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Henri-Lloyd - For the Obsessed

The oldest video footage of Fireball sailing dinghies

by Magnus Smith 21 Apr 12:00 BST
1960s Fireball action © Chippendale boats

Our video archive is fully searchable, and linked to all the clubs and classes in our database. It is updated weekly with the latest videos of sailing, but here we delve into the past, and round-up everything that shows racing in Fireballs, which mostly comes from the 1970s.

All the best nostalgic dinghy videos should start with footage of the boat on a trailer, so the car designs of that era can send our minds straight back to old memories! This video should prove highly enjoyable for sailors of the right age: 1970 Fireball Worlds at Fenit, Tralee Bay, Ireland (maybe the disco dancing scenes in particular).

You will need to skip to the end of Dinghy racing on Lake Mcilwane (1971) to avoid sitting through the OK and Optimist footage. Go to 5m40s for the 'ball action!

Same drill here; skip the Merlin Rockets by going directly to 7m15s. The video shows Bala SC mixed dinghy racing (1972) from Wales.

Even worse with this video, we need to skip an entire concrete boat project to get to Dinghy racing on the River Crouch (1970s sometime). The Fireball footage is at 29m30s and 32m40s.

This video from 1976-77 is an hour long, but shows Fireballs fairly often. It is mixed club racing and some open meetings at Burnham Overy Staithe in North Norfolk (UK).

You have to watch at youtube.com/watch?v=RxPQk7wpsAk as we cannot embed the video here. If you are in a rush, there are several sections you can skip:

  • swimming - 11m00s to 14m23s
  • National 12 open meeting - 21m27s to 23m20s
  • prizegiving - 29m09s to 30m35s
  • International OK open meeting - 21m27s to 23m20s
  • vicar - 41m45s to 44m58s
  • rowing - 50m50s to the end

Next up... if you were lucky enough to sail at the Worlds in South Africa then perhaps this (admittedly, simple) footage might interest you: Fireball world championships - Durban - 24 May 1980.

We finish in the 1990s with a whole hour of Worlds footage, this time from Japan: 1990 Fireball World Championship - Enoshima. If you don't have time for all the on-water footage, look for the sections where sailors are talking to camera.

What of the rest?

Do you know the location of any Fireball videos that show racing fleets from the 1960s or the 80s? We would love to share these with other sailors. You can submit video links to us for immediate review.

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