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Fireball Open at Hayling Island Sailing Club

by Georgie Booth & Ollie Davenport 23 Apr 11:34 BST 15-16 April 2023
Hayling Island Fireball Open © Peter Hickson

Hayling Island held their early spring Fireball meeting over the weekend of 15/16 April. The wind forecast was pretty poor for the weekend which was reflected in the lower than expected turnout.

Only two races were completed on Saturday before the wind dropped off to nothing.

Race 1

The first race started with a solid 10 knots of breeze with some crews slightly out on the wire! First round the windward mark was Tom Gillard and Andy Thompson. The second beat was very eventful with Tom and Andy, Georgia and Olly, and David and Matt battling through the shifts up the middle of the course. Little did they realise that Simon and Jono, and Nick and Evelyn played it out to the right coming in on a very nice lift with wind. Tom and Andy just managed to round the windward in front of them, however David and Matt, and Georgia and Olly were left chasing. This meant the pack was lead by Tom and Andy, followed closely by Nick and Evelyn then Simon and Jono, with little changes across the reaches.

Race 2

The wind had now dropped off to 5-8 knots, along with a pin end bias line it was making a tricky start to the race.

It was the Willcocks brother who timed it right at the pin end and managed to tack on to port at the starting gun to get straight onto the lifted tack, which most of the fleet matched and tacked onto port too. At the windward it was home boat heroes Simon and Jono who rounded with a healthy lead after coming in from the left hand side of the course. The fleet stayed close together down the run with people fighting for what little wind there was. At the gate Simon and Jono were still leading and opted for the right hand gate, Georgia and Olly split and opted for the left hand gate, with Tom and Andy, and the majority of the fleet following Simon and Jono round the right hand side. Up the next beat everyone was trying to keep their heads out the boat and sniff for any extra puffs of wind they could whilst trying to stay on the lifted tack. It was Georgia and Olly who managed to make the best of the conditions, rounding to go on to the reach with a healthy lead. Simon and Jono had managed to stay ahead of Tom and Andy.

The reaches were tricky with just enough wind to keep the boats moving, but with the added task of weaving through the Contender fleet. Coming into the last mark at the finish Simon and Jono and Tom and Andy had worked their way high which meant they then had to gybe to get down to the last mark, this allowed Tom and Andy to gain an overlap on Simon and Jono taking second place from him right at the end after a very well sailed race. David Sayce and Matt Alvarado were close behind in fourth with Dave Hall and Paul Constable in fifth. After the fleet had finished the wind considerably dropped, the Race team made a swift decision to send all the fleet in.

Sunday dawned and sailors made their way to the club to a very glassy overcast looking harbour, which didn't show much promise of producing a Hayling sea breeze. After an hour postponement the decision was taken to cancel the racing for the day. Congratulations to Tom and Shandy on winning the event and retaining their crown at Hayling from last year.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2Pts
1st15122Thomas GillardAndy ThompsonStaunton Harold SC123
2nd14940Georgia BoothOlly DavenportHayling Island SC415
3rd15166Simon KingsJono LoeHayling Island SC336
4th14798Nicholas ReesEvelyne SchotteHayling Island SC268
5th15112David SayceMatt Alvarado 'Hayling Island SC549
6th15155David HallPaul ConstableBlackwater SC6511
7th14928James WillcocksJames WillcocksPortishead YC & SC7815
8th14391Christine SlaterJo LinePortishead YC & SC9716
9th14844Kathryn BroatchThomas BroatchPort Dinorwic SC8917
10th1489   10DNC [12]22
11th1438Tom ThirkettleLewis JohnsHayling Island SCDNC [12]DNC [12]24

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