Menu

Ireland's sailing, boating & maritime magazine

Displaying items by tag: Fireball

Eight Fireballs took part in a day-long coaching session with Thomas Chaix at the DMYC in Dun Laoghaire Harbour on Sunday (May 19th).

With extremely light winds forecast the fleet were pleasantly surprised by a decent 8 knots of breeze in the morning. Everyone went afloat quickly to make the best of the conditions while they lasted. Unlike previous sessions with Thomas this session was all about individual attention to sail trim, steering and crew work for maximum speed in the conditions.

Coach Thomas Chaix pictured with Fireball sailors during the Dun Laoghaire Harbour coaching session Photo: Iso InanCoach Thomas Chaix pictured with Fireball sailors during the Dun Laoghaire Harbour coaching session Photo: Iso Inan

Those conditions on Sunday included a moderate chop, so much attention was focused on jib settings to get the most power and pointing without stalling the airflow to the main. A series of rabbit starts and upwind tacking and covering kept everyone on their toes. Downwind the focus was on spinnaker trim while maximising speed and figuring out the best vmg to get as deep as possible. As the day went on, the breeze steadily declined, necessitating changes in trim to get through the chop and a keen lookout to find the best pressure.

Downwind the focus at the Fireball training was on spinnaker trim while maximising speed and figuring out the best vmg to get as deep as possible Photo: Iso InanDownwind the focus at the Fireball training was on spinnaker trim while maximising speed and figuring out the best vmg to get as deep as possible Photo: Iso Inan

Ultimately the fleet headed back into Dun Laoghaire harbour for one tiny race in the dying breeze before heading back to the DMYC for a late lunch followed by video analysis and a detailed debrief and discussion. Informal discussions continued on the deck of the club with cuppas and drinks in glorious sunshine.

Despite the forecast, the Fireball coaching day presented a trapezing breeze for part of the session at least  Photo: Iso InanDespite the forecast, the Fireball coaching day presented a trapezing breeze for part of the session at least  Photo: Iso Inan

Speaking at the conclusion of the event class chairman Neil Cramer thanked Thomas and the DMYC for their support while noting that the event was subsidized entirely by the class as Irish Sailing no longer gives grants to classes for coaching.

This summer season promises to be a bumper one for the class. With over 20 boats having attended the first event, the Munsters at Monkstown Bay in April, hot competition is expected to continue at the Open in GBSC, the Leinsters in Skerries SC, the Ulsters at Mullaghmore SC and Nationals at RCYC.

The DMYC hosts the first summer regatta in Dun Laoghaire on June 8th is looking forward to welcoming a good turnout of dinghies and keelboat

Published in Fireball
Tagged under

The 2024 Fireball Munster Championships were held on April 20th/21st at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club (MBSC) in stunning weather conditions writes the club's Chris Bateman

It had seemed like a long time coming, but alas, the wait was finally over, and the eve of the first event of the season for the Fireball class had arrived. Months of harsh winter sailing had been endured and so the event at Monkstown Bay was met with much enthusiasm and excitement from the Fireball sailors.
Sailors travelled from all over Ireland to attend, such as Dublin, Sligo, Wexford, Kerry and Cork, to name a few.

The first morning of the championship in Monkstown was a spectacular sight. Twenty-five Fireballs were packed into the dinghy park with competitors rigging at speed, eager to hit the water. Covers were folded away and sails unrolled. The crinkle of fresh spinnakers and sounds of enthusiastic chat were heard from all over. The atmosphere was bright and cheerful, the water a sparkling blue. The wind was warm and the sun was high, with a light sea breeze starting to fill in across the harbour. The air thrummed with anticipation while busy volunteers prepared for the day's racing.

The race area was set off Cuskinny Beach, some distance away from the sailing club. Race Officer Dave Barry and his team, along with Johnny Moynihan and co., set off early to prepare the triangular course in time for the midday starting gun. The Fireball sailors followed suit, launching early in their excitement for the races to come.

