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#FIREBALL – The perennial primer for the Irish Fireball regatta season took place last weekend, 21/22 April in Dun Laoghaire when Adam Bowers brought his expertise, good humour and unique style of coaching to an eleven-boat audience writes Cormac Bradley.

Blessed with significant wind for the first time in his trips to Ireland (the fourth, I think), Adam was able to concentrate on additional aspects of racing that the presence of breeze facilitated.

As ever, there was a significant focus on starting with classroom emphasis on controlling position in the end stages of the countdown to the start and a demand that boats be accelerated off the start line rather than accelerating. The consequence of this requirement, Adam stated, was the early achievement of "gorgeousness" within a short distance of crossing the start line.

The achievement of "gorgeousness" has also to be matched with a significant injection of "WUMPETA" – energy and earnestness in the execution of boat and sail trim and helming to get the boat travelling at its fastest in the shortest possible time.

The recurrent theme of proper rounding of the leeward mark is another Bowers "hobby-horse". Adam perceives the leeward mark as a gateway to escaping from the boats immediately around you who have been tardy in their mark rounding. The quests for clean water and clean wind and the commensurate rudder movements at the leeward mark were drummed into his audience.

Held over two days in strong winds on the Saturday and more moderate wind on the Sunday, the session concluded with the "Porsche Cup" – a three race, no discard series, triangle-sausage-triangle course, sailed under black-flag conditions with a five-minute countdown.

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram successfully defended their trophy, with Luke Malcolm & Shane Diviney second and Frank Miller & Susie Mulligan third.

Thanks are due to Marie Barry (Treasurer) who made the arrangements for getting Adam across from the UK, Marie and Stephen Oram who hosted Adam and rib drivers and assistants in the persons of Neil Colin (Chairman), Mick Creighton, Alistair Court, Hermine O'Keefe and others.

Published in Fireball
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A favourable window of glorious weather which started earlier in the week extended into the weekend and the final Sunday of the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club's Frostbite Series. The author of these reports was yet again unable to sail the event but acquired enough information to post this report when he went to pick up results for this column.

Blue skies and a slight haze on the horizon were more symptomatic on a Sunday in June/July before a sea-breeze kicks in than the second last Sunday of March when we all lost an hour in bed due to the clocks going forward. Still nobody could possibly have begrudged the loss of an hour in bed in lieu of the day that evolved. Crowds thronged the piers of Dun Laoghaire as everyone took advantage of the sunshine and the daylight addition to the evening. The ice-cream vendors were in danger of running out of stock such were the crowds.

The Fireball fleet responded to the weather and the close of the series, one assumes, by mustering 17 boats for the day. Two races were sailed outside the harbour in what I believe were near perfect conditions....apart from an adverse tide that necessitated a slightly conservative approach to the start.

Race 1 was started under a General Recall while Race 2 prompted three black flags when people who should know better failed to restart when they were adjudged over the line. A healthy South-Easterly of 15knots (or thereabouts) gave the fleet just about perfect conditions and with the added bonus of being outside the harbour is sea-swells it must have seemed as if summer had come early. Indeed, Valerie Kinnear, part of the committee boat team told me that it was quite lumpy outside.

I can't give you a blow by blow account but I can tell you that one of our most intense, but friendly rivalries, (intense on the water, friendly off it) in the fleet ended as "honours-even" over the day's two races. Mick Creighton & Frank Cassidy are great mates who enjoy nothing more than baiting each other on the water and then adjourning to a nearby watering hole to conduct a post-mortem on proceedings. Yesterday, Mick was crewed by Ciaran Hickey, no shrinking violet himself, while Frank would have had his long-standing crew John Hudson on board. All four have contributed to the camaraderie of the Irish Fireball fleet and have provided the rest of us with lots of entertainment along the way.

At the "business end" of the day's proceedings, the race wins were shared between Neil Spain & Hugh Butler (14807) and Owen Laverty & Ed Butler (14990). Behind them, the runaway leaders in the series, Messrs Butler & Oram and Rumball & Moran scored two 3rds and two 2nds respectively, probably more content to watch each other than worry too much about race wins. Andy Boyle & Barry Hurley also had a consistent day with 2 x 4ths, while the 5th places went to Laverty/Butler in Race 1 and Louis Smyth & Joe O'Reilly in Race 2.

