So 2005 got off to a busy start for the Fireballs.
First up was the Firebowl personal handicap event, which (for the uninitiated) is a short series of six pursuit races where every Fireball gets its own start time based on the relative speed of the sailors in it. So the very rubbish sailors go off first, and the less rubbish ones have to wait up to 15 minutes before hunting them down like dogs. Usually the early starters make some terrible mistakes to aid their pursuers, such as capsizing, sailing to the wrong marks, falling through the mainsail etc. Other times, they don't. Throw in further randomising factors of variable race length, wind strength and shiftiness, and the race acquires a marvellously chaotic quality whereby you really don't know who's going to win it. This year we kinda felt that Paul and Keith might get it (and indeed they would have if their signing off skills matched their sailing). Or maybe Tom and Ed / Anna, who blagged a rather advantageous handicap by virtue of Tom claiming never to have helmed a Fireball before (this may have been true, but it didn't seem to slow them down very much). Ray and Phil also looked pretty strong, but in the end the Firebowl event went to Helen and Mike on the results of the last race, and well done to them. For those of you who fancy a bit more of this kind of silliness, the Marriott Bucket event in September is run in the same way and is usually a bit windier too.
Then we had the weekend of UKFA training, where some very knowledgeable blokes came over and told us /
showed us how to sail. This year it was a bit too windy on the Saturday, but Sunday yielded some impressive performances on the water as the assembled congregation put Saturday's theory lessons into
practise. The only problem with this training malarkey is that one weekend isn't enough to take all this good stuff on board, which is why the whole thing looks like becoming a regular yearly event. So
if you were too busy this year getting your head round the concept of a 4th corner on your jib to take on Johny's perfect hill, come back next year.
Next up, we have, er, nothing at all. We don't do much in the summer except the usual 3 race series every
Sunday, the race series on Wednesday evenings, and (this year) preparing for the World Championships.