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One week left of early-bird Firefly Nationals entry

by Alex Baxter 1 May 13:49 BST 27 July - 2 August 2024
Firefly Nationals 2023 at Felixstowe © NFA

One week left of early-bird Firefly Nationals entry: "a week of glamorous sailing and good vibes". The 2024 Firefly Nationals are at Restronguet Sailing Club from the 27th of July to the 2nd of August.

Only a week is left until the early bird entry for the 2024 Firefly Nationals at Restronguet Sailing Club ends on the 7th May. So get your entries in: webcollect.org.uk/restronguet/event/firefly-national-championships-2024

The 2023 Firefly Nationals at Felixstowe Ferry Sailing Club were a roaring success for the class. There were 62 entries, with a quarter of the fleet students and over 50% of the fleet under 25, not to mention that two students came and won the event.

This begs the question, what is the class getting right? Well, the NFA put in an enormous amount of work to ensure students could get boats, sails, jib sticks and anything they needed to get sailing.

This will continue at the championships this year. The Firefly Class has a group of supporters and friends willing to help people get on the start line.

Two members have independently set up a Google Doc for the boat/crew finding, which can be found here: forms.gle/eWpWwAAyh5YS4WHD8

We have a list of boats ready for those who'd like to borrow/hire a boat for the week, along with anything else people may need, especially for students.

But don't listen to me; listen to those who came last year...

Will Pank, University of East Anglia, and 2023 National Champion:

Firefly's have a long history of being involved in university sailing, and nationals were an excellent opportunity to race the boats in a high-calibre fleet. There was a great social scene with something going on every night; being active on the university team racing scene, I already recognised a few faces, and acquaintances became friends over the week.

The entire week was a great experience, and we have met friends who we will see over the next few years at the University events and hopefully the nationals again. We love the class more now than we did, having just been doing the university circuit, and we look forward to seeing everyone in Restronguet and beyond!

Sebi Schmidt, University of Plymouth:

As a group, we came into the Firefly Nationals unsure of what to expect. As it was, the event was a fantastic week for all involved. Some amazing sailing combined with an excellent social schedule to exceed our expectations.

The efforts of Callum, Alex and the rest of the NFA to get fellow university teams and us to the nationals was hugely appreciated. The association approached us in April, and having helpfully informed them we couldn't get our boats and rigs to the venue; we were delighted to have boats generously lent to us for the week by Cambridge Uni. The lending of boats, reduced entry fees for students, and the incredibly friendly fleet made us feel very welcome. I would strongly encourage any university clubs considering participating to contact the NFA if anything prevents them from entering. The fleet was very forthcoming with tips on how to set the boats up, and we all came away from the week with strong intentions of doing it all again at Restronguet next year. We were joined by three other university teams this year; it would be fantastic to have even more next summer!

Rosie Jones, University of Cambridge:

Having experienced the fun of the Uni team racing circuit socials, I had high expectations of what the firefly class had to offer - and they did not disappoint! The racing was well run and highly competitive throughout the fleet, with 10 races across the week. It was fun being with a strong cohort of university team racers, and it was also great to meet so many new people in the class, with lively socials each night. The firefly class is incredibly friendly; everyone was keen to chat, enjoy a pint in the evening and have a good boogie on the dance floor. It was a week of glamorous sailing, and good vibes.

Harris Goodman, University of Warwick:

It almost took until Felixstowe this year to recover from Tenby the year before, but I wouldn't have it any other way! Tenby's sun, sand and light winds were replaced with tide, wind, and waves for another exceptional week of racing and socials. A larger number of universities turned up this year, much in part due to the dedication and hard work of the fleet to encourage and facilitate their attendance. From sourcing boats, towing boats, sourcing class legal sails, digging out jib sticks, epoxying cracks and tuning rigs, the class has been exceptionally helpful and friendly to ensure the event is accessible and enjoyable, one of the key reasons that persuaded me to return.

One of the most endearing aspects of the fleet is being able to talk to absolutely anyone, having them be happy to talk, and actively going out of their way to help with any problem. It makes the whole event a super enjoyable experience, topped off with the infamous Firefly socials that were a highlight of the week. The class was exceptionally welcoming to students and was bending backwards to facilitate their attendance. I would be hard-pressed to find another class that could be that friendly, competitive, and eager to share knowledge, so I am already planning my trip to Restronguet.

If you're considering joining us in 2024, please don't hesitate to contact , and we'll do all we can to help.

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