DMYC Frostbites; Series 2: Sunday 25th March

 

Race 1

Race 2

1

Neil Spain & Hugh Butler

Owen Laverty & Ed Butler

2

Kenny Rumball & Dave Moran

Kenny Rumball & Dave Moran

3

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram

4

Andy Boyle & Barry Hurley

Andy Boyle & Barry Hurley

5

Owen Laverty & Ed Butler

Louis Smyth & Joe O’Reilly

 

The days' mugs went to Dave Coleman and Glen Fisher in Race 1 and Cearbhaill Daly & crew in the second!

The day's events concluded not only the second series but the Frostbite season, though in truth, the weather over the period has been exceptionally good. We didn't lose any races to severe cold weather as we have done in recent years and any races lost to strong (or once, no wind) were recovered by having two races on the subsequent Sunday.

 

DMYC Frostbites, Series 2 Overall. [12 races, 3 Discards.]

1

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram

15061

National Yacht Club &

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club

13pts

2

Kenny Rumball & Dave Moran

15058

Irish National Sailing Club

14pts

3

Neil Colin & Margaret Casey

14775

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club

45pts

4

Owen Laverty & Ed Butler

14990

Royal St. George Yacht Club

49pts

5

Alistair Court & Gordon Syme

14706

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club

49pts

6

Neil Spain/John Chambers & Hugh Butler

14807

Royal St. George Yacht Club

51pts

7

Andy Boyle & Barry Hurley

14934

Royal Irish Yacht Club

63pts

8

Louise McKenna &

Hermine O’Keefe

14691

Royal St. George Yacht Club

74pts

9

Louis Smyth & Joe O’Reilly/

Cormac Bradley

15007

Coal Harbour

77pts

10

Cariosa Power & Marie Barry

14854

National Yacht Club & Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club.

94pts

 

DMYC Frostbites, Series 1 & 2 Overall [20 Races, 5 Discards.]

1

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram

15061

National Yacht Club &

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club

20pts

2

Kenny Rumball & Dave Moran

15058

Irish National Sailing Club

24pts

3

Neil Spain/John Chambers & Hugh Butler

14807

Royal St. George Yacht Club

69pts

4

Andy Boyle & Barry Hurley

14934

Royal Irish Yacht Club

73pts

5

Neil Colin & Margaret Casey

14775

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club

76pts

6

Alistair Court & Gordon Syme

14706

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club

80pts

7

Louis Smyth & Joe O’Reilly/

Cormac Bradley

15007

Coal Harbour

107pts

8

Louise McKenna &

Hermine O’Keefe

14691

Royal St. George Yacht Club

109pts

9

Luke Malcolm & Shane Divinney

14790

Howth Yacht Club

160pts

10

Mick Creighton & Paul McDermott/

Ciaran Hickey

14937

Irish Sailing Association

161pts


Reporting consistently on a set of races such as this can't be done single-handedly and I would like to thank, in this concluding report, Louis Smyth, Neil Colin, Noel Butler, Kenny Rumball, Hugh Butler and Mick Creighton for providing me with information for the column.

Thanks must also go to Olivier Proveur and his team for providing the racing over the winter. The Frostbites may be a staple of the Irish Fireball scene but it still needs volunteers to run it every Sunday – Cormac Bradley

Published in Fireball
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#FIREBALL – The penultimate race in the Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club's Frostbite Series was a sustained session of snakes and ladders for most of the fleet who took part in the 6-lap race writes Cormac Bradley. A reduced fleet, due probably to it being a Bank Holiday weekend with St Patrick's Day on Saturday and Mother's Day on Sunday, was set a six-lap course with the weather mark under the wind shadow on one of Dun Laoghaire's piers.

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram got to the first weather mark in first place and proceeded to do a "horizon job" on the rest of the fleet, winning by over a leg at the finish. During the course of the race, Kenny Rumball & Dave Moran worked their way into second place by the end of the third beat and they too disappeared generating a one-leg margin on the third-placed boat, Neil Colin & Margaret Casey. Despite being one of two boats over the line early, Neil & Margaret worked the port-hand side of the course to good effect on the first two beats to get into second place. The other starting miscreants, Frank Cassidy & John Hudson, were also rewarded for doing the right thing and restarting when they picked up the day's mugs.

