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Ocean Elements 2018

Fireballs at the RYA Dinghy Show and into 2018

by Chris Turner, Fireball Class Chairman 15 Mar 11:07 GMT 3-4 March 2018

It was with a sense of trepidation, no doubt shared by other class associations, that the Fireball contingent at the Dinghy Show took to the stand early on Saturday morning. It was cold inside the hall, even colder outside of course and the big question was would the Beast from the East slugging it out with Storm Emma deter visitors?

Well, we needn't have worried! Almost from the moment doors opened the UK Fireball stand was seriously packed. To quote many show goers after the event 'we tried to get on the stand but it was always so busy'!

All weekend, a stream of existing and potential Fireballers, supplemented by those who simply wanted to reminisce of their days in the class, kept the association's volunteers occupied. Indeed, most of those volunteers had little or no time to get around the halls themselves!

There is no doubt the Fireball class is on the up. Many of those who visited the stand were teenagers who had seen Fireballs in action on the water, were aware there is a burgeoning youth scene and wanted to know more. To underline this, existing members of the youth section assisted on the RYA trapezing simulator sharing their experience of being on the wire of a Fireball with dozens of young potential crews.

The newly-produced class video was much commented upon by visitors. It was only one minute long but that was all that was needed to show Fireball sailing at its best and to convince people that the class represented a very attractive and exciting alternative to the plethora of asymmetric competitor boats on offer.

An exciting year beckons with a busy UK programme of open events, a national championship at Penzance - one of the Fireball class's favourite venues - and a world championship at Carnac which is highly popular with UK sailors generally. To find out more about the Fireball class, which continues to attract new members and remains at the forefront of the UK dinghy scene, go to www.fireballsailing.org.uk.

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