Winter is always the most interesting time of year to sail, especially when viewed from later on, indoors,
when the wounds have healed. Compared with previous years when stainless steel fittings shattered in the cold, this winter was a delight. We had our share of mental weather, and a number of things broke
on my boat (including Paul), but mostly it was just excellent sailing.
In consequence, we've been pretty busy here at our secret Fireball HQ (for the uninitiated, it's a bit like
Stacy Island but with less realistic characters and scenery). In between the serious work like defeating the Mighty Zarg we ran the Miracle Inlands, and it was good. We organised our own open meeting
which was also good; in fact it attracted a better turnout than the Nationals, so make that 'very good' (and many thanks to the Miracle fleet for doing the hard work there). And we also held our
annual prize-giving / fleet meal / Christmas party / disco thing, which was very well attended and notably full of festive spirit and alcohol. So 2006 ended well.
We must bid a sad farewell to Miles Thomas, who was part of the furniture and is the current record holder
in the person-who-has-left-the-fleet-and-come-back-most-often category. As he has now gone to Wales in a beautiful pea-green Fireball, he probably won't be coming back this time, except for the
occasional visit. Farewell also to Hannah 'the Fireball Slayer' and Scott Wilson, both of whom are off to pastures new, resulting in a composite Winder (as yet un-slayed) and a rather nice Severn being
up for sale. Welcome back to Gary and Andy, perennial winter members who get faster every time we see them, and hello to all the other new Fireball members, a number of whom I have not yet managed to
At time of writing, the Draycote Winter Super Series sponsored by P&B is going well with 32 competitors
and guest appearances from Dave Wade, Tim Rush, Becky Priest and more. Draycote sailors Adam Whitehouse and Mike Pratt are currently occupying the top spot and look likely to win the series, but the
standard of competition has been remarkably high and 2nd place onwards could go to almost anyone.
For the coming season we have the following events lined up:
25th March Fleet AGM, in the wetbar at 4:15pm
31st March Fleet social evening
12th & 13th May UKFA Fireball training
3rd June Firebowl Handicap day 1
10th June Inter-fleet championships
17th June Firebowl Handicap day 2
8th September Another fleet social evening
9th September Marriott Bucket day 1
23rd Sept. Marriott Bucket day 2
30th Sept. Fleet championships day 1
13th & 14th Oct. Fireball Open & Inland championships
28th Oct. Fleet championships day 2
11th Nov. Fleet championships day 3
8th Dec. Fleet meal & prizegiving
We are also running the usual three Summer Sunday racing series from April to October and the two Wednesday
evening series. All this stuff is explained in more detail on the website at www.draycotewater.co.uk/fleets/fireball , and we will be posting reminders on the Draycote forum.
If by some strange circumstance you are not a fireball sailor, and you are interested in joining Draycote's
most active and incompetent fleet or would simply like a trial sail, come and catch Helen (FB14891), Bob (FB14064) or me (14778) on the foreshore on any Sunday. We're always happy to talk.
Mike Deane – Fireball 14778