#FIREBALL – The perennial primer for the Irish Fireball regatta season took place last weekend, 21/22 April in Dun Laoghaire when Adam Bowers brought his expertise, good humour and unique style of coaching to an eleven-boat audience writes Cormac Bradley.
Blessed with significant wind for the first time in his trips to Ireland (the fourth, I think), Adam was able to concentrate on additional aspects of racing that the presence of breeze facilitated.
As ever, there was a significant focus on starting with classroom emphasis on controlling position in the end stages of the countdown to the start and a demand that boats be accelerated off the start line rather than accelerating. The consequence of this requirement, Adam stated, was the early achievement of "gorgeousness" within a short distance of crossing the start line.
The achievement of "gorgeousness" has also to be matched with a significant injection of "WUMPETA" – energy and earnestness in the execution of boat and sail trim and helming to get the boat travelling at its fastest in the shortest possible time.
The recurrent theme of proper rounding of the leeward mark is another Bowers "hobby-horse". Adam perceives the leeward mark as a gateway to escaping from the boats immediately around you who have been tardy in their mark rounding. The quests for clean water and clean wind and the commensurate rudder movements at the leeward mark were drummed into his audience.
Held over two days in strong winds on the Saturday and more moderate wind on the Sunday, the session concluded with the "Porsche Cup" – a three race, no discard series, triangle-sausage-triangle course, sailed under black-flag conditions with a five-minute countdown.
Noel Butler & Stephen Oram successfully defended their trophy, with Luke Malcolm & Shane Diviney second and Frank Miller & Susie Mulligan third.
Thanks are due to Marie Barry (Treasurer) who made the arrangements for getting Adam across from the UK, Marie and Stephen Oram who hosted Adam and rib drivers and assistants in the persons of Neil Colin (Chairman), Mick Creighton, Alistair Court, Hermine O'Keefe and others.