Winter 2000
Draycote Water
Fireball Fleet Open Meeting
2018 Review Race Results Joining the
Fleet Buying
a boat Rigging,
Articles & Info Scrap
Book Calendar Draycote

My Teletubbies-Big-Book-of-Words does not have much of a section containing phrases of scathing invective, and can only suggest that the weather is still 'naughty and silly'. We can perhaps take some consolation in the fact that we now have too much rather than too little wind, and that occasionally this averages out at the right amount. At which point, it rains.

Events Occurring

Marriott Mug - part 1

The first race was run in lightish airs, and allowed the early starters to build up a lead which was not to be easily lost. Nigel (I've got a new boat) Imbush and Graham took the honours, pressed hard by Ray and Paula throughout with Eugene and Bob getting third. The second race offered even less wind, and this time it was the late starters who came out ahead, in spite of spending the entire race overtaking each other. Pete Badham with rookie crew Richard Byne came out on top, although Nigel hung on well for second place, making him look pretty good for the series.

The Miracle Open Meeting

John Rohde organised and ran this for us, and a number of fleet members came along and helped out. Many thanks to all concerned.

Marriott Mug part 2

The forecast was for warm moderate winds and sunshine, so nobody was too surprised we got a force 1 and constant rain. Due to shifty winds we only had one beat in the entire first race, during which Graham and Martin claimed first place, closely followed by Nigel who just pipped Geoff Wood on the line. Everybody else was squashed up at the end, with places changing frequently in the last ten minutes. Somehow two boats capsized during this race, and Pete's dismal showing (last) ruled him out of the running, leaving only Graham able to displace Nigel for the cup. Just before the start of the last race, the wind dropped to zero, then picked up in time to blow Pete's boat off its trolley. The course turned out to be a square without a beat, and Nigel made the most of it to romp away to victory, with challengers Graham and Martin stuck behind too many flying fifteens to make any real inroads into his lead. The rest of the fleet had another close race and later declared themselves satisfied with all the handicaps except Nigel's (fair enough in the circumstances). Over twenty boats took part in this event, which would have been all the more excellent if we had had any wind for it.

Marriott Mug Results

1stNigel Imbush and Graeme Mackenzie5thRay Steele and Nick Lewis

2ndGraham Wilson and Martin Gaskin6th=Mike Deane and Paul Disney

3rdEugene Jordan and Bob Morris6th=Pete Badham and John Rohde

4thMiles Thomas and Steve Digby8thJohn Taylor and Jim Reid


Fireball Fleet Championships - Day 1

16 boats signed on for the first race, but it was a bit windy and only 14 actually started. Andy Smith and James zoomed off with Jeremy Davy and Matt to fight it out for first place, Pete Badham and John quickly claimed third and the rest of us just sailed around and tried to stay upright. Andy/James eventually took the honours.

The wind dropped significantly for the second race, which saw 15 boats leave the start line. Again Andy/James and Jeremy/Matt did all the hard work, whilst the rest of the 'A' fleet plodded about behind them, arguing over who would get third. This time Jeremy and Mat got first place, Andy and James took second. Pete got confused over whether to cover Mike and Paul or Graham and Martin on the last beat, got it wrong and ended up fourth to Mike and Paul.

Day 2

Race three was horribly windy, and all concerned were exploring the limits of their personal performance envelope until the squall came through, at which point they started doing the breast-stroke instead. Eugene and Bob even managed to break the mast on their shiny new boat. The race was fortunately less than one lap in length, but even this was too long for most of us; only Pete/John and Jeremy/Matt actually finished. Dave Wade didn't sign on, but did two laps to make up for it. As a result of the morning's trauma, only two boats ventured out for the last race, and although the wind was less fierce, neither felt inclined to complete it.

When the visitors and other non-fleet members had been removed from the scores, this gave the following results for the championship (subject to confirmation):

Masters (A Fleet)

1st Jeremy and Matt

2nd Pete and John

3rd Mike and Paul

Challengers (B Fleet)

=1st Dave and Mike    } unless we can find

=1st Alistair and Tony } a legitimate way of separating them.

