Displaying items by tag: Fireball
Well, that speculation proved to be off the mark as two new combinations took podium places leaving only one of the aforementioned combinations inside the 1-2-3!
Twenty Fireballs made it to the southern shores of Carlingford Lough on Ireland's East coast, a sea lough that straddles the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. A town with a growing reputation for entertainment and great eating venues, in medieval times it enjoyed city status, having its own garrison, castle, mint and gaol. King John's Castle dominates the harbour and with the new network of roads, access from Dublin, in particular, is very easy and quick.
With the Worlds in Ireland only weeks away, the fleet has seen an injection of new young talent with relatively young boats and the purchase of two new boats over the winter months. Of the twenty boats assembled, the oldest was 14623 and the youngest 15061.
Four races were sailed on Saturday in a SSE wind of anything up to about 10-12 knots and moderate chop in a session that saw the fleet launch at around 11:15 and get back ashore by 18:30. Race Officer James Byrne of the home club, Carlingford Sailing Club, had his work cut out for him but with on-the-water liaison from the Class, he was able to tweak his courses to provide the competition and challenge that these events demand. Despite some people saying that the venue always produces "flukey" winds, we were blessed with relatively consistent winds in a venue where tide considerations are also significant.
Normal business seemed to have been resumed in the first race when Noel Butler & Stephen Oram took the winning gun followed home by the new combination of Graeme Grant & Francis Rowan and Kenny Rumball & Seamus Moore. The winning margin was comfortable which was consistent with the recent Tuesday night racing in Dublin Bay. Rowan has the reputation for settling in with a new partner quickly so the 2nd place of Grant/Rowan wasn't particularly unusual. A possible mis-calculation of the tide effect made for a very long beat so RO Byrne shortened to two laps.
Race 2 saw these three in the top slots again but with a different finishing order; Grant/Rowan, Rumball/Moore and Butler/Oram. The racing was tighter and the distance between the boats on the water was significantly down. The racing in the top half of the fleet was very tight with no great distance between 1-2-3 and 6-7-8 as the author of this report can testify. There was a sense that in 6th place one wasn't too far away from the action at the very front of the fleet. Simo McGrotty/Ruairi Grimes scored a 4th in Race 2, followed home by Gavin Doyle/Richard Frank and the author, crewing for Louis Smyth.
Butler/Oram took their second win in Race 3, with newcomers Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsella in 2nd and Andy Boyle/Brian Flahive in 3rd. These latter two combinations had a mixed bag of results in the first two races but these results would initiate a move for both of them up the overall pecking order. Grant/Rowan & Rumball/Moore were 4th & 5th to make sure that nobody was breaking away completely from the fleet.
Others were not finding the conditions quite to their liking! Neil Colin and Margaret Casey were marginally off the pace and it was proving to be a day when marginal could be costly. Ditto Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly and to a lesser extent Damien Bracken & Brian O'Hara out of Clontarf!
Race 4 saw Grant/Rowan win again followed home by McCartin/Kinsella, Butler/Oram, McGrotty/Grimes and Boyle/Flahive. Rumball/Moore had their worst result of the day with a 6th. Mick creighton & Joe O'Reilly had a consistent day counting 2 x 7th, an 8th and a 9th to stay inside the top ten overall.
6 boats were contesting the Silver fleet and they too had good racing in each race. Newcomers Ben Malone & Matthew Bennion were doing enough to keep the more experienced Ian O'Gorman and Glen Tislen at bay while O'Gorman/Tislen were keeping ahead of Jonathan Nicholoson and Vivian Bessler.
As soon as he got off the water, O'Gorman retired to the galley where he had assembled a team to provide the Saturday evening dinner. A superb spread was offered to the competitors and many a post-mortem occupied the fleet until the bar shut up shop sometime after midnight.