The race was sailed in 10-12 knots, a marginal trapezing breeze under sunny conditions but with a chill in the air. Louise McKenna & Hermine O'Keefe got intimate with the weather mark on their first rounding which left them with work to do to catch-up.

Mick Creighton secured fourth place over the line and were followed home by Andy Boyle & Barry Hurley.

After the race the fleet retired to the DMYC lounge to watch Ireland play Korea in the final of the Olympic Men's Hockey qualifier. Despite Ireland going into the lead twice, Korea won the game 3-2 with the winning goal coming with 2 seconds to spare. This qualified Korea for the Olympic tournament later in the year and provided Irish supporters with their second disappointment within 24hrs, after the rugby debacle in Twickenham.

DMYC Frostbites; Series 2, Sunday March 18th.

1

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram

National Yacht Club & DMYC

15061

2

Kenny Rumball & Dave Moran

Irish National Sailing Club

15058

3

Neil Colin & Margaret Casey

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club

14775

4

Mick Creighton & Paul Mc Dermott

Irish Sailing Association

14937

5

Andy Boyle & Barry Hurley

Royal Irish Yacht Club

14934

Published in Fireball
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#FIREBALL – The boat (below) on the left sailed by Ian Pinnell and Daniel Cripps won the 1994 Worlds in Durban South Africa. The boat on the right was sailed by Tom Gillard & Sam Brearey to the World title in 2012, in Mandurah, Western Australia.

So, they are both World Championship-winning boats to the same design, but separated by 18 years....which makes GBR 14415 a Classic Fireball.

This year the Irish Fireball Association intends to promote the Classic Fireballs in our midst by starting the regatta season with a dedicated regatta for them at Killaloe on the weekend of May 19th & 20th, coincident with the Munsters. Additionally, the best placed "Classic" will pick up a "Classic" award at the Nationals to be held in Howth at the end of June.

For the purposes of this regatta, the class is defining the Classic Fireballs as those boats with a sail number earlier than 14600.

fireballs

The hope is that by having a dedicated Classic Regatta for the older Fireballs we might give encouragement to the owners of these beautiful wooden boats to come and join the regatta circuit on a season long basis.

The Association wants to promote and encourage the Classic fleet using with two approaches;

• Encourage owners of "Classic " boats to attend regattas and participate locally and regionally

• Encourage crews with newer boats to beg or borrow a "Classic" with the view to tuning it up to current standards, thereby demonstrating to its owners that their boat is competitive

The focus on "Classic" is also intended to encourage lower budget completion and make the class more affordable for potential competitors.

Get those wooden beauties going...

Published in Fireball
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#FIREBALL – For the Irish Fireballers sailing in Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club’s Frostbite Series, the morning of Sunday 11th March might as just as easily have been Sunday 10th June such was the weather – clear blue skies, temperatures to 14 degrees and a very light breeze writes Cormac Bradley. This correspondent was able to finish off washing the car in shirt sleeves such was the balminess of the day.

However, as the afternoon approached the blue skies gave way to grey clouds and the temperature, while still pleasant for March, dropped off, to the extent that my stroll to the harbour to view the racing was undertaken with a hat and gloves.

Fourteen Fireballs took to the water in very genteel conditions, though the consensus in the bar of the DMYC afterwards, where we watched the 2nd half of France versus England from Paris – “Allez les Blancs” – was that the breeze was very twitchy and that it was quite cool.

The shiftiness of the breeze was certainly confirmed for me as an observer on the shore when not only the beats but the two reaches seemed to promote lots of place changing. I watched the middle two laps of the 4-lap race and could see that the decision on the beat was whether to take a hitch to the left at the leeward mark and then sail up to the weather mark on port, or sail up to the weather mark immediately, leaving the starboard hitch to the end of the leg. In the two beats I watched both approaches paid for different individuals on successive betas.

The first reach looked very tight and I was amazed to see Kenny Rumball & Dave Moran mis-judged the tightness of the leg to lose the lead (at that stage) to Neil Spain & Hugh Butler when the latter pair sailed over the top of them. Tightly sheeted spinnakers were the order of the day for the entire fleet on that first reach.

The second reach saw the fleet fan out across the course, quite a feat considering the shortness of the leg, but it was apparent that there were different streams of breeze across the course. Mick Creighton, sailing with Ciaran Hickey gybed immediately and pursued a course down the middle of the course. Out the other side, Butler & Oram, Rumball & Moran and Colin & Casey sailed past the gybe mark to chase wind on the outside of the course.

