11 nations and 106 boats contested the 2012 Fireball Europeans, hosted by Yacht Club Bracciano East during the week of 21 – 27 July. The fleet boasted an entry from Namibia, Nikolai & Pascal Allers, whose boat is stored in Switzerland, a single entry from Germany, Joerg Noller & Roger Leeman, 2 Canadian boats, including FI Executive members Joe Jospe (Commodore) and Tom Egli (Technical representative), 3 Belgian boats, 3 Slovenians, 5 French, 9 Irish, 17 Swiss, 18 Czechs, 19 Italians, who also contested their National Championships at the event, and 28 British boats.
As to be expected with an event that was within drivable distance of all the centres of European Fireballing, the means by which the boats arrived was of much interest. And winning the award for the most attention in this category was the Irish entry which brought 9 boats on a single jeep/trailer combination; eight boats stacked either side of the trailer with the ninth on the roof of the jeep. It took a team effort to load and unload the boats, but the trailer was easily loaded.
Measurement for the regatta took place on the Saturday and Sunday and Monday morning saw the first upset of the week!
The prevailing wind in Bracciano at this time of year blows onshore at the club. This morning it was blowing away from the club and was accompanied by grey skies……..this wasn’t in the brochure! In the distance we could see windsurfers scudding across the waves and when we did get the odd glimpse of sun, we could see the white tops of the waves in the distance as they ran away from us. An initial postponement was signalled! When we did set sail for the start area we were to find a committee boat struggling to hold position and a pin boat that was struggling to get upwind. The former was due to depth complications – we were in 150m of water – the latter was due to the wind and sea. A start was eventually attempted but a major wind shift meant that the beat turned into a two-sail fetch, especially for those who started at the pin. The first reach was another two sail fetch in the opposite direction, which meant that spinnakers were only broken out on the third leg! Boats went left and right to avoid sailing a direct line to the leeward mark. Some of us continued our conservative outlook and two-sailed rather gingerly to the downwind turning point. An early abandonment signal was flying from the committee boat as the stragglers sailed upwind again; problem was the leaders were already on their way back to the leeward mark under spinnaker. That left a long slog home! The reaction shore side was one of consternation.
Day 2 and the wind looked as if it had returned to normal service. The fleet went out again and proceeded to have a very long wait for the first start. Race 1 was sailed to full length, but the second start only got underway after 17:30 and was truncated to a triangle, sausage and final beat. The first race was started in good breeze that faded as the day wore on. The arrival of black clouds in the vicinity of the lake meant that the 2nd start was going to be a bit lively…….and so it was until haven’t spent itself out, the breeze faded again to leave us with sunny conditions but a dying breeze. The day was characterised by multiple starts, with initially general recalls being used then the dreaded Black Flag start. Race 2 got away at the second attempt under black flag conditions. It was also a day on which the IJ exercised their muscle, policing Rule 42 infringements. The fleet was back ashore by 19:00, however the IJ were working much later into the evening. Two days gone, two races completed, only one of which went full length.
Day 3: Wind onshore! 13:00 arrives with the postponement flag already in place. Just as well, at the scheduled start time the numbers of boats in the start area could be counted on two hands. The RO is now in a difficult position – starts have not got off on time, so there is less enthusiasm from the fleet to go afloat and wait for a delayed start. The first start of the day is attempted at 14:30. One General Recall and two Black Flags later the fleet is let go under a Z-Flag start. Later 20 boats were listed as being in trouble at the start! Race 2 starts after 17:00 and concludes with the fleet getting shore after 19:00. We have had 6.5 hours on the water for two shortened races.
Day 4: A second Skippers’ Briefing has been arranged for 10:00. It proceeds to be a clearing of the air between the fleet and the RO. The frustration of long hours on the water with less than satisfactory results leads to an agreement that a) the fleet will be kept ashore until the wind has stabilized and a race can be started quickly and b) a request that the start lines are laid square to the wind to try and preclude the need for everyone to start early and c) a request that the race committee get on the water earlier to assess the wind situation.
Two full Olympic courses get sailed today, but with a first start after 15:30, we have another late return to shore, post 19:00. These are the best races of the week, relatively quick and clean starts, good spinnaker legs and breeze that stayed on for the duration of the races. Conditions are very pleasant for sailing – warm wind and warm water – and the trapezing isn’t heavy duty upwind, though the 2nd reach of the triangles are a bit more challenging. During the second race the wind got up a bit but it didn’t last overly long.