While Saturday had been grey and misty, the wind had allowed four races to be sailed and that proved to be a wise decision as the forecast for Sunday was not quite so favourable! The wind swung further into the south and built as the morning went on. As the fleet prepared to go afloat, white horses were populating the waters of the Lough in what was an offshore breeze relative to the club. The RO and his team hared off northwards into the broader part of the Lough in the hope of finding more stable winds and initially the conditions looked good, but challenging. The stalwarts went out for the scheduled 12:30 start but there was reticence among the majority of the fleet. By the time the lead boats had made the start area, the wind and seas had increased significantly and the decision to abandon racing was taken. Those who had ventured out confirmed it was the right decision.
|Pos||Helm & Crew||Sail No.||Club||Results||Total Pts|
|1||Graeme Grant & Francis Rowan||IRL 14807||Royal St. George||2, 1, 4, 1||4|
|2||Noel Butler & Stephen Oram||IRL 15061||1, 3, 1, 3||5|
|3||Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsella||IRL 14820||Cushendall||5, 10, 2, 2||9|
|4||Kenny Rumball & Seamus Moore||IRL 15058||INSC||3, 2, 5, 6||10|
|5||Simon McGrotty & Ruairi Grimes||IRL 14981||Skerries||6, 4, 6, 4||14|
|15||Ben Malone & Matthew Bennion||IRL 14939||Skerries & DIT||15, 16, 13, 14||42|
|16||Ian O’Gorman & Glen Tislen||IRL 14623||Carlingford SC||17, 14, 15, 16||45|
|17||Jonathan Nicholson & Vivian Bessler||IRL 14781||Royal St. George||18, 20, 17, 12||47|
Thus the standing order from the previous day's exertions proved to be the final positioning.
Next month's Fireball World Championships at Sligo Yacht Club has announced Irish boating shoe manufacturer Dubarry as title sponsor. The event is expected to attract up to 100 boats from 13 countries. Dun Laoghaire's Noel Butler is expected to lead the home fleet but already new boats are on the scene and doing well at the Fireball stronghold on Dublin Bay. The international jury has been named for the two week event as: Krystyna Lastowska International race officer from Poland, Pam Johnson International Measurer from Great Britain, Tim Went from Australia, Brendan Brogan from Ireland, Keld Stentoft from Denmark, Francois Schluchter from Switzerland, Johan Devocht from Belgium. Click for the latest Fireball news.
More on the Fireball class on the forum here.
Making its debut for the first time under the club burgee was an International Moth dinghy. The ultra fast hull was airborne at just eight knots of breeze, making even the trapezing Fireballs look slow. But despite the pace the new fangled dinghy did not feature in the overall Portsmouth Yardstick (PY) results. See below.
A healthy turnout of six 'balls, urged on by the fact that the class World Championships is in Sligo in 46 days time, got some trapezing gusts and some planing waves downwind in a north-easterly breeze of 6-8 knots. S. Oram took the winning gun from Louis Smyth sailing Licence to Thrill.
Single handed Lasers boasted twice the Fireball turnout to be the biggest class racing in Scotsman's bay tonight. It's a show of strength from a class surely worthy of its own start if this kind of turnout can be maintained.
Sean Craig won the Laser race from Peter Craig but the overall PY result went to E. Ryan's RS400.
DUBLIN PORT Dublin Bay Sailing Club Results for 26 APRIL 2011
FIREBALL - 1. nn (S Oram), 2. Licence to Thrill (Louis Smyth), 3. Incubus (C Power/M Barry)
MERMAID - 1. Lively Lady (G O'Neill & M Hanney), 2. Jill (P.Smith/P.Mangan)
PY CLASS - 1. E Ryan (RS400), 2. Sean Craig (Laser), 3. Peter Craig (Laser)
BENETEAU 31.7 - 1. Extreme Reality (P.McSwiney/E.O'Rafferty), 2. Magic (D.O'Sullivan/D.Espey)
BENETEAU 31.7 - 1. Magic (D.O'Sullivan/D.Espey), 2. Extreme Reality (P.McSwiney/E.O'Rafferty)
CRUISERS 2 - 1. Cor Baby (Keith Kiernan et al), 2. Red Rhum (J Nicholson), 3. Free Spirit (John O'Reilly)
CRUISERS 3 - 1. Grasshopper 2 (K & J Glynn), 2. Pamafe (Michael Costello), 3. Papytoo (M.Walsh/F.Guilfoyle)
CRUISERS 4 - 1. Maranda (Myles Kelly), 2. Ghrazel (Charles Pearson), 3. Artemis (J.Giles)
RUFFIAN 23 - 1. Diane ll (Bruce Carswell), 2. Icicle (C & J Murray), 3. Alias (D.Meeke/M.McCarthy)
SIGMA 33 - 1. Rupert (R.Lovegrove/P.Varian), 2. Pippa lV (G.Kinsman/K.Blake/M.O'Brien)
SQUIB - 1. Tais (Michael O'Connell), 2. Periguin (N.Coakley/J.Redahan)
More DBSC News here.