 Monkstown Bay Sailing Club Race Officer Johnny Moynihan and has team set the course for the bumper Fireball fleet in Cork Harbour Photo: Bob Bateman Monkstown Bay Sailing Club Race Officers Johnny Moynihan and Dave Barry and their team set the courses for the bumper Fireball fleet in Cork Harbour Photo: Bob Bateman

The wind filled in slowly from the South East, spreading across the course in an unsettled manner. Big wind shifts were to be the order of business for the day. The committee had a course set right on time despite the shifts.

When the five-minute gun sounded for Race One, the competitors piled onto the start line, jostling for position.

A race start for the bumper Fireball fleet in Cork Harbour Photo: Bob BatemanA race start for the bumper Fireball fleet in Cork Harbour Photo: Bob Bateman

The fleet eagerly pushed forward on the line until finally, the race was underway. It was a drag race to the first big shift on the starboard side of the course. The fleet was highly competitive with big position changes happening on every leg of the three lap course. It was to be a battle of patience and perseverance. In the end it was the team of Nicola Ferguson and Thomas Chaix of NYC who took first place, having played every shift as well as could be done. Just behind in second was Adrian Lee and Ossian Geraghty of MBSC. Daniel and Harry Thompson of Wexford took third place having picked up a big wind shift on the final lap of the race.
Race Two got underway in a clean manner. Ed Butler and crew Iso Inan of Sligo made the most of the light and tricky winds, to take first place. Ewen Barry and Sandy Rimmington of MBSC took second place. In third place it was Lee/Geraghty. All three scraped just ahead of the three boats competing behind in what was very nearly a six boat photo finish.

(Above and below) Colourful spinnakers as the fleet go downwind at the Fireball Munster Championships against the backdrop of Cork Harbour  Photo: Bob Bateman(Above and below) Colourful spinnakers as the fleet go downwind at the Fireball Munster Championships against the backdrop of Cork Harbour  Photo: Bob Bateman

(Above and below) Colourful spinnakers as the fleet go downwind at the Fireball Munster Championships against the backdrop of Cork Harbour  Photo: Bob Bateman(Above and below) Colourful spinnakers as the fleet go downwind at the Fireball Munster Championships against the backdrop of Cork Harbour  Photo: Bob Bateman

Race three was won by the current national champions Noel Butler and Stephen Oram of NYC. Having been slightly behind in the first two races, they found their mojo and left the fleet behind in the final race of the day. The ever consistent team of Barry/Rimmington took second place, with Ferguson/Chaix in third.
With three successful races completed the fleet headed for home in the scorching sun.

Overnight leaders were Nicola Ferguson and Thomas Chaix of NYC, who sailed a fantastic three races and showed their tactical skills in the best way possible.

Day two

Day two of the championship opened in a similar fashion. A lazy sun hung low over the bay and the sky was blue. The harbour was as still as a mill pond. A low tide made the bay look small but the birds sang and the water was inviting. The competitors arrived early, bulling to hit the water and get racing. The start was set an hour earlier than the day previous. The wind was due to fill in from the East, just in time for the first race.

Sails were hoisted and colourful spinnakers dried. Onlookers and supporters sat by, enjoying the spectacle.

The competitors prepared their tow lines in anticipation of a long haul out to the race area. Launching into the still waters of the bay, they paddled up to the tow boats and made fast their painters. Happy faces poked out from underneath bright sails and they began the tow out to Cuskinny.

The wind filled in from the East just as the hoard of Fireballs arrived at the race area. A soft eight-knot breeze blew over the course. There was a small wait for the breeze to settle, but it soon calmed down and proved to be gentle and consistent.

Race Four of the series kicked off at 11U30am. It became evident that overnight the fleet had become even more competitive, pushing the start line to the limit and fighting even harder all across the racecourse. All in good spirits, of course!