As the Championship dinner is scheduled for this evening, the fleet has little time between unwinding after the racing to getting ready for dinner. However, our Italian host put on a great spread – simple but very tasty – antipasto, pasta, spit-roasted pork and ice-cream with lots of wine and water to accompany the meal. The Slovenians also give a presentation on the venue for the 2013 Worlds in Portoroz in September, but the impact of their presentation is partially lost due to us all seating outside and the sheer volume of numbers.
Day 5: While we all have a discard with six races sailed, everyone would like to see more races to improve their position. However, being the last day of the event, there is an early cut-off for the last race start of 16:00. And in a typical application of Murphy’s Law (if it can go wrong it will go wrong), there is no wind when we arrive at the club. Not a good start! The routine postponement flag goes up and the fleet settles in for a shoreside wait! Noon comes and goes; 13:00 comes and goes. We do go afloat around 15:00 which means at best we will only get a single race in. problem is that the wind is moving significantly with huge shifts that are a RO’s nightmare! A start is attempted but we are in default again. Re-jig the line, lift the weather mark, everyone is clock-watching now! We are down to less than 20 minutes before cut-off. The minutes tick by……………..and as 16:00 arrives we are done without a race being started. The leaders will be relieved, though the top boat has a six-point margin! The majority of the fleet will be relieved in a different way, they can start packing!
Most regattas are won on the basis of brilliance and consistency. This regatta required both these attributes in a much more conspicuous way. The ease with which big numbers could be accumulated – even for top ten candidates in a Fireball fleet – was unreal at this event.
On the Tuesday evening, Claude Mermod and Ruedi Moser were sitting atop the pile with a 1,2 and three points. Martin Kubovy & Roman Rocek were equally comfortable in second with a 1, 4 and the Venhodas, Kurt and So (SUI 14987) were in third with 9 points. 24 hours later, the Tuesday evening leaders had acquired a Black Flag and an 11, Kubovy/Rocek scored a 9,8 and the Venhodas had picked up a 30 and a 9. The British challenge manifested itself with Matt Burge & Richard Wagstaff scoring a 1,2 on Wednesday, Christian Birrell and Sam Brearey scoring a 2,4, Sam Mettam & Richard Anderton securing a 3 in Race 4, David Hall & Paul Constable winning Race 3 only to fall foul of the Z-flag at the start and david wade/Bob Gardner getting a 4th (Race 4), but also a Black Flag.
Thus Wednesday saw a change in the order with Burge/Wagstaff tied with Kubovy/Rocek on 22pts, and Birrell/Brearey in third on 26pts. At this stage Kubovy/Rocek were the only combination inside the top ten overall who only had single digit finishes.
On Thursday Kubovy/Rocek’s record of single digit finishes went AWOL as they recorded a 15 and 13, the former becoming their discard. Burge/Wagstaff scored a 1,6, Birrell/Brearey a 9 & 4. Hall/Constable replaced the Z-flag first with the real thing in Race 5 and followed that up with a 6th. Mettam/Anderton also had a good day with a 5,9.
Thus the top ten split is GBR 5, CZE 4 and Switzerland 1 (see results at bottom of page). This reflects the growing strength in numbers and talent level of the Czech fleet, which we are advised is the fastest growing fleet in Fireball. They are a very young group, which would suggest they are going to be around for a while.
The regatta was generously sponsored by Carige Assicurazioni, an Italian insurance company, who were the main sponsor, Sperry Topsider, who provided a pair of their shoes to every competitor, Dicofarm who specialize in the development of early childhood products and, technical sponsors Aires Tech, a mechanical engineering company and Aliacom, a mass communications agency.
The hospitality of our Italian hosts was exceptional. Bottled water was free and available on each day of the regatta. A small team of Italian ladies produced enormous amounts of food from a very small kitchen on a daily basis – pasta was served to the fleet when it came ashore every day. The Championship dinner was simple but excellent fare and the shore teams enthusiastically helped boats off the small beach into the dinghy park at the end of each day’s racing.
