Another beautiful day in a glorious summer that we’ll long remember. And Seapoint threw up a tactically challenging day for the dinghy sailors that they’ll remember too.
Francis Barry’s Laser and Tom Murphy’s elegant K1 joined the racing so there were enough boats to make up for the absence of some regulars and the short postponement allowed everyone to get to the start on time after a slow sail out. Sadly the K1’s outhaul broke just before the start of Race 1, with no time to make a repair before the guns.
Race 1 saw Sheehy’s OK Dinghy and Keane’s Laser dominate from the beginning. Both hit the favoured pin end with clear air and good speed and both quickly tacked onto a long port fetch towards the windward mark, leaving the rest of the boats far behind almost immediately.
With bizarre bands of breeze across the course the OK Dinghy first climbed way above Keane’s Laser, only for Keane to climb back at the end of the beat. Dwyer and Barry – both in Lasers – got caught on the wrong side of shifts so they were well behind by the first mark and the race became a private match race between the top 2.
The OK Dinghy seemed to have an edge upwind, with Keane’s Laser faster downwind. After sailing in close company for the whole race the OK Dinghy finally took the gun by a few seconds, and with it the race win. (result here)
Race 2 was much more interesting!
The start of race 2 had a strong boat bias so the dinghy fleets lined up in a bunch behind the boat. The IDRAs came in at speed with a nice puff while the single handers sat in a lull just 10 meters ahead. The OK Dinghy and Lasers were swamped by IDRAs as the gun went and the IDRAs led away from the line. The OK Dinghy, nearest the boat, tacked away immediately with Keane, Dwyer and Barry in Lasers all following out towards a line of breeze coming from the right.
Then in this race it was a long starboard fetch up towards the mark. Keane and Murphy (not carrying a tracker) were slightly to the left, with Sheehy to the right and slightly ahead of Dwyer. Then Keane and Murphy’s K1 got a line of breeze and just squeezed ahead into a solid lead. The OK Dinghy barely caught the edge of the breeze, losing only 50m or so but Dwyer and Barry were left behind again. If there was rhyme or reason to the breeze then none of us could see it. Cruel. Keane led, Murphy a little behind, then a gap.
The second beat saw Murphy storming through to take the lead from Keane. Picking some solid shifts on the left he crossed over to the right about 2/3 up the beat and led Keane around the windward mark. The K1 is FAST when on the breeze. Meantime after some hopeful progress on the first half of the beat, the OK Dinghy sailed into a hole and stopped, losing 100m+ in a few minutes.
Murphy couldn’t quite hold Keane off on the last run but then pulled ahead again on the last beat and finished clear ahead on the water. Meantime the OK Dinghy rounded the leeward mark still well behind but caught a solid puff from the right and roared towards the line with good speed, closing that time gap all the time.
So – who got the win? Surely the K1 had it! Calculators came out.
Keane, solid all race, won by just over 10 seconds from Murphy’s K1, with the OK Dinghy finally less than 30 seconds down in 3rd. A real game of snakes and ladders which Keane and Murphy both deserved to win. (results here)
As for the title of the article? Yes, the breeze was amazing….amazingly unpredictable, and Dwyer and Barry got caught on the wrong side of odd shifts in both races. But darn that K1 is fast!