At the first windward mark, Ritchie Harrington and Sandy OʼBrien of MBSC took first place, sailing in at speed on the starboard layline. Three rounds later, at the finish line, Ewen Barry and Sandy Rimmington took first place, sailing well in the shifty conditions. Nicola Ferguson and Thomas Chaix took second place. In third place, Louise McKenna and Hermine Oʼ Keefe of RStGYC took third place.

For Race Five, the wind had swung around to the South East and picked up slightly. At the top it was a battle of four boats. Noel Butler and Stephen Oram fought against Barry/Rimmington, while Ferguson/Chaix fought with Chris Bateman and Lauren Murphy of MBSC. Positions changed constantly throughout the race and in the end it was Butler/Oram who took first place, with Barry/Rimmington in second and Ferguson/Chaix in third.

Race Six, the final race of the series brought 40 degree wind shifts and huge pressure changes, making it the most difficult of the day. The Thompson brothers led at the windward mark, however they were not safe. Barry/ Rimmington snapped at their heels in second, with Ferguson/Chaix in third. By the bottom of the leg, Bateman/Murphy had caught up and the next upwind became another battle between the four boats. Positions changed constantly and the racing was tight. Bateman/Murphy pulled into second, Barry/ Rimmington dropped back to fourth. However by the top mark, the top four had sailed into a wind hole and wallowed with sails hanging limp for a minute. Barry/Rimmington picked up a 30 degree shift from the right and crossed the fleet in first place while the rest wallowed. A 60 degree wind shift from the left ten seconds later allowed Ed Butler to sail back into contention, and Ferguson/ Chaix slipped passed the Thompons. Bateman/Murphy dropped back, having gotten stuck between both shifts.

In the end it was Ferguson/Chaix who took first place across the line, ahead of Barry/Rimmington in second place. The Thompsons held on to third place.

This concluded the day, and the fleet sailed home tired and happy. It had been a fantastic day racing in champagne sailing conditions. Upon arrival at the sailing club, the boats were packed away, sails rolled and covers donned. Once the pack was finished the weary competitors migrated to the club and basked in the evening sun while awaiting the prizegving. Easy conversation was had over cold drinks and discussion of the next Fireball Championship had already begun.

Monkstown Bay's Chris Bateman hard at work as class promoter, event organiser and competitor at the Fireball Munster ChampionshipsMonkstown Bay's Chris Bateman hard at work as class promoter, event organiser and competitor at the Fireball Munster Championships

The prizes were presented by MBSCʼs commodore Jacqui OʼBrien.

Ewen Barry and Sandy Rimmington of the host club won the Fireball Munster Championships (their first Fireball event).

Top Ten Fireballs at the Munsters 

10th at the Fireball Munster Championships at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club - Ritchie Harrington/Sandy O’Brien Photo: Bob Bateman10th at the Fireball Munster Championships at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club - Ritchie Harrington/Sandy O’Brien Photo: Bob Bateman

 9th at the Fireball Munster Championships at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club - Frank Miller/Neil Cramer Photo: Bob Bateman 9th at the Fireball Munster Championships at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club - Frank Miller/Neil Cramer Photo: Bob Bateman

8th  at the Fireball Munster Championships at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club - Chris Bateman/Lauren Murphy Photo: Bob Bateman8th  at the Fireball Munster Championships at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club - Chris Bateman/Lauren Murphy Photo: Bob Bateman

 

7th at the Fireball Munster Championships at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club - Daniel and Harry Thompson 7th at the Fireball Munster Championships at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club - Daniel and Harry Thompson 

6th at the Fireball Munster Championships at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club - Louise McKenna and Hermione O'Keeffe Photo: Bob Bateman6th at the Fireball Munster Championships at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club - Louise McKenna and Hermione O'Keeffe

5th at the Fireball Munster Championships at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club - Ed Butler/Ismael Inan 5th Photo: Bob Bateman5th at the Fireball Munster Championships at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club - Ed Butler/Ismael Inan 5th Photo: Bob Bateman