|Pos||Sail No||Helm & Crew||R1||R2||R3||R4||R5||R6||Pts|
|1||GBR 15084||Burge Matt, Wagstaff Richard, Poole Y C||8||‑11||2||1||6||1||18,0|
|2||GBR 15065||Christian Birrell, Sam Brearey, WPNSA||‑15||5||4||2||9||4||24,0|
|3||CZE 15019||Kubovy Martin, Rocek Roman, Jachtklub Lazne Tousen||1||4||9||8||‑15||13||35,0|
|4||GBR 15083||David Wade, Bob Gardner, Northampton||4||12||(bfd )||4||13||2||35,0|
|5||CZE 15059||Cap Milan, Prochazka Filip, YC Neratovice||12||14||3||5||‑32||3||37,0|
|6||GBR 15085||Hall David, Constable Paul, Thorpe Bay YC||11||9||‑1||18||1||6||45,0|
|7||CZE 15079||Verner Jaroslav, Winkler Pavel, Jacht klub Lazne Tousen||(dnf )||2||14||7||11||12||46,0|
|8||GBR 15081||Sam Mettam, Richard Anderton, Rotherham SC||‑26||15||20||3||5||9||52,0|
|9||CZE 14979||Skorepova Eva, Napravnik Jakub, Spoje Praha||7||10||11||‑29||10||15||53,0|
|10||SUI 14799||Mermod Claude, Moser Ruedi, RCO||2||1||(bfd )||16||21||14||54,0|
|11||CZE 15040||Hajek Milan, Pavliek Zdenk, YCLP||9||13||5||6||23||‑25||56,0|
|12||SUI 14897||Venhoda‑Zaugg Kurt, Zaugg Venhoda So, SVM||6||3||30||9||26||‑41||74,0|
|13||IRL 15058||Kenneth Rumball, Conor Kinsella, INSC||‑37||7||13||11||19||24||74,0|
|14||GBR 14941||Scott Derian, Scott Andy, Chew Valley Lake SC||17||28||16||15||‑44||5||81,0|
|15||GBR 15017||Alex Taylor, Geoff Edwards||22||8||(bfd )||36||7||10||83,0|
|16||GBR 15073||Priest Becky, Saunders Tim, Staunton Harold Sailing Club||34||‑51||8||19||20||7||88,0|
|17||IRL 14981||McGrotty Simon, Grimes Ruairi, Skerries SC||24||‑33||23||14||17||11||89,0|
|18||GBR 15020||Vince. Horey, Ben Rayner, King George S.C.||21||19||24||17||14||(dnf)||95,0|
|19||GBR 14892||Gibbs Penny, Gibbs Ian, Brightlingsea SC||13||35||6||26||‑41||18||98,0|
|20||FRA 15005||Allain Jerome, Allain Christine||16||21||‑55||27||4||34||102,0|
|21||CZE 14827||Koran Petr, Kvasnik Milan, YC Neratovice||20||27||22||‑34||3||32||104,0|
|22||SLO 14989||Kocjancic Marko, Jadek Aljaz, Y.C. Olimpic||3||25||10||37||‑38||33||108,0|
|23||GER 14508||Nolle Joerg, Leemann Roger||33||6||(bfd )||25||30||16||110,0|
|24||ITA 14842||Brescia Paolo, Strobino Aribert, YCI||32||22||17||23||‑33||22||116,0|
|25||CZE 14949||Mudra Martin, Sedivak Krystof, YCLP||‑46||20||25||10||18||45||118,0|
|26||CZE 14551||Paruzek Jiri, Huk Vaclav, Jachtklub Lazne Tousen||5||30||‑21||32||28||26||121,0|
|27||IRL 15061||Butler Noel, Oram Stephen||14||24||(bfd )||33||8||49||128,0|
|28||CZE 14818||Stranska Lucie, Mika Radek, VS Duchcov||19||16||7||38||49||(ocs)||129,0|
|29||GBR 14928||Willcocks Anthony, Ballard Benjami, Portishead Sailing Club||23||‑54||18||40||27||21||129,0|
|30||GBR 14977||Carter Jonathan, Wilkinson Gareth, Chelmarsh sailing club||30||23||26||‑46||24||30||133,0|
|31||SUI 14724||Huber Adrian, Mauchle Brigitte, Yachtclub Romanshorn||56||26||(bfd )||28||2||31||143,0|
|32||GBR 15066||Maskell Mark, Sheppard Nigel, Blackwater SC||38||43||(bfd )||31||22||19||153,0|
|33||GBR 14982||Scarth Martin, King Tony, Blackwater SC||54||38||34||20||‑63||8||154,0|
|34||CZE 14853||Ladislav Vomacko, Jiri Gemperle||31||29||19||48||31||‑53||158,0|
|35||SUI 14859||Haerdi Christina, Landerer Cedric, DSSC||18||45||12||(dsq )||52||37||164,0|
|36||SUI 14960||Lederer Melanie, Schaefer Michael, YCRo||(bfd )||17||38||63||25||27||170,0|
