The final day of the Carrigaline Court Frostbite league at the Royal Cork looked like it could live up to its name on Saturday, Nov 25th as a large anticyclone settled in over the south coast leaving clear skies and very little wind on the preceding days. With not a breath of wind at the club at 11am, the AP was raised while the optimism of the race officer, Ciaran McSweeney was tested. He headed out to the bank with his mark laying team including his son David McSweeney and Sarah Kiely and found a steady breeze building. Although the wind stayed mostly above 8kts and built to 13 at one stage, it still showed incredible fickleness with 120-degree wind shifts from 180 to 270 and finally back to 160 at the end of the day. At one stage, he had to clear the decks and start from scratch with all marks moving.
All boats were launched around noon and fleets of ILCAs, Toppers and 420s were set off on a shifting breeze and a flooding tide that really started to show its influence in the first race.
Micheal O’Suilleabhain managed to pull another two bullets v Jonathan O’Shaughnessy’s single win on the final day to consolidate his lead at the top with illness slowing Emmet O’Sullivan’s challenge to the ICLA 7s in his RS Aero (raced with the ILCA 7 fleet on PY).
In ILCA 6, Andrew Kingston managed one bullet between two mixed races to consolidate his lead over the field with Liam Duggan quietly slipping into second position ahead of Max Tolan. Phillip Doherty also performed well to finish fourth overall.
The O’Neill family dominated the ILCA 4 field with Craig again pulling out three wins to finish well ahead of the Shane Collins who maintained his bulwark against the rising Andrew O’Neill in third and Julie O’Neill in fourth (and first girl). A welcome return for Sophie Crosbie in the ILCA 4 who managed a third in the final race with an extremely tight strategic downwind leg to keep the finish boat on their toes.
In the 420 fleet, Abbie Shorten and Isha Duggan pulled out two wins to cement their first place followed by Matt Mapplebeck and Billy Mallin.
In the Topper fleet, Ellen McDonagh also finished strong with a win in the final race to maintain an unassailable lead over Gwen Barry and Ruby Foley.
On the committee boat, Ciaran McSweeney, Stephen O’Shaughnessy and sub RO Tim McCarthy managed to fill a full twelve races for the ILCA 7s,6s in November and racing across five fleets in a very impressive manner with sailors rarely having more than five minutes rest between racing. At this time of year, keeping the sailors moving was a priority.
Other volunteers across the series, Carla Miles (Safety lead), Ronan Duggan, Roy Sugar, Craig and Jenn O’Neill (wandering star – finish boat), Sarah Kiely, Muireann Fitzpatrick, David McSweeney, Michael Crosbie, Sophie, Angelo and Matt Hiras.
Many thanks to Maurice Collins as ever in one of his final events as rear Admiral of Dinghies and to the generous sponsorship from Carrigaline Court Hotel.