Breaking the ice
The fleet generally goes into a decline at around this time of year, for the obvious reason that it's just too damn cold. So it is nice to be able to report
that we have not yet had a turnout of less than five boats, with the best showing being eight. Better still, we have had some good close races of the sort where the finishing positions were not a
foregone conclusion, some genuine tactics were employed and almost anyone could have won. All this in spite of the major disincentive that the clubhouse showers were without hot water for 5 weeks,
leaving us with only one feeble electric item with no temperature adjustment.
We also had a very reasonable turnout of five boats in each of the two recent pursuit races, both of which were almost but not quite windy enough. Boxing day
saw Fireballs in 4th, 5th and 8th places (we nearly got third, but the takeout boat got to the upturned RS600 before we did). New Years day was even better with a 2nd, 4th and 5th,
although yours truly had a rotten race and Paul fell out of the boat again (admittedly it was on its side at the time). Pete 'Shed' Badham and Richard Byne got the second place prize. Bad sight of the
day was provided by a group of cold naked sailors taking turns to stick a foot under the electric shower and say 'ouch'.
The Christmas meal was well attended, and the club caterers laid on an amazing festive spread which was very well received by all concerned. Miles and the Leaky
Bailer band (who turned out to be Nigel Imbush and most of his multi-talented family) also went down a storm, their rendition of Postman Pat leaving several of the audience in tears. One particularly
pissed crew was heard saying to anyone who would listen that 'You jus' don' get ennertainment like tha' anymore, no really you don', no really. No really. No really, etc'. Quite what
the Miracle fleet thought of it all we're not sure…
Saturday February 27th - Fleet Prizegiving evening with meal. Starts at 6.00 6.30 PM at the clubhouse and will be similar to the Christmas
meal, but with prizes as well.
April 10th and 11th - Draycote Fireball Open Meeting. First race 1.00 PM Saturday.
Thursday April 29th - Fireball AGM. See overleaf for details.
When I started sailing Fireballs, I had no idea how to rig or sail the boat and had a soggy year sailing round at the back of the fleet. In appreciation of the
fact that about a quarter of the fleet are new to Fireballs and could easily suffer the same fate, we have produced a couple of 'helpful hints' fact sheets covering rigging, sailing and basic tuning of
Fireballs. One of these is for total innocents, the other for those who have got the hang of what the kicking strap does and want to progress a bit further. Both should be on the notice board by now, so
help please yourselves. Also, anyone who would like any help or advice on any aspect of Fireballing, give me a ring and we'll sort it out.
It's still increasing ! Big welcome to all new members. Beer mat calculations suggest that we will have an average of 8 ½ boats on the start line next
year as long as nobody leaves. Mike Tredwell will be sailing the half a boat. Seriously though, we still need more members if we are to achieve our target of getting ten or more boats in every race. If
you know anyone who can still move and could conceivably get into a Fireball, wheel them down in the Spring and we'll give them a ride. That's usually all it takes.
Also we still have a potential Fireball crew looking for somebody to sail with. Any takers ?
We have achieved a small reorganisation of the boat park, and made some more space nearer the water for boats which do get sailed at the expense of some of the
boats that don't. If your boat went home for the winter and we inadvertently stole your empty space, sorry - tell us about it and we'll reinstate you. If you are still at the top of the slip, sail
frequently and feel that the altitude is bad for you, let us know and we will try to get you parked nearer the water. Or possibly in it.
Fireball AGM Thursday April 29th
Notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of Fireball Fleet 208 will be held at the clubhouse on Thursday 29th April at 8.00 PM when the following business will be transacted.
1. To read and approve the minutes of the 1998 Annual General Meeting
2. To receive the report of the committee.
3. To consider and if thought fit, pass the following resolution:
'To remove the requirement for Draycote Fireball Fleet members to be members of the UKFA in order to qualify for fleet events.'
4. To prescribe the new rate for the fleet subscription (currently zero).
5. To elect officers to the following posts:
Open meeting Co-ordinator
Open meeting Race officer
Well that's got the formalities over with. Joining the committee is the best way to get to know the fleet, which means that you'll quickly learn important
things (like who's got a rig tension gauge). It is not too onerous, the committee only meets two or three times a year. However, you do get to be entirely responsible for your chosen post run it as
you think fit with as much or as little input from the rest of us as you want. Anybody who feels that they could do any job is welcome to stand. With the exception of the open meeting related posts, you
don't need any experience for any of them. If we don't get a volunteer for any given post, we just won't be doing that particular function next year.
Please come to the AGM if you sail a Fireball (at either end) and are a full member of the club. We won't try to press-gang you on to the committee, but we do
need to know your opinions.