A win before the flood

Dun Laoghaire Flying Fifteen

Ben Mulligan on how 3706 pulled off a victory in the second race last Sunday …

If the fleet enjoyed a blissful race day on the 16th October, a day worthy of high summer, Sunday the 23rd  was the opposite. A gun-metal grey colour fell on the bay; this coupled with the French loss of the RWC Final by a narrow margin and frequent driving rain showers all added to a tough day on the water.

The wind was coming from the general direction of Dalkey Island. All you experts who know what compass point that is could provide me with an exact bearing. It occasionally flicked in the direction of Killiney Hill. This location was also the source of large darkly, ominous clouds bearing plenty of what , I seem to remember , they call precipitation.

Allied to this the wind direction varied in both strength and direction. Sea conditions did not match the wind strength.

IRL 3706  won Race 2 as a simple result of the helm, Bryan Maguire, deciding that the breeze was going to fill in from the harbour side of the beat, taking some shifts and steering sympathetically.

We started at the committee boat end of the line in clear air. We tacked on to port shortly after the start. We benefitted from lift when we tacked back on to starboard. In addition to this, and a note we may all benefit from, Bryan sailed ‘soft’ when the wind was lighter. The genoa foot was well off the deck (c 10 cm). This helped us through that lumpy sea in those conditions.

We led going around the windward  mark 1st time. We were slow going downwind. Ciaran and Frank overtook us and David Mulvin was travelling fast alond with others.

Rounding the leeward gate, we opted to tack and clear our air.  Ciaran continued inshore on port.  We were travelling well on startboard and opted to stay on. We were then broken and tacked back. Suddenly, we got more pressure and a lift. This took us ahead of Ciaran.

When we tacked back to starboard we suddenly benefited from more pressure and a lift. We were fortunate to be the ‘most right-hand boat’ on a startboard lift and this led to us leading at the windward mark second time around.
As the fleet knows, after the second round, it was a fetch to the windward mark. A soldiers march. All I wanted to do after the finish was get in and defrost!

Great credit goes to Larry and his team for delivering two good races in difficult conditions; sea conditions ensured that the committee boat pitched and tossed. Various committee members were quite pleased that they had not had time to eat breakfast. In addition, they managed to squeeze in racing prior to the onset of the Second Great Flood and a gale.

See you on Sunday, I hope.


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