4th at the Fireball Munster Championships at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club - Adrian Lee/Ossian Geraghty Photo: Bob Bateman4th at the Fireball Munster Championships at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club - Adrian Lee/Ossian Geraghty Photo: Bob Bateman

3rd at the Fireball Munster Championships at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club - Noel Butler/Stephen Oram Photo: Bob Bateman3rd at the Fireball Munster Championships at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club - Noel Butler/Stephen Oram Photo: Bob Bateman

2nd at the Fireball Munster Championships at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club - Nicola Ferguson and Thomas Chaix Photo: Bob Bateman2nd at the Fireball Munster Championships at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club - Nicola Ferguson and Thomas Chaix Photo: Bob Bateman

1st  at the Fireball Munster Championships at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club -  Sandy Rimmington and Ewen Barry Photo: Bob Bateman1st  at the Fireball Munster Championships at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club -  Sandy Rimmington and Ewen Barry Photo: Bob Bateman

Winners Sandy Rimmington and Ewen Barry of MBSC with MBSCʼs commodore Jacqui OʼBrienWinners Sandy Rimmington and Ewen Barry of MBSC with MBSCʼs commodore Jacqui OʼBrien

Second place went to Nicola Ferguson and Thomas Chaix of the National Yacht Club, competing in their first event as a team.

Nicola Ferguson and Thomas Chaix of the National Yacht ClubNicola Ferguson and Thomas Chaix of the National Yacht Club

Third place went to Noel Butler and Stephen Oram of the National Yacht Club.

Stephen Oram and Noel Butler of the National Yacht ClubStephen Oram and Noel Butler of the National Yacht Club

Winning the silver fleet were Brian Jones and Barry OʼConnor of MBSC, in their first Fireball event.

Brian Jones and Barry OʼConnor of MBSCBrian Jones and Barry OʼConnor of MBSC

Second place in the silver fleet went to Colm and Cormac Breene of DMYC. Third place in silver went to Paul ter Horst and Pat McGoldrick, also of DMYC.

Paul ter Horst and Pat McGoldrickPaul ter Horst and Pat McGoldrick

Winner of the Classic trophy for his recent restoration of his Fireball named “Whiskey” went to 16-year-old Sean OʼHerlihy from Iniscarra Sailing and Kayaking Club, sailing with his new helm, Frances Corkery of the same club.

Sean O'Herlihy and Frances Corkery were winners of the Fireball classic trophySean O'Herlihy and Frances Corkery were winners of the Fireball classic trophy

This concluded the first event of the season for the Fireball Class. The championship was an extreme success, with sailors coming from all over the country. The weather could not have been better, and the atmosphere could not have been happier. No fleet will match the Fireballs for their comradeship, friendliness, kind nature, and value. The class continues to grow rapidly as the people in our little country are quickly realising that the boat that they have been missing throughout their lives is a Fireball!

2024 Fireball Munster Championship Photo Gallery by Bob Bateman

(with thanks to photo boat driver Alex Barry for his assistance)

Published in Fireball

Ewen Barry and Sandy Rimmington of the host club are the 2024 Fireball Munster Champions after a six-race regatta held at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club (MBSC) in Cork Harbour.

A bumper 24-boat fleet contested the light to medium wind championships that is an early season boost for the class that staged the class world championship on Lough Derg in 2022.

Munster Fireball Champions 2024 - Ewen Barry and Sandy Rimmington of Monkstown Bay Sailing ClubMunster Fireball Champions 2024 - Ewen Barry and Sandy Rimmington of Monkstown Bay Sailing Club

Overnight leaders in the light to medium wind event saw Nicola Ferguson and Thomas Chaix, also of the NYC, lost out to Barry and Rimmington by a single point on Sunday. 

National champions Noel Butler and Stephen Oram of the National Yacht Club on Dublin Bay finish third overall.

