Despite the absence of the IDRA14 and GP14 fleets (away at other events), the Kanoodle Open Frostbites got off to a start in Sutton last Sunday.
With quite a strong breezes forecast it was great to see a good turnout of Mirrors (5) and Lasers (7) to join a lone GP14 on the day. In preparation for her new GP14, Katie Dwyer and her brother borrowed Eoin Fannings GP14 and got a bit of practice in while the rest of the GP14 fleet were in Mullingar for the end of season Hot Toddy.
The Race Management team of Harry Gallagher and Jim Lambkin decided to race off the Committee boat down the sound rather than take the predominantly junior sailors into a very lumpy and bumpy Dublin Bay. With HW at 1pm, the Creek proved to be a great starting point for both the sailors and the many Sunday morning on-lookers along Strand Road.
Its been a long while since close and competitive racing could be watched from such close quarters, not to mention a few spectacular capsizes.
With wind in the gusts well over 20knots, the Laser 4.7 did well to complete the first race. After a close first 2 laps, Darragh Kelly took the gun ahead of an ever improving Saoirse White. The 5 Mirrors all finished with the experienced trio of Shane McLoughlin, Sinead Dickson and Conor Twohig having a real ding dong battle all the way round. In the end it was Sinead Dickson/Eve McMahon closely followed by Shane McLoughlin/Saoirse Kelly.
By the time of the second race, the wind had come up again, with a big gust in the starting sequence laying over at least 3 of the Lasers. The wind also forced some of the more junior Mirrors to seek sanctuary of the slipway. However a great start saw John Lynch away with Kate McGonigle with Saoirse White, Darragh Kelly, Alex Hynes a little behind after recovering from the big gust. A capsize at top mark saw Darragh retire with rig problems joined shortly after by both Saoirse and John, leaving Alex and Kate to fight for honours. Firstly they both had to get round the course. Neck and neck they chased each other, with Alex taking a lead on last downwind after Kate had to recover from a near disastrous gybe. Recover she did but not enough to peg back Alex who had made a spectacular recovery after an equally spectacular capsize during the starting sequence.
The 2 remaining Mirrors stayed in touch in building breeze, flew spinnakers without fear and only got separated at the start of last downwind leg. Sinead/Eve took a shore side route, surfing past on-lookers while Shane took an all or nothing dash down the middle of the sound. It was still only 3 or 4 boat lengths between them in Sineads favor as they approached bottom mark down near Santa Sabina. However a tangled spinnaker meant Shane never made a challenge up the last beat. But great racing.
While the 2 races were starred for GP14, Katie Dwyer certainly enjoyed the opportunity to get out for a couple of hours on the water. Hopefully we will see Katie back next week or 2 with her own boat. Looking forward to next week-ends Frostbites with the IDRA14 and GP14 to join the fray.