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Chapple's Fireball Victorian Championship at Cairn Curran Sailing Club

by Chris Payne 27 Nov 2014 14:35 GMT 22-23 November 2014
Fireballs waiting for wind at Cairn Curran © Bruce Shand

It has been almost 30 years, but the International Fireball Association of Victoria headed back to Cairn Curran to run the 2014 State Championships. With the wonderful support of Chapple's Cairn Curran Estate, a renowned winery in the area, the fleet competed as a part of the Cairn Curran Classic being run on the weekend of the 22nd and 23rd November. Arthur "Smiley" Chapple has been a supporter and sailor in the fireball class for many years and it was fantastic to have him heavily involved again. To help with the enjoyment of the regatta, Smiley provided a number of 2010 Red Ball Shiraz specially labelled for the event with a picture of a Fireball at full stretch. After sampling a couple, the fleet can't wait for these reds to become available in the shops.

This year we had a number of competitors from interstate, with most notable, being Mike Rogers from South Australia. Mike has won numerous Fireball Australian Championships and won the World Championship at Frankston in 1982 sailing with Chris Tillet. More recently Mike has been PRO for a number of Fireball World Championships in exotic locations such as Barbados and Thailand. Mike teamed up with Victorian legend, Ian Lane who has also won many Australian Championships over the years. The two showed their class by being the only boat not to capsize over the weekend. It was also good to have two boats make the 15 hour journey from Gosford, NSW to keep the Victorians honest. They both showed good speed, but Dick McCulloch and Glenn Stewart won the "upside down labelled" Red Ball wine for the most capsizes on the Saturday. The class also welcomed Lloyd Collings and Jack Lidgett who sailed the Victorian Fireball Association's boat and showed that they will be a force to be reckoned with in a few years.

The racing was very intense, particularly on the Saturday with gusts to 30 knots ensuring almost every competitor had a swim. Previous Australian Champion Brendan Garner and Peter Durran, sailing a borrowed boat for the first time in many years, dominated in the windy conditions with two firsts and a third. Philip Peverell and Bruce Shand showed their form to win the last and probably windiest race of the day.

The Sunday started with no wind, and PRO, Mark Teasdale, kept the fleet on shore until a tricky breeze came across the fleet. With two lighter races, Heather Macfarlane and Chris Payne were able to make use of their lighter weight and score a couple of firsts. This gave them a one point win over Brendan Garner/Peter Durran with Nick and Sam Gunner a close third.

A big thank you to Cairn Curran Sailing Club for running a fantastic event on the water and most importantly off the water.

We are now all really looking forward to the hospitality of our NSW brethren at the Australian Championships at Gosford NSW. More details can be found at

Overall Results:

PosSail NoBoat NameHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
115048Not Your Average Rock StarHeather McFarlane ‑ F  Chris PayneBRYC422116
214972Smoking GunBrendan Gunner ‑ M  Peter DurranRGYC113257
315049Scatter GunNick Gunner ‑ M  Sam Gunner 2343210
415027The Grey GhostPhil Peverell ‑ M  Bruce Shand 3414412
514812ViperGlenn Stewart ‑ M  Dick McCulloch 75(DNC)5320
614722ParanoidRod Hookway ‑ M  Grant Ireland 5757924
714414Outback DingosGlenn Peverell ‑ M  James Coote 6(DNC)68626
814218Back InLloyd Collins ‑ M  Jack Lidgett 86(DNC)6727
914943Old StarsIan Lane ‑ M  Mike RodgersCYC(DNC)(DNC)(DNC)9839
1014650Mrs PalmerDon Allen ‑ M  Emily Allen (DNC)(DNC)(DNC)(DNC)(DNC)44

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