Second overall Nicola Ferguson and Thomas Chaix at the 2024 Fireball Munster Championships Photo Bob Bateman Second overall Nicola Ferguson and Thomas Chaix at the 2024 Fireball Munster Championships Photo Bob Bateman 

There has been a resurgence of interest in the high-performance dinghy that has seen up to ten Fireballs in local competition over the winter in Cork Harbour.

2024 Fireball Munster Championship Photo Gallery by Bob Bateman

(with thanks to photo boat driver Alex Barry for his assistance)

Published in Fireball

The National Yacht Club's Nicola Ferguson and Thomas Chaix are leading a record fleet of 23 Fireball dinghies gathered in Cork Harbour for the  2024 Munster Championships this weekend.

Monkstown Bay Sailing Club (MBSC) is hosting the championships after a resurgence of interest in the dinghy that has seen up to ten Fireballs in local competition over the winter.

Lying second (but on the same points as the leaders) is the host club's Ewen Barry and Sandy Rimmington on nine points, with more locals, Adrian Lee and Ossian Geraghty, in third on ten.

Racing continues with another three races in Monkstown Bay or in the Lower Harbour on Sunday.

Published in Fireball
Tagged under

Fireball sailors Tom Gillard of England and Andy Thompson of East Antrim Boat Club in Northern Ireland have been crowned World Champions at the 2024 Fireball Worlds in Geelong, Australia.

The duo sailed a near-perfect regatta, rarely falling outside the top three and winning with a race to spare.

The achievement is a remarkable result and a record for an Irish sailor, as the Antrim man has noe acheived three world dinghy titles. As Afloat reported previously, Thompson won his world title in 2002 when sailing to GP14 victory with the late Richard Estaugh.  He claimed his Fireball gold medal on Lough Derg in 2022 and retained it this week in Geelong.

Gillard said he was proud of the achievement, especially given the fact the British container didn't arrive on time.

Tom Gillard of England (left) and Andy Thompson of East Antrim Boat Club in Northern Ireland celebrate ashore after their fireball Worlds victory in Geelong, Australia Photo: Alex Dare, Down Under SailTom Gillard of England (left) and Andy Thompson of East Antrim Boat Club in Northern Ireland celebrate ashore after their fireball Worlds victory in Geelong, Australia Photos: Alex Dare, Down Under Sail and below by Frank Miller

Tom Gillard of England (left) and Andy Thompson of East Antrim Boat Club in Northern Ireland celebrate ashore after their fireball Worlds victory in Geelong,

“In the build-up to the event, we knew that we weren't going to have our boat, so we had to spend a lot of time working on the boat we borrowed,” he said.

“At pre-worlds we basically did one race a day, found out what was wrong with it, came back in, mended it and made sure it was good for the World Championships.”

His crew, Andy Thompson, said the regatta win was a special one for the pair, considering they had not planned to attend the event initially.

“We shouldn't really be here to be honest because we weren’t in the container to start off with, so we’re really lucky to be here."

Second overall at the 2024 Fireball Worlds, DJ Edwards and Vyv Townend Photo: Alex Dare, Down Under SailSecond overall at the 2024 Fireball Worlds, DJ Edwards and Vyv Townend Photo: Alex Dare, Down Under Sail

Gillard thanked the Australian Fireball Association and the committee members, who worked hard to ensure those left without a boat from overseas were able to sail borrowed Australian boats to get them through the regatta.

In second place was fellow British sailors DJ Edwards and Vyv Townend, who also sailed an extremely consistent regatta, but ended up just short of the regatta leaders in most races.

Third place, and first Australians at the 2024 Fireball Worlds were Brendan Garner and Ben O’Brien Photo: Alex Dare, Down Under SailThird place, and first Australians at the 2024 Fireball Worlds were Brendan Garner and Ben O’Brien Photo: Alex Dare, Down Under Sail

Third place, and first Australians, were local heroes Brendan Garner and Ben O’Brien who hail from the Royal Geelong Yacht Club and had a really good start to their event to set up a successful result.