Creighton/Hickey certainly closed the gap on the leading boats with this manoeuvre and the lead changed hands with Rumball/Moran losing out to Spain/Butler. Amazingly though, on the very next beat, a decision to take a hitch to the left saw Spain/Butler give the lead back again to Rumball/Moran which they held to ultimately take the race.

By their standards, Butler/Oram had a bad day at the office, which started with the start signal. With a committee boat bias, the fleet had assembled ………at the committee boat and they found themselves shut out. They spent the afternoon sniping at the boats in front of them (while I was watching) fluctuating between 2nd and 4th, while ultimately securing 3rd. Performance of the day must go to Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keefe who took a very creditable 4th on the water followed home by Neil Colin & Margaret Casey.   

The score sheet reflected that two boats had a head-start on the rest of the fleet so there were only twelve finishers and the post mortem in the bar suggested that one other boat should be considering whether they had adhered to all the rules on their way round the course.

The day’s mugs went to Sligo Yacht Club’s Peter Armstrong (15060) sailing with a newcomer to Fireballs, Oscar McCullough, for whom today was his second sail in a Fireball.

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites; Series 2; 11th March 2012
1
Kenny Rumball & David Moran
15058
Irish National Sailing Club
2
Neil Spain & Hugh Butler
14807
Royal St. George Yacht Club
3
Noel Butler & Stephen Oram
15061
National Yacht Club/DMYC
4
Louise McKenna & Hermine O’Keefe
14691
Royal St. George Yacht Club
5
Neil Colin & Margaret Casey
14775
Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club
 

In Series 2, the competition between 1st and 2nd overall remains a 1pt challenge between Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (15061) and Kenny Rumball & Dave Moran (15058). A similar 1pt gap exists between 3rd and 4th overall where the challengers for the third podium place are Neil Colin & Margaret Casey (14775) and John Chambers/Neil Spain & Hugh Butler (14807). 5th overall are Alistair Court and Gordon Syme who are only 3pts adrift of 4th overall.

Today saw the first posting of the combined Series 1 and 2 scores and here again the margin between 1st and 2nd is down to a single point. 3rd, 4th and 5th overall are secure relative to each other and at this late stage in the competition, with only two races left, the only question to be resolved is; Who will be the 2011/12 Frostbite Champions?

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites; Series 2 Overall
1
Noel Butler & Stephen Oram
15061
9pts
2
Kenny Rumball & Dave Moran
15058
10pts
3
Neil Colin & Margaret Casey
14775
31pts
4
John Chambers/Neil Spain & Hugh Butler
14807
32pts
5
Alistair Court & Gordon Syme
14706
35pts
 

Dun Laoghaire Motor Yacht Club Frostbites
Series 1 & 2 Combined.
1
Noel Butler & Stephen Oram
15061
17pts
2
Kenny Rumball & Dave Moran
15058
18pts
3
John Chambers/Neil Spain & Hugh Butler
14807
50pts
4
Neil Colin & Margaret Casey
14775
62pts
5
Alistair Court & Gordon Syme
14706
66pts

Despite next Sunday being the day after St Patrick’s Day, with all the potential consequences of recognizing our national heritage and the post mortem of England versus Ireland from Twickenham, there will be a Frostbite race, the penultimate of the Series.

Published in Fireball
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#DUBLIN BAY – Although over 40 Dublin Bay Cruisers got some specacular downwind sailing in yesterday morning in the penultimate round of the Dublin Bay Spring Chicken Series the strong north westerlies put paid to yesterday afternoon's DMYC Frostbite racing. The fixture was blown off in blustery conditions about five minutes before the commencement of the start sequence when wind strengths went into the high twenties!

Full DBSC results on this site later.

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#FIREBALL – For those travelling from across the water (not the Liffey!), Howth Yacht Club is making a big gesture for June's Irish Fireball championships by promising to accommodate as many visitors as possible in members' houses. The country's biggest club recognises the cost commitment which Fireballers will have to sign up to to compete so this deal might be the perfect incentive. With nine races over three days, visitors will get excellent value for money and free digs only minutes from the club. Hosts insist that guests bringing their own bacon and eggs! Nice one Howth Yacht Club!

