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Gul Fireball World Championship at Yacht Club de Carnac - Day 2

by Nick Rees 28 Aug 2018 09:24 BST 25-31 August 2018
Gul Fireball Worlds at Carnac day 2 © Urs Kueblis

The forecast for Day 2 of the Fireball Worlds wasn't promising, with some predicting a 5 knot drifting day. However, the weather gods were far more accommodating with 10-15 knot westerlies and cloudless skies during the racing making for a glorious day of champagne sailing with virtually all the 101 boat fleet completing both races.

Overnight the race committee had discussed with competitors the two-line start they had used on the first day and decided, on reflection, to revert to a more conventional start with one line and boats at both ends of the line. However, despite the line being quite fair it wouldn't be a Fireball World Championship without a number of general recalls, and these duly occurred and once the black flag was out the fleet settled down and got a clean start at the second attempt, with the Irish team of Barry McCartin and Conor Kinsella, and Pete Badham and Steven Digby from Dracote Water falling victim to the black flag.

The first beat featured a right shift which left some names stranded on the left, but the leaders at the first mark were second race winners Penny and Russ Clarke showing that they had good speed at the lighter end of the wind range as well. They held the lead throughout, with ever consistent Ian Dobson and Richard Wagstaff second and Matt Burge and Daniel Schieber filling out the podium.

By the time of the second race the wind had built to a steady 15 knots with limited movement. The fleet got away at the second start without any black flag victims, and the beat was fairly even except the extreme right didn't seem to work. Ian and Waggers finally got their bow around the first mark in the lead and went on to hold the top spot from then on. Penny and Russ were second until the end of the final run when Matt and Daniel just managed to pass them for a close second. Tom Gillard and Geoff Edwards finished fourth for the second time in the day.

So, after two days the championship seems to have settled down with the top four boats, all from the UK, sharing the top four places in every race, except for race two when Tom and Geoff tried to take fourth on the last gybe and ended up inspecting their centreboard instead. The reaches have been set at an ideal angle for Fireballs, with the first being slightly broader than the second. Another consistent feature is that going high and trapezing on the run is faster to in the short swells of Baie de Quiberon - heading straight down in traditional symmetric fashion leads to occasional bow burying and it is difficult to go faster than the waves.

Two races are scheduled for Tuesday, and Meteo France are predicting a warm day (good) but with the wind veering 180 degrees between 08:00 and 17:00 with nothing at 14:00 during the racing slot (bad), which may make sailing challenging. However, the one thing that seems to be consistent so far is that the weather turns out to be much better than forecast, so the fleet is looking forward to another two races before the lay day on Wednesday.

Results after Day 2 can be found here.

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