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Firefly Open at Dell Quay Sailing Club

by Shaun Pollard 3 Oct 07:53 BST 25-26 September 2021
The fleet downwind at the 2021 Dell Quay Firefly Open © Caroline Fillery

The much-anticipated Dell Quay SC Firefly Open took place over the weekend of the 25th and 26th September, the first time Dell Quay has hosted a major Firefly event in 50 years.

Twelve visiting boats joined a strong turnout of fifteen local Fireflys to make up a fantastically mixed fleet with National and World Champions sharing the start line with relative beginners, some in their first season of racing. The junior turnout was impressive, with twenty of the boats racing with crews under the age of 10. Visitors travelled from as far as the Brecon Beacons to be part of the action for what is the oldest new event in the Firefly calendar, a testament to the rich history of the class has at Dell Quay.

On Saturday, sailors were greeted by misty mirror-calm conditions with an optimistic forecast of 5 knots and the scheduled three races looking doubtful as the fleet made their way to the race area. With just enough breeze to get going, Race Officer Mark Harper set a wind leeward course which sent the fleet westward from Dell Quay towards Chichester Marina. Starts were close fought, as were the upwind legs with Paul & Kameen, Mark & Beatrice Tait and Harvey & Sophia Hilary pulling ahead courtesy of close tacking up the Northerly shoreline to the windward mark. The three leaders changed placed a number of times throughout the race before the Kameens finally got the edge, finishing first ahead of the Hilarys and Taits in 2nd and 3rd respectively.

As Race 1 came to an end the breeze died to nothing, with the ensuing postponement giving the young crews a chance to make the most of the conditions with swimming & water fights, led by a 6'5" kid by the name of Archie Massey.

Shortly afterwards, a small band of breeze came up the harbour allowing the RO to start the sequence for Race 2. A more consistent breeze of 5 knots+ filled in, with visitors Stuart & Lizzie Hudson reading the tide well to hit the front for the first time in the event before building a large lead to take the win from the Hilarys and the recovering Taits.

Following a quick turnaround by the race team, Race 3 got under way with a strong ebb tide pushing the fleet over the line resulting in not one but two general recalls. The RO deployed the U flag which prompted better behaviour and off the back of a great start, locals Archie & Rosie Massey showed a clean pair of heels to take the win ahead of the Kameens in 2nd and Guy & Frances Davison in 3rd.

Saturday evening kicked off with delicious pizza from local company Bull Yard Pizza, washed down with limited edition 'Dell Quay Fireflys' Beer courtesy of Langham Brewery. Whilst the parents ate and drank whilst the sun went down, the youngsters enjoyed a junior disco which saw them dancing well beyond bedtime.

Sunday bought fresher winds and challenging conditions for the fleet, especially those sailing with younger crews. Whilst a pin end bias made the left look tempting, the right side of the beat still clearly paid dividends, making for a congested first beat. In the gusty conditions the Hudsons replicated their speed from day one to take Race 4, closely followed by Barney Smith & Karen Main, with the Kameens in 3rd.

Race 5 bought increasing winds which took their toll on many of those with young crews. True to form, the Hudsons revelled in the building breeze, taking the lead early on and consolidating for the win, followed over the line by the experienced pairing of Lucy Boreham & Rachel Crebbin and the Davisons in 3rd.

By Race 6 conditions were only for the brave, with Smith & Main revelling in the increased breeze to hit the front early on before holding good pace to secure the win from the Hudsons in 2nd and a resurgent Davison pairing in 3rd.

With their consistency across the wind range Stuart and Lizzie Hudson from Royal Lymington YC took the event win, with Paul and Ludo Kameen from Bosham SC second and a consistent Guy and Frances Davison third.

As the last pints of Firefly Beer were finished, the prize-giving bought a fantastic end to the weekend with every junior competitor being award a medal, not least Charlie May who was not only the youngest crew at 5 years old, but skippered by his Dad Iain, managed to complete all six races, a fantastic simply fantastic achievement.

The Dell Quay Fireflys would like to extend special thanks to event sponsors A-Plan Insurance, Rooster, Spinlock and Langham Brewery and they look forward to raising the bar further in 2022.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
13850Stuart HudsonLizzie HudsonRoyal Lymington SC(4)1(5)1125
22018Paul KameenLudo KameenBosham SC1423(9)(DNC)10
33318Guy DavisonFrances DavisonLlangorse SC(5)(6)343313
4498Mark TaitBeatrice TaitDell Quay Sailing Club334(7)6(DNC)16
53125Archie MasseyRosie MasseyDell Quay Sailing Club(DNC)7155(DNC)18
63027Harvey HillarySophia HillaryDell Quay Sailing Club226(10)10(DNC)20
73739Lucy BorehamRachel CrebbinChichester Yacht Club(10)10(11)62422
8550Tim BoonRichard OliverDell Quay Sailing Club8(14)(9)88529
93674Ollie ReynoldsTed / Arthur ReynoldsDell Quay Sailing Club798(11)(11)630
103023Barney SmithKaren MainRAFYC/Hamble River SC(DNC)(DNC)DNC24133
113095Christian GuyBen SherwoodCastaways657(DNC)(DNC)DNC44
123895Patch FilleryOllie FilleryDell Quay Sailing Club981215(DNC)(DNC)44
133127Shaun PollardZara PollardDell Quay Sailing Club(13)(13)101313844
142560Alex OlilvieLoni MayhewHISC1411(17)12(RET)946
152710Iain MayCharlie May 12(16)(14)14121048
161522Ben GreenFi EdwardsLymington Town SC(DNC)(DNC)DNC97749
173476Jason AldousImogen AldousPapercourt111213(DNC)(DNC)DNC62
182380Rowan Marchant‑WilliamsHugo Marchant‑WilliamsDell Quay Sailing Club17151516(DNC)(DNC)63
192319Hiram PargeterScott DerhamDell Quay Sailing Club151716(RET)RET(DNC)65
202390Douglas VincettIsabella VincettMedina Mariners AssociationRET191917(DNC)(DNC)77
213005Phil GuilfoyleTed / Arthur ReynoldsDell Quay Sailing Club191818(DNC)(DNC)DNC81
222947Charlie TavnerDaisy Tavner 16(DNC)(DNC)18DNCDNC86
2367John RutterOliver RutterDell Quay Sailing ClubRET(DNC)(DNC)RETRETDNC87
244281Harriet O'SullivanChloe / VivIen O'SullivanDell Quay Sailing Club18(DNC)(DNC)DNCDNCDNC96
251809Tim MartindaleSarah MartindaleDell Quay Sailing Club(DNC)(DNC)DNCRETDNCDNC100

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