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#FIREBALL – For the second Sunday in a row, the Frostbite racing was held outside Dun Laoghaire harbour. Weather conditions defied the time of year with sunshine, clear blue skies and extremely mild temperatures. Despite missing a number of regulars, there was a healthy turnout of up to 12 boats.

Tidal management on the first beat was the key to success and Noel Butler & Stephen Oram and Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly particularly got it perfect to round first and second respectively. Behind them was a 3-boat chasing pack of Owen Laverty & Ed Butler, Kenny Rumball & David Moran and Louis Smyth & Cormac Bradley. This was the running order for the first half of the 4-lap race using a separate weather mark for the Fireballs.

On the first reach of the third triangle, a troubled hoist of the spinnaker by Miller & Donnelly cost them 2 places when first Rumball/Moran and then Laverty/Butler got through. At the leeward mark of the same lap Laverty, Miller and Smyth indulged in some close quarter manoeuvring with the former two shutting the door on the latter. However, on the next beat Smyth got through to fourth and held on to the finish.

Behind Miller/Donnelly were Andy Boyle & Barry Hurley.

In the race for the days mugs the participants were Mary Chambers & Brenda Maguire and Dave Coleman & Glen Fisher. At. regular intervals in the race these two were in close company, but the ladies won out.

1 Noel Butler & Stephen Oram

2 Kenny Rumball & David Moran

3 Owen Laverty & Ed Butler

4 Louis Smyth & Cormac Bradley

5 Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly

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#FROSTBITE – Frank Hamilton and Jennifer Byrne had a great turn of speed in their IDRA 14 dinghy getting on all the tricky harbour shifts and even beating the two RS200s to the finish line last Sunday at the DMYC Frsotbite series. Two Mirror teams had a battle all the way around until a leeward mark tangle with the Laser fleet put some distance between them.

Once more the most impressive sailing was out front with the Emmett and James Ryan and  team showed their heels in the RS400, winning again with some excellent sailing. Results are below to download.

The Fireball race report by Cormac Bradley is here.

Published in Dublin Bay
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#FIREBALL – Bright sunshine greeted the Fireball Frostbite fleet in Dun Laoghaire yesterday and combined with 8-12 knots of breeze, it allowed the fleet to race outside the harbour for the first time this year.

Thirteen boats took to the water and Kenny Rumball & Dave Moran led from start to finish in a five-lap race that incorporated a separate weather mark for the Fireball fleet.

A “deep” first reach that kept the chasing bunch high allowed the wily fox that is Neil Colin, sailing with Margaret Casey, to outsmart everyone bar Rumball/Moran and get to the first gybe mark in 2nd place. Colin/Casey conceded another place to John Chambers to occupy third and this order remained for 2 laps before Noel Butler got wound up to stage a recovery, overtaking Colin/Casey on the third beat.

Late on Alaistair Court & Gordon Syme and Mick Creighton & Paul McDermott also got through with Court/Syme getting fourth on the last leeward mark, followed by Creighton/McDermott.

It was a day of snakes and ladders on a course that had holes of no-wind, à la Puma in the Volvo Ocean race in China, and big shifts resulting in a lot of place changing.

The all-girl team of Cariosa Power & Marie Barry had an excellent last beat to get into 7th, followed by Frank Cassidy & John Hudson.

DMYC Frostbites, Series 2, 19th February 2012

1

Kenny Rumball & David Moran

15058

INSC

2

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram

15061

DMYC

3

John Chambers & A.N.Other

15***

RStGYC

4

Alaistair Court & Gordon Syme

14706

DMYC

5

Mick Creighton & Paul McDermott

14937

ISA

With seven races completed and a single discard in play, the overall standings show that there is competition to be had between 1st and 2nd, separated by a point and 3rd, 4th and 5th, separated by four points, with a single point between 3rd and 4th.

DMYC Frostbites, Series 2: Seven races sailed, single discard.

1

Noel Butler & Stephen Oram

DMYC

8pts

2

Kenny Rumball & David Moran

INSC

9pts

3

Neil Colin & Margaret Casey

DMYC

26pts

4

Alaistair Court & Gordon Syme

DMYC

27pts

5

John Chambers & Hugh Butler/Connor Kinsella

RStGYC

30pts

The Frostbite Mugs were won by Mick Creighton and Paul McDermott who finished in 5th place.

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Page 30 of 37

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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