3rd Paul and Alison

Fireball Open Meeting

A number of factors combined to reduce the turnout to a mere 21 boats for this event, of which 6 came from Draycote. The pathetic weather and the fact that it was run during half-term week were probably most significant, and the UKFA publishing their mag with our advert a month late (ie after the event) didn't help either. In spite of this, we had about as much fun as it is possible to have on a drizzly October weekend with no wind, and the Draycote boats acquitted themselves well. Jeremy Davy and Matt could have won the event, but had to settle for second; the rest of us managed to beat a surprising number of visitors. Some very tasty prizes were handed out courtesy of the Pete Badham goody-bag, and respect is due to John Rohde for doing literally everything required to make this event happen. Remarkably, we also made a small profit.

Other Stuff

Eugene and Bob have acquired a White Winder and broken it. Jeremy and Matt, Eugene and Bob, and Tessa and Paul all went to the Inland National Championships at Rutland, and ended up 5th overall, 7th Silver fleet and 3rd Silver fleet respectively. Miles and Steve finally sold their boat the week before the open meeting (thanks fellas), and are looking for another one. Alistair Reed has returned to the fold after a break of some months, and Dean Statham and Ian Hughes were also sighted recently (this is a boat, and the water is that wobbly green stuff, OK). John Rohde was elected commodore at the last AGM, and the UKFA have a new chairman and have gone all pro-active which can only be a good thing. The club's web site at now features up to date weather data from the computer at the club, and there is a web-cam which suggests that it is permanently raining there. Perhaps it is; log on and find out. Two Fireballs are in the running for the club championship trophy  but it all hangs on the last pursuit race. Break a leg Pete….


More people whose names need remembering. Welcome to Colin Snowden (whom I left out last time - sorry Colin), Andy Malin (who used to sail with Tony decades ago), Gordon Stokes, Neil Taylor and Kit Edwards (another previous Fireballer) and all their respective crews, spouses and families. Goodbye to Peter and Lynn Roberts (who didn't sail on Sundays), and Paul and Tessa (who did, and may visit us in the winter anyway). Also joining for the winter are Andy Smith and James Meldrum, and (finally) Dave Wade.

Boat Park

It is becoming apparent that there are people out there who are quite happy to nick things which look as though they might be abandoned near the top of the slipway. This was not a big problem while the only stuff up there was genuinely abandoned, in fact the old boats were serving a useful purpose whilst getting quietly recycled. However, following the club's cleanup campaign, there is now nothing in the Fireball boatpark which does not have an owner. Weaselly types will continue to look for freebies, so I suggest that you endeavour to keep your boat looking as 'owned' as possible, and don't leave anything lying around on the ground. And tie your boat down well too.


Fireball Prizegiving and Fleet Meal  Sunday 17th December

This starts at 6.00 pm after sailing. Tickets are available from Mick and Debbie behind the bar at £10.50 for adults, £5.25 for children under 12. You must buy your tickets at least a week in advance, and specify if you have any weirdo dietary requirements (as our chef so tactfully puts it). There will be party hats and festive stuff, as last year, and Nigel will be doing the musical finale. We will also give out the year's prizes at some point. Everybody is invited to this; Fireball sailors, families, friends, the entire Miracle fleet etc.


Fireball Winter Series / 1 - The IceBall Trophy

As suggested in the last newsletter, we are planning a serious winter series with decent prizes to be held on the following dates:

14th and 28th of January

11th and 25th of February

11th and 25th of March.

It is open to all club Fireball sailors including winter members at an entry fee of £20 per boat, and to non-Draycote members at £40 per boat. There will be two races per day over the club course at the usual times of 11:00am and 1:30pm or thereabouts. A maximum of 9 races will count out of the 12, and we reserve the right to reduce the number of races to count, or to extend the series as necessary if conditions dictate. If we achieve sufficient entries, we will split the fleet into Gold, Silver and Bronze as per the standard UKFA arrangement, so everybody is in with a chance of winning something. Entry forms will be available soon.

This is a major step for us, and if successful could become a regular feature of Draycote winter sailing, so I hope that we'll get some good support for it. It's primarily happening because John Tenney drummed up some interest, so he is in charge.

And Finally

The Fireball Fleet Committee would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas