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Noble Marine 2020 - LEADERBOARD

Fireball and Osprey open meeting at Paignton Sailing Club

by Dan Johnson and Ben Latham 23 Sep 21:49 BST 19 September 2020
The 2020 Fireball open meeting at Paignton © Andy Probert / Paignton SC

Six Fireballs braved a "challenging" looking forecast and arrived at Paignton Sailing Club on Saturday 19th September 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.

Following an hours postponement to allow for safer launching, the Paignton safety team successfully launched the Osprey and Fireball fleets into Torbay onto a fantastic large course set by Race Officer James Ripley. With large swell and winds of between 15 and 20 kts, three exciting races took place.

Race 1 was a close affair with all boats arriving at the top mark in very close proximity. Simon Kings and Jono Loe ultimately triumphed with Dan Johnson and Ben Latham second and locals Elaine and Graham Slater third.

Race 2 saw Matt Curell and Harry Odling arrive at the top mark first and power away downwind opening a good gap with great boat speed which they maintained throughout to take the win. Dan and Ben were second with Simon and Jono third.

Race 3 was sailed in the windiest conditions of the day with the lighter crews overpowered but still competitive. Simon and Jono prevailed, with Dan and Ben second and Antony and James Willcocks third.

Sunday saw glorious sunshine and lighter easterly winds, but the residual swell and spring tides made launching a challenge again. The Paignton team overcame the unusual conditions with great style by pulling the majority of both fleets off the slipway upwind to allow them to safely leave the harbour for the day's racing.

Race 4 saw the red and blue spinnaker of Chris Thorne and Doug Byatt appear first at the windward mark closely pursued by the rest of the fleet. By the second lap the race had become a very close tactical downwind battle between Anthony/James, Simon/Jono and Dan/Ben, which the Willcocks won with Dan and Ben second and Simon and Jono third.

With the discard coming into effect, it was all to play for in the final race. In the dropping winds, Dan and Ben got a good start and they maintained their leading position to take the win. Anthony and James were second with Matt and Harry third.

With four seconds and a win in the last race, Dan Johnson and Ben Latham were winners of the event, with Simon and Jono second and the Willcocks third overall.

The event concluded with a socially distanced prize-giving in the bar. A massive thank you to Paignton Sailing Club, the race and safety teams for overcoming both the Coronavirus Pandemic and some unusual launching conditions to provide five great races in beautiful Torbay.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5Pts
1st15130Dan JohnsonBen LathamWeston ‑222217
2nd15166Simon KingsJono LoeHISC1313‑58
3rd14928Antony WillcocksJames WillcocksPortishead‑5431210
4th14976Matt CurellHarry OdlingPoole YC41RET4312
5th15045Elaine SlaterGrahamPaignton SC354‑6416
6th14656Chris ThorneDoug ByattChew Valley Lake‑6655622

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