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Irish Fireball Class take to Zoom for their AGM!

31st October 2020
Fireballs will compete in  Skerries, Newtownards, DMYC, Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta and Killaloe in 2021 subject to COVID-19 Fireballs will compete in Skerries, Newtownards, DMYC, Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta and Killaloe in 2021 subject to COVID-19 Photo: Afloat

As Zoom is the lingua franca of our online communications these days, twenty-odd Fireballers congregated on the online platform on Thursday night past, 29th October, for the Class AGM.

A 40-minute session certainly concentrated the mind for a prompt meeting, managed by Secretary Frank Miller. Class Chairman, Neil Cramer (Skerries) presented his report that opened the meeting by stating that 19 boats had sailed events in 2019 so rumours of our demise were well off the mark. Events in 2019 included the Ulsters, hosted by Newtownards, with 9 boats, won by Noel Butler & Ismail Inan; the Munsters, hosted by Killaloe, with 13 boats, won by Noel & Stephen Oram and a Howth-hosted Nationals with an entry of 13 boats, again won by Noel & Stephen. A training day was provided by Barry McCartin with 18 people in attendance.

The onset of Covid curtailed regatta fixtures in 2020 but we still managed to get two regattas sailed, our Nationals, won by Stephen & Noel and our Leinsters, won by the same combination. Both events were hosted by DMYC, the latter being sailed with the National Yacht Club's one-day event to celebrate their 150th. A very successful and enjoyable training session was provided by Olympian Phil Lawton in July. Other proposed regattas included Skerries, Newtownards, Killaloe and a Nationals doubling up as a Pre-Worlds ahead of the World Championships in Howth – all of which had to be abandoned.

We had regular meetings with Howth to plan the 2020 Worlds until Covid forced their postponement. Sponsorship from Gul and Fingal County Council to the tune of £5k and €5k respectively for the event had been secured. Fireball International have sanctioned the event being sailed in 2023 and at this stage, Howth is keen to host again – subject to planned dredging works being completed.

The triennial election of office bearers of Fireball International had taken place and Ireland proposed Cormac Bradley for the position of Rear Commodore Western Europe, supported by the UK, France and Belgium. Ireland had also supported the nomination of Christine Haerdi-Landerer as Commodore for a second term. The outcome of the election process should be announced shortly.
Secretary Frank Miller (Dun Laoghaire) presented a short report highlighting the meetings with Howth and the positive working relationship that developed, the multiple meeting of the committee and the fact that members had not been charged membership fees due to a parallel gesture by FI to National Class Associations around the globe.

Marie Oram (Dun Laoghaire) presented the Treasurer's Report highlighting the reduced level of financial transactions due to the reduced level of sailing/racing activities. Class subscriptions had been paid to Irish Sailing. A financial contribution had also been made to Afloat. The financial status of the Class is healthy.

Election of Fireball Class Officers

The Election of Officers saw little change, but Hermine O'Keeffe stood down as DL Class Captain and was acknowledged with a vote of thanks. Paul ter Horst (SID) comes on board as Silver Fleet Captain and Owen Sinnott (DMYC) replaces Hermine.

Officers: Chairman – Neil Cramer, Secretary – Frank Miller, Treasurer – Marie Barry/Oram, DL Class Captain – Owen Sinnott, Silver Fleet Captain – Paul ter Horst, Committee Members – Neil Colin, Margaret Casey, Louise McKenna, Jim Ryan and Cormac Bradley.

Potential Regattas 2021 (subject to Covid situation). Preliminary plans, pencilled in, are for Skerries, Newtownards, DMYC, DL Regatta & Killaloe. Other regattas that are on the radar are the UK Nationals in Abersoch, Wales, and the Europeans in Tuscany in September. All venues are in principle only until there is a sense of the lie of the land in early 2021.

Series 1 of the Frostbites has been cancelled. Series 2 is scheduled for a 3rd January start but a later decision will be required on its chances of proceeding. Neil Colin advised that the entry system is live, but monies will only be taken if Series 2 gets the go-ahead.

Any Other Business.

Cormac Bradley gave an update on FI matters.

Glenn Fisher raised the prospect of more regular training as per the Laser model. Stephen Oram said the Laser & Aero training had been very good and wasn't expensive. Neil Colin offered the resources of the DMYC to support training initiatives.

The Class-owned boat has been transferred to Sailing in Dublin (SID). The relationship between the Class and SID had been very positive leading to the boat being introduced to a wider audience.

Colin Thompson raised the question of having one-day regattas a la 420s. Neil Cramer stated that Greystones host a one-day event and stated that we had been told we would be welcomed back again.

A virtual prize-giving is pencilled in for late November.

We offer our condolences to Marie Barry and Grattan Donnelly who lost family members during the last year.

Published in Fireball
Cormac Bradley

About The Author

Cormac Bradley

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Dublin Bay Fireballer Cormac Bradley was appointed Rear Commodore of the International Fireball Class in 2017. He is a regular dinghy and one design correspondent on Afloat.ie

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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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