Fireball News

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2011 open meetings

helming in marginal trapezing conditions latest technical innovations Reports from this years sailing events

Beautiful Breezy Barbados

Image and cover picture by


Welcome from the new Chariman


News Letter from the editor Dinghy Show Design a Fireball T- shirt Competition New Fireball Calendar


UKFA Committee Contacts Letter from the Fireball International Chairman

contents 5

Barbados Fireball World 2010


Sligo Fireball Worlds 2011




Fireball Committee Members wanted!


News from Allen Brothers New Fireball Mould from Weathermark Sailboats Website Results section


Restronguet Fireball Nationals 2010


Pentewan Sands Fireball Nationals 2011


Club Focus: Shoreham SC French National Championships


Draycote Fireball Inland Championships 2010


Czech Republic Fireball European Championships 2010


Endeavour Trophy Training 2011


Introduction to the Open Meeting Circuit 2011


Sailing the Fireball: Helming in marginal trapezing conditions Fleet Boat Report


Mandurah Fireball Worlds 2012


Championship Preparation

Designed & printed by Badcat Design:



Contact Lesley Scarff tel: 01273 595253 email:

New Chairmans’ Column As as incoming Chairman it only seems right that I should introduce myself to those of you who don’t know me.

I have been crewing Fireballs since 2002. Since then I have competed at many fantastic events all around the country, including some stupidly windy ones (seemingly always at Grafham or Paignton) and some drifters. A quick bit of maths revealed I have competed in 8 UK Nationals all of which have been brilliant fun, with a best overall placing of 5th. It’s always the first event on the holiday calendar and its my hope that this will be the case for many more people over the next few years. At club level I was fleet captain at Staunton Harold SC for several years before joining the UKFA committee to take on external PR and then developing the current website. Having been on the committee since 2006 and always having loads of ideas is the sort of thing that lands you up as Chairman, so here I am! For me one great attraction of the Fireball is the chance to take part in International sailing events, some serious, some not so. I have been fortunate to be able to sail at events in France, Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Ireland and Barbados over the past seasons and hopefully there will be many more to to come. These events are more than just opportunities to sail at some of the best venues across Europe and beyond, but they are also the chance to meet Fireballers from all around the globe indulging in their passion for sailing the Fireball. This year has been another successful one at International level with 30 UK entrants at the Worlds in Barbados, with Chips Howarth and Vyv Townend taking a record breaking fourth world title. Whilst unfortunately it was only a small UK contingent that travelled to the Czech Republic for the European Championships, it was a successful trip with Tom Gillard and Sam Brearey taking the title with an excellent series of results from 2008 winner Tom Jeffcoate sailing with Andy Thompson. Congratulations to both our International winning teams and also to our 2010 National Champions Dave Wade and Ben McGrane. The Fireball is still one of the very best dinghy designs, the original performance boat for the

masses. Refined over nearly 50 years, boats are now competitive for many many years. Just look at the results of the recent Inland Championships at Draycote Water where 44 Boats took part and the top five included two of the newest boats in existence and two boats of distinction from 20 years ago. 14226, now owned by Martyn Lewis, won the 1990 National Championships at Lyme Regis in the hands of Ian Pinnell and Jarrod Simpson. Dave Hall’s 13684 was one of the original wide bow Delange boat sailed by three times worlds winner, Australian John Dransfield and Andrew Perry to victory at Paignton in 1989. On the boat building front we have some exciting developments, more news of which later in the magazine. So what’s been happening in the past few months since I have taken over as Chairman? This new version of Fireball News is one of the first things we have been working on since the Nationals at Restronguet in August. We have a new editor in Lesley Scarff who has taken on the role previously held by the now married Lesley Chesney (Di Fonzo). As you can see we have gone for a brand new format in A4 and full colour which looks really professional. This new format allows us to make best use of some excellent photography from the the 2010 season and for Lesley to use her graphic design skills. For those of you who haven’t met our ‘new’ Lesley she crews for husband Stewart and is based at Shoreham SC, you can normally find them in the bar! One of the other key tasks has been to bring in some new faces to the committee. New people bring new ideas and enthusiasm and make my job easier! Nothing happens without people and as a volunteer association we are always in need of your help to undertake various tasks. This could simply be assisting with an event like the dinghy show or at a training event or a few hours or for a day. Perhaps you have some fantastic ideas for a social at the Nationals. You might take on the role of fleet captain at your club or have particular skills that the committee could put to good use? We need your support, your ideas and your energy! Since I have no longer been able to juggle both PR and website we have a new Web Team. Nick Hurst is taking on the role of website administrator. Nick who is a member of Shoreham Sailing Club is already getting stuck in! Pete Slack is also joining us asset with web and multimedia content. So if you have some interesting video content Pete would be interested in getting hold of it. Jeremy Hurst has agreed to take on the role of Nationals Co-ordinator with the sole task of making sure every Fireball Nationals is better than the last one! Not an easy job and well done to Jeremy for taking it on. But Jeremy can’t do all the work by himself, he will need assistance with the extremely important job of running social events during the evenings at the Nationals. If you have some creative ideas along these lines please get in touch with Jeremy at With the 50th Anniversary of the Fireball Class in 2012 approaching fast we are working hard to build up the results archive on the website. Chris Turner, owner of Fireball number 6, has

kindly agreed to take on the role of collecting this information together and uploading it on the website. We will be hearing more from Chris later. Having taken part in Fireball open meetings since 2002 I have certainly noticed a drop in attendance over the past couple of years, You can put this down to a number of factors externally, including recession and the success of other classes. But we know there is certainly more that we can do as an association. We have a great boat and competitive racing. For 2011 the Golden Dolphin Series is back. The Golden Dolphin trophy has been repaired, thanks to Russell Thorne for sorting this out. We are working hard to bring some some sponsors on board to support this and will be making an announcement on this soon. I will leave Richard Anderton who took over as Open Meeting Coordinator earlier in the year to tell you more of the details of the series and the scoring. One of these opens will be a 3 day event at the beginning of the May half term holiday, hopefully this will allow those planning a break with their Families to get in a little sailing time. For others it will be a great way to spend the bank holiday. The 2011 Bank Holiday 3 dayer will be at Rock Sailing Club on the North Cornwall coast. For those who have not been, Rock offers several sailing areas; at high water in the Camel Estuary or at low water in Padstow Bay or even further out for the brave. Rock is a favourite with a number of Fireballers not just for the sailing, but also because it has an excellent Clubhouse which juts out over the water. The now famous local brew, Doom Bar is brewed just up the hill by award winning Sharps Brewery and is capable of firing many a good evening out. There are excellent sandy beaches for swimming, kite surfing and wind surfing and the renowned surfing beach at Polzeath. Apparently some bloke called Rick can knock up some decent grub in Padstow on the other side of the Estuary too. Finally, I look forward to seeing you on the water over the winter, or perhaps at an open meeting or at next years National Championships. If not then enjoy some great sailing in the Fireball wherever you sail!

UKFA Key priorities in 2010 Introduce as many people to Fireball Sailing at all levels! Revive the Golden Dolphin open meeting series supported by regional series. Run a series of excellent training events around the country. Maximise attendance at the National Championships, making it an event for all Fireballers. Provide resources for Fireballers of all ages and abilities. The Fireball was the original performance boat for the masses and long may it remain so. 2

from the Editor... Welcome to the first Fireball News for... well at least a couple of years!

A Date for your Diary

2011 Fireball

It really is a fantastic issue full of useful information about upcoming events and write ups of al this years most important Fireball competitions. There’s plenty to read about new Fireball technology coming up next year and some interesting stuff about how to sail them better! We also, really want to hear from you all, we need your articles and photos, and want to include more about you in this magazine. We would love images (particularly), from the social events. Whether you take part in the events or you attend with a sailor and just enjoy the locations, we want to hear from you! You can send your copy and pictures directly (word files , text files and jpegs please), to me at Lesley@scarff.demon. I’m looking forward to hearing from you We want to encourage you all to register on the Fireball website too. This is a great source of information for you and for us The forum is a great place to answer any questions and if you register we can keep in touch and make sure that you recieve your next copy of the Fireball News as soon as it is ready! We really hope that you enjoy this issue and are hoping to produce another one early in the New Year, so send in those articles and images, and let us know what you want to see in the Fireball News next Year. Normally Fireball news is a UKFA members only publication but this special relaunch issue has been made freely available to all. We have sent copies to all those who have been members since 2005 and have also made the magazine available electronically. If you wish to receive future issues of Fireball News you will need to the a member of the Class Association. To join either use the membership form enclosed or download one from the membership section of the website. Regular email updates are of course available to all registered website users. Have a great Christmas and New Year Lesley Scarff


calendar Don’t forget the 60th annual RYA Volvo Dinghy Show held at the magnificent Alexandra Palace in London over the weekend of 5-6 March 2011 we look forward to seeing you there!

For further information visit

The 2011 Fotoboat Fireball calendar, which is now on sale, is a showcase for Tom Gruitt’s sparkling shots from the 2010 Fireball Worlds in Barbados. Fotoboat very kindly also supplied many of the images used elsewhere in this magazine. “warm turquoise water, sunshine all day, warm breezes and

a good chop creating plenty

of spray makes Barbados a sailing photographer’s dream location”.

If you were there, this calendar will be a great memento but even if you were not it’s worth having as a collection of great dinghy sailing photographs. It’s also packed with quotes from the Worlds sailors and interesting snippets of trivia about Barbados.

Barbados Prime Minister David Thompson dies of cancer David Thompson died at his home in St Philip on the Caribbean island. He had been ill since March with pancreatic cancer. Mr Thompson was elected prime minister in January 2008.

The calendar, which is A4 format with a wire hanger, is on sale now at Price depends on quantity: £9.95 each for 1 to 4, £8.95 for 5 to 9 and £7.95 if you order 10 or more. Visit the Fotoboat website to order the dalendar or any of Tom’s fantastic images:

Send us your Articles and Pictures! Please, please, please send us any articles or ideas you may have for articles you would like to see in future editons of the Fireball News. We are always interested and may include them in the next issue! Pictures too are welcome, serious or funny!

The deadline for articles and images to be included in the next issue of the Fireball News is 31st January 2011, so get writing. Please email them direct to Lesley Scarff at or to Tim Saunders or myself from the committee contacts page of the UKFA website.

Design a TShirt Competition We are looking for a new design to feature on clothing and other items this year representing the UKFA. You have seen, (and some of you bought), the t-shirts, sweatshirts and other items that we have produced each year for the Nationals. These are usually produced for us by the supplier. This year we want to be different and so..

we want you to design our 2011 logo! Anyone can enter all you need to do is come up with a design and send it to the editor before January 31st 2011. Email or post it to us and you could find yourself the winner of a bag of fireball goodies and a free t-shirt with your design. Who knows? At this years Nationals everyone could be wearing a logo designed by you! If you want to enter please send your designs as jpegs or pdfs to the editor, these should be no larger than A3 in size. email to Lesley Scarff:



UKFA Committee

Chairman Tim Saunders 0115 846 9205 07966 298477

Honorary Secretary Becky Partridge 07816 596512

Membership Sectretary Bob Southworth

10 Fry Close Hamble Southampton S031 4PF 02380 456977

Training Officer Ian Priest 01249 443602

Treasurer Wendy Wood

Racing Coordinator Richard Anderton 01243527545 07966331325

Fireball International Rep Gavin Tilson

Technical Rep (Fleet Boat) Dave Wade 01604 592808

Nationals Co-ordinator Jeremy Hurst 01258 817567

Archivist Chris Turner 0208 460 2161

Fireball News Lesley Scarff 01273 595253

Webmaster Nick Hurst 01730 892662 07775 708381

Technical Representative (Sail measurement & Trophies) Vince Horey 01920 877474 07740816611

(Please send any historic results, reports and photos!)

Technical Representative Richard Wagstaff

© 2010 United Kingdom Fireball Association

Fireball for ever?

Speed has always fascinated man (and woman). Time and money have been spent to be the fastest runner, to have the fastest horse, or boat, or car or whatever can be moved. During the 20th century, one man constantly tried to be the fastest man on the water. His name: Malcolm Campbell. He set the world record for “immersed and semi-immersed propeller-driven crafts” four times from 1937 to 1939 (latest record set at 141.74 mph). In the 50s, his son, Donald Campbell, turned to jet propelled boats and asked the engineer company of Norris Brothers (Ken and Lewis) to design the Bluebird K7. This boat was so fast that he ultimately sets 7 worlds records between 1955 (202.32 mph) and 1964 (276.33 mph). The team formed by Norris Brothers and Donald Campbell then designed the Bluebird car. In 1964, Donald Campbell succeeded in setting both a new World Land Speed Record (403.10 mph) for wheel driven vehicles and the fastest single run on the water with the Bluebird K7 attaining the speed of 276.33 mph.

The Fireball community is a friendly family of like-minded people who enjoy fighting on the water and having fun off it. Since you are reading this, you are probably well aware of what it means to be a part of the fireball sailing community.

At this time, Norris Brothers was employing a young engineer named Peter Milne. It is not clear if Peter ever worked on the Bluebirds. What is certain is that he designed some 40 sailing boats during his life (1934 – 2008). In 1962, he built the prototype of our boat, the Fireball and showed it to Bill Smart, the editor of Yachts and Yachting, who was so impressed, that he asked him to become assistant editor of the magazine. Since 1962, more than 15’000 Fireballs have been built all around the world. The International Fireball can be built by dedicated amateurs as well as by professional boats builders. It is fast on the water, easy to launch and a lot of fun to sail.

Fireball International is the organization representing the world wide Fireball community. Its members are the national associations of Fireball sailors called NCA (National Class Association). The triangle formed by the sailors, the NCAs and FI is strong because its base is quite wide. Fireball sailors (past and presents) love the boat even if they don’t regularly go out on the water. I have been surprised by the amount of people who, once they learn that I am the FI Commodore: say “I sailed this boat when I was younger. It was great”.

How can a sailing boat have so much success and last for so long? The fact that it could, at the beginning, be built by anybody who could read blueprints and saw and glue wood was probably a big factor. But once the fun of putting the boat together was over, it was the joy one could experience while flying over the waves which become the main reason people kept sailing their fireballs. All around the world, groups of people built and sailed their Fireballs, talked together about the improvements they made within the limits of the rules and sailed against each other in their clubs. Today, most boats are built by professionals but there are still quite a few wooden boats constructed in garages by amateurs. The international Fireball sailors meet regularly to compete in continental and intercontinental races.

I am convinced that the people sailing Fireballs are special people. The Fireball requires a crew of two

sailors who can trust each other. There is no skipper dictating and shouting what needs to be done at any given moment. A good crew works together to maintain the balance of the boat, make it fast, check the competition, the wind and the water. One Fireball might be a little bit faster than another one but it is really the skill of the crew that makes the boat go fast. There are no secrets in a club. Everybody knows what everybody does. Sailors help each other with tips and material. Club sailors are, in my mind, the key to the success story of a great boat. In the UK, you have wonderful clubs with active members. They encourage newcomers to join the fleet. It is always a pleasure, at a major championship, to see groups wearing the same t-shirts, proudly flying the colours of their club. It shows that the Fireball lives and prospers in your clubs. New classes have been and will continue to be created, with many fancy bells and whistles, with wonderful looking sails and great designs. We have seen them come and slowly disappear because they weren’t really fancied by their sailors. It is thanks to you, dear Fireball sailors at club level, that the creation of Peter Milne keeps going strong and provides so much pleasure to so many people. We, at Fireball International, will keep trying to organize exciting championships in attractive locations. But no matter how great those events will turn out to be and how many sponsors they will attract, I am convinced that they are only the showcases of the class. In my mind, there is no discussion: The future of Fireball lies within the clubs.

Fireball For Ever! François Schluchter 6


FIREBALL WORLDS 2010 a warm welcome, white sand, clear water, fantastic sailing and rum punch. what more could you want!


Images by

The leaderboard was filled with teams from Great Britain on day 1 of the 2010 Fireball World Championships. Chips Howarth and Vyv Townend were first in Race 1, while their compatriots Matt Findlay and Richard Anderton won Race 2. In fact, British teams held down the top 7 spots in Race 1.

Barbados to kick off the 2010 championship regatta. Winds peaked at 22 knots during the end of Race 1 and the start of Race 2, with sunny skies and warm temperatures both in and out of the water.

As of Race 2, Chips Howarth and Vyv Townend were 1st, Matt Burge and Richard Wagstaff 2nd, and Matt Findlay and Richard Anderton 3rd.

Chips Howarth and Vyv Townend continued to lead the 2010 Fireball Worlds after day 2 of racing. Matt Burge and Richard Wagstaff were 2nd place, while David Wade and Tim Saunders climbed up the rankings to sit in 3rd.

Even with a deep field of accomplished entries from 15 countries including a number of past world champions, Matt Findlay was not surprised at the strength of the British entries:

Barbados served up another beautiful sailing day with sunny skies and warm winds. Two races were held in shifty conditions with breeze ranging from 13 – 18 knots.

“We have a lot of very

good teams from the UK.

We love to sail in the breeze. If it’s sunny and not

Lighter winds made no difference to Chips Howarth and Vyv Townend as they continued to dominate on day 3. Two races were held off Carlisle Bay. There were a few small showers and otherwise mostly sunny skies with winds at 12-14 knots throughout the day. Fellow Brits, Matt Findlay and Richard Anderton kept it a closer finish for Race 5 battling through to the finish with Howarth and Townend, but then Chips and Vyv pulled away from the fleet to finish well ahead in Race 6.

much wind, we don’t go

out. If it’s windy, we love to go out and sail.”

After 6 races, Matt Burge and Richard Wagstaff were in 2nd place, followed by Matt Findlay and Richard Anderton Boats with sail numbers not starting with GBR had still not managed to crack the overall podium, but they are starting to reach the

Evidently, the training in breezy conditions pays off. Competitors enjoyed another picture perfect day in

Fireball International Week Chips Howarth & Vyv Townend won the 2010 Fireball International Week regatta with 2 first place finishes on the final day of racing. Chips described the racing as picture perfect conditions – a strong breeze, warm water, nice waves, sunshine, and enough shifts to make the racing tactically challenging. Boats from Great Britain took all three spots on the podium, plus fourth place, to completely dominate the first week of racing. David Edwards & Simon Potts were narrowly edged out of first

today after leading the regatta, and ended up in 2nd place, while Kevin Hope and Russell Thorne took 3rd place. In fourth were David Wade and Tim Saunders. In fifth place Ben Shulz and Phillip Bowley from Australia. The wind and seas were a joy for competitors to sail in, with wind strength at 18 – 20 knots. In total 60 boats took part in International Week as a warm up to the 2010 Fireball World Championships.

Top 15 in the Fireball World Championships 2010 Pos


Sail No




1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th 13th 14th 15th


15013 15036 14924 15031 15027 15032 15025 14807 15019 14950 15020 15026 14977 15011 14628



9 23 27 29 36 39 39 48 56 60 67 83 83 91 103

top three spots in individual races with Australian boats claiming 2nd and 3rd in Race 6. Chips Howarth & Vyv Townend won both races, and won the Fireball World Championships for the second year running. There were still two races scheduled to be sailed on Friday, but Chips and Vyv were so commanding in their performance that it was impossible for any other boats to catch them. Of the eight races sailed, the British duo won six of them, finishing third in the other two. Two races were sailed on Friday under sunny skies and winds starting at 14 knots for Race 7, diminishing to 12 knots for Race 8. After 8 races, Matt Burge and Richard Wagstaff were in 2nd place, and Matt Findlay and Richard Anderton in 3rd. On the final day of the Worlds the race was on for 2nd and 3rd place, and several teams were in the running to reach the remaining podium spots. One race was held, under sunny skies and winds ranging from 14 to 18 knots. It took five attempts, three of them under a black flag, before the fleet finally got off to a clean start. With a delay in the day’s first race, it was not possible to start a tenth and final race for the series since the start time limit had expired. In the end, nine races were completed for the year’s championship, allowing the competitors to discard their worst 2 races from the score sheet.

The Turnout for GBR in the 2010 Fireball World Championships was fantastic and a further 20 Brits finished in the following positions 16th 14941-DERIAN SCOTT & ANDY SCOTT 18th 14628-SIMON LOMAS-CLARKE & TIM RILEY 20th 14949-MIKE SENIOR & ANDY THOMPSON 23rd 14791-ANDREW PEARCE & STEVE CHESNEY 24th 14805-MARK MASKELL & CHRIS PROFFITT 25th 15004-PETER GRAY & ROBIN TOOZS-HOBSON 29th 14982-MARTIN SCARTH & TONY KING 32nd 14682-JONATHAN CARTER & GARETH WILKINSON 33rd 14864-IAN KELLY & PETER ELVER 43rd 14789-RHYS LANKESTER & BARRY SMITH 44th 14798-MARIA RICHARDS & GRAHAM HOY 48th 14755-DAVID RYDER & MICHELLE RYDER 51st 14964-MATT GREENFIELD & LUCY FOULDS 53rd 14821-NICK HURST & ALEX DOWNING 54th 14873-STEVE PATTEN & BRIAN ALDGATE 58th 14556-DEBBIE KIRKBY & PAUL DOWNING 59th 15038-STEWART SCARFF & LESLEY SCARFF 61st 14999-DAVID FESTING & KAREN FESTING 63rd 14621-JEREMY HURST & JANE MILLMAN 66th 14872-BARBARA NEWSON & GUY NEWSON




Well, my story begins with an ambition and goal in life, to sail a dinghy in a World event. My choice was made for me when I found out the Fireballs were going to a faraway place, not in Europe but a bonkers long way away, in that sunny hot place, where swimming in the same sea as the sailing, live flying fish and turtles.... Barbados. Yeah! I get to do a Worlds Event, sail a fireball and go to the Caribbean. Only one slight hesitation and problem was solved... although I guess I could have gone without a boat or crew just for the crack. So my learning curve in a Fireball and the fleet started with a German crew, strong winds and big seas but with warm water, Mount Gay Rum, socials I will never forget and meeting lots of lovely people. On reflection, compared to sailing in a lark or a solo my thoughts so far when in a fireball have! Fantastic, how stable, no need to hike out! And Aaaarrrrrhhhh! As the boat takes off with the spinnaker up and the crew hanging out on a tiny piece of wire, going at ridiculous speeds and having to wedge yourself under toe straps to keep the boat with a helm. My heart has been in my throat as I have seen my crew take a mini flying lesson around the front of the jib or dropped into water like a big fish on a line being dragged alongside. The fun of being a crew must be endless and the fun the helm has is priceless. Waves are the best fun. The fireball manages this very well and seems to be like a glider going through air and very stable. The only bad thing about a fireball is it doesn’t go dead down wind and you have to know your angles if you want to reach to reach! Since sailing in the Worlds, I have sailed in Ireland, at an amazing place called Dunmore East, the Nationals at Falmouth and the Inlands at Draycote, as well as some opens. All nationalities of fireballer’s I have met (so far) have been hospitable and very forthcoming with their knowledge and tips to help with a crisis or trimming advice. I would like to say thanks to Andrew, the fireball website, Martina Michels (my Barbadian crew and forever friend), the Irish Fireballer’s for making me laugh and making me dance, and all the assistance I had with my very heavily packed suitcase in and out of Barbados.


by Hannah Showell


iamge by


International Week 11th - 17th June World Championships 18th - 24th June Following consultations with Sligo Yacht Club, and the Irish Fireball Class Association, Fireball International has awarded the 2011 Worlds and International Week to the west coast Club and the Irish Fireball Class Association. The awarding of the event is in recognition of the local class association’s commitment to the Worlds in other locations across the World.

Proposed Schedule

International Championship

Measurement & Registration Saturday 11th June - 09:00 to 12:30 and 14:00 - 18:00 Sunday 12th June - 09:00 to 12:30 and 14:00 - 18:00 19:30 Opening Ceremony Monday 13th June - 13:00 Races Tuesday 14th June - 13:00 Races Wednesday 15th June - Lay Day Thursday 16th June - 13:00 Races Friday 17th June - 13:00 Races

World Championship

Measurement & Registration Sunday 19th June - 09:00 to 12:30 and 14:00 - 18:00 19:30 Opening Ceremony Monday 20th June - 13:00 Races Tuesday 21st June - 13:00 Races Wednesday 22nd June - Lay Day Thursday 23rd June - 13:00 Races Friday 24th June - 13:00 Races & 19:30 - Prize Giving

Further Information: A wide range of accommodation is available nearby. Check the website Fireball International Andrew Davies Prospect House Pickhill, Thirsk North Yorkshire Y07 4JG UK E-mail: Skype :+44 (0) 1845 567 064

The number of races scheduled are: International Week Championship - 8 races (2 per day) . World Championship - 10 races(2 per day). One extra race per day may be sailed if races are not completed as s cheduled. (On the last day of the World Championship no warning signal will be made after 14.00.) Boats are expected to travel from Europe, Canada, Australia and possibly South Africa. The Irish fleet, already committed travellers on the international circuit, are also expected to feature strongly on the entry list. Ireland (National Yacht Club) hosted the 1995 World Championship, which was won by John Lavery and David O’Brien and the 2000 European Championships were sailed in Skerries. Situated in an area of outstanding natural beauty on the north-western Atlantic coastline, Sligo Yacht Club is a fantastic venue at which to hold an event of this type. The sailing area offers the prospect of good breezes and nice wave conditions for big fleet racing. A brand new clubhouse and extended slips were brought on stream for the GP 14 Worlds, which were hosted by the club in 2006. There is also access available to undercover facilities for the weighing and measuring of boats. Despite its west coast location, Sligo can be easily accessed within a day from all Irish ferry ports and airports so trailing the boat to the event is a viable option for entries from Ireland, the UK and the western fringes of mainland Europe. Air travel would be through Dublin and Sligo or Knock Airports.

More information and the notice of race are available at Sligo Yacht Club’s website is Contact Details: Class Chairman: Cormac Bradley 086 814 3618. Commodore Sligo Yacht Club: Brendan McCormack 087 915 2371 Sligo YC, Deadmans Point, Rosses Point, Co.Sligo. Ireland Club office: +353719177168 10

take another look at the fireball


Registered users have access to a great range of services: you can post adverts, take part in forum discussions, join the mailing list to keep up with all things Fireball. There’s also loads of useful information on the site, from club information to technical, rigging and tuning guides, information about future open meetings, National, European and World Championships, reports and results from past events large and small.

Nick Hurst Webmaster

The new class website has now been running for about years and the Fireball register has been set up to record details about as many Fireballs as we can find. Whilst the whereabouts of many recent boats are known older Fireballs may have changed hands a few times over the years and sadly not all now survive. Already Fireballs from number 6 to 15000+ can be found on the register. We know there are many, many boats out there. Help us to find them and fill in the gaps! Many of you have already taken time to register, so thank-you for that. We have about 700 users and 340 Fireballs registered, but with over 15000 boats built and the huge majority of these in the UK there’s a bit of a shortfall!

Whilst not all of those boats are still in existence, our target is to get 1000 or so on the register. The challenge is set. Fleet captains can be a great help in this. All you have to do is encourage every Fireball owner in your club to register their boat. It takes about two minutes, costs nothing and there’s no catch! Post flyers to them all or copy this article for your club newsletter. It’s really important that people register their boats otherwise we can’t contact new owners when boats are sold on. So if you own a Fireball then now is the time to register. To do so simply visit boat_register.php and follow the instructions. Its really easy and only takes a couple of minutes. By registering on the site you also have the option to join the mailing list to keep up with all things Fireball and get updates on how the register progresses. The boat register even includes the ability to store a photo of your pride & joy, under sail or sitting pretty in the boat park. You choose! Registered users also have access to the full range of web services: the ability to post adverts, whether you want to buy or sell, from boats to odds and ends. You will also be able to take part in forum discussions – providing feedback on events, maybe, asking questions or answering those posted by others. Registration allows UKFA - with your opt-in - to send email notices and reports from important events, such as the fabulous 2011 calendar of photos from the Barbados Worlds by Tom Gruitt of Fotoboat.

To register simply visit php and follow the instructions. Its really easy and only takes a couple of minutes.


“Your class

association can only

provide what you want if you tell us.

Please register if you

haven’t already done so and tell us about your boat.

If you have questions or suggestions, please

let me know by email to”

There’s loads of useful information on the site, from clubs where Fireballs are sailed, to technical, rigging and tuning guides, information about future open meetings, National, European and World Champion ships, reports and results from past events large and small. The discussion forum where (almost) anything goes, the classifieds for buying and selling all things Fireball. We’re in the process of building an archive of older material so if you have anything which might be of use or ideas and suggestions, please get in touch. Don’t forget the gallery where you can find photos of Fireballs old and new, fast & faster, at home and away. If your club has an event this winter which is even remotely connected to Fireballs I want to know so I can tell the wider Fireball community.





Do you want to see an improving Fireball Class in the UK? If your answer is yes than now more than ever is the time to get involved! A volunteer run class such as the Fireball can only function with the support of its members. We have exciting plans for the class over the next few years, but it is vital we secure your help to put them into action. We are currently looking to complete our line up on the Fireball Committee and begin to really build some momentum as a class. It’s really important that people come forward to fill these positions so that we can provide a better Fireballing experience for everyone. Your hard work will make a difference! You won’t be expected to attend hundreds of meetings and not all the roles need to be classified as a full committee position, we have no particular hard and fast rules. What you will be able to do is contribute in area where you have particular experience or an interest in or where you think the class association needs to improve what it offers. Below is a very brief summary of the each of the roles. Some could be combined and we are flexible about this. It is likely we will end up with a series of teams of people who report to the committee. Training/Racing, Nationals/Socials, Communications/Media etc.

If you are interested please speak to any member of the committee or please contact me directly at: or by phone on 07966 298477/0115 846 9205 many thanks Tim Saunders - Chairman UKFA

Publicity/External Officer

A really important and fun role. Your job is to; keep the class in the sailing media, to Coordinate event reports and contribute event previews, liaise with FI over reporting for International events, organise photographers and video coverage of key events.

Fireball News Reporters

A new magazine means that we need more content! So we will be looking for people to contribute on a regular or one off basis. This could be as simple as sending an embarrassing photo of your mate or providing some thoughts on a event.

Sponsorship Co-ordinator

Your role would be to help attract and maintain sponsorship to the class for the open meeting circuit and the national championships and other events. The results of your work will be will visible for all to see!

Social Secretary

Do you have a special talent for causing chaos. If the answer is yes, then you will be perfect for the role. Liaising with Nationals Co-ordinator and open meeting co-ordinator to organise social events at events. We are also looking for regular Nationals attendees who might be able to run one of the evening social at the Nationals.

Classic Fleet Representative

Be the voice of the Classic Fireballers and help provide events that meet their needs. Assist with website content specific to the needs of Classic Fireball Sailors.

Regional Fleet Representatives

Even in the current age of up to the minute digital communications its important to have people on the ground around the country. Regional representatives will assist with organising regional racing and training events in conjunction with the Open Meeting - Coordinator and Training officer. Supporting and developing club fleets. We are particularly interested in having people involved who are based in the: South West, Wales, and Scotland to represent people in those areas.!/ukfireball

2012 Worlds Liaison

Liaise with the Australian Fireball Association and Fireball International. Organise UK Containers for 2012 Worlds in Mandurah, Western Australia. 12

Lets get technical . . . Simon Potts presents the Latest update from Allen Brothers. Well known fireballer Simon Potts is now working for Allen Brothers. Simon was most recently seen crewing for DJ Edwards in Barbados and La Rochelle. Simon Introduces some of Allens’ latest innovations designed for the Fireball.

A2026M high load carrying turning block This block is not quite what it looks at first site. Although functionally similar to other 20mm turning blocks, the axle is stainless steel turned to produce an upside down mushroom shape. There are two major advantages to this over other designs. Firstly, the solid axle means you can tighten the fixing down very positively without distorting the bearings. Secondly, the wide mushroom base (which is hidden behind the base moulding) gives a very wide load carrying footprint preventing any angular loads from capsizing the block.

A new boat from new moulds Fireball News from Weathermark Sailboats Dave Hall will be a name familiar to those sailors that have sat at the back of their Fireball longer than they can remember. Dave sailed Fireballs back in the mid 80s to the late 90s while at Hyde Sails. Since then Dave was at Ovington Boats sailing all sorts of boats and skiffs until the beginning of this year when he needed a change and set up Weathermark Sailboats. The Fireball has always been his passion and his enthusiasm was re-ignited 2 years ago after he bought the famous Delange that beat him at the 89 worlds. Dave decided he needed a new boat and after being at Ovi Boats for 12 years would do it himself. This led to conversations with Fireball International who he discovered were keen for another builder to provide more exposure and promotion for the class. So new moulds have been made and the first boat should be ready for Dave to sail in November. After testing, 2 new boats will be built – one for a customer and one to be at the Dinghy Show in March.

You can contact Dave for the latest up dates and prices. E mail mobile 07802 611599

As an old hand in the Fireball, Dave has put his years of experience and thoughts into the hull, deck and internal design. The hull whilst being the current ‘wide bow’ thinking has a slightly more vee’d entry making the boat kinder through the water, the water line length has also been maximised. The aft rocker is as flat as the rules permit. Inside, the forward part of the centreboard case will be a low as practical to save those shins, the substantial jib bars will go from the front of the case to the side tanks in line with the shrouds forming a rigid frame and negating the need for an extra bulkhead. The centre board case rises after the thwart onto a flat table to allow owners a free hand in the way they like their controls. The deck has been made functional as well and aesthetically pleasing. The aft tank has the recess for the spinnaker sheets and the coming is designed for function and comfort without looking too imposing. The foredeck comes back just far enough to add extra strength and rigidity to the mast area without fouling the kicker. Both hull and deck moulds have been made to enable them to be laminated using the ‘Infusion’ method which requires a wide flange to attach and seal the vacuum bag. A large oven has been constructed to post cure the hull and deck, internal and construction details are under wraps at the moment but look out for some very different thinking! By Dave Hall


The new mould

Picture of the deck mould being prepared for the infusion system

Fireball bespoke jib car Investment in the latest software by Allen Fittings means that they can design small volume bespoke cars for various applications. In this case ... they asked Simon Potts if it was possible to produce a car specific for the Fireball Jib system. This means that you don’t have to take a standard car and retro-fit other components to the basic body. It’s already done! The geometry also means that the system has full articulation from inboard to outboard.

Double control mainsheet swivel Launched at METS this November, the family of aluminium mainsheet swivels have been given a complete overhaul. A company decision to produce higher quality products for discerning customers this range, along with many others, has had a complete new bearing system added to a rope snag proof under cleat mounting. It has produced what is probably a market leading product. The cleat now has almost no movement either up and down or backwards and forwards. It just swivels effortlessly. Take a look and you might be impressed!

The picture was taken during the IYRU Single-handed trials in, I believe, 1965 and around the time the trapeze was introduced. Bill was a founding father of the class and a real driving force behind Fireball’s exponential growth during the 1960s and early 1970s. Before their Fireball days Bill and his wife, Rosie, were well known Hornet sailors – perhaps the reason why he was experimenting with the sliding seat. Now that you’ve read this far I’ll broach the subject of UKFA’s historic results records. Let’s just say they’re not the best!

Resurrecting the Past

For a little while now, Tim Saunders has been building (re-building may be a more appropriate word) the association’s championship records. Potentially, it is quite a big task and he has asked me to lend a hand. In turn, I would like to enlist the assistance of the UKFA membership. I am about to commence a trawl through past copies of Fireball News and International Fireball to populate the ‘Results’ section of the website as far as I can. No doubt gaps will emerge and I will try to fill those on a piecemeal basis. I can’t promise that everything sent will be posted but it will certainly be retained for future information!

Meanwhile I will be delighted to hear from members who have copies of old championship reports,

articles on Fireball and photographs of interest since I plan to broaden the scope of the records section.

Some of you may have noticed a new UKFA e-mail address on the Committee page entitled ‘Archivist’. Messages sent using that address will end up with me but please feel free to e-mail me direct (preferably with attached scans of photos, reports etc!) on

I think I always knew I’d regret throwing away so much Fireball stuff 20 years ago… By Chris Turner Fireballs 6 & 66

Hopefully this photo will grab your attention! It shows Bill Kempner, Fireball Association’s first Secretary, sailing a Fireball single handed... and with the benefit of a sliding seat. email Chris direct (preferably with attached scans of photos, reports etc!) on cdwt9538@btinternet. com. Or use the link on the Fireball website . 16

Image by



Sponsored by: Harken, GUL, Peak Dinghy Spares, Rooster Sailing, Animal, Pinnell and Bax and North Sails

Dave Wade and Ben McGrane in ‘Sleep Terrorist’ claim their second nationals title on final day of racing. Saturday saw the arrival of competitors at Restronguet Sailing Club for what looked like being a windy week’s racing. Registration and measurement checks were completed with the last competitors arriving on the ferry from the French Nationals, which had been held the week before. In the evening an excellent spread was laid on for the Commodore’s reception at RSC. Sunday dawned with little wind to speak of. After a postponement, it was decided to race in the Carrick Roads as this was where the most wind was to be found. The wind eventually filled in allowing two races (for the Norris Fireball Trophy and the Hunstanton Town Salver) to be held and some very tight racing took place. Martyn Lewis and Richard Byne, who were sailing this year in a borrowed boat, were the stars of the day posting two bullets in the tidal and shifty conditions. Reigning champions Matt Burge and Richard Wagstaff also had an excellent day posting two seconds. With the course set as a sausage triangle for the first day, racing was very tight particularly on the first lap with lots of place changes. Sunday night was buddy night with competitors paired up throughout the fleet, so that everyone has an expert on hand to help out. Buddy Night speed dating then went in to overdrive with a little competition to find out who had undertaken a variety of sins such as have you ever had sailing a miracle or have you ever lied in a protest to protect a friend? hmmm. Monday brought a complete change of conditions. A strong westerly was blowing in but with the racing held in Falmouth Bay close in, the sea conditions were very manageable. Two windy races were held with the wind reaching 28 knots during the 2nd race of the day. Lewis and Byne took the early lead in race 3 (the Chippendale Hull) but eventually fell back to 4th, with Dave Wade and Ben McGrane winning 11

Image by

from Burge and Wagstaff and Sam Mettam & Richard Anderton. Race 4 (the Contac Trophy) saw Becky Priest and Tim Saunders lead for much of the race with Dave Wade and Ben McGrane only taking the lead on the final leg of the course. Behind there were lots of place changes as a number of leading boats went for a swim at some stage, as the shifty conditions made the reaches tight on occasions. Lewis and Byne were again consistent with a 3rd. This was definitely a two pasty day with many a hungry competitor seen chomping at the galley after sailing. There were some tired looking people at Monday evening’s AGM, where presentations about the forthcoming 2010 Europeans and the 2011 Nationals were delivered. Tuesday was another day of excellent racing in Falmouth bay. Race 5 ( the Rondar trophy) saw Mettam and Anderton charge off with Wade and McGrane in close pursuit to finish in that order with Burge and Wagstaff keeping the pressure on with a 3rd. Race 6 ( the Peter Milne Trophy) saw Wade and McGrane score another win and take the lead into the layday. Vince Horey and Sam Breary took 2nd. Tuesday evening was time for the boat trip along the River Fal and around Carrick Roads with a stop a St. Mawes for food and further refreshments. With no need to get up for racing the next days some competitors were looking decidedly relaxed by the end of the evening as they persuaded the Ferry to drop them in Falmouth for a night out. Wednesday was the layday, many competitors took the opportunity to see the original Fireball which is currently on display at the National Maritime Museum in Falmouth. Not quite as many fittings on it as a modern Fireball! Thursday. Race 7 (The Yachts and Yachting Trophy) was held in Falmouth bay in marginal trapezing conditions. Wade won from Lewis, with Russ and Ali Cormack 3rd. An attempt was made to start the 8th race of the series but the wind died before a clean start could be made, but not before some controversy over who was black flagged and who wasn’t. Friday saw 3 races out in Falmouth Bay, making for a long

Restronguet Nationals Results and Gear Guide

Top Ten at Restronguet Nationals Pos

Sail No

Boat Name





1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

15045 14994 15036 15020 15031 14954 14807 14917 14837 14977

Sleep terroist Kevlar Footprint Winston/Gill Race Team The New Bossy Older Better Faster Stronger Originelles JRNee Too

David Wade Martyn Lewis Matt Burge Vince Horey Sam Mettam Becky Priest Tim Rush Remy Thuillier Russ Cormack Philip Popple

Ben McGrane Richard Byne Richard Wagstaff Sam Bearey Richard Anderton Tim Saunders Russell Thorne Loic Berthelot Ali Cormack Gavin Tillson

Northampton Draycote Water Poole King George RNSA Staunton Harold RYA LS Vigneux Budworth Shoreham

14 23 23 28 34 60 60 67 78 78

Gear Guides Pos Helm




Spinaker Pole





Centre Board


1st 2nd 5th 6th 8th 10th

Ben McGrane(78kg) Richard Byne(80kg) Richard Anderton(88kg) Tim Saunders(90kg) Loic Berthelot(80kg) Gavin Tillson(90kg)

Seldén Seldén Seldén Seldén Super Spars Super Spars

Seldén Seldén Seldén Seldén Super Spars Super Spars

Seldén Super Spars Seldén Seldén Super Spars Seldén

P&B North Sails North Sails P&B North Sails North Sails

P&B North Sails North Sails P&B North Sails North Sails

P&B North Sails North Sails P&B North Sails North Sails

Winder Winder Winder Winder Duvoisin Winder

Winder Winder Winder Winder Duvoisin Redneck Racing

Winder Winder Winder Winder Duvoisin Winder

Dave Wade(72kg) Martyn Lewis(78kg) Sam Mettam(59kg) Becky Priest(68kg) Remy Thuillier(65kg) Phil Popple(75kg)

day on the water. The relative extremes of weather had disappeared. The wind built throughout the day from marginal trapezing in race 8 to planing upwind on the sail in. Wade and McGrane were leading going into the final day and they were the most consistent boat again winning the final race (The Stanstead Abbotts Trophy) to secure the title ahead of Martyn Lewis and Richard Byne ahead of the 2009 Champions Matt Burge and Richard Wagstaff (who won the 9th race for the Fat Harry White Trophy). Vince Horey and Sam Breary had a solid final day with a 1 (Anya Charlotte Trophy), 3, 2 securing 4th place overall, with Sam Mettam and Richard Anderton in 5th. Becky Priest crewed by Tim Saunders claimed 6th overall and first lady helm. 7th Overall and wheelchair trophy winner (over 50 helm) was Tim Rush with Russell Thorne (1st over 50 crew). There were lots of potential winners of the unluckiest competitor of the week competition. Plenty of boats broke masts - but one mishap wasn’t really enough with two days of windy conditions testing the quality of boat preparation to the limit. Niki Birrell and Bevis Field somehow managed to break everything but their mast. Slot Gasket, various sheets, fittings all broke, helm and crew were intact though! As always with the Fireball it was a case of ‘If you can sail anything in these conditions, you can sail a Fireball.’ This spirit is rewarded with the typhoon perservence trophy for the last placed boat to complete all the races. This year son and father team of Peter and Richard Clayton from Scaling Dam were the winners. Silver Fleet winners were lightweight pairing of the Willcocks brothers who were competitive across the wind range despite their lightweight status. They also took home the Brixham Trophy. Bronze Fleet winners were the David and Michelle Ryder from Blackwater Sailing club. 1st Lady crew went to outgoing class secretary Ali Cormack.

Thanks go to the host club Restronguet Sailing Club and to the event sponsors for supporting a great event. By Tim Saunders. Images courtesy of Image by



First Timers Nationals!

By Rebecca Partridge (with input from Lucy Alice Hoyte) Being new to the Fireball circuit I was extremely excited about the 2010 nationals to see if the competition lived up to its fervent reputation! This is the brief and hopefully compelling story of how a first time Fireball national’s team got on.

Preparation The campaign started slightly off tune when I discovered my usual crew, Geoff, could not attend. Fortunately at this year’s Abersoch Week I bumped into fellow university friend, Lucy who was crewing a fireball that week for the first time. With much persuasion from Ali Cormack we decided that we should compete in Restronguet. Being an exceptionally light combination at just 106kg and highly inexperienced in the class our aim was to have fun and to pray for light winds every day. After an extremely welcoming reception from Restronguet Sailing Club we set about rigging up for the week, starting off with a good old polishing session. Despite many comments from several hilarious members of the class that we were perhaps a little keen we were thanking god that we had turned the boat over as we discovered a very definite hole in the bottom. Having a very basic knowledge of how to overcome such an issue, which mainly comprised of duct taping it up, we questioned many occupants of the dinghy park for advice. We found our saviours in Vince Horey and John Piatt who fixed it for the small price of a cup of tea. Thank you very much men!

The well-advertised boat trip up the river on Tuesday evening was a sure way to get our spirits up. Not only was it a great chance to get to know other competitors and pick up a few tips, but also a chance to experience the Falmouth “night life” which has something to be desired! Wednesdays lay day was wet, windy and foggy and, thankful that we weren’t sailing, we took to the streets of Falmouth to bolster the economy with a bit of window shopping bumping into many Fireball families on the way.

Racing and Socialising Day one and our prayers had been answered – light winds! We made the most of this weather, actually being able to have our rake on a similar setting to other teams and not being stupidly overpowered, however Lucy was often the first out on the wire while most other crews were sat to leeward. Being that it was our first time sailing together we were happy to get a 14th and a 5th to kick start the week. Like many first time campaigns however not everything went entirely to plan. Days two and three presented us with winds on the other end of the scale blowing from 25 to 28 knots. Braving it to the racing area, and even a fair way into the starting sequence on one occasion, was all we could do. Despite having a heavy wind set up on the rig that looked extreme compared to other boats, our 21”11 rake meant the boom lay much lower and touched the water sooner. Needless to say the set up was not forgiving of any cowboy gybes that we attempted. Having to present a bow of defeat to the wind we sailed precariously in on the second day past many upturned boats that made Mylor Harbour look like a Fireball grave yard. On the third day we were forced to tie up on the committee boat where we were able to watch some fantastic racing and were looked after very well. We were especially thankful for the cups of tea and coffee that kept us warm – Thank you committee team. 13

On day five the wind had blown itself out and was refusing to give us much to play with at all. Although this was a positive matter for us, as it was exactly what we needed to shed some of our points, several general recalls preceeded the first and only race of the day and several more followed so no more races were possible. The final day arrived with the question of whether we would be able to get 3 races in. Not only was it nerve racking as the wind was freshening as we sailed out and we wondering if we should remain on 22”6 or not but I had woken up with a very swollen eye that was rather uncomfortable. In between the next races we juggled with the question of whether we should adjust our rake as the wind decreased and then increased heavily, tipping fresh water into my eye which, by now, was becoming unbearable. By the time the third race came I was sailing blind. Desperate not to get a DNF Lucy urged me not to retire and assured me she could talk me round the course. Amazingly we still managed to come about mid-fleet in that race but the tow home was incredibly welcome. Leaving Luce to pack up the boat I was rushed to minor injuries where I was told I had a corneal abrasion affecting a quarter of my iris and was given aesthetic, an eye patch and eye drops. Just back in time for the wonderful array of curry’s being served that night, the prize giving was worth it.

The End Of It All Having started the week with a hole in the boat and collecting a few mishaps through the week we thought our misfortune was over. Oh no, as we loaded our boat on to the trailer, there, low and behold, were two blisters the size of tennis balls on one of the wheels. Luckily, being the organised keen beans that we were we had a spare! Despite the wind not playing into our hands and the few issues with our boat we had an absolutely fantastic week. The class is so friendly and everything was organised brilliantly. The socials that were held every evening were fantastic for bringing everyone together and the competition in the fleet really does live up to all expectations. We found the class to be very helpful and encouraging to sailors of all abilities. Thank you!

Pentewan Sands


Pentewan Sands SC 20th - 27th August 2011Au

The 2011 National Championships will be held at Pentewan Sands Sailing Club in Cornwall. This is an exciting new venue for the class which should combine a great family holiday venue with an easily accessed large south east facing bay for excellent racing. The sailing club are no strangers to hosting large events, having run national and international championships for many of the big cat classes in the recent past, as well as hosting the Fireflies back in 1999. The Notice of Race for the event, along with entry fees, will be on the website shortly. We will also be offering an “early bird” extra discount for anyone who enters before the 31st March 2011. If you’ve booked your accommodation by then, why not get yourself a substantial discount on the entry fee by entering too. Even if you don’t know who you’ll be sailing with, that’s fine – unlike budget airlines, you can change the name of either helm or crew up to the start date of the event at no extra cost.

Proposed Schedule Friday 19th Bar Open Evening Saturday 20th Registration and Measurement Commodore’s reception at PSSC Sunday 21st 2 races Buddy Night at PSSC Monday 22nd 2 races UKFA AGM at PSSC Tuesday 23rd 2 races Party Night at PSSC Wednesday 24th Lay day Thursday 25th 2 races Beach Games Friday 26th 2 races Supper followed by the Prizegiving and Party!

To find out more visit 18

Club focus

By Stewart Scarff

Shoreham Sailing Club sits inside the entrance to Shoreham Harbour which is partly formed by the mouth of the River Adur in West Sussex. From this sheltered location it is possible to launch boats at all states of the tide and in all sea conditions from the club’s private slipway. The club is formed of about 250 members and nearly all of the focussed activity revolves around the racing programme. There are starts for fast and medium handicap fleets with class results being extracted for Fireballs, Wayfarers, Phantoms and Merlin Rockets. Racing takes place on Sundays between March and November and on Wednesday evenings during the summer months. Sunday racing is high quality with current and past national champions lining up alongside the rest of us. To be first around the windward mark at the weekend is no mean feat. Evening racing however, is a more relaxed affair. The race is often followed by a beer and a takeaway together with a portion of the usual banter that goes with armchair re-runs of the event. Finally, the membership is completed by a small but solid band of cruisers who enjoy trips up the coast toward Brighton in the East or Worthing in the West, often with their mackerel feathers trailing behind. Over the last 3 years or so the members have been upgrading the facilities. On the water there are new safety boats and a new engine on the support boat. Even the racing marks have been replaced. Ashore, we have had a galley re-fit, a new club room floor and a complete refurbishment of the changing rooms and showers. With the new windows and cladding, the final touch is the new, grand metal staircase leading down to the lawns from the balcony. The club is looking good and the members are rightly proud of it. What really makes the place special though is what lies just outside the harbour entrance – one of the very best dinghy sailing playgrounds in Britain. It is the uninterrupted, wide open sea of the Sussex Coast, half way between Beachy Head and Selsey Bill. We race on triangle / sausage courses with big long reaches so that we can really wind the boats up to full speed.

The prevailing South Westerly breeze brings waves and great Fireball

surfing whilst breeze from the North

will arrive on flat water which makes

for some very fast sailing.


will test your ability to spot the shifts and play the tide.

There are 12 Fireballs in the boat park with between 3 and 7 turning out to do battle on the weekend in conditions like those in the picture above taken by Tim Rush. Generally we lay on a couple of 1 day dedicated Fireball training or tuning sessions during the year. The de-brief usually takes place over the barbecue with a couple of cold beers. If you still aren’t sure about coming to see us then just ask one of the 50 or so Fireballists that come to our open meeting each year. Better still, come and join in on the 7th and 8th of August 2011. New members are welcome and if you want to try us out then please bring your boat down on a Sunday and you can race as our guest.

If you would like to know more about SSC, please get in touch. Fireball fleet captain - Nick Hurst email: or Phone: 07775 708381 SSC newsletter editor - Stewart Scarff email: or Phone: 07850 450077

If you would like to have your club featured in the club focus email us your article and some images and we will arrange an article for you in the next possible issue. Email articles to the editor.

French National Championships The Grand National was created in 1999 to give European sailors another opportunity to meet and compete beside the European championship. The Eurocommodore designates, every year, one national championship of three or more days as the Fireball Grand National. For the 2011 season the week long French National Championships at Val Andre on the Brittany Coast near Saint-Brieuc have been selected. Dates are 14th - 19th August, which is the week before the UK Nationals. Its quite possible to take a Ferry from Roscoff to Plymouth on Saturday morning and be at Pentewan Sands for mid afternoon for the UK Nationals combining two excellent weeks of Fireball Sailing. For more information see We will endeavour to bring you further information when its available.



A cold weekend in October was the beginning of winter and also the Fireball Inland Championships at Draycote Water. There was a good turnout of 44 boats. The entry list included current European Champions Tom Gillard and Sam Brearey, Martyn Lewis, the lottery funded pair of Niki Birrell and Chris Grube (twiggy) and the return of David Hall to the Fireball class. Draycote Water was well represented with 15 entries. Saturday morning was sunny with the wind building to 12 – 15 knots of breeze from the North West – a perfect day for sailing. Reigning European Champions Gillard and Brearey continued their impressive streak winning the opening 2 races with a 3rd in the last race of the day. Lewis after a 13th in race 1 (after having to do some spins) recovered well to come 2nd in race 2 and win race 3 on his home waters, showing it was going to be a tight tussle at the top. Throughout the fleet the racing was tight with much place changing.

There was the occasional

big gust which often caused some interesting mark

roundings and the requirement to dodge the occasional capsized boat always


seemingly at a mark.

Inland Championship 2010 Saturday evening saw the fleet enjoy some excellent grub at the club followed by some refreshments of the type that make you fall over. Those who had scrounged campervan space were particularly grateful as it turned out to be quite a cold night. A few of the youngsters travelled further afield for their entertainment. No one is quite sure where they went! Sunday mirrored Saturday in many ways although there was a bit more sunshine. The first race of the day saw another victory for Gillard/Brearey, Dave Hall secured his second top 3 finish, followed by Lewis in 3rd. The middle race of the day was the start of the business end of the competition. It did not go well for the current leaders who were Black Flagged (not ideal). Niki Birrell secured his 1st race win, Jon Ibbotson and Andy Thompson came 2nd with Lewis in 3rd. For the final race Lewis/Byne had to put places between them and Gillard. Birrell lead round mark 1 followed by Gillard with Lewis in 5th. With positions constantly changing it was all up for grabs. In the end Gillard/Brearey did enough, winning the final race and winning the Inland National Championships with 4 race wins. Lewis/Byne finished 2nd, North Sails man Tim Rush crewed by Richard Bailey in 3rd. Dave Hall/Paul Constable in 4th, with another home boat, Peter Wood completing the top 5. Thanks to the generous support of the sponsors and the class association some great prizes were handed out, weighted towards those in the bronze and silver fleets. These included a number of free and discounted entries to next years National Championships at Pentewan Sands Sailing Club. The young Portishead pair of Anthony Willcocks and James Willcocks took Silver fleet honours. The Bronze fleet was won by new class webmaster, Nick Hurst from Shoreham Sailing Club, crewed by Ben Fjaerem. Thanks go to the race officer and his team and all those at Draycote Water who made the weekend a success on and off the water. It was great to see some new faces and some old faces of which we expect to see more of in 2011. By Sam Brearey. Photos by


Images by

Czech Republic

European Championship 2010 49 boats from 9 countries

Top Ten in the Czech Republic Pos

Sail No



1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

GBR 15041 GBR 15045 CZE 14809 CZE 15019 GBR 14807 CZE 15040 CZE 14879 CZE 14827 CZE 14794 CZE 14979

Gillard Thomas Jeffcoate Tom Verner Jaroslav Kubový Martin Rush Tim Hájek Milan Koutná Martina Kořan Petr Sklenář Petr Skořepová Eva

Brearey Sam Thompson Andy Winkler Pavel Roček Roman Lewis Martyn Preibischová Michaela Adam Zdeněk Kvasnik Milan Kuthan Martin Tkadlec Viktor

Competitors journeyed from many parts of Europe to the area of Nové Mlýny in the Czech Republic to sail at YC Dyje Breclav. A strong west wind, intensive rain and the cold greeted the sailors for the practice race and measurement. Just keeping things dry was the main problem for the British guys who were camping at the venue, as autumn had come early to this part of the Czech Republic. Amazingly somebody switched the tap off for Day 1 and the first race started at 12:00 as scheduled in ideal sailing conditions. The race was won by Tom Gillard and Sam Brearey in there new boat 15041. 2nd was the Czech pair Verner and Winkler. The second race was started but abandoned due to a 90 degree wind shift shortly after the start. The restarted race finally got away at 15:30 after the PRO shifted marks in the shifting breeze. Gillard and Brearey won again this time pursued by Tim Rush and Martyn Lewis. Straight after the 1st days prize giving and a draw for prizes such as free beer or wine, a strong wind kicked in. The breeze got even stronger 20 – 25 knots during the 2nd day with more rain. At 12:00 the third race was started although just managing to get to the start line was difficult in the conditions for some. Only a third of the fleet finished the first race, eventful for spectacular capsizes. Tom Jeffcoate and Andy Thompson won with Verner and Winkler taking another 2nd. The PRO sent the teams ashore postponing race 4 for the next day.

16 - 20 knots north-westerly breeze allowed the PRO to hold three races on the 3rd day, to get the racing back on schedule. It was a Jeffcoate – Thompson’s day as they scored a 1st, 2nd, 1st. Gillard and Brearey though were still overall leaders at this stage as their consistency was almost as good with a 2nd,1st, 3rd. VernerWinkler in third. Although there were three races, sailors had enough energy to enjoy the mid week party. After the barbecue and three kegs of free beer, music band FIREBALLS started to play. Six guys in red coats made sailors dance in the rhythm of rock’n’roll. The party continued until early morning. Day 4 and the Sun finally made an appearance; the competitors looked a little tired this morning after the Midweek Party, with a 10 – 12 knots north-westerly blowing. Ideal sailing conditions at Nové Mlýny. The Race Committee started the seventh race almost on schedule. It was to be Gillard and Brearey’s day though as they dominated the racing with 2 bullets. Rush – Lewis sailed well for a 2nd in race 7 but was a little over egger in race 8 and got a BFD. Things didn’t happen for Jeffcoate – Thompson as they struggled in the lighter winds with a 13th and a 7th. This meant that Tom Gillard and Sam Brearey had won the Fireball European Championships with a day to spare. As it turned out the final day was a day of no wind and no racing. By Alan Gillard

With regards to the Czech Republic you can quote me on this: “I apologise for the distinct lact of gossip and stories from the Czech Republic, however the 8 members of Team GBR are sworn under the oldest law in existance of: ‘what happens on tour stays on tour’ therefore any antics that were carried out on foreign soil shall remain in the heads of those present only.” Sam Brearey


Royal Corinthian Yacht Club 1-3 October 2010

Endeavour Trophy

Excerpts from article by Sue Pelling Twenty-four-year-old Hollingworth Lake Sailing Club member Stuart Bithell and his 21-year-old crew, Christian Birrel, representing the Merlin Rocket class, have won the 50th Endeavour Trophy Champion of Champions event at Burnham-on-Crouch.

my Cadet at Bolton Sailing Club, I idolised the likes of Southy [Ian Southworth] and Alan Gillard. I used to really look up to these guys, so to be racing against them 25 years later, is fantastic.

