Please select your home edition
GJW Direct - Multi Dinghy Insurance

GJW Direct Firefly National Championship at Felixstowe Ferry SC - Day 5

by Edward Smith 17 Aug 2017 11:14 BST 12-18 August 2017

Wednesday of Firefly Week is traditionally the day the class sails the long distance race for the Sir Ralph Gore Challenge Trophy. Competed for by the top half of the fleet, the race is sailed over 4 laps of a triangular course totalling 14 miles.

Once again, competitors arrived at Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club to a very gentle breeze, but it built during the morning until by the midday start time there was a fairly steady 10-12 knots from the south. Chris Kameen and Matt Read sailing Biscuit Buffalo got off of the line well and led at the top mark ahead of Guy Davison and Sally Wakefield in Lynestra and Alex Davey and Sally Wilson in Mustard. Overall leaders, Nigel Wakefield and Emily Saunderson were some way back in around 8th place, but with over 2 hours of racing to go they had plenty of time to catch up.

Guy Davison and Sally Wakefield took the lead on the first reach, their slight weight advantage helping them surf on the building waves. Alex Davey and Sally Wilson sailed into second place before hitting the gybe mark and dropping to third again. Their excitement on regaining second place on the second reach was, however, short-lived, since on arrival at the leeward mark they learned they had been OCS. Behind the front three (now two) Mike and Debs Steele, Dave Chisholm and Hayley Goacher and Barney Smith and James Shepherd were all having good races, and consistent performers, Jenny Smallwood and Philip Aldous and Ed and Sophie Smith were also in the mix. Nigel Wakefield and Emily Saunderson were making steady progress towards the front.

By the last lap, Jenny Smallwood and Philip Aldous and Barney Smith and James Shepherd had lost touch, and Dave Chisholm and Hayley Goacher's challenge had ended with a capsize at the third gybe mark. At the final leeward mark, Guy Davison and Sally Wakefield had a comfortable lead over Chris Kameen and Matt Read, with Ed and Sophie Smith in third place, just sneaking inside Mike and Debs Steele who were, in turn, just ahead of Nigel Wakefield and Emily Saunderson. After about two hours and forty minutes of racing, Guy and Sally took the winner's gun, a first Gore win for both of them and, in Guy's case, a very welcome win after 45 years of trying. Chris and Matt held on for second and Nigel and Emily passed Mike and Debs and Ed and Sophie to take the final podium position.

While the top half of the fleet race for the Gore trophy, the lower half of the fleet compete for the Marlow Ropes Trophy. This used to be sailed over a shorter course, but since 2002 the results of the Gore / Marlow are included in the overall points series and therefore all boats race together on the same course. Hugo Burrows and Ben Nicoll from West Oxfordshire led for the first three and a half laps before being passed by clubmates, James Nicoll and Joe Scarborough, as well as Ben Green and Fi Edwards. Hugo and Ben fought back on the final beat, and looked to have the race won, but then misjudged the lay-line for the finish letting Ben and Fi through to take the trophy. James and Joe finished third, with only 11 seconds separating the top 3 after nearly three hours.

In the overall standings after five races with three remaining, Nigel Wakefield and Emily Saunderson retain their top spot, but only by one point from Chris Kameen and Matt Read. Guy Davison and Sally Wakefield are one point further adrift in third, with a ten point gap back to Ed and Sophie Smith in fourth. Thursday is a key day with two races scheduled and with a fresher breeze forecast we should be in for some exciting racing.

Results after Day 5:

<a class=GJW Direct Firefly Nationals at Felixstowe Ferry after day 5 - photo © FFSC">

Related Articles

Itchenor Schools Week preview
Hundreds of students from over 40 schools set for racing Hundreds of students from over 40 schools around the UK descend on Itchenor SC in June for the annual Schools Week Championships. The much-anticipated sailing event will see the club play host to a week of racing around Chichester Harbour on 24-29 June. Posted on 20 Jun
Ilovesailing calendar reaches half way point
Howell and Kaark have claimed the next two spots Michelle Howell from Wakefield and Steven Kaark from Lower Brailes have claimed the next two spots on the 2019 ilovesailing calendar as the competition reaches the half way stage. Posted on 5 Jun
Firefly South Western Championship preview
The annual trip to paradise! Top racing, glorious sunshine, fantastic socials and pasties! The best way to spend your bank holiday weekend. Posted on 11 May
Firefly Elizabeth Cup at Tamesis Club
The wind arrives to give sailors a fantastic event Following the success (despite the lack of consistent breeze) of the Junior Cup on Saturday the Sunday of the Elizabeth Cup dawned with a promising forecast but an absence of wind first thing. Posted on 29 Apr
Firefly Junior Cup at Tamesis
A record home fleet joined by young visitors Saturday dawned – a fabulous day, simply perfect for the Firefly Junior Cup at Tamesis Club on the Thames. After several weeks of inclement weather, lacklustre winds and a raging stream on the Thames it looked set for a wonderful afternoon's sailing. Posted on 28 Apr
Or as Corporal Fraser would say, "We're all doomed" The working title of pt.2 of this three part series was 'Snakes' – with pt.3 then being 'Ladders'. Together with pt.1, 'I am not a number', the contention is that small boat sailing has undergone changes that are only now making themselves truly apparent. Posted on 22 Jan
British University Fleet Racing Championships
Bournemouth, Plymouth & Southampton take Fleet Trophies A record entry for the annual BUCS Fleet Racing Championships - over 230 student sailors from 25 universities - competed at Draycote Water SC over the first weekend of November. Posted on 17 Nov 2017
Fireflys at South Staffs
Catering for all ages and the full range of experience South Staffs Sailing Club has the fantastic asset of six identical Fireflys, which were available for our open meeting on 11th November. Posted on 16 Nov 2017
Scottish Student Team Racing League weekend 1
Frist qualifier for BUCS Team Racing Championship This weekend the first Scottish Team Racing League 1 took place on Bardowie Loch (this is the first of the Scottish 'qualifiers' for the BUCS Team Racing Championship 2017-18). 23 teams from across Scotland travelled to Glasgow. Posted on 15 Nov 2017
Fireflys at Chipstead
Held in ideal inland sailing weather Lovely weather greeted the competitors for the Chipstead SC Firefly Open Meeting which was shared with the Enterprise open meeting. Lots of sunshine and warm weather combined with a light south easterly breeze and some puffy shifts. Posted on 28 Sep 2017