Please select your home edition
Noble Marine 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Fireballs at 2019 Chichester Harbour Race Week

by Chris Turner 26 Aug 2019 21:39 BST 19-23 August 2019

The 2019 edition of Fed Week, as Chichester Harbour Race Week continues to be commonly known, produced wide-ranging winds with racing generally held in glorious sunshine. Mix in plenty of socials and the resultant cocktail produced yet another great regatta in the event's 56-year history.

Tides were late this year meaning leisurely starts and plenty of time to study forecasts which, in the event, were predicted accurately some time ahead. Thus there were no surprises when 25+ knot winds arrived for race 1!

A large proportion of the entire race week fleet opted to sit out the opening day and of those who did sail a significant number failed to finish either through gear failure, tiredness or general trepidation. The Fireballs were no exception but those who started enjoyed spectacular sailing although attrition quickly took its toll such that eventually only three, very well spread out, boats remained on the course with Chris Turner and Chris Powles of the home club taking the gun.

Race 2 was sailed in easier but still quite breezy 12-17 knots that allowed heavier crews to just about hold their own. A case of mistaken identity for the windward mark caused all but two of the earlier-starting fast handicap fleet to score DNF but the Fireballs got away largely unscathed; indeed it transpired it wasn't a bad mistake to make as correcting to the real windward mark produced well-placed roundings! As it was, Martyn Lewis and Fraser Hemmings rounded first but the wrong way only realising their mistake when they had set their kite and were off to the wing mark. However, they quickly reversed track and produced scintillating speed to sail through the fleet and take the win.

As forecast, the wind dropped to around 10 knots for race 3 and the lighter teams really came to the fore. David and Fiona Sayce showed the boat speed we have come to expect but even they couldn't hold off Martyn and Fraser who again sailed superbly to take a second bullet.

The tone of the week was now set and even when well behind Simon Kings and crew, the early leaders, at the first mark of race 4 Martyn & Fraser managed to work their way back to the front and engage in a race-long three-way fight with Simon and Caroline and David and Fiona. Although it was all very close, Martyn & Fraser took their third win and with it the series.

A very gentle breeze meant that the final race was sailed over a much smaller race area than the rest of the week. With a strong flood tide it was fairly clear that whoever made the best call to tack off for the first mark would be very well placed and so it proved. Simon and Caroline opted to sail a different line to the rest of the fleet and seemingly tacked very early but were magnificently rewarded by getting clean away. Just to show they were human, Martyn and Fraser over-stood the mark to such an extent they had to hoist their kite to get back down to it! On this occasion, the gap between them and the leaders was too much to overcome in what was also the shortest race of the week. Simon and Caroline took the gun and with it catapulted themselves up the overall rankings to finish the week ahead of David and Fiona.

If there was a prize for consistency it would have been awarded to Nathan and Jo Rushin who posted a fourth in each of the four races they sailed. Similarly, a long-distance traveller award would have been very well earned by Svenja and Jorg Rennecke who had trailed over from Dusseldorf. They appear to have enjoyed the week even if the vagaries of Chichester Harbour provided an unexpected learning curve!

Overall Results:

PlSail No / Helm & Crew / ClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
115151 Martyn Lewis & Fraser Hemmings ‑ RYA211123
215099 Simon Kings & crew ‑ HISC1153216
315112 David & Fiona Sayce ‑ HISC1122337
415149 Chris Turner & Chris Powles ‑ HISC137579
515103 Nathan & Jo Rushin ‑ HISC11444412
614388 James Cuxson & Neil Arnott – Newhaven & Seaford SC11657516
714887 Turner James & Tom Payne ‑ HISC391181120
814804 Hector & Jeremy Nelson ‑ HISC118610620
914472 Svenja & Jorg Rennecke – YC Graf Spee11786821
1015121 Bryan Thompson & Simon Benson ‑HISC1110991128

Related Articles

Fireball Winter Champs to be held in November
King George Sailing Club step in to host the event Having lost all but one of their events this year, the Fireball class will finally have some racing to finish off the year. King George Sailing Club have stepped up and will host a one-day special event on the 14th November. Posted on 27 Oct
Fireballs at Paignton
Unusual launching conditions but great races in Torbay Six Fireballs braved a "challenging" forecast and arrived at Paignton SC for the first Fireball event of 2020. They were greeted with an exceptionally friendly welcome, superb facilities, strong easterly wind and swell in the harbour. Posted on 23 Sep
Rescheduled 2020 Fireball Nationals cancelled
HISC makes the decision with great regret Unfortunately, HISC has taken the call not to run the rescheduled 2020 Nationals. The official statement from HISC follows... Posted on 18 Aug
Helly Hansen Irish Fireball Nationals
Repeat winners retain their title, but they had to work for it! At a time when the Irish Fireball fleet should have been in Howth, welcoming Fireballers from to the 2020 Fireball Worlds, a 13-boat fleet was contesting what we think is the first Nationals to be hosted in a Covid-ravaged summer calendar. Posted on 10 Aug
All the Fs in sailing
Fantastic full on fast, fun, and FLAT bottomed - the scow Is windward-leeward is the only true measure of a sailors prowess in a race? Some boats simply don't reach at all, but if there is one genre of boat that has 'reaching master-blaster' written into its DNA, then it has to be the scow. Posted on 30 Jul
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