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Gul Fireball Inland Championship at Draycote Water Sailing Club

by Dave Hall 11 Oct 2022 14:29 BST 8-9 October 2022

Draycote Water Sailing Club held the 2022 Gul Inland Championship, the last Fireball event of the year. After a busy season it was good to see over 30 boats arrive including many new teams from far away along with some young teams coming from the 420 class.

Saturday's forecast was for a gentle breeze easing off through the day - in fact until the last race the breeze held steady in strength if not direction.

With the Race team struggling to set a line with the constantly changing direction they eventually got one set - albeit very port biased at start time. The fleet got away cleanly for race one with Mark Maskell & Nigel Sheppard leading the fleet to the first mark. They held for a while, but the chasing pack swallowed them up on the second beat in the tricky conditions. Tom & Shandy worked to the front to win, with Dave Hall & Paul Constable taking a good shift at the end to follow in second.

It was more of the same for the second race of the day - a port bias line which got away. Tom & Shandy won the start and never looked back. Dave & Paul had a battle with Dave Wade & Ian Blake with Dave & Paul snatching 2nd place.

For race 3 the Race team went for a starboard bias line which ended up in a general recall as the majority of the fleet sheeted in with 15 seconds to go. So back to a port bias line and the fleet got away. Vince Horey & Rich Pepperdine opened up a good lead chased by the usual suspects. Then up the last beat the wind decided that right was the way to go and out of the blue came Tom & Shandy along with Martyn & Dan Lewis. They went on to take 1st and 2nd.

The forecast for Sunday was for more breeze, and it certainly came with some big gusts and big shifts. As the day wore on the fleet depleted slightly as tired arms took their toll.

It was race 4 and local boat Mike Deane & Paul Disney won the pin end to storm up the first beat only to be chased down by Tom & Shandy. Going into the finish after a great race Mike & Paul were just pipped into second place by Dave & Paul.

As the wind continued to build it was Paul Cullen and Vyv Townsend revelling in the breezy conditions to take a second place on race 5 to the ever-consistent Tom & Shandy.

With the championship now decided, Tom & Shandy headed home. Race 6 became a 3-boat battle with the places continually changing and the shifts either provided a ladder or a snake. The final order going into the finish was Dave & Paul followed by Dave & Ian with Paul & Vyv taking third.

Once again it was a fine display of sailing and racing by Tom & Shandy - a deserved win making it a triple with the Worlds, Nationals and now the Inlands. This was also the final event of the Gul Golden Dolphin series which was won by Dave Hall & Paul Constable, with Derian & Andy as runners-up.

The Draycote fleet provided competitors with an abundance of cake at the prize-giving - a welcome calorie boost before the journey home!

The Fireball fleet is hugely grateful to Gul for sponsoring the Inland Championship and the Golden Dolphin series.

Overall Results:

Gold fleet
1st Tom Gillard & Andy Thompson
2nd Dave Hall & Paul Constable
3rd Paul Cullen & Vyv Townend

Silver fleet
1st Mike Whitehouse & Adam Whitehouse
2nd Anthony Willcocks & Andrea Willcocks
3rd Simon Lomas-Clarke & Rob Daniels

Bronze fleet
1st Richard Pratt & Charlie Turnbull
2nd Peter Bettles & Richard Bettles
3rd Jeremy Atkins & Richard Botting

1st U26 helm: Dan Johnson
1st U26 crew: Daniel Lewis

Merit: Alice Davis & Oliver Rayner - finished 16th in their first Fireball event in a borrowed boat

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st15122Thomas GillardAndy ThompsonSheffield Viking SC11111(DNC)5
2nd15155David HallPaul ConstableBlackwater SC22‑423110
3rd15147Paul CullenVyv TownsendWeirwood3‑8752320
4th15151Martyn LewisDaniel LewisRYA(DNC)4244620
5th14778Mike DeanePaul DisneyDraycote66‑2335727
6th15120Vincent HoreyRichard PepperdineKing George Sailing Club593(DNC)7428
7th14941Derian ScottAndy ScottChew Valley Lake SC‑117988941
8th15162Dave WadeIan Blake / Ben RaynerDraycote(DNC)356DNC249
9th15096Michael WhitehouseAdam WhitehouseChelmarsh / Whitstable4‑19111561854
10th14837Russ CormackAli CormackBudworth SC12510‑17161255
11th14928Anthony WillcocksAndrea WillcocksPortishead Sailing Club‑141189131455
12th15114John HayesJoel JamesSouthport/RYA(DNC)1567191057
13th15130Dan JohnsonBen LathamWeston7101213(DNC)1557
14th14785Simon Lomas‑ClarkeRob DanielsTCYC‑221220129558
15th15125Richard PrattCharlie TurnbullRutland sailing club918‑221610861
16th5162Alice DavisOliver RaynerDraycote/Yorkshire Dales SC13‑201710141165
17th15164Graham ClowTony WrightDelph SC1714151911(DNC)76
18th15045Christine SlaterGraham SlaterPYSC & PySC‑20171811201682
19th14883Katie ByneLia HorneDraycote Water Sailing Club15‑241920181385
20th14886Simon MaskellTom MaskellHunts SC10211314(DNC)DNC91
21st15056Colin SnowdonKaren HilesDraycote Water19‑252121121992
22nd14860Peter BettlesRichard BettlesFishers Green1626161821(DNC)97
23rd15127Jeremy AtkinsRichard BottingDWSC212324(DNC)1517100
24th15066Mark MaskellNigel SheppardBlackwater SC81314(DNC)DNCDNC101
25th14822Jonathan HughesEthan CheshireDraycote Water S.C.2322‑25221720104
26th14628Peter NugentCameron JamesSouth Shields24282623(DNC)DNC134
27th14792Graham WilsonPete WarneNorthampton18(DNC)2725DNCDNC136
28th15160Peter MallabandRobert PantingWhitefrairs Sailing Club271628(DNC)DNCDNC137
29th14800Andrew TaylorDavid HaslamDelph SC25273024(DNC)DNC139
30th14876Jason CahillKerry WebbPort Dinorwic SC & Bartley283031(DNC)DNC21143
31st14924mark ashworthGary CatterallDelph s c262929(DNC)DNCDNC150
32nd14873Ian OldburyGemma McIlroyDelph Sailing Club Bolton(DNC)DNCDNCDNCDNCDNC165

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