Ah Autumn, season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. And hideous gales. Most of these turned up during fleet events of course, but did we let that stop us
? See the report below for details.
As I mentioned last time, the fleet is on the increase and we have now acquired some six new boats in the fleet this year, with almost exactly the right number
of people to sail them. Ok, none of them are racing much yet, but they will, and when they do please be nice to them whilst they are getting the hang of it. Watch out for those telltale signs, like
starting on port tack, going the wrong way round marks or capsizing on J. We also have new crews Simon and Phil who have yet to acquire a permanent ride. Somebody out there must need a crew surely.
The boat park is due for some rationalisation, starting with the removal of old wrecks and non-Fireballs, and including a spot of 'making the site
safe'. In the first instance, we need all the stakes to be banged in so they are flush with the surface and people can't fall over them. Obviously you can't tie ropes to a stake you can't see, so you
need to tie a small loop of rope to your stakes before burying them. Brownie points to all boat owners who do this for us. Any regular sailor hoping to get a space nearer the water should talk to Ray Steele.
Fireball Open Meeting 1999
We have just set the date for the Fireball Open Meeting next year. It will be a two day event held on the 10th and 11th of April. Watch the noticeboard for more
Fireball Fleet Championships
This event was held over Sunday 13th and 20th September. There were six races in all with the best three results to count. The winds varied from very strong to
nothing at all, requiring extremes of strength, skill and cunning from the competitors.
Day 1, Race 1, Force 5
This one got abandoned due to no one (OD included) getting the course right.
Day 1, Race 2, Force 5-6.
Pete Badham's tiller extension broke off and sank on the way out to the start, effectively removing him from the race. Ian Western took an early lead with Don
Robertson close behind. Mike / Paul went swimming in a bid to pass them both, and Ian's sail started come down, involving some delay while he adjusted it and giving Don a huge lead. Ian's spinnaker
halyard broke and Don's kite tied itself in a knot. In theory no-one could now catch Don, so he gave us all a chance by sailing one high speed reach with Pete on the foredeck, head apparently down the
spinnaker chute. The inevitable capsize occurred and by the time they had resurfaced, Ian had wallowed past and taken the lead. Not suprisingly he then finished first with Don second.
Day 1, Race 3, Force 6-7
Pete Badham hoovered past everyone and was untouchable. Mike / Paul followed him round for second place, capsizing big time. Everyone else retired or failed to
start. Winds like this require a certain skill.
Day 2, Race 4, Force 0
With barely enough wind to move the boats, Pete took an early lead from Graham Wilson and Mike. A hard fought battle for second place ensued, allowing Pete to
take an easy first place, with Graham second.
Day 2, Race 5, Force 1
Some over-zealous manoeuvring on the start line led to mild damage to two boats and gave Pete a good headstart as the culprits performed their penalty turns.
Ian's boat now had a small hole near the waterline and was slowly taking on water, which reduced his chances of challenging for the lead. However, he was still fast enough to take second place to Pete,
with Graham third.
Day 2, Race 6, Force 2
The fleet made a more cautious start without incident, and settled down to a procession with Graham first, Miles second, Pete third, Ian fourth and Mike fifth.
Ian only needed to come in fourth or better to take second place in the championship, so it must have been mildly iritating for him when Mike passed him, forcing him into fifth place.
1st 14111 Pete Badham & John Tenney
2nd 14449 Graham Wilson & Martin Gaskin
3rd 14074 Ian Western & Chris Tomlinson
1st Classic Boat 13873 Nigel Imbush and Graham MacKenzie
This is effectively a fleet pursuit race, with the slower boats starting first and the hotshots chasing them. Ideally everyone finishes at the same time,
although variations in the wind strength and race duration tend to cause a more random result. Most of us felt that we had a chance of winning the event, if only (tick as applicable)