Going into the last race of the series there was still a chance of throwing it all away, however, the big winds that prevailed throughout the day played into their hands with their nearest rivals coming in with a 23rd.

Over a hundred visitors turned out at the Royal Corinthian Yacht Club in the afternoon where Stuart Munro the Commodore was joined by Robin Judah – the man behind the creation of the Endeavour Trophy 50 years ago – to present the prizes.

Four time Endeavour Trophy Champion Nick Craig, and crewman Toby Lewis representing the Enterprise class had a set of mixed results in the penultimate day’s light winds but the pair really showed their true colours by winning both raceson the final day. In the first race of the day they were initially led round the course by Chips Howarth and Simon Potts (Fireball), and Bruce Keen and Penny Clark (Musto Skiff) but in the strong, full-on conditions, team Howarth/Potts capsized shortly after the bear away on the first run, leaving a battle royal to continue at the head of the fleet. By the second run, Craig/Lewis had gained the lead and managed to cross the finish line just ahead of Keen/Clark. Legendary Fireballers, Howarth and Potts made a speedy recovery to secure third place in the race giving the 5th overall.

At the prizegiving ceremony, special thanks were given to the event sponsors including Topper, Musto, Hyde Sails, English Braids, Selden, Noble Marine and Petticrows.

Endeavour Championships Results:

50th Endeavour Masters

With the wind showing no sign of abating in the afternoon, the race committee decided to run the special 50th anniversary Masters Championship immediately after the final race of the Endeavour series. The 13-strong fleet made up of former Endeavour Champions from the last 50 years was, not surprisingly, extremely competitive particularly with the likes of Ian Southworth/David Hayes, Alan Gillard/Graham Machon, Bob Suggitt, Steve Tylecote, and Nick and Caroline Martin returning to Burnham specifically for this historic occasion. Craig, like several other Masters in the fleet had been competing in this year’s Endeavour Trophy, so was obviously race-tuned for this one-off, one-race event. In the end though, Fireball world champion Chips Howarth and Simon Potts sailed a faultless downwind leg and once in the lead had control to the finish. Howarth commenting on the Masters’ event explained how important it was to be racing: “It was fantastic for me because from a young age when I was sailing

Pos 1 2 3 4 5


Pos 1 2 3 4 5


Helm Stuart Bithell Nick Craig David Hivey Graham Camm Chips Howarth

Crew Christian Birrel Toby Lewis Jane Hivey Zoe Ballantyne Simon Potts

Endeavour Masters 2010 Helm Chips Howarth Stuart Bithell Nick Craig Steve Tylecote Ian Southworth

Crew Simon Potts Christian Birrel ? Toby Lewis David Hayes

Training 2011 We will be trying a new format to the training for the 2011 season. In an effort to get training events closer to (or even at) your local club, we hope to offer a number of one day training events across the country. The intention is for as many of these as possible to be combined with a one day open meeting scheduled for the other day in the weekend at the same venue. Dates and locations are currently being organised and we hope these will be confirmed when the complete open meeting programme is published early next year. Keep an eye on the website for more details. If you would like a training event at your club combined with an open meeting like this, and you don’t hear from me first, please do get in touch. Also I’d love to hear from anyone who would be interested in helping with coaching. Ian Priest - UKFA Training Officer email: 21


Introduction to the Open Meeting Season

Hello, and welcome to the introduction to the 2011 open meeting season. By Richard Anderton

The Golden Dolphin

League System A lot of you have expressed interest in a league system over the last few months. A lot of work has been done over the last couple of months to look at different systems. Having worked the results for the last 2 years through several models, the current recommendation is as follows: 1. Each type of open is weighted – a worlds, Europeans or Nationals would carry a maximum score of 600 points, the Golden Dolphin opens and the inlands would each carry a weight of 400 points, and local opens would carry a weight of 100 points. 2. The events and criteria for counting results are still open for discussion! 3. The points awarded means that the more boats at an event, the better the scoring is for everyone – except the winner.

The Golden Dolphin, which has not been awarded for a couple of years will form the back-bone of the season, with 7 events planned and 4 to count.


Score in a 100 boat fleet

Score in a 10 boat fleet







We will re-introduce a league system, and try to nail out a ‘definition’ of what exactly is ‘Gold’, ‘Silver’, or ‘Bronze’ fleet. We will see if we’re successful at the nationals!













While 2010 has seen some major disruption from the worlds in Barbados, and a late-planned nationals, we are looking to re-group and promote the 2011 Fireball season as the one to be part of.













We have 3 major events this year – the Worlds in Sligo, the Nationals in Pentewan Sands, and then eating into the end of the season we have the Worlds in Australia, which while they are in early January 2012, we expect the boats to be shipping towards the end of October. The 7 Golden Dolphin events have been spread around the country to try and make them accessible to all, and timed to offer support for anyone wishing to practice for any of the major events. As you can see, there are one or two new venues, and some old favorites. We have approached a couple of the clubs about running socials, and this has gone down well – we will be combining with another fleet on several occasions, and with the backing of the club will hopefully be able to organize some entertainments.

Local Events Running parallel to the Golden Dolphin events willbe a couple of local series events. I hope to have North, East, South, West, and possibly a Midlands series. The intention is that there will be at least one Golden Dolphin event in each series. The remainder of the series will be organized by local clubs, and may take a slightly different form – one day opens on Saturday, and some of these may be designated sprint series (6+ races in a day!) – if you can offer a hand organizing any of the local series, then that would be much appreciated!

4.Example based on a Golden Dolphin event in 2011 – weight = 400

5. The calculation is as follows:

Points = 1 + weight ×

total competitors - your place total competitors - your place - 2

See you on the water!

2011 calendar

Worlds Warm-up and start of season 26-27 March 7-8 May 28-30 May

Northampton Brightlingsea Rock

Season opener Social planned Holiday venue

11th – 24th June: Worlds – Sligo, Ireland

Nationals Preparation

16-17 July 6-7 August

Yorkshire Dales Shoreham

Inlands Social planned

20th – 27th August: Nationals – Pentewan Sands

Australia warm up / End of Season

1-2 October 15-16 October

Parkstone Staunton Harold

Sailing in the bay Year end dinner & Prize giving

27th Dec – 7th Jan 2012 – Mandurah, Australia 22

Sailing the Fireball Helming in marginal trapezing conditions By Becky Priest

When I offered to write a contribution to Fireball News about sailing the Fireball, I was hoping someone would suggest writing about something that I was a bit more confident about than this. So I’ll write the disclaimer now - if this doesn’t make you go any faster, please don’t complain. Let’s start on the shore. Boat set up - upright, 22 eight or whatever you set up at for your rig/sails. Secure mast in the neutral position with either the strut or chocks. Easy. Hoist mainsail, launch boat, get in. Still easy. Now let’s go upwind. Marginal trapezing means just that, sometimes the crew is out, sometimes they’re not. This is where the problems start. Can’t see tell tales, can’t see waves, grrrrr, no boat speed. After putting much effort into getting the crew to move (polite hints etc.) I realised this is not the thing to do. Let the crew do what they want to do - then you have more right to complain when the boat’s not perfectly flat - and move so you can see what you need to see. Problem solved. Next important step is to sort the leech tension (back of the mainsail). As soon as the crew puts weight on the wire the mast starts to bend, consequently the distance between the top of the mast and the end of the boom decreases, and so the leech needs to be tightened - solution - pull mainsheet on tighter. Kicker? Hold on a minute. Up to now you should be controlling leech tension by the mainsheet. Take up the slack in the kicker but no more. You won’t need to use kicker to tighten the leech / bend the mast until you need to start easing the main because of being overpowered. If you’re sailing in marginal trapezing conditions therefore you will need to be constantly adjusting the mainsheet tension to gain maximum upwind speed. Keep looking at the top tell tale, it should be flying 80% of the time. Windward mark reached - aaahhhh, easier job now… or maybe not. Once on the reach the crew will probably still be on and off the trapeze a fair bit, and it’s likely you’ll be sat to leeward. Same principal applies with leech tension and the trapeze, except you’ll need to use the kicker to tighten it up rather than the mainsheet.

Decide where you’re going to sit and sit there - windward if it’s a bit more wind, leeward if it’s not. Let the crew balance the boat. If you decide leeward is the way to go, try to use gusts to soak down low rather than coming up to windward to keep the boat flat. Finally we get to the run, aahhhh bliss! Sit to leeward, let the kicker off, board up as far as you dare, kite to windward and soak down whenever you can. Trapeze not needed, the only leg of a course in marginal trapezing conditions when the crew’s not faffing around! Finally, top tip for these conditions. If you’re out all day on the sea, ensure you give your crew time to go to the toilet in between races. If you don’t and they decide wetsuit = nappy you’ll get a nasty smell as you pull the main in on the start of the next race and they take to the wire to windward of your nose!

