Dublin Racing

Total tidal tactics

Tuesday saw the committee and the dinghy racers confronted by a delicate combination; a tide absolutely whooshing up towards the “windward” mark and a breeze that was playing hide and seek rather expertly.

Mind you, it was warm and dry and really a rather pleasant evening so everyone took on the challenges in good humor.  Several boats stayed out after the racing until it was getting dark.

Drifting home as the sun sets.
A good evening.

But before all that the racing was the main priority.

After a short postponement the committee sent the Fireballs off first. Even though the line had only been dropped minutes beforehand, there was already a huge boat bias and the mark was almost a fetch on starboard.

The PY start lined up and Sheehy’s OK Dinghy won the start, hitting the boat end with speed (ehem) and almost hitting a port-tacking IDRA14 that was – and stayed – over the line. Des Fortune’s Finn and Tom Murphy’s K1 footed fast out to the left looking for stronger tide while the OK Dinghy pointed high and stuck to the inside of the course, hoping for more right shifts. The rightie came just as the OK Dinghy approached the mark, turning the beat into a fetch and leaving Fortune and Murphy downtide of the mark AND on the wrong side of the shift.  Argh.

Meantime, the Lasers were coming in pursuit.


Sheehy sneaked around the windward mark and set off after the Fireballs, many of who were by now getting seriously downtide of the gybe mark. O’Toole and Nesbitt (not yet entered, so not in the results) were leading the Lasers up a windless beat while the OK Dinghy barely made way down the middle of the course, not yet prepared to risk the stronger tide further out. Murphy got around the windward mark in the middle of the IDRAs and the slippery K1 soon managed to extract itself from the forest of sagging spinnakers. The leading Lasers weren’t so lucky and found themselves clustered in a lovely little windless zone.

Results – PY Overall

O’Toole went the long way around and found himself falling off the Laser lead. Sheehy’s OK Dinghy, conversely, was using all the tidal tactics learned on August evenings in Kinsale and was crabbing sideways across the tide towards the gybe mark and the gaggle of stalled Fireballs. The OK Dinghy rounded inside and actually led the whole fleet onto the second reach, which was by now actually a beat and where the indignant Fireballs quickly regained their leading on-the-water positions.

From there it was plain sailing on a shortened course for the OK Dinghy, which won the overall PY race by nearly 2 minutes.

Murphy’s K1 and O’Toole’s Laser were next in line with only 4 seconds separating them.  Tight stuff.

O’Toole took 2nd overall and first place in the Laser fleet by sailing back around the stalled fleet and regaining the lead among the Lasers, both impressing and annoying his Laser foes with this little demonstration of light air speed. Paul Keane wangled up to finish as 2nd Laser, only 20 seconds further back, but the K1 intervened to take 3rd overall on the night having kept its nose clean and staying out of trouble for most of the race.


About hugh sheehy

just this guy, you know.


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