Please select your home edition
2024 fill-in (top)

Thomas Castle Aviation Heritage Fireball Spring Championship at Hayling Island Sailing Club

by Georgia Booth 14 May 15:30 BST 11-12 May 2024
Thomas Castle Aviation Heritage Fireball Spring Championship at Hayling Island © Rob O'Neill

The inaugural Spring championship took place over the weekend of the 11/12 April from Hayling Island Sailing Club. A trophy has been presented by Ian Castle who is the class treasure and farther of Tom Castle - a well known and liked Fireball sailor who tragically died in a plane crash a few years back.

As the travelling Fireball sailors arrived they were greeted with what looked like perfect conditions of 23 degrees and a optimistically building breeze.

Race 1 started in 10 knots and saw a strong start for returning duo of Dave Wade and Rich Pepperdine leading around the top mark followed by a tightly packed fleet, on the downwind it was the boats that took the early gybe that saw the big gains. With the tide and pressure making the left hand side of the beat so strong it made for hard passing lanes and at the finish it was Graham and Will Cook 1st, Pete Gray and Shandy 2nd, Dave Hall and Paul Constable 3rd.

Race 2 looked like it was going to be similar to race 1 with tide building and wind holding steady in direction but pressure was down. But it was the local boats of Nick Rees and Evelyne Schotte and Nathan and Jo Rushin who set themselves up slightly further right of the fleet and got in a nice bit of pressure and right hand shift that combined with their light wind boat speed saw them both have healthy leads at the top mark.

The rest of the fleet were headed by Georgia Booth and Olly Davenport. The top three held their positions for the rest of the race with the race course making it hard to find passing lanes.

Race 3: Started in around 8 knots again with most of the fleet again favouring the left had side of the course which saw Booth and Davenport 1st around the windward mark followed by the Cooks and Wadey and Pepperdine.

Overnight with all three races to count saw Farther and Son duo of Graham and William Cook leading with a strong 1,5,2.

The fleet enjoyed a typical summer late afternoon on the terrace followed by a group curry in the clubhouse - which in turn carried on into the bar.

Day 2 came with the wind direction the same as yesterday blowing through from the E/SE. We saw (very) slightly stronger winds of between 10-12 knots.

Race 4: After a few postponements and a general recall the first race set off with a heavy pin end bias and strong tide pushing teams onto the pin making timing the run to the line tricky. Home boat of Simon and Jono made the best of the conditions to round first a head of a tight pack, by the leeward mark Wadey had snook into the lead. Lots of places changed up the next beat meaning it was Wadey and Pepperdine in 1st, Nick and Evelyne 2nd and Booth/Davenport 3rd.

At the finish Booth had managed to get past Nick and Evelyne.

Race 5: Started with Jono and Simon having another great start taking the lead round the majority of the race course with Dave and Rich close behind. However, on the last beat to the finish Jono and Simon picked up some weed rounding the reach mark, slowing them down towards the finish. This gave Booth and Davenport a chance to sneak through to take the win. Wadey and Pepperdine finished 2nd, and Sayce and Rayner 3rd.

Points were close going into the final race with Wadey needing to win and have Booth finish 4th or finish he could come in 2nd and have Booth finish worst then 5th. But there was also had the pressure of if the Cooks won he needed to finish 2nd to keep hold on to second overall.

Race 6: The wind had dropped by the start of race 6. Wadey nailed the pin end looking to dominate the race and put pressure on the other 2 boats. The Cooks had also made a good start just up from the pin and showed some great boat speed leading by the top mark with Booth in second and Wadey third. The leading three pulled away for the rest of the racing and Wadey slipping past Booth on the run. The Cooks took the gun with Wadey and Rich second, Booth and Davenport third.

Once ashore and the results counted it was Georgia and Olly who became the first Fireball Spring champions.

Overall Results:

PosSail NoHelmCrewClubR1R2R3R4R5R6Pts
1st14940Georgia BoothOlly DavenportHISC‑63121310
2nd15102Dave WadeRich PepperdineDraycote‑84312212
3rd15091Graham CookWilliam CookLyme Regis Sailing Club152‑74113
4th14798Nicholas ReesEvelyne SchotteHayling Island Sailing Club51835‑922
5th15112David SayceBen RaynerHISC‑109643426
6th15155David HallPaul ConstableBlackwater SC3107‑116632
7th15166Simon KingsJono LoeHisc47(DNC)6RET541
8th15122Pete GreyAndy ThompsonStaunton Harold/east Antrim boat club2648(DNC)DNC42
9th15147Paul CullenSimon ForbesWeirwood7851211(DNC)43
10th15103Nathan RushinJo RushinHayling island sailing club14210‑1691045
11th14785Simon Lomas‑ClarkeRob DanielsFrensham Pond SC11‑1814571148
12th14742Finlay Lomas‑ClarkeWilliam BaileyFrensham Pond / Yorkshire Dales1211910‑14749
13th15145Tom GoacherSteve GoacherLymington Town Sailing Club(DNC)1411910852
14thIRL15156Daniel ThompsonHenry ThompsonWexford‑1313131381360
15th14883Bill ChardJosh PreaterChew Valley915121412(DNC)62
16th15149Frank WarnerEmma WarnerHISC‑17161615151274
17th14391Jemima LineJo LineThornbury SC‑18121517161575
18th15161Chris TurnerColin ParkeHISC1617(DNC)18131478
19th15013Tony GodwinCharlie PlowsRutland Water Sailing Club15