|37||FRA 15014||Guidel Estelle, Perdon Pierre, NDCV Angers||‑42||31||35||42||37||28||173,0|
|38||GBR 15070||Popple Philip, Hurst Andren, Shoreham Sailing Club||25||‑52||27||45||40||38||175,0|
|39||ITA 14833||Colapietro Dani, Tonelli Angelo||49||18||‑57||24||47||44||182,0|
|40||CAN 15024||Jospe Joe, Egli Tom, pointe claire yacht club||27||‑78||51||21||64||20||183,0|
|41||BEL 15039||Meynendonckx Bart, De Roeck Francis, Hofstade Zeilclub||29||41||29||52||‑61||43||194,0|
|42||GBR 14867||falat Veronica, Falat Ben, Great Yarmouth + Gorleston||43||37||53||‑77||48||23||204,0|
|43||GBR 14887||Sargeant Bryan, Sargeant William||58||44||37||‑60||12||56||207,0|
|44||SUI 14975||Duescher Urs, Duscher Monika, DSSC||36||32||15||47||‑82||82||212,0|
|45||IRL 14938||Mc Grotty Niall, Cramer Neil, Skerries Sailing Club||48||49||33||44||‑58||42||216,0|
|46||CZE 14931||Cechura jiri, Will Jan, YCLP(1401)||10||63||(bfd )||41||36||69||219,0|
|47||IRL 14790||Malcolm Luke, Shane Diiviney, Howth Yacht Club||35||56||72||13||43||(dnf)||219,0|
|48||SUI 14802||Giovanoli Gian‑Andre, Giovanoli Susann, DSSC||64||68||31||22||39||‑72||224,0|
|49||SUI 15028||Liechti Kurt, Ernst Gabriela, SCH||59||47||‑65||35||54||35||230,0|
|50||GBR 15045||Slater Elaine, Slater Graham, Paignton SC||39||‑61||39||61||35||57||231,0|
|51||SLO 14987||Hrvatin Mitja, Planinsi Zeljko||47||‑82||28||73||45||39||232,0|
|52||ITA 15054||palermi fabio, capizzi antonio, ycbe||‑67||46||40||55||42||55||238,0|
|53||IRL 14990||Butler Ed, Butler Ed, RsGYC||(bfd )||36||49||56||69||29||239,0|
|54||IRL 15007||Smyth Louis, Bradley Cormac, COAL HARBOUR||44||‑75||64||43||34||54||239,0|
|55||GBR 14565||Slater Christine, Willcocks James, Paignton SC||45||39||54||‑62||50||51||239,0|
|56||CZE 14956||Snajdr Milan, Snajdr Matej, YCLPlzen||28||‑80||52||39||56||70||245,0|
|57||CZE 15078||Jenista Milan, Lambl Vojtich, Sokol Dobrichovice||57||42||(bfd )||12||29||ocs||247,0|
|58||FRA 15012||Fouassier Bruno, Fouassier Domini, CVSAE||40||34||61||54||60||‑63||249,0|
|59||GBR 14919||Lippolis Georgia Sol, Cocuzza Umberto, CVMO||65||55||36||53||‑68||52||261,0|
|60||NAM 15047||Allers Nikolai, Allers Pascal||72||70||(bfd )||51||53||17||263,0|
|61||CZE 14588||Jedlicka Jan, Spurny Krystof, YC Neratovice||(dns)||dns||56||50||16||40||269,0|
|62||GBR 14889||Showell Hannah, Smith Barry, Teign Corinthian Yacht club||41||‑73||48||49||70||61||269,0|
|63||CZE 14056||Smetana Karel, Smetana Matej, YCLP||53||67||43||59||‑79||50||272,0|
|64||CZE 14809||Janderova Klara, Bidlova Jitka, SaS||50||59||42||68||‑75||58||277,0|
|65||ITA 14715||Leone Giorgio, Roselli Vincenzo, YCBE||70||40||47||58||71||‑83||286,0|
|66||SUI 14896||Scheller Richard, Eberle Linus, Segelclub Hallwil||55||65||46||69||66||‑71||301,0|
|67||FRA 14995||Legland arnaud, Enouf Maxime, Us. Ris Orangis||68||‑69||58||64||67||46||303,0|
|68||SUI 14921||Suter Maja, Boehm Thomas, Yachtclub Bielersee||71||62||44||‑87||51||77||305,0|
|69||CZE 14314||Napravnikova Barbora, Burdova Michaela, SaS||51||53||50||82||(ocs )||80||316,0|
|70||GBR 15016||Slack Peter, Slack David, Royal Thames YC||88||‑89||45||67||62||60||322,0|
|71||ITA 14998||Manzi Luca, Annese Alfredo, YCI||78||48||80||74||‑90||47||327,0|
|72||SUI 14602||Widmer Fritz, Leonards Sven, YCK||61||64||62||66||‑88||75||328,0|
|73||IRL 14691||McKenna Louise, O'Keeffe Hermine, Royal St George Yacht Club||60||‑79||70||70||73||59||332,0|
|74||ITA 14491||Monosilio Maria Leti, Ganimede Frances, YCBE||82||77||41||71||‑86||66||337,0|
|75||SUI 14890||Patte Caroline, Sauer Gery, RVS||63||‑94||78||85||46||68||340,0|
|76||GBR 14991||Robinson Andy, Morgan Tim, Datchet||66||76||(bfd )||88||65||48||343,0|
|77||FRA 14702||Lewandowski Eric, Lewandowski Anne, CNPVA||52||71||71||‑93||72||79||345,0|
|78||GBR 14885||Gray Fiona, Winward Helen, Waldringfield Sailing Club||85||60||(bfd )||72||57||73||347,0|
|79||CZE 14609||Vit Jaroslav, Vit Ladislav, J. K .Plzen||79||57||68||78||‑87||65||347,0|
|80||SUI 14824||Gautschi Thomas, Gautschi Gertrud, YCB||62||74||63||‑76||74||74||347,0|
|81||GBR 15038||Scarff, Warner||77||72||(bfd)||dnf||59||36||351,0|
|82||CAN 15043||Levy Robert, Waldie Stephen, Pt. Claire Yacht Club||(dnf)||dns||32||30||55||dnf||352,0|
|83||ITA 14382||Zorzi Carlo, Maero Marco||73||‑96||67||65||81||67||353,0|
|84||SUI 15063||Erne Mianne, Poulson Clay, SCH||69||‑88||66||80||76||76||367,0|
|85||ITA 15057||Minoni Andrea, Filzi Daniele, YCBE||74||50||(bfd )||57||85||ocs||373,0|
|86||SLO 14861||Flis Anze, Juric Benjamin, KVŠ Velenje||80||83||79||89||‑93||64||395,0|
|87||BEL 14829||Lernout Bert, Lernour Kurt||75||85||(bfd)||dnf||77||62||406,0|
|88||IRL 14865||Chambers Mary, McGuire Brenda, DMYC||87||58||(bfd )||90||91||81||407,0|
|89||GBR 14922||Winship Barrie, Winship Rosemar, Brightlingsea Sailing Club||(dns)||dns||60||84||80||78||409,0|
|90||SUI 14880||Hausammann, Hofmann, SCH||76||93||69||81||‑97||91||410,0|
|91||SUI 15008||Schneibel Ernst, Fluck Beni, SCSG||‑93||92||73||75||84||86||410,0|
|92||BEL 14445||Peerlinck Roel, Peerlinck Sofie, Hofstade Sailing Club||89||81||74||‑91||83||85||412,0|
|93||GBR 14872||Newson Barbara, Newson Guy, PFYC||90||84||81||‑94||78||88||421,0|
|94||ITA 13469||Bertini Enrica, Pannoncini Rober||81||66||82||‑99||98||96||423,0|
|95||ITA 13472||Maero Alberto, Messineo Alberto, Circolo Nautico Torino||84||90||76||86||‑94||90||426,0|
|96||GBR 14789||Lankester Rhys, Jasper Dawn, Bristol Corinthian Yacht Club||86||99||59||79||(dnf)||dnf||430,0|
|97||ITA 12754||zanone giuseppe, Bordon Mattia, avno||91||‑98||77||83||95||84||430,0|
|98||ITA 13468||Aprato Luca, Bisacca Valenti, CIRCOLO NAUTICO TORINO||83||86||75||‑96||92||95||431,0|
|99||ITA 12520||Locanto Claudio, Guglielmo Vittor||96||91||86||‑98||89||87||449,0|
|100||SUI 14863||Wospi Ines, Wospi Steven, SC St. Moritz||92||87||88||100||‑101||89||456,0|
|101||ITA 13763||Pregliasco Claudio, Belluco Antonio, Lega Navale Italiana||94||97||85||92||‑99||93||461,0|
|102||ITA 14010||Maggi Davide, Limardo David, YACHT CLUB CHIAVARI||‑97||95||84||97||96||92||464,0|
|103||ITA 13765||Rossi Paolo, Lorenzo Rondelli, YCBE||95||100||83||‑101||100||94||472,0|
|104||ITA 14497||Spinelli Giulia, Conti Claudia, circolo velico La Spezia||(dnf)||101||87||95||103||dnf||493,0|
|105||ITA 14764||Idolo Claudia, Compiani Stefano, R.C.C.TEVERE REMO||(dnc)||dns||89||102||102||97||497,0|
|106||ITA 14965||Puissa Paolo, Milia Maurizio, YCBE||(dnf)||dnc||dnc||dnc||dnc||dnc||535,0|