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Fireball Inland Championship at Grafham Water Sailing Club

by David Hall 20 Apr 2015 20:01 BST 18-19 April 2015
Fireball Inland Championship at Grafham © Dave Hall

With the Class World Championship taking place later this year in the UK the first major Fireball event of the year was always going to attract the front runners from the home country. The level of competition was high as one can see in the results.

Grafham Water delivered an excellent weekends racing and even arranged for the wind and sun to appear. The wind whilst good in strength on Saturday produced some very entertaining shifts creating a game of snakes and ladders not experienced for some time. There were some big scores so consistency was the name of the game.

Even with the shifts it was still the usual suspects at the front of the fleet. Christian Birrell & Sam Breary lead all the way round the first race until a sneaky pass to leeward by Tom Gillard & Andy Thompson on the last reach gave them line honours. Tom and Andy also took the second race of the day with Christian and Sam again in second place.

With the wind becoming stronger and even more unstable the third race saw Dave Hall & Paul Constable take the lead and open up a big gap. However with the gusts, holes and shifts Ian Dobson & Tom Heywood took advantage and closed right up behind them down the run. A close battle up the last beat gave Ian & Tom the lead which they held to the finish.

At the end of day one it was Tom & Andy in first place followed by Ian & Tom in second and the ever consistent Dave and Paul in third.

Sunday dawned a little colder and a lighter wind. However, it was still very patchy and shifty. Ian & Tom continued where they left off winning the first race of the day with Tom and Andy in second. With the fleet getting a little tense PRO Peter Saxton went for the black flag after a recall. There were a number of casualties including Christian & Sam who already counting a DNS put themselves out of the running.

It was down to the last race for the overall winner. The fleet had learned that it paid to go left up the beat and with everyone charging that way it became very congested at the windward mark. Dave Wade & Simon Herbert got clear around the mark and left the rest of the fleet standing never to be caught. Tom & Andy and Ian & Tom were mid fleet but battled their way to 4th and 5th giving the championship to Tom & Andy with Ian & Tom as runners up. Dave and Paul did just enough to hang in there to claim 3rd spot.

A big thank you to Grafham Water SC and especially to Peter Saxton and his team who went out of their way to make sure we had a successful 2 days of sailing. Peter and his team will be the PRO at the World Championship later this year so it was good practice for both competitors and officials.

Overall Results:

PosHelmCrewSail NoClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1stThomas GillardAndy Thompson15081 11331‑49
2ndIan DobsonTom Heywood15089SMVC43112‑511
3rdDavid HallPaul Constable15122Blackwater SC3525‑141227
4thVince HoreyRobert Gardiner15120King George SC745‑1251132
5thDavid WadeSimon Herbert15113Northampton SC510‑1189133
6thKevin HopeRussell Thorne15050Notts County SC‑1497104636
7thTim RushTim Saunders15073Staunton Harold(DNS)16473737
8thChristian BrearySam Breary15107 22(DNC)2BFD343
9thDavid SayceNick Rees15112Hayling Island Sailing Club61112117‑2247
10thPete KyneTom Keyne15124Brightlingsea SC111514‑166248
11thChris GillJon Gill15083Portishead Yacht and Sailing Club989‑1981650
12thDerian ScottAndy Scott14941Chew Valley Lake SC8‑2381413851
13thDavid WInderMatt Calvert15093Hollingworth Lake156156(BFD)1456
14thSimon MaskellThomas Maskell14886Hunts SC1021‑224201065
15thMark MaskellNigel Sheppard15066Blackwater SC‑1818169101568
16thLucy RileyTim Riley14798Blackwater SC12‑28202115977
17thRuss CormackAli Cormack14837Budworth SC161419‑22181380
18thRichard CornesJames Goodfellow14801Hayling Island Sailing Club‑21122120111882
19thSteve JarredNick Colins15115Blackwater SC(OCS)131318162383
20thNick SmithBarry Smith14889Thornbury SC2471717‑282489
21stPeter SlackSam Smith15016Staunton Harold20171815‑232191
22ndIan PriestMike Stoddart14909Scaling Dam22‑312513122092
23rdChristine SlaterGraham Slater15045Paignton SC192424‑272217106
24thRichard PrattCharlie Jeynes15125Rutland SC(DNC)1923282119110
25thAlex TaylorGeoff Edwards15046Budworth SC13256(DNC)DNCDNC112
26thPete WoodMike Cleall15042Draycote Water SC172010(DNF)DNCDNC115
27thFiona GraySteve Chatten15036Waldringfield SC23‑3027261726119
28thAndy RobinsonKaren Hiles14991Datchet Water SC(DNS)2626241925120
29thGeoff HoldenSophie Holden14229Northampton SC2527‑30232427126
30thTobias HamerTorie Morley14804Hayling Island Sailing Club(DNS)22282525DNC134
31stVic HardinghamRachel Hardington15105Haversham SC262929‑302629139
32ndMiles ThomasJames Patrick14800Bala SC(DSQ)DNCDNC292728152
33rdJon CowperMartin Mills14415Hunts SC(DNC)DNC31312930155

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