Fleet Boat In the summer of 2009 when the Fireball Nationals were at Weymouth I was floating around the academy not doing much. Talking to DJ and Vince, they told me about a fleet boat and suggested I tried to do the worlds. I looked at my calendar. I thought it would be great to some do dinghy sailing and some HELMING and there was a one week gap just for the worlds so I decided to try to do it. After lots of phone calls and a bit of organising it was agreed I could use the fleet boat and I would like to thank the UKFA and in particular Dave Festing for his help in all this. Tim rush of North Sails was also very helpful and agreed to lend me some sails for the event and tow the boat out there, if he could use the boat at the Euros, this was a great help and much appreciated. But at this point I had no crew and had never been in a fireball before (quite big issues). Luckily for me Sam agreed to crew for me and did a first class job all the way through. We did one day out in Weymouth which was fun then the boat got packed of to the worlds. On the flight out and on the morning of the 1st race I was thinking “I am a little under prepared for this” (110 fireballs rigging up). But the boat the association provided for me was in full working order and seemed to be going quick!! Sam and I both had a fantastic experience at the Fireball Worlds. (We both now have a boat of our own and Sam is winning everything!!).

by Niki Birrell

We really enjoyed the very competitive racing in big fleets and found the fleet to be very friendly and we both enjoyed the socials very much. The fireball scene is a perfect blend of competitive racing and good socialising. Sam and myself were having a great event inside the top 10 until I forgot to put the rudder pin in and it came flying off on the 1st reach on the last day a disappointing end to a fantastic week of sailing. Thanks again to the fireball fleet!! Roll forward a year and Tim, Sam and I were driving out to the Czech Republic, a long way, 1 and ½ days drive (thanks to Tim again). We arrived in the pitch black and pouring rain with just tents to sleep in but the drink was cheap!!! I decided to put the tent up inside the marquee and go to bed early. The fireball sailors did not like this and kept turning my tent over with me in it!!

The Euros did not go to plan for me, with lots of breakages including a snapped mast and a broken trapeze hook meaning we had to count a maximum. But that aside I thought it was a great event with lots of competitive racing and lots of drinking done by all. The British contingent set up tents with Sam as the main chief. I thought the spirit of the Fireball Fleet came through when we snapped our rig in race 1, (on the day the fleet got sent ashore due to too much wind), and within 2 hours, with the help of the P & B boys (in particular Andy Thompson “shandy”) and Tim Rush we had a new mast fully rigged up and ready to go for the next race. Thanks lads!! Sam won the event with Gilly helming, well done boys and the other Brits did well too with Shandy and Tom second and Tim and Martin also doing well.

Are you interested in using the UKFA Fireball in for the 2011 Season? GBR 14636 “Black Magic” is available! Register your interest now. We are looking for a keen team under 25, who would like to sail the boat. We envisage that the chosen team will sail the boat whenever possible during the season and in particular take part in a number of open events. We would like the team to qualify for the Golden Dolphin Series (4 events from 7) and attend the National Championships at Pentewan Sands in August. If you are interested in a year of Fireball Sailing please register your initial interest by sending an email to: Further details will be available shortly.



The format for the regatta will be measuring on the 27th and 28th December followed by a six race Pre-worlds through to New Years Eve. The 10 race worlds will run from the 2nd January through to 7th January 2012 with two races each day and a rest day in the middle.

The 2012 Fireball World Championships will be held from the 27th December 2011 to 7th January 2012 at Mandurah Offshore Fishing and Sailing Club, Mandurah, Western Australia. Mandurah is 70km south of Perth, the capital of Western Australia. Over the last five years the town has changed from a small holiday village to a very modern and popular regional centre. As a result there is the small town relaxed feel while still having all the nice new facilities. The marina, sailing club, restaurant precinct and surrounding accommodation are all less than 5 years old. This is complimented by the older town which surrounds it, providing plenty of shopping, restaurants, cafes, pubs and older style accommodation. Mandurah like Fremantle has the famous Fremantle Doctor blow each afternoon in summer so expect some good rides. The inner racing area is sheltered by a headland while the outer area has more of a rolling swell. This allows racing to be brought in close to shore when the Doctor is really calling, and when the breeze is moderate racing can be moved further out to make the most of the breeze and waves.

Flights to Perth are coming down in price. To further help with flight costs the organising committee have done a deal with Malaysian Airlines to access cheap flights. For those of you who need another airline there will be access to wholesale rates from most other carriers. Flights will be available from the end of January 2011 and will need to be booked early so keep an eye on the Fireball Australia web site for more information.

Mandurah 2012 Worlds will be as much about off the water as on. The organisers are planning plenty of social activities including day trips to the Margaret River wine region, tours of Perth and Fremantle, river cruises on the Murray river system, plenty of social stuff at the club, restaurant and pub sponsor nights and plenty for children of all ages. Whether you are coming to sail or just to have a great holiday Mandurah 2012 Worlds will be an event not to be missed.

There are plenty of accommodation options all listed on the Fireball Australia web site. Again book early to get something close to the club.

For more information

Please visit the Fireball Australia Web Site There are also plenty of photos, videos and information on the event Face Book page!/group.php?gid=355085121289 Or you can email Ben Schulz –

Championship Preparation By Vyv Townend

“The harder you work, the luckier you get” Gary Player “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success” Alexander Graham Bell “Success depends upon previous preparation, and without such preparation there is sure to be failure” Confucius “There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure” Colin Powell 25

I could have started by giving a lecture on the importance of preparation, but I’ve left it to some people who are far more authoritative than me: a golfing legend, the bloke who invented the telephone, a wise guy from China and a US Secretary of State/4 Star General. Of course one of the problems with preparation is that it takes time and commitment and, to be honest, can be quite a chore. Let’s face it most of us enjoy sailing, we like going sailing and particularly racing, not practicing or bimbling over the boat. However, over the years Chips and I have turned the preparation process into a positive experience and view it as much a part of winning a championship as competing in the championship races themselves. We relish the challenge of setting down a long term strategy and executing it in the lead up to an event, and now have a well-honed approach which starts about 6 months prior to the event.

Our preparation process can be split into 3 areas: 1. Sailing preparation 2. Physical preparation 3. Boat preparation

1. Sailing Preparation Our sailing prior to event focuses on the rig (static rig settings and adjustment), sailing technique (sailing the boat smoothly through the water etc), boat handling and racing. Several months before any event, we decide how many weekends we will sail in the lead up to the event. Typically, this will be about 8 weekends – 4 open meetings for race practice and 4 other weekends to hone our sailing technique. Getting some racing under our belt prior to Barbados proved a challenge as it was the close season and therefore there were no opens. In the end we reasoned that everyone else (other than the Australians) would be just as ring rusty so we decided to rely on International Week to blow the racing cobwebs away. In the end, our sailing preparation came down to a number of weekends at Hayling in January, February and March - pulling on drysuits, wetsuits and woolly hats didn’t really feel like proper preparation for the Barbados climate! Having at least one other boat to sail against is an absolute imperative as it provides some focus and, to be honest, makes the whole process far more enjoyable. We did a lot of two boat work with Matt Findlay and Richard Anderton. A typical session would start with straight line upwind work, tweaking the settings and, probably more importantly, concentrating on keeping the boat flat and working the waves. We would then bear away onto a run and race back to a fixed mark which would allow us to practice our downwind shift work, and wave and gybing technique.

winder boats

buy the best

One specific technique we practiced for this year’s Worlds was gybing when reaching the run. With the expected wind speeds in Barbados, we knew we would be reaching most of the runs, and the gybes can be where you gain or lose a lot of distance.

2. Physical Preparation There has to be the right blend of fitness, strength and weight management and this is dictated by the venue and the expected conditions. In 2009, we knew that La Rochelle was likely to be a light wind venue so our physical preparation focussed more on weight management. For me the main objective was to get my weight down to 80-81kg which meant plenty of CV work and watching the diet. I even gave up alcohol for the 2 months prior to the event! Sometimes if you want something badly enough you have to make unreasonable sacrifices. Barbados was predicted to be a windier venue so fortunately no such sacrifices were required. Instead, I concentrated more on strength work, and hitting my target weight of 85kg just followed. Chip’s preparation focused on general fitness and keeping his weight down so this involved cycling to work and running up and down lots of hills.....or so he told me.

3. Boat Preparation The main objective here is to ensure that everything works properly and breakages are minimised so I went over the boat thoroughly before it went in the container checking cordage, halyards, cleats etc. Just as important and probably something that is overlooked by many is the ability, should you sustain gear failure or damage, to be back up and running with the minimum of delay. If you break something in the first race of the day and don’t get yourself back on the course in time for the second race the resultant DNF and DNC could kill your championship. You don’t want to blow your chances just because you can’t find and fit a simple but key fitting. When you need a quick pit stop you don’t want to be reliant on having to find and root around in someone else’s tool box, nor can you expect there to be a well stocked chandlery next to the Yacht Club – I can tell you from experience that South African chandlers don’t sell hatch covers compatible with a Holt Allen hatch and Seasure rudder fittings are a scarce commodity in Japan. For this reason, our championship tool box makes us almost self sufficient for an event and, where reasonably possible, gives us the ability to take off broken kit and put on a ready made replacement. It contains a spare of every type of block and cleat on the boat, spare sheets (jib, main and kite), spare halyards (jib, main and kite), spare kicker, spare pole, spare rudder (and transom fittings), filler (and wet and dry paper), spare hatches (both sizes, spare trap wires....I could go on. And upon reflection were there any bases we didn’t have adequately covered? The way I felt on the morning after the prize giving, maybe spending some time building up some tolerance to rum punch may not have been a bad idea.

• Top quality, Proven Long Competitive Life • Proven in International Competitions • Sensible Prices • Available in all states of completion from bare hull moulding to ready to race • Delivered on time fully race prepared • Top after sales service • Top custom combi trailer

Call David to discuss the 2010 tweaks Contact David on 01535604980 Fax 01535605371 email alternatively come and visit us at

Kensington St, Keighley, West Yorkshire, BD21 1PW

Builders of the World Championship winning Fireball 2010

Also builders of the 2006 National winning Solo World Winning Fireball 2010 Nationals, Worlds and Inlands winning Mirror 2009 All with Winder foils


Š 2010 United Kingdom Fireball Association Every care is taken to ensure the accuracy of the information in Fireball News, but no responsibility cannot be accepted for errors. Reasonable care is taken when accepting advertising, but no responsibility can be taken for any resulting transactions. The views expressed in this publication are those of the contributors and not necessarily those of the editor or Committee of the United Kingdom Fireball Association or Fireball International.