up with some of the Standard rigs on the way around. Sophie Kilmartin won both races, followed by Lucy Butcher.
Ronan Wallace is untouchable atop the Standard rig leader-board heading into the final weekend and Sophie Kilmartin enjoys the same comfort in the 4.7s while the two Peters still contend for Radial honours. In the Standards, the final two races next week will see four boats vying for second and third spots.
The Round the Island race on Sat, March 7th, will conclude the 2019 / 2020 Series and racing will be followed by the renowned Frostbite Series 'lunch'. The RTI is an Open event and entries are now being taken on the HYC website. The Laser fleet hopes to see lots of visitors afloat for it - a warm-up race in the Sound followed by the RTI itself, take your pick about leaving it to port or starboard.