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hugh sheehy

just this guy, you know.
hugh sheehy has written 292 posts for Irish OK Dinghy Association

Autumn Series – 3rd

The final results for the Autumn Series of the DMYC Frostbites were published after the last day was blown out. Blown out by a TOTAL lack of wind – the kind of which you do not expect to see in December. There are no photos of that day, but the previous week had almost as little wind and there were some great photos.

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The Milky Bar Kid ended the first season in 3rd place overall. That’s a better outcome than expected. It was all very tight once you got away from Colin G in his RS Aero, who ran away with the season.

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Perhaps we’ll do better in the Winter season, which starts in the New Year.

Meantime, a Happy Christmas and prosperous New Year to all.

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Close but no cigar

Two races on a sunny afternoon in Dun Laoghaire. Twenty starters on the pin biased line made it hard to get clean away, but 45 seconds after the start the MBK was looking down at the vast majority of the fleet, with only the RS400, Finn and the ever speedy RS Aero sliding ahead. Still struggling for upwind speed, the OK Dinghy rounded with the RS200s, with the Wayfarer close behind. From there it was a game of staying out of trouble and trying to get clear air. That last tenth of upwind speed would be VERY useful.

A couple of laps later the Wayfarer had passed, having taken advantage of a shift on the 3rd beat and the Finn and Aero were long gone too. Plus, never to be ignored, that Harding chappy in the Mirror snuck into the results again, taking 3rd.

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That’s a pretty mixed set of results, though the Aero was again untouchable.

Race 2 had the same pin bias and the OK Dinghy was lucky to get a good start after the Aero brought the two boats to a stop 20m short of the pin as the gun went.  Didn’t seem much point in that, but a lucky opening let the OK tack and cross most of the fleet anyway. There was even a vague chance that the OK might have made it first to the windward mark, but in the end it was Aero, Finn and OK dinghy in quick succession. Upwind speed was definitely improved, with the settings for the North coming back from long-term memory. Most noticeable was that the Lasers were NOT catching upwind this time.

In the end the Aero still won, but only by 4 seconds from the OK Dinghy with the Wayfarer just 30 seconds further back.

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Overall the Aero is gone gone gone, clear ahead in first. It’ll be tight with the OK Dinghy, the Wayfarer and the Mirror for 2nd and 3rd….discards will play a role!

Onwards and upwards, hopefully.

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Decent start again

Another decent start – maybe a couple of seconds early at the boat, requiring a quick drop down the line – but still clear and fast.  The momentary doubt that the MBK was over the line was unfounded, but someone was over.

Colin G’s RS Aero started closer to the boat and by the time the OK Dinghy tacked to clear the RS 400, the Aero was already gone. It’s fast.

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Results so far

Only part of the way through the season, and after a slow start things are going a little less slowly.

After 6 races, of which the MBK raced in 5, Colin G in the RS Aero is running away with PY. He’s discarding a 2nd place finish!  The OK dinghy seems to be going a bit quicker. Better starts and less awful speed have put us in 2nd overall. But a LONG way back from Colin.

Results here.

Also, we’re still a long way from the pace we’d reached before missing a lot of the last year’s sailing. Best guess is that we’re still at least a couple of minutes an hour off previous pace. That’s a lot. Fitness, practice, manoeuvres, etc.

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Pre-start alongside Colin G’s Aero

Part of the improvement today was that the North sail came back out of emergency storage and was re-deployed. Straight away the MBK felt easier to sail. Best guess is that the North is easily more than a minute an hour faster than the P&B, plus a lot easier to trim. Now that’s not a fair comparison since the North was made-to-measure and the P&B wasn’t. But for here, for now, it’s a fact…..the North is faster.

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No passing to windward

As a general rule, the skipper of the MBK won’t let people overtake to windward. He warns, politely, that he can point REALLY high if needed and then the overtaking boat has to make its own decisions.

It’s a long established policy. Boats from Spain to Zeeland, much of the UK and several parts of Ireland have wondered why the policy is maintained with such vigor.

Well, last weekend policy enforcement was slack. But it provided a good reminder of why the policy is there….

See – no more passing to windward.

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GPS says “go faster”

Getting back in the boat after a long lay-off is always a challenge. But GPS is there to help you see where you’re going slowly….which is too often.

Reviewing the last week’s races and comparing to a Finn, it’s clear that the OK can keep up most of the time, but that there are periods of sloth – particularly downwind in the first race.

Race 1 was banjaxed after an unyielding port tack boat forced the MBK into bad wind shadow on the approach to the first mark…but also by bad downwind speed.

Race 2 was a bit better…though there’s still a speed problem.

 

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Back towards the front

Well, the OK Dinghy was at least featuring in the action this week. Results aren’t out yet but maybe 5th in Race 1 and 2nd in Race 2 make a better result than last week.

A decent start in race 1 was wasted after getting swallowed by faster boats and spat back into the melee, from which there’s no escape in a PY fleet.

But a SPECTACULAR start in Race 2 got the Milky Bar Kid out at the front of the fleet and a 2nd place finish to Colin G’s RS Aero. Colin won both races on the day and is showing great speed.

The start had the MBK port tack the whole fleet at the pin. As clean a getaway as you could ever want. Sadly, the on-board GoPro points forward so there’s no video of the scene. The GoPro did capture a not-untypical IDRA14 interaction at the windward mark,

and the usual excellent DMYC camera crew at the windward mark captured a scene of the MBK’s skipper looking unusually serious.

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New sunglasses brings the MBK into the 21st century??

Another big conclusion is that the P&B main just isn’t as fast as the old worn-out North sail. Now if only North Sails UK would reply to the email asking for a price on a new one….

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Caught on camera

The DMYC’s on-water photographer got a decent pic of the Milky Bar kid on approach to the weather mark last Sunday.

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The tuning question that springs to mind is whether the skipper should be sitting further forward or not….anyone?

Lots of other photos too, of the rest of the fleet.

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An OK return

Well, no victories, but after 6 months away that would have been too much to expect.

Still struggling with the P&B main (not ‘cos it’s bad, just ‘cos it’s different) and WAAAY out of practice, but the shoulder held up.

6th and 7th in the racing in a fleet of 24 isn’t BAD, but not great either.

Haven’t (and probably won’t) have time to cut this video down, but it shows that chewing gum is a visually unattractive habit and that the Milky Bar Kid is out of practice.

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The IOKDA (Irish OK Dinghy Association) website is hosted on Wordpress.com.

The aim of the site is multiple; to increase visibility of the OK Dinghy in Ireland, to create a central communications point for OK dinghy sailors - and those interested in the OK Dinghy - on the island of Ireland, to create a communications point for OK Dinghy sailors in other countries, and to be available for non-sailors to understand the OK Dinghy and the activities in Ireland.

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