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Fireball Season Closes with Single Day of Racing

26th September 2011
Fireball Season Closes with Single Day of Racing
The domestic regatta season of the Irish Fireball Class closed in Dunmore East as it had opened in Carlingford in May, with a single day of racing. Race Officer Harry Gallagher had indicated as early as Friday morning that there was a distinct possibility that sailing would not be possible on Sunday and consequently took the decision to sail four races on Saturday.

Arriving at the club in time for the Class AGM, the consensus was that an excellent day’s racing had been had by the 18-boat fleet, with four good races completed in excellent conditions and very tight racings.

This is manifested by the overall results which show that the winners had a 1pt margin over second place and second place had a similar 1pt margin over third.

Race wins were shared by Kenny Rumball & Teddy Byrne and Noel Butler & Stephen Oram, but Messrs McCartin & Kinsella, the 2011 National Champions, were obviously snapping at everyone’s heels with a 3, 2,2,2 series of results.

Rumball & Butler took alternate race wins with Butler getting the first one. A 1,3,1,3 scorecard at the close of Saturday saw Butler/Oram at the top of the standings with McCartin/Kinsella and Rumball/Byrne tied second overall a point astern. The pecking order thereafter was Clancy/Rowan, Boyle/Flahive, Smyth/O’Reilly, Murphy/Voye. But with a seven point gap between tied second and fourth, in reality the regatta would come down to the tope three on Sunday.

My information is that RO Harry Gallagher’s initial assessment of conditions on Sunday morning, observed from a rib on the race course, was that racing could proceed. However, by the time the committee boat got onto station the conditions had deteriorated and the few combinations who had gone out were happy to retire to the shore where boats were packed up early in driving rain and cold conditions.

With the single discard coming into play the order at the top of the fleet was changed in that Rumball/Byrne were able to get rid of a 5th, whereas Butler/Oram were only able to shed a 3rd, giving the former the title by a single point margin.

Thus the five regattas of the year have each been won by a different combination.

Butler/Oram took 2nd overall, with McCartin/Kinsella 3rd overall.

In the Silver Fleet, Luke Malcolm & Shane Diviney saw a four point margin over the next Silver Fleet boat on Saturday night shrink to a 1pt margin in the overall standings, but this was enough to win this division and claim 10th overall. Second in the Silver Fleet was Cariosa Power & Marie Barry, followed by Ben Malone & Matthew Bennion.

This regatta also concludes the season-long Travellers’ Trophy which sees Noel Butler & Stephen Oram double their margin over Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsella to two points at the tope of the log. Kenny Rumball & Seamus Moore/Teddy Byrne go into third overall, followed by Clancy/Rowan, Boyle/Flahive, Smyth/O’Reilly/Bradley, Bracken/O’Hara, Miller/Donnelly, McGrotty/Grimes & Colin/Casey. Mary Chambers & Brenda McGuire win the Silver Fleet, evidence of even further progress after attending the training sessions last season. Second and third in the Silver Fleet go to Ben Malone & Matthew Bennion and Cariosa Power & Marie Barry respectively.  

The Dunmore East regatta had an international flavour with participation from Hannah Showell, from the UK sailing with Martina Michels, who flew in from Germany for the regatta, having relocated there from Ireland earlier this summer.

Regrettably, the regatta was conspicuous by the absence of representatives of the Skerries and Clontarf fleets and there was a sole representative from Killaloe.

At the AGM, the need to rebuild these fleets was identified as a challenge for the Class Association by incoming Chairman Neil Colin. The AGM also discussed the operation of the Silver Fleet where numbers have been falling in recent events despite the fact that we have seen new combinations coming into the fleet.

With the regatta season concluded the focus will now turn to the Frostbites in Dun Laoghaire Harbour. These will get underway in November and run through to March.



Published in Fireball
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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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