At the end of every season there is always speculation about who will be buying new boats and what new combinations will be sailing together the following season. The advent of a World Championships heightens that speculation and with the Fireball Worlds scheduled for June 2011 in Sligo, the Irish fleet were the beneficiaries of this fevered activity writes Cormac Bradley.
At the close of the 2010 season the word was that there would be at least one new boat coming into Ireland for 2011. Ironically, the speculation about these individuals' plans has not been resolved because they are not partcipants in the Dun Laoghaire Frostbite Series, coming as they do from the northern side of the Liffey.
Then the word was out of first one and then two new boats, both coming to Dun Laoghaire. Both have now arrived to Stephen Oram and Kenny Rumball respectively. Kenny's boat is still in dry storage (as advised as recently as last Sunday, 1oth April), but Stephen's boat has already taken to the water. Both boats will have numbers around the 15060 mark, as I have seen a photo of 15057 at the Dinghy Exhibition in London in March.
Both boats will be sailed by new combinations. Stephen Oram teamed up with Noel Butler for the Frostbite Series which they won, despite significant on the water competition from Rumball and others. However, it seems the partnership will extend into the 2011 summer season and the Worlds in June. Seamus Moore announced his (premature) retirement from Fireballs after the Barbados Worlds to go running on a serious basis and among his achievements was completing the New York marathon. However, by the time of the 2010 Fireball Nationals, in Baltimore, he was teamed up with Kenny Rumball to finish 2nd overall and they saw out the season in Dunmore East and the Munsters Championships, which they won.
In addition to being very competitive in the Frostbites, the pair were going afloat early on Sunday mornings to get more time on the water. Thus it would appear that they are an "item" for the Sligo Worlds.
Therefore, as the eve of the 2011 regatta season approaches, these two are at the leading edge of the domestic fleet. There are other more established partnerships that will also contest Sligo, Owen Laverty & Ed Butler (Snr), Frank Miller & Grattan Donnelly, Andy Boyle & Brian Flahive among others but none of these have been able to consistently knock Butler/Oram or Rumball/Moore off the winning path.
Over the winter, the most successful Irish Fireballer internationally, outside the aforementioned, in recent times, Francis Rowan, has been conspicuous by his absence. Francis, sailing with red-hot talent from the UK, Tom Gillard (2010 European Champion), was placed third at the 2009 Fireball Europeans in La Rochelle, winning one race, and was placed inside the top ten at the Worlds the following week, again winning a race. To date there isn't a whisper of Francis' 2011 plans.
The domestic season kicked off last weekend, 9/10th April, with Silver Fleet training in Killaloe, organised by Neil Colin. This weekend coming (15/16th April) we have another training weekend with Adam Bowers at the Royal St. George Yacht Club in Dun Laoghaire. Adam is the perennial coach to the British Cadet Class and has coached Olympic aspirants in the 470 Class. He is based in Weymouth, the venue for the 2012 Olympic Regatta which gives his proteges a distinct advantage in the 2012 qualification process. This will be Adam's fourth visit to these shores for training Irish Fireballers and last year's format of coaching at an active regatta, the Leinsters in Howth, was enormously successful. The first regatta of the season will follow shortly therefater, the Leinsters, hosted by Carlingford Sailing Club on the southern shores of Carlingford Lough on 7/8 May. Ex-Fireball Chairman, Ian O'Gorman is the organiser of the event in one of the country's most picturesque locations within very easy driving distance of the greater Dubln area.
Thera are no regattas planned in advance of the Worlds but there will be a reconnaisance in Sligo over the weekend of 21/22 May where we will be joined by Tim Rush of North Sails. This is a revised plan that brings together what was going to be a training weekend by Tim in Dun Laoghaire and a separate visit to Sligo. The absence of regattas is to afford people time for their own individual plans for getting up to speed for Sligo. In a separate assessment of Irish chances at the Sligo Worlds, Noel Butler speculated that two Irish combinations could get into the top 20 in Sligo. At this stage, Butler/Oram and Rumball/Moore would appear to be the leading candidates for those two slots, but the other Irish combinations will be doing their best to upset that particular "applecart" but in a friendly way!
