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Fireball Worlds at Howth in 2020 cancelled

by Frank Miller 18 Apr 2020 16:44 BST
2012 Fireball Irish Nationals at Howth © Gareth Craig Photography / www.fotosail.com

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.

Given the severity of the current crisis and ongoing uncertainty around travel, social distancing, club functionality, and the impossibility of getting any fix on the timing of a return to normality we must, with great regret, now cancel our event in August. We will be engaging together and liaising with Fireball fleets worldwide to see if suitable dates can be found in 2021 or further into the future to welcome Fireballers to Ireland for a World Championships.

For those who have already registered and paid HYC will refund the entry fee on the next working day.

We would like to express our thanks to the many volunteers who have been working away in the background and most especially to those who have offered sponsorship and financial support, in particular Gull International, Fingal County Council, the Irish Sports Council, Irish Sailing and Irish Ferries.

We make this announcement with great regret but in the hope and expectation that we will hoist sails and raise a glass together in healthier and happier times in the not too distant future.

Issued on behalf of the Irish Fireball Association, Howth Yacht Club and Fireball International

Neil Cramer, the Irish Fireball Association Chairman said:

"We are naturally very disappointed to have to cancel our Gul International Howth2020 Worlds at HYC due to Covid-19. A huge amount of work has gone into planning this event over the last 2 years and it was shaping up nicely to be a fantastic event with sailors worldwide booking travel and accommodation as far back as early 2019. Locally we have seen a significant uptake in sailors acquiring Fireballs in readiness for the event and we very much hope to keep much of this young and not so young talent on board for the return of the Worlds to Ireland in the not too distant future.

"We had terrific sponsorship and support in the pipeline from Gul International, Fingal County Council, the Irish Sports Council, Irish Sailing and Irish Ferries. All the work which has gone into this event will not go to waste however and we have the templates, plans and structures in place to bring this world class event back to Ireland as soon as humanly possible. While sailors across the world are equally disappointed everyone understands that people's health and wellbeing comes first and we are receiving warm wishes from our Fireball friends internationally who promise to raise a glass, and raise their sails with us when a suitable new date for an Irish Worlds is identified."

On behalf of Howth Yacht Club Berchmans Gannon, Chairman of the Event said:

"On behalf of Howth Yacht Club I wish to thank the members of the Fireball Class (International's and Ireland) for their working with us in our preparation for this event.

"I wish to also thank the many members of Howth Yacht Club who put in a sterling effort in preparation for what would have been a fantastic event.I am also very grateful to our sponsors, Gul International, Fingal County Council and Irish Sailing / Sports Council. We all share in equal measure our disappointment in having to cancel this event, however the health and safety of all our participants, sponsors and supporters is paramount. We will however remain hopeful of a further opportunity to reconvene for another major event within a short time."

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