Monday, March 24, 2014

Lasers down to the wire

The final weekend of the Dun Laoghaire Laser Frostbite was a real cracker. The high winds of the morning moderated around midday and the sun came out. Wonderful!

The race officer set his usual trapezoid with the windward mark just off the west pier making for a shifty last third of the beat, and the 16 Lasers that made the start, looked forward to a longer than usual 5 lap race.

The pin end was marginally favoured, and the beat was a little one sided, meaning that most boats soon tacked onto port for the long fetch across the harbour. The fleet sailed hard up the first beat, hiking in a way that you only ever see on the last weekend of a series. At the windward mark it was Harding who managed to nip round first ahead of Dwyer and a significant group containing Cahill, Elmes and Hodgins. 

Harding and Dwyer at the mark
The first reach was tight and gusty, and the bear away at the end was dangerous. Harding led down the first run with Elmes and then Cahill threatening. At the leeward mark it was Harding from Cahill and Elmes.

The wind remained shifty and there were opportunities to make ground if you could pick the right spot to take the short hike across on starboard, but the large part of the upwind section involved thrashing though the short chop at the entrance to the harbour. At the front Harding gradually extended from Cahill. Elmes and Hodgins had a close battle for a couple of laps with Elmes finally getting the jump on Hodgins.

Elmes looking cool
From a series perspective, Harding needed to take two points from Cahill to take overall honours. But, although Elmes threatened, he never quite got onto the transom of Cahill, who sailed hard to retain his second place in the final race, and win the Frostbite Series overall by one point from Harding.

Cahill - winner
At the prize giving there was general agreement that the Frostbite had been a great success. All those involved, from the race officer to the safety crews to the bar staff at the DMYC were warmly thanked for all the hard work that they had put in to making the event such a success.

Race report by Richard Harding
Photos by DMYC Frostbite
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