Forty entries are already in for Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta, a fixture widely expected to be the biggest in Ireland this season when it sets sail on Dublin Bay in July.
Organisers are expecting up to 500 boats to keep it on a par with the 2009 event. The early entries, 11 weeks ahead of the entry deadline, is being taken as a thumbs up by competitors for the fun and vlaue theme of this year's VDLR.
So far 22 different clubs have entered from six countries. The bulk of the fleet is Irish but there are early entries from France, Isle of Man, UK, Wales and Northern Ireland. Another good turnout is exepcted from Liverpool and Holyhead for boats competing in the IRC Lyver Cup Race across the Irish Sea. Ten boats from the Clyde will also compete on the Bay.
Cork's Conor Phelan the skipper of Jump Juice is one of the first Royal Cork boats confirmed.
Two handed IRC racing makes its debut in July's Volvo Dun Laoghaire Regatta organisers have also confirmed. Click HERE.
On the dinghy front, the Fireball class has confirmed it will be running an'Open Championship' within the regatta, an event that follows the class world championships in Sligo in June.
Stena Line have confirmed their commitment to the discounted ferry fare scheme for entrants to the 2011 Fireball Worlds in Sligo Yacht Club from across the Irish Sea. Stena generously put in place a similar scheme for 2010 that allowed Irish Fireballers to get to the UK to collect the boats from Barbados and to contest the Fireball Europeans in the Czech Republic.
The scheme will only apply to the crossing of the Irish Sea, with the exception of the Fleetwood – Larne route, and regrettably will not apply to the routes from mainland Europe as Stena operates these in conjunction with other parties.
Access to the preferential fares will be via a dedicated website, using an event code and specific booking information all of which will be provided by the Irish Fireball Association once Stena Line have confirmed their fare structure for the 2011 season.
The website is www.stenaline.ie/event and the booking information will consist of specific words and a dedicated event number.
The only condition attached to this offer is that participants must be able to confirm their entry to the Worlds in documentary form at their ports of departure and arrival, otherwise additional charges will be levied.
As predicted the wind Gods had nothing to offer the Fireball fleet assembled in Pavlov, Czech Republic for their Class Europeans on the final day of sailing last Friday. They waited until the cut-off of 13:50 local time but nothing of substance emerged. That meant that the results as they stood last Thursday remained. The entry was 49 boats with GBR, IRL, SLO, SUI, BEL, GER, CZE, FRA, NAM represented. Fireball's next international event will be the Worlds in Sligo in June 2011.
1. Tom Gillard and Sam Brearey 15041 GBR
2. Tom Jeffcoate and Andy Thompson 15045 GBR
3. Jaroslav Werner and Pavel Winkler CZE 14809.
17. Louis Smyth and Cormac Bradley IRL 15007
The wind blew down the dam today making for more comfortable coditions but it was no picnic! We are sailing in temperatures of 10 degrees and today's session was 5hrs long. This evening sees the mid-week party in Hotel Pavlov - a sponsor of the event. A barbecue is promised - I can see us huddled around the fire for heat! Or maybe the band, the Fireballs, will reinvigorate us!
All the usual suspects were there, Messrs Butler, Rumball, Laverty, Bracken, McGrottys (x2), Miller, Smyth, Colin and Oram together with some that we haven't seen so much of this season - Rowan, Hickey, Court and Boyle.
Speculation was rife on the Friday evening with both Met Eireann and the locals promising breeze for the weekend. The question was how much breeze?
Three races were sailed on Saturday in wind that started off around the 13/14 knot mark and built progressively as the day progressed. Two Olympic courses were set for Races 1 & 2, with Simon McGrotty & Ruairi Grimes making an early declaration of their intent with a commanding first place in Race 1, carrying on where they left off in Howth at the Leinsters. Local man Michael Murphy, crewed by Alex Voye came second, with Francis Rowan & Conor Clany 3rd. Unusally, Rumball/Moran were back in 8th with Butler/McCarthy inan equally unusual place of 4th.
