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Typhoon 2021 - LEADERBOARD

Fireballs at the Weymouth Dinghy Regatta

by UKFA 7 Jul 18:45 BST 3-4 July 2021

Five Fireballs took part in the 2021 Weymouth Dinghy Regatta on 3rd & 4th July. The Fireballs were based out of WPNSA and were part of the fast handicap fleet, which sailed a trapezoid course. The race management team had their work cut out with 5 different fleets on 5 different courses, but they turned the starts around like clockwork at 3-minute intervals.

On Saturday, we raced out in Weymouth Bay in 12-14 knots. There was a nice run out to the start area, but the sail home was a bit of an epic. Kev (off the ladder) Hope and Russell Thorne were dominant out of the Fireballs, but suffered a broken trapeze line and retired from race 3, letting Derian & Andy Scott take the overnight lead out of the Fireballs, followed by Christine & Graham Slater, Barry Smith and Ricky Spring, and Matt Scott & Doug Byatt. After 3 races and the long sail in, a good night's sleep was high on the list of priorities, but fish and chips and the England football match were fitted in first.

On Sunday, racing was located in Portland Harbour - a relief that we wouldn't have that long sail home, but we were racing in the lee of the Isle of Portland, promising shifty, tumbling winds. For the second day running there was more wind than forecast; We started in 12 knots, but by race 3 the wind was consistently around 18 knots with gusts above 20 knots. There were hairy reaches, gear failure, capsizes, and moments of brilliance from everyone. Christine and Graham found their form in race 5, but strong man Graham snapped the spinny pole clean in two on the penultimate reach, so had to retire. Doug and Matt lost a trapeze line for the 2nd day on the trot, and were unable to compete in the final race. Rick and Barry were showing great speed in the final race.

Kev & Russell dominated the Fireballs and took second place overall in the handicap fleet. Their new black mast is very fast!! Derian & Andy finished 4th overall, Christine & Graham 9th, Barry & Ricky 11th and Matt & Doug 17th out of a fleet of 26. For the stats geeks out there, Andy's GPS tracker clocked over 60nm over the 2 days' racing and a top speed of over 17 knots on the exciting (unnerving) last reach.

A huge thanks to the Yacht Clubs of Weymouth for running a great event. Full results for the Fast Handicap fleet are at halsail.com/Result/Public/55035

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