Fireball fleet training day is 21st May. This will cover race training if light or medium airs, and boat handling if windy. Everybody welcome,
meet in the boatpark at around 10.00 am.
A decent turnout of members for this, which ended up being held in the wet bar because the lounge was being redecorated. This also meant that the bar was
closed, but wine and lager were provided by your fleet captain in a doomed attempt to get everyone pissed and thus avoid being elected again. The first item on the agenda was (predictably), 'where is the
corkscrew ?', and the answer (equally predictably), 'No idea'.
We ended up with the cork floating inside the bottle, and a committee as follows:
Treasurer Nick Lewis
Training Officer Pete Badman
Secretary Tina Watkins
Results Phil Watkins
Social Secretary Not elected
Bosun John Tenney
Prizes Paul Disney
Open Meetings John Rohde
IT Officer Simon Coates
Fleet Captain Mike Deane
Thanks go to outgoing treasurer Lucy Littlewood, and cheers to incoming treasurer Nick Lewis. Other than that the committee remains almost unchanged from last
year, apart from the loss of Angie from the post of social secretary. Angie has had to stand down due to ill health, and is going to be a hard act to follow. We are currently without a social secretary,
so no social events until we get one. Big thanks to Angie for her hard work and enthusiasm over the previous year.
Set at £10 per boat, these are due now and should be given to Nick Lewis.
One topic which we discussed at the AGM was the OD rota, which has been managed by the club for some years now, but seems to be making a sneaky and unwelcome
comeback to the fleet captains. Basically, during this club year, the club has given you all duties for Wednesdays and Sundays, but left the tricky stuff like pursuit race duties and reshuffling to the
fleet captains, on top of the usual requirement that we organise a duty team for the Miracle open meeting. This means that whereas you might have thought that you were getting only one duty this year,
you will probably cop for two. Your club duty list also suggests that you contact your fleet captain if you are unable to do your allocated duty. You are welcome to do this, but I can only assist by
giving you the phone numbers of people who might swap with you.
The FireBowl Event
A blustery onshore wind made the beach starts more amusing to perform, and gave some of us the impression that it was quite windy (this impression later turned
out to be correct). First away were Phil and Simon, but they took an early bath leaving the way clear for Paul and Alison followed by Eugene and Bob to make the early running. Ray and Alistair retired
when Alistair plummeted through the strut
from a great height. Eugene/Bob took the lead from Paul/Alison by flying their kite, and promptly lost it to Norman/Andrea when it wouldn't come down again. This left a straight race to the finish line between Norman/Andrea, Mike/Paul and Miles/John, but Norman held on to take the honours by about 5 seconds.
With even more wind, less boats took part in this race, although Don and Pete turned up to make the numbers up. In a fairly dull race, Paul and Mike retired
having suffered from a kite-in-the-water problem at the first mark and an everything-in-the-water problem at the third. Everybody except Miles and Norman capsized, and Norman won again with Miles second.
Light airs and sunshine for this one, and a much better turnout. For some reason, everybody starting with less than 10 minutes handicap went off into the
distance, whilst the rest of us sailed round miles behind them in our own sad little race.
Mike and Paula capsized, and at the end Tessa and Paul narrowly managed to beat Eugene and Bob into second place, with Paul and Alison third.
Once again the fleet split into two, although this time Norman/Andrea and Pete/John managed to cross the divide for some reasonable results. Tessa and Paul took
the lead from Mike and Paula on the second-last leg, and Mike was so astounded at the prospect of coming in second that he generously capsized 40 yards from the finish line and stayed upside down until
everyone else had sailed past. This gave second place to Paul and Alison, with Norman and Andrea third.
The final results were:
1st Norman and Andrea
2nd Paul and Alison
3rd Eugene and Bob
You don't need to be a mathematician (or even fully awake) to see that these results don't reflect the achievements of Tessa and Paul, who notched up a couple
of wins but failed to qualify due to only sailing two out of the required three races.
Waterboard Pursuit Race
The wind was too light at the start, and shifty as a sack full of weasels. Pete and John made the running, with Mike/Paul lurking just behind. Then
the wind started to pick up, close reaches went broad and we realised that it might get interesting after all. Pete got into the lead but tried to fly his kite on a fetch and lost out to the RS600. Then
the 49er steamed past, and Fireballs had to settle for 3rd and 4th. Unfortunately Pete had had one of his 'Flying Fifteen incidents' earlier on, and was protested out of 3rd place.
The Fireball fleet ran the Waterboard Pursuit (or rather, Jeremy Davy and some mates with Tony Brown and Phil Watkins ran it), and I am pleased to report a high
standard of everything. Many thanks to all concerned.
MayDay Pursuit Race
The 10 competing Fireballs wouldn't fit on the tiny start line, but once away it was Pete and John making the running again, pressed by Mike/Paul and
Tessa with stand-in crew Steve Irish. Pete's spinnaker halyard came undone on the first reach, requiring a capsize to retrieve it, which left Mike/Paul vying with Tessa/Steve for Fireball honours. As the
race progressed and the wind dropped, it became apparent that Tessa/Steve were going to be 'top banana', as Mike/Paul fell steadily back into the clutches of Graham/Martin and Pete/John. At the finish
line (on the beat, placed at an angle known only to Pythagoras) Tessa and Steve achieved a worthy second place to the 49er, with Mike/Paul, Graham/Martin and Pete/John getting places between 6th and 10th
There are four race series, running from January 1st to December 1st, and these are:
Sunday First RaceHancocks Early Bird series
Sunday Second Race Winship Cup series
Sunday Third Race Summer 72 series
Wednesday Evening Silver Salver series
Within these series we have categories for Master and Challenger fleets, and boats under 14,000. Results are posted on our noticeboard in the wetbar, although
plans are afoot to swap this for another one upstairs close to the original.
Goodbye to Dave and Lucy Littlewood, but big hellos to Paul and Alison, Paul and Tessa, Paula (crewing for Mike Tredwell). Dave and Mike finally got their white
Winder, and Phil eventually managed to sail his shiny new boat. Rumours abound of Dave Wade having joined, and the possibility that Martyn Lewis might return. We are looking good on the water too, with
turnouts in double figures on any day when the weather is half decent.
It has come to my attention that there have been a number of occasions when people sailing old, slow or scruffy boats have beaten people with nice
new expensive boats by employing such dubious techniques as boat handling skills, tactics and picking windshifts. In one particularly unsavoury incident, a Young Person in a Fibreglass Boat was seen flagrantly finishing in front of a Respected Older Fleet Member who sails a Shiny New Boat. This behaviour will not be tolerated, and perpetrators will be disembowelled.