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Defending Champions Retain Fireball World Title in South Africa

16th December 2016
Defending Champions Retain Fireball World Title in South Africa Photo: Stuart Parker

British pair, Tom Gillard and Richard Anderton, sailing GBR 15127 have only just retained their Fireball Worlds title from Pwllheli, Wales……………by winning all eight races sailed thus far in the 2016 World Championships in South Africa.

In a Facebook posts around 2pm British time on Thursday afternoon, Tom was able to confirm their success with a day and two races to spare. A more manageable day was had on the water with a South-Easterly of 10 - 12 knots blowing.

In second place, the Swiss pair of Claude Mermod and Ruedi Moser (SUI 14799) also continued their consistent ways with two second places but the Aussie pair of Ben Schulz and Jack Lidgett (AUS15113) while scoring a third in the first race of the day, had a gear problem in the second race and, in Ben’s own words, limped across the line in seventh place.
While the Aussies may be reasonably secure in third place overall they won’t be taking anything for granted because the British wife and husband pair of Andy and Derian Scott (GBR 14941) are sitting in fourth overall and despite a Facebook comment that she was “pooped” after the day’s racing, another lighter session (relative to the start of the week), might just suit Derian and Andy.

The first South African combination in the overall standings is Yogi Devaris and Ferdinand Holm (RSA 14910) in fifth place.
Fireball International Commodore, Steve Chesney, crewing with Hugh Watson (GBR 14791) lies in sixth, with the Kenyans, Alastair Bush and David Carroll (KEN 14535) seventh, the Czechs, Johana Koranva Napravnikova and Jakub Napravnik (Rear Commodore Europe)(CZE 15109), eighth, the Canadians Joe Jospe and Tom Egli (CAN 15024), ninth and South African Fireball legend JJ Provoyeur and Ian MacRobert (RSA 14422) rounding out the top ten.

For Wednesday’s lay-day the fleet had the choice of an organised trip to a local Game Reserve and it would appear that quite a few exercised that option.

The last race of the event commences on the water only eight hours from when this report is being written, 10:00 South African time, 08:00 British (and Irish) time.

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At A Glance – Fireball Dinghy Specs

Crew 2 (single trapeze)
LOA 16 ft 2 in (4.93 m)
Beam 4 ft 6 in (1.37 m)
Hull weight 175 lb (79 kg)
Mast height 22.3 ft (6.8 m)
Mainsail area 108 sq ft (10.0 m2).
Jib / Genoa area 35 sq ft (3.3 m2).
Spinnaker area 140 sq ft (13 m2).

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