Race 2 saw a more normalised finishing order with Rumball/Moran, Murphy/Voye, Clancy/Rowan the first three home, followed by Butler/McCarthy, McGrotty/Grimes & Laverty/Butler. McGrotty/Grimes were in the running for most of the race but a capsize undid their quest for a place in the 1-2-3. However, by this stage the wind had come up and the capsize count was increasing. Finishers were down to 22 boats as prolonged capsizes and the growing breeze led some people to call it quits.
A windward/leeward race was set for Race 3 and completed on the water but was subsequently protested out on a procedural error by the race management team. And so the fleet was ashore early as the conditions dictated that a fourth race would be questionable.
The Class AGM took place at 18:30 on the Saturday evening followed by an exceptionally good meal in the clubhouse and the usual post-mortems on the day's proceedings. The Sea Area forecast at midnight on Saturday night did not offer much relief for the fleet and the seascape on the Sunday morning wasn't altogether inviting.
With only two races completed, the race management team decided to run two windward/leeward course closer to shore and of shorter length to try and get a four race series completed so that the fleet would have the benefit of a discard. The wind speed indicator on the committee boat was showing 16-18 knot as the course was being set and the fleet flew down to the start area in steep seas that had been thrown up by an ebbing tide pushing out against the opposing breeze. Still spinnakers were flying as the fleet made their way downwind to the start. Saturday had seen spectacular reaches on the Olympic courses, today would see equally spectacular surfing conditions.
With two races in the bag, Murphy/Voye had four points, McGrotty/Grimes had 6, Butler/McCarthy 8 and Rumball/Moran 9.
A very fast W/L race saw a 1-2-3 of Butler/McCarthy, Murphy/Voye & Rumball/Moran. McGrotty/Grimes had being doing well but another capsize saw them relegated to 5th. Laverty/Butler were as consistent as ever with a fourth.
With all races counting, Murphy/Voye were still leading with 6pts, Butler/McCarthy were 2nd with 9pts, McGrotty/Grimes had 11pts & Rumball/Moran were on 12.
By this stage the wind was starting to creep up a couple of knots and with the tide about to turn the expectation was that the seas would subside a bit. Unfortunately the number of starters was down to 15 at this stage. Again the conditions were exhilarting downwind and the ability to stay upright was a key factor to getting a significant finish. Rumball/Moran upped their performance to take a comfortable win on the line, followed home by Butler/McCarthy, and McGrotty/Grimes. Murphy/Voye sailed their worst race to score a 4th, which effectively cost them the overall title.
This left Rumball/Moran as the 2010 Munsters Champions with Murphy/Voye in 2nd place, followed by Butler/McCarthy.
In the Silver fleet, newcomers Luke Malcolm and Shane Divney won with a 22, 12, 12, 7 series which saw them in 11th place overall. Luke sailed the Leinsters in a borrowed Fireball and has since purchased hos own Fireball and this was his first outing in a competitive regatta - bodes well for the future. Second in the Silver fleet was Ciaran Harken and walet Walsh (13th overall), with Cearbhailldaly & Martina Michels third.
This was a physically challenging regatta and easily had the strongest wind conditions we have had this season. Not since Lough Neagh in 2009 have we had quite so much breeze. However, at the start of the weekend it was great to see so many Fireballs on the water, 31, our highest entry for the year.
The AGM was a constructive affair with a lot of comment on how we manage our domestic season next year with a World Championships down for decision in Sligo in the second half of June. Attempts to get regatta dates pencilled in that bit earlier in the light of the June dates haven't been altogether successful and Saturday night's meeting probably means we are going to have to put our thinking caps on again. There was no real change in the committee structure, Siobhan Hayes has stood down as Silver Fleet Class Captain after a number of years in the post and will be succeeded by Barry MacDevitt. We have also lost the services of Daire McNally & Marguerite O'Rourke who have/will be relocating away from Ireland and we thank all three of them for their services while they were on the committee. The bulk of the committee have indicated their willingness to continue and the Class Captains at Club level will be resolved in the next few weeks as they have their own meetings.
The focus of Fireball sailing now moves onto the Frostbites which will be starting in October.