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Fireball 60th Anniversary Open Meeting to be held at Hayling Island SC 1-3 July

by Chris Turner 27 May 16:03 BST 1-3 July 2022
1967 Chichester Harbour racing © Archive

For many sailors the Fireball has been an ever-present during their years on the water and it is, perhaps, a little disconcerting for some to reflect on the fact that the class will be 60 years old this year. Tempus fugit!

To mark the diamond anniversary, the UK Fireball Association has planned a three-day celebration which will be hosted by Hayling Island Sailing Club over 1-3 July. The club does, of course, have an extremely strong bond with the class having established one of the earliest fleets and hosted the first national championship in 1963 as well as the inaugural worlds in 1966. Indeed, the first-ever recorded Fireball race was held at HISC's annual regatta in 1962.

It is, then, no surprise that many Fireballers from the early days have indicated they plan to visit the club during the open meeting; reminiscing will not be in short supply! Entries are expected from owners of vintage and classic Fireballs as well as their modern sisters so there will be something for everyone and that is the theme of the event. The three days racing will see sprint series, traditional racing in the bay and a unique 'harbour tour' consisting of a series of races around Chichester Harbour taking in many of the clubs that used to race Fireballs including, wind permitting, Dell Quay SC - the spiritual home of the class.

HISC's Commodore and former Fireballer, Andy Partington, will host a reception on the evening of day one while a dinner for competitors, ex-Fireballers and others with fond memories of the class will be held on Saturday 2nd. Tickets are selling quickly and a number of former world and national champions have already bought theirs.

Entries are being taken on line at www.hisc.co.uk/sailing/open-events/fireball-60-anniversary-om (£135 for early birds) while tickets for the dinner - £20 each - may be purchased separately via the club office (023 9246 3768).

Diamond anniversary clothing is available at www.ukfa.stitchprint.co.uk

Programme Details:

Friday 1 July
Registration 09.00 - 11.00
Multiple short sprint races sailed in Chichester Harbour. First warning signal 13:00.
Commodore's reception in the evening

Saturday 2 July
Harbour Tour - A series of races sailed touring Chichester Harbour (bring a lifting rudder!)
Anniversary dinner in the evening

Sunday 3 July
Three race series sailed in Hayling Bay

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