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Britian Lead, Ireland Fifth at Shetland Fireball Europeans

28th July 2014
Britian Lead, Ireland Fifth at Shetland Fireball Europeans

#fireball – Although the seascape at 07:30 this morning suggested otherwise for the Fireball Europeans, Principle Race Officer Bruce Leask was able to get the three races he had programmed for the day completed here in Lerwick, thus allowing the regatta to get started writes Cormac Bradley. The day had started off with a postponement of one hour but shortly after 12 noon that came down and the fleet was advised to set out for the race area.
At midnight last night (Sunday), XCWeather was predicting that the wind would be WNW and very light initially but building during the day without getting into double figures. On the race course the wind direction was fluctuating around 260˚ but not be severe amounts on the start line. Three races were sailed in moderate trapezing conditions – not too severe – with the conventional Olympic course used in all three races. The first race was shortened after the downwind sausage leg but the other two, on a smaller physical course, ran their full length.
Race 1 honours went to the young Irish combination Barry McCartin and Conor Kinsella (IRL 15114) who initially were behind Dave Wade and Tim Hartley (GBR 15113), but pulled ahead on the second beat to lead and win by a comfortable margin. The podium had a three nation flavour with Wade and Hartley in 2nd and Jaroslav Werner and Jakub Napravnik (CZE 15110) in 3rd. Also included in the lead bunch that set the pace for everyone else were Tom Gillard and Richard Anderton (GBR 15081) with Matt Burge and Richard Wagstaff (GBR 15093) closing out the top five. The balance of the top ten were Alex Taylor & Geoff Edwards (GBR 15046), Maja Suter & Thomas Boehm (SUI 14921), Jiri Paruzek & Jakub Kosvica (CZE 14551), Ondrej Labuda & Karel Otto (CZE 14262) and Darren & Craig Forrest (SHE 14395). The racing was tight and there were skirmishes going on around the course but nothing excessive!
The PRO and his team had already modified the position of the weather mark in Race 1, but while we were sailing the sausage leg of that race, he also modified the position of the gybe mark, making the course smaller.
The "usual suspects" were at the front of the second race with an almost reversed order of finishing (relative to the first race). Going right seemed to pay most dividends, certainly from this correspondent's perspective. This time is was Matt Burge & Richard Wagstaff who came from behind to take the lead to win comfortably at the finish. Indeed the front five or six got away from the body of the fleet but none of them were able to close the gap on the boat in front of them. The sausage downwind produced a variety of approaches with some sailing round the mark and going right for a short distance before coming back left. Others gybed immediately. The breeze was a bit stronger but not by much. The two reaches of the triangle were challenging but the second one was by far the tighter.
After a race that lasted just less than an hour (or thereabouts) the finishing order was Burge/Wagstaff, Gillard/Anderton, Verner/Napravnik. Wade & Hartley and Taylor & Edwards were both scored 4th which must be a first! McCartin & Kinsella were 6th, Paruzek & Kosvica 7th, Scott Nicolson & Roger Goudie (SHE 14513) 8th, Louise McKenna and Hermine O'Keeffe (IRL 14691) 9th, and Frank Miller & Ismail Inan (IRL 14713) 10th.
Another quick turnaround by PRO Bruce Leask saw the third race started and delayed by the first General Recall of the day. Needless to say it was quickly followed by the first black flag start of the day though this stricter starting regime of starting claimed no miscreants! Again, going right was favoured by the "hot-shots" and this time my recall is that Tom Gillard & Richard Anderton set the pace before, yet again, Burge & Wagstaff took up the pace-setting duties. Also prominent at the head of the fleet were Alex Taylor & Geoff Edwards. This time, this correspondent was closer to the action to watch five boats fight each other for the lesser places. The downwind leg of the sausage was very competitive as boats went one way and then another is an attempt to gain an advantage. However, nobody could dislodge Burge & Wagstaff who sailed home to a second win and top spot after Day 1.
Behind them the order was Gillard, Verner, Wade, Paruzek and McCartin.
Bruce Leask and his team are to be commended for getting three races in, particularly when we only went afloat after 12 noon. Proceedings were finished around 17:30 and the completion of three races means that we are only one race behind schedule. Sunday's XCWeather prediction was for more wind on Tuesday which means there is a real chance that we could be back on programme this time tomorrow.

Homecoming Scotland 2014 Fireball European Championships Sail No. R1 R2 R3 Tot. Nett
1 Matt Burge & Richard Wagstaff GBR 15093 5 1 1 7.0 7.0
2 Tom Gillard & Richard Anderton GBR 15081 4 2 2 8.0 8.0
3 Jaroslav Verner & Jakub Napravnik CZE 15110 3 3 3 9.0 9.0
4 David Wade & Tim Hartley GBR 15113 2 4 4 10.0 10.0
5 Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsella IRL 15114 1 6 6 13.0 13.0
6 Alex Taylor & Geoff Edwards GBR 15046 6 4 7 17.0 17.0
7 Jiri Paruzek & Jakub Kosvica CZE 14551 8 7 5 20.0 20.0
8 William Mouatt & Neil Fraser SHE 14402 DNF 11 8 31.0 31.0
9 Scott Nicolson & Roger Goudie SHE 14513 16 8 10 34.0 34.0
10 Frank Miller & Ismail Inan IRL 14713 14 10 11 35.0 35.0

The fleet have gone clay pigeon shooting this evening. Some may have on the water frustrations to work out at that session. Tomorrow's plan is for another three races.

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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