Please select your home edition
Edition
RS Sailing 2020 - RSSS - LEADERBOARD

Irish Fireball National Championship at Howth Yacht Club

by Frank Miller 22 Jul 2019 15:16 BST 19-21 July 2019

Noel Butler and Stephen Oram (National Yacht Club) are the 2019 Irish Fireball National Champions after nine races at Howth Yacht Club. The pair scored seven first places discarding a third and a fourth to take the title in style in a three-day event which featured a good variety of sailing conditions.

The event started with light and patchy winds on Friday progressing to decent, if shifty, breezes on Saturday and to full on wind by Sunday. Second place was won by Niall McGrotty and Neil Cramer (Skerries Sailing Club) who sailed consistently well and counted a string of second and third places in their scores to consolidate their second overall. Third were the up and coming youth team brothers Daniel and Harry Thompson from Wexford Tennis & Boat Club who were noticeably fast on the water. Just one point behind was veteran Mick Creighton with crew Hermine O'Keeffe who showed he hadn't forgotten any tricks.

A race win for Mick might prompt a more permanent return to the class! Winners of the silver fleet prize were Cariosa Power and Marie Barry (NYC) and the Classic Boat Trophy was taken home by Nick Miller and Cearball Daly of Sailing In Dublin in the class loan boat. The theme of youth and experience was a feature of the event, with veterans and new teams both jumping into the fray in the run up to the #Howth2020 World Championships in August next year. Thus, we had Robin Nash (15) helming with her father Glen on the wire, the youthful Thompson brothers (17 and 14 respectively), and young bloods Josh Porter and helm Conor Twohig from Newtownards. Besides Mick Creighton, Eddie Ferris also made a welcome return to action with another veteran Francis Rowan on the wire. Also returning was Owen Sinnott with Paul ter Horst crewing.

International Race Officer for next year's Worlds, David Lovegrove agreed to take on PRO duties for this Nationals and he and his team ran things like clockwork, seamlessly getting in three races on a difficult and patchy first day and moving marks quickly and efficiently to keep courses square throughout the weekend. David is actually a veteran Fireballer himself and his name crops up on several key trophies including the National Championships of 1967.

Friday's painful memories of patchy shifty airs were wiped away with perfect conditions on Saturday in breezes between 10 and 18 knots and Sunday presented the most exciting conditions with full on 20 knot breezes at times and very exciting planing conditions both upwind and down.

Another feature of the event was a coaching day on Saturday run by Barry McCartin. After helping people with optimum rig set up for the conditions Barry videoed the racing, gave tips between races and gave a debrief after racing which provided much food for thought for the Irish teams competing in these same waters for next year's Worlds.

Among the challenges on the Saturday was judging which side to take on the beat, how far to go towards shore to pick up sometimes better offshore winds and the odd wind bend and even a slightly hooked tide in the sweep of the bay.

Although everyone had their ups and downs there was no disputing Noel and Stephen's dominance over the nine races. With a little more speed and height on the beats and carving high angles down the runs the pair remained in control for most races with just the odd breakthrough by Niall and Neil and Mick and Hermine snatching the top spots. There were signs however that the young pairings in particular were improving rapidly and may present a challenge by the time the Worlds land in Howth next year. After an exciting and brilliantly run event it's an event everyone is relishing.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6R7R8R9Pts
1st15061Noel ButlerStephan OramNational YC1‑41111‑3117
2nd14938Niall Mc GrottyNeil CramerSkerriesSC212‑833‑63519
3rd15156Daniel ThompsonHarry ThompsonWHBTC4‑642255‑7224
4th15016Mick CreightonHermine O'KeefeRoyal St.George YC33534‑71‑6625
5th14748John EvansAidan CaulfieldSligo‑8‑8368242732
6th14775Micheal EnnisGrattan DonnellyDun Laoghaire Motor YC‑656564‑74434
7th14990Frank MillerEd ButlerRoyal St.George YC77‑87562‑9337
8th14695A.Lee C.TwohigJosh PorterNewtonards SC‑92747‑885841
9th14854Carlosa PowerMarie BarryNational YC59‑10991098(DNC)59
10th14865Owen SinnottPaul ter HorstSkerriesSC1011910111110(RAF)(DNC)72
11th14633Edward FerrisFrancis RowanHYC111011(DNS)10911(RAF)DNC76
12th14691Clodagh NashGlen FisherRoyal St.George YC(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC1212DNFDNC94
13th14330Nick MillerCearball DalySailin in Dublin(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNC121313RAFDNC94

Related Articles

2020 Fireball Nationals provisionally back on!
Alongside the 505s at HISC in October After the difficult decision to cancel the Nationals in July and the unavailability to book a later date in 2020 with WPNSA we thought we would be without a Nationals this year. Posted on 19 Jun
2020 Gul UK Fireball Nationals cancelled
Too much uncertainty with only 8 weeks to go We're sorry to announce that WPNSA and the UKFA have decided that it will be unwise to proceed with this year's Nationals. With only 8 weeks to go there is still much uncertainty regarding the UK's exit from lockdown. Posted on 27 May
Bow down and send it!
What does that even mean? Ian Dobson is the current World and National Champion in the Fireball Class. In the following article, originally published in edition 8 of the Fireball E-News, he explains the mystical 'fast mode'. Posted on 24 Apr
Fireball Worlds at Howth in 2020 cancelled
Given the severity of the current crisis and ongoing uncertainty around travel In response to the global Coronavirus outbreak the Irish Fireball Association, Howth Yacht Club and Fireball International have been carefully evaluating plans for the Fireball Worlds in Howth in August 2020. Posted on 18 Apr
Signs of aluminium mast wear
A 5-minute check could save you time and money It's worth giving your aluminium mast a regular check to look for signs of wear which could lead to the mast breaking, causing extensive damage, not to mention ruining any event which you're taking part in. Posted on 9 Apr
HISC Gul Fireball Open Postponed to 29/30 August
Joining in with HISC's rescheduled "Whitsun Regatta" The Gul Golden Dolphin Open, originally scheduled for May, has been postponed until the Summer Bank Holiday Weekend, Saturday 29 August and Sunday 30 August. Posted on 7 Apr
Gul Fireball Nationals 2020 registration suspended
Hoping the event can go ahead as planned, but monitoring guidelines Given the daily changes to guidance around COVID-19 and that we have no idea what will be happening over the next few months, we have decided to suspend registration for the UK Nationals at WPNSA 25-28 July. Posted on 5 Apr
Staunton Harold Fireball & Scorpion Open cancelled
After the latest advice to avoid unnecessary gatherings and travel Staunton Harold Sailing Club have taken the decision to cancel the open this weekend. Hopefully we can reschedule for later in the year. Posted on 17 Mar
Staunton Harold to host Fireballs and Scorpions
Gul Golden Dolphin and Silver Scorpion event on 21-22 March We're looking forward to welcoming Fireball and Scorpion sailors from across the country to what promises to be a fantastic two day event. Round 1 of the 2020 Fireball Gul Golden Dolphin and the first in the 2020 Silver Scorpion Series. Posted on 12 Mar
2020 Gul UK Fireball Nationals entry now open!
Being hosted by Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy in July Entry is now open for the Gul UK Fireball Nationals 2020. This year the Nationals is a four day event from 25-28 July and is being hosted by Weymouth & Portland National Sailing Academy. Posted on 8 Mar