The Irish Fireball crews in Geelong: Frank Miller and Ed Butler of the DMYC and Adrian Lee and Ossian Geraghty of SYCThe Irish Fireball crews in Geelong: Frank Miller and Ed Butler of the DMYC and Adrian Lee and Ossian Geraghty of SYC

The event was incredibly well run by the Royal Geelong Yacht Club with ten races across a mix of conditions that threw up a few challenges for the race committee.

Published in Fireball
Tagged under

Fireball duo Tom Gillard from Sheffield and Andy Thompson from East Antrim Boat Club in Northern Ireland will take a seven-point lead into the final two races of the 2024 Fireball Worlds in Geelong tomorrow as they look to be crowned world champions for another time.

The pair have so far sailed a near flawless regatta with an 18th in Race 3, the only result outside the top four.

Sitting in second overall with an outside chance of claiming the title on the last day are Britons DJ Edwards and Vyv Townend on Mondo, who are now dropping a 13th from today.

With a pair of good results tomorrow, the Mondo team could use a sixth as their second discard, shaving some solid points off their scorecard.

In third overall after an 8,1 scorecard today is Brendan Garner and Ben O’Brien on Black Pearl, who turned a poor position into a Race 8 win in an extremely shifty final work, keeping them in the hunt.

The 2024 Fireball Worlds in Geelong Photo: Alex Dare, Down Under SailThe 2024 Fireball Worlds in Geelong Photo: Alex Dare, Down Under Sail

Garner said it was a challenging day and that it had set up an exciting battle for the final day.

“In the first race we got caught out a couple of times being a little too confident with what might happen up the track, so then we decided our plan was just sail the higher number and sail towards pressure,” he said.

“We'll have a crack, I think what's fantastic for the regatta and for the class is that it's wide open going into tomorrow, there's a few boats that can still win.

“They're not our conditions (tomorrow) but neither was today and we still came out with a good result so we'll just see what happens.”

There are some great battles being set up for the final day to make up the remainder of the top 10 with a number of teams having great regattas so far and looking for a good final result.

Ben Schulz and Angus Higgins in Riptide are sitting fourth and could sneak onto the podium with a good final day, while David Hall and Paul Constable on Sunsets, Tom Gordon and Jack Fletcher on Cletus, and Ben Knoop and James Belton on Fierce Creature are all in a close fight for the last spot in the top five.

Sophie Jackson, who is sailing with Josh Galland on Zig Zag and currently sits 11th overall, said the racing in this regatta had been incredibly tight.

“I think with the lighter breeze the fleet was a lot more condensed and boats that are sometimes further back made their way up to the front, so there was a lot of congestion coming in around the marks and the fleet was a lot denser,” she said.

“Fireballs sail very similarly to the 470, so it's a really great boat to cross-train in and get that extra racing practice.”

The final day tomorrow is expected to be tricky, which sets up massive opportunities for teams looking to move up the standings, and big risks for those that need to defend their spot.

Published in Fireball
Tagged under

The fifth and sixth championship races of the 2024 Fireball Worlds were held on what was supposed to be a lay day, in switchy and gusty southerly winds. The conditions were challenging, with big shifts, big gusts, and some of the headers up to 40 degrees at one point. Even so, the British team of Tom Gillard and Andy Thompson (from East Antrim Boat Club) had another tidy day, scoring 2,1 and putting them four points clear with one discard in play.

Currently tied for second place overall are the local Royal Geelong Yacht Club sailors Brendan Garner and Ben O’Brien on Black Pearl, and the British team of DJ Edwards and Vyv Townend on Mondo. Garner and O’Brien’s 5,4 scorecard was enough to keep them in the mix, but Edwards and Townend’s 1,2 made it a top day for the British teams and further reinforced their consistency and experience in the class. 

