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Irish Fireball Committee Returned Unopposed at AGM

29th November 2022
File photo from fireball worlds at Lough Derg
The 2022 Fireball World Championships at Lough Derg

On Monday 21st November, the Irish Fireball Class Association held its AGM on Zoom, with an attendance of twenty-six people, including a number of new faces who have made their appearance in the boat over the course of the 2022 season – always an encouraging sign!

Chairman’s Report

After the reading of the minutes of the previous year’s AGM, by Class Secretary, Frank Miller, Chairman Neil Cramer gave an overview of the season just concluded, starting with a training event in Lough Derg at the start of the season and incorporating events in Blessington, Sutton, Killaloe and of course, the highly successful hosting of the 2022 Fireball World Championships which attracted an entry of eighty (80) boats, of which 29 were from Ireland. While a small core of individuals took responsibility for organising specific aspects of the event, the Chairman commended the whole membership for “getting stuck in” at the Worlds themselves. Given the circumstances by which the regatta had stayed in Ireland – Covid and a rejigging of the international calendar – transferring from one club to Lough Derg Yacht Club at relatively short notice - the regatta had been a huge success. Feedback from our international visitors had been extremely positive.

Domestic participation in our own events was modest with the consequence that we still need to embrace the idea of sharing venues with other classes in order to make events viable.

The Chairman also acknowledged that we had two invitations to Champion of Champions Regatta in Nationals winners Chris Bateman & Thomas Chaix and President’s Invitees, Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsella. The former crew were unable to make the event, sailed in GP14s, while the latter finished 4th behind combinations who all have GP14 experience in their sailing CVs.

A discussion on the conditions for participation in the Champion of Champions regatta followed on from this report, specifically the requirement to have a National Judge in attendance at the Class Nationals.

2023 Regatta Programme

A provisional regatta list for 2023 is in consideration with an early start in Dun Laoghaire, a Leinsters in Skerries and Nationals in Dunmore East. Other possibilities will include visits to regular Fireball venues. Internationally, there is a Europeans in Portoroz, Slovenia in September and a convenient French Nationals in July. Dates for the UK Nationals weren’t immediately to hand. As dates and venues aren’t confirmed, no further details can be made public just yet.

Secretary’s Report 

Frank Miller updated the meeting on the activities from the secretary. Specific reference was made to the arrangements for the Fireball Worlds. Frank also elaborated on the efforts to get more people into the class and noted the number of former Fireballers who had returned to active sailing for the Worlds.

Treasurer’s Report

Marie Barry updated the meeting on the finances of the class which are in a healthy state. The enhanced entry to the Worlds had generated a bigger income, but conversely had also required a larger expenditure but due to the spreadsheets of Class Chairman, his tight rein on the numbers, good sponsorship and the efforts of all those at Lough Derg, a favourable balancing of the books had been achieved.

Election of Officers

The 2022 committee was re-elected en masse with the addition of Chris Bateman who has accepted a Youth Development role for the Class. Josh Porter continues as the Northern Rep. while Owen Sinnott continues in the role as Dun Laoghaire Class Captain and Paul Ter Horst is the Silver Fleet Class Captain. Class Chairman, Neil Cramer, Secretary, Frank Miller and Treasurer, Marie Barry retain these key roles. However, Frank Miller warned that the current officers can’t go on forever and younger members need to take on the mantle of leadership of the class.

Prize-giving

The Class’s prize-giving took place on Friday 25th November, in the National Yacht Club and Fireballs continue to race in the Viking Marine sponsored DMYC Frostbites between now and Christmas and in the New Year up to the end of March.

Published in Fireball
Cormac Bradley

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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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