Please select your home edition
Wetsuit Outlet 2019 - 728x90
Product Feature
Gul Code Zero Longjohn & Longjane
Gul Code Zero Longjohn & Longjane
Boat Insurance from Noble Marine

Full racing risks
New for old cover

Fireball class at the Weymouth Dinghy Regatta 2018

by Allan Tyler 12 Jul 2018 16:30 BST 7-8 July 2018
Fireball class at the Weymouth Dinghy Regatta © Richard White

Seven visiting Fireballs joined the one local boat from Castle Cove to battle it out at the Weymouth Regatta held over the weekend 7th/8th July. In complete contrast to some of the more recent Regattas at Weymouth, the event was blessed this year with light winds and Mediterranean weather which suited the lightweight husband and wife pairing of Allan & Chris Tyler from Lyme Regis.

The weather on both days was very similar – with the south-westerly sea breeze gradually increasing from 4 knots during the late morning up to 7 mph during the afternoon. Class Racing was provided within the confines of Portland Harbour for Ospreys, Fireballs, Phantoms, Enterprises, and Scorpions together with a slow and fast handicap fleet using a number of courses with start sequences every three minutes.

Soon after the start of Race 1 it became clear that there was a clear advantage to have a lightweight crew as the heavier crews were left crouched up on the wire, whilst Chris Tyler sailing with husband Allan and Wendy Smyth (crewing 15031) were fully extended and going fast upwind. Allan & Chris (15086) took and maintained their lead to the finish whilst the 'wily' Kevin Hope/Russell Thorne (15133) and Sam Mettam/Tim Saunders (15073) managed to get back into second and third respectively.

The second race saw a big turnaround with Charlie Sansom/Zoe Bazen (14592) and Keith MacDonald/Andy Brittain (15132) out in front with Sam/Tim in hot pursuit. After completion of the full triangle/sausage/final beat course it was Sam/Tim who took the gun with Keith/Andy second and Charlie/Zoe in third. The remainder of the fleet (including Barry Grant from the home club) followed some way behind following a navigation error.

The remaining races followed a similar pattern of race 1 except for the introduction on Sunday of Dave Hall crewed by Mari Sheppard (15122) into the mix.

The race officer and race committee did an amazing job in the planning and execution of multiple starts and course designs/lengths to minimise turn-around times between races. From a Fireball perspective, the tactics seemed to be: #1 Get a clean start and find clear air (avoiding Phantoms who were sharing our start line), #2 monitor the Ospreys (who started 3 mins earlier) to find the location of the Windward mark, #3 sail fast around the first triangle and then once around the leeward mark try to pick a path back to the windward mark in clear wind whilst avoiding all the other boats crossing the racetrack.

Fireball Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubRRRRRRNet
115086Allan TYLERChristina TYLERLyme Regis1-411115
215133Kevin HOPERussell THORNENotts County SC2-6222210
315073Sam METTAMTim SAUNDERSPapercourt SC31-543415
415031Steven CROSSLEYWendy SMYTHECarsington SC553-65523
514592Charlie SANSOMZoe BAZENBowmoor SC-73757729
614101Barry GrantPhil TysoeCastle Cove SC6-7476629
715122David HALLPaul CONSTABLEBlackwater SC(DNC)DNCDNC34330
815132Keith McDonaldAndy BrittainSmall Heath YC426(DNC)DNCDNC32

Related Articles

Fireball prize presentation and draw
Taking place at the RYA Dinghy Show Join the Fireball Class and Saskia Clarke MBE at the RYA Dinghy Show for the Grand Draw for a Free Holiday. Posted on 12 Feb
Austrailian Fireball Nationals overall
Macfarlane and Payne clinch third title with race to spare After a consistent and stellar regatta, class veterans Heather Macfarlane and Chris Payne, sailing Not Your Average Rockstars, have taken out their third Fireball Nationals as a pair with one race still to be sailed. Posted on 8 Feb
Austrailian Fireball Nationals day 3
All to play for heading into final stages With seven out of 10 races completed and a lay day today, it's all to play for in the 2019 Fireball Nationals, hosted by the Royal Geelong Yacht Club. Posted on 7 Feb
UK Fireball Survey: The Results Part 2
Open Meeting circuit and overseas events Unfortunately, we didn't ask specific questions about Open meetings in the survey so that's a lesson learned for the next one! However, Opens are a topic that is talked about widely in by the Committee and the Fleet as a whole. Posted on 6 Feb
Austrailian Fireball Nationals day 2
Shifty weather shakes things up There were a few tricks thrown up on the second day of the Fireball Nationals at the Royal Geelong Yacht Club yesterday, however Heather Macfarlane and Chris Payne still hold a slender lead. Posted on 5 Feb
Austrailian Fireball Nationals day 1
Macfarlane and Payne take opening two races Sailing 'Not Your Average Rockstars', Macfarlane and Payne took the opening two championship races of the regatta by slim margins in what was a comfortable 15-knot breeze that built slightly throughout the day. Posted on 4 Feb
Australian Fireball National Championships preview
Heywood and Littledike look to defend their crown One of the strongest Fireball fleets in a number of years will do battle this week on Corio Bay, Geelong as racing for the 2019 National Championship kicks off today. Posted on 4 Feb
UK Fireball Survey: The Results Part 1
First response to most extensive survey to date The response to our most extensive survey to date was amazing! We have to thank Russ Clark, who having only joined the fleet last year, passed on knowledge and tips that he'd gained from other fleets, especially the Musto Skiff Class. Posted on 30 Jan
Who will claim the Golden Dolphin Trophy?
Golden Dolphin Trophy to be presented at the RYA Dinghy Show Join the UK Fireball Class Association at the RYA Dinghy Show, in association with Yachts & Yachting and Suzuki, where the winners of the 'Golden Dolphin Trophy' - Kevin Hope and Russell Thorne, will be presented with the unique trophy. Posted on 30 Jan
Mettam & Saunders Blast their 'Ball into the Lead
Update on Great British Sailing Challenge ranking Sam Mettam and Tim Saunders have taken up the lead in the rankings for the Great British Sailing Challenge after the second round at the Datchet Flyer in early December. It was a very windy and challenging weekend for the 83 boats. Posted on 22 Dec 2018