DJ Edwards and Vyv Townend on Mondo are in the mix after six races sailed at the Fireball Worlds in Geelong, Australia Photo: Down Under SailDJ Edwards and Vyv Townend on Mondo are in the mix after six races sailed at the Fireball Worlds in Geelong, Australia Photo: Down Under Sail

The conditions were extremely challenging, and Townend mentioned that they reminded him of his sailing back home in the United Kingdom. There were even some people who capsized on them, he said. But despite the difficulties, the Mondo team managed to salvage a good result in one of the races, after rounding the windward mark in about 15th place. 

Tom Gordon and Jack Fletcher sailing Cletus at the 2024 at the Fireball Worlds in Geelong, Australia Photo: Down Under SailTom Gordon and Jack Fletcher sailing Cletus at the 2024 at the Fireball Worlds in Geelong, Australia Photo: Down Under Sail

Ben Schulz and Angus Higgins on Riptide had another consistent day, putting them in fourth overall heading into the final four races of the regatta. Higgins said there were a lot of shifts on the race course and that sailors “had to keep an open mind and just try to think ahead”. 

Ben Schulz and Angus Higgins sailing Riptide are currently in fourth overall  at the Fireball Worlds in Geelong, Australia Photo: Down Under SailBen Schulz and Angus Higgins sailing Riptide are currently in fourth overall  at the Fireball Worlds in Geelong, Australia Photo: Down Under Sail

With lighter and more challenging winds forecast for the next two days, consistency from here out will be key for the top two teams of Gillard/Thompson and Garner/O’Brien, who are currently discarding an 18th and 16th respectively. Meanwhile Mondo and Riptide are yet to fall outside the top six, which could play into their hands late in the regatta.

The second discard will be applied after the completion of Race 9. For up-to-date results, please see below.

Published in Fireball
Tagged under

The third day of the 2024 Fireball Worlds in Geelong, Australia, has been blown out after a lengthy wait on shore that ultimately ended with a decision to make up the races on tomorrow’s lay day.

Sailors were met with winds of more than 30 knots from the north early in the day, however there was some speculation as to whether it would ease throughout the day and potentially swing to a westerly or southerly direction.

However, it was to no avail, with Principal Race Officer Ross Wilson hoisting the AP over A late in the day and changing the sailing instructions to allow for racing on tomorrow’s lay day.

“We came down here at 10 o'clock this morning with a good northerly gusting up over 30 knots with a steady breeze around about 27 (knots),” he said.

“The breeze didn't abate whatsoever and we made an agreement that if we couldn't get any races in today there'd be two tomorrow.

“There was some real big lumps and big waves and there would have been a lot of boats bowing through that, so AP over A and now we've got the notice posted, there will be two races tomorrow, which was going to be the lay day.”

Tomorrow’s forecast looks to be sailable with 10-15 knot southerlies forecast on the Bureau of Meteorology’s MetEye.

Up-to-date results below.

Published in Fireball
Tagged under

The 2024 Fireball Worlds is shaping up to be one for the ages, with a mix of light and heavy conditions on the second day, and the results so far offer no clear premonitions at this early stage.

Even after four races you can throw a blanket over the top 10, with a number of top contenders all getting moments at the very front of the fleet.

Day 1 leaders Brendan Garner and Ben O'Brien on Black Pearl, who began their regatta with two bullets yesterday, managed a second in Race 4 when the breeze was up, however the light winds in Race 3 may have shown a kink in their armour, finishing with a 16th they will hope to discard.

British hopefuls DJ Edwards and Vyv Townend on Mondo, and Tom Gillard and Andy Thompson (from East Antrim Boat Club) on North Sails Allen Bros Robline, have started to flex their muscle and show they belong at the front of the fleet.

With many overseas teams sailing borrowed boats due to logistics challenges in the lead up to the event, some teething issues have created mixed results at times.

“We've done a lot of boat work because the boat that we're sailing has never been on the water before,” Gillard said.

“(The association has) done an amazing job to all get us hire boats because our container's not here, it’s absolutely brilliant for them to sort everything out.

“(Geelong is) absolutely amazing sailing, it’s glamour, I mean the water temperature, the air temperature, it's all perfect.”

Among the top bunch are two more top South Australian teams, with Ben Schulz and Angus Higgins on Riptide sitting second overall with a consistent scorecard, and Tom Gordon and Jack Fletcher on Cletus also sailing very fast after what has been quite some time out of the boat.

While Gillard and Thompson won the second race today, it was light weather specialists Jalina Thompson-Kambas and Nathan Stockley in Stay Tuned that clinched an important race win in the lighter conditions.

The former Australian Champions haven’t had the start they would have liked in the heavier winds, however with more moderate winds forecast for the next few days they could slingshot themselves right back into the mix.

Australian class veteran John Heywood, sailing at this regatta with Daniel George on Renegade, also showed his experience with an 8,2 score for the day keeping him in the hunt.

With the Australian Championships preceding the Worlds, many of the international teams have been able to use some of the days off to enjoy what Geelong and the surf coast has to offer.

“We did actually manage to have a day out in Torquay down the coastline where the surfing is, it was beautiful down there, absolutely stunning,” Gillard said.

There are two more races scheduled for tomorrow, which will be followed by a lay day where sailors can experience some more of the excellent tourism offerings available in the Greater Geelong area.

Published in Fireball
Tagged under

Former junior champion Chris Bateman is a top sailor who leads by example and inspiration.

Having decided that the ever-young Fireball is the answer for junior and adult dinghy sailors who don’t want to go down the cheque-book route to racing, he has beavered away re-building the formerly popular and economically attractive class both in practical restoration, and in actively sailing the boat to championship level.

The result has been a favourable and supportive response from Fireball sailors new and “old”, and a genuine re-invigoration of the class spreading outwards from Cork.

Published in Sailor of the Month
Tagged under
Page 1 of 44

About Safehaven Marine 

Safehaven Marine are designers and builders of FRP Pilot boats, Patrol boats, Crew transfer vessels, Hydrographic survey catamarans, Naval & Military craft and unique custom private motor yachts. All our vessels are built to the highest standards of strength & engineering and are renowned worldwide for their exceptional sea-keeping abilities, we set a new World long-range speed record in 2017 with our own vessel and crew. Established in 1996 we have built over 138 vessels supplied to 27 countries worldwide with over 40 pilot vessels in operation globally, and have become leaders in our field.

Based in Youghal, Co Cork Ireland, Safehaven manufacture our vessels from two modern factories, with all design work carried out in house, and built with our own experienced team of engineers, carpenters, electricians, shipwrights and laminators.

Always at the forefront of new technology and designs we continuously develop our range and push the frontiers of design: In 2020 we aim to set a UIM Transatlantic World record with our unique (patent applied for) new 22m high-speed vessel XSV20

Interceptor 42 pilot boat

The Pilot 42 model built by Safehaven Marine has been delivered to ports worldwide and has proved to be a superb sea boat performing admirably in pilotage operations with all owners extolling its virtues of seakeeping, strength and stability.

L.O.A. (Length overall) 13.2m

L.W.L. (Length along waterline) 11.5m

Length moulded (GRP hull only) 12.7

Beam Moulded (GRP only ex fender) 4.0m

Beam overall (Including fenders) 4.4m

Draft (Depth of hull below waterline) 1.35m

Displacement Lightship 14,500kg

Fully loaded 16,000kg

Fuel capacity 1600 litres

Water capacity 110 litres

Crew capacity 5 persons

Engines Volvo D9 425hp

Gearboxes ZF325

Subdivision 4 x separate watertight compartments

Crew capacity 1-2 crew plus 3- 4 pilots

Classification PRS

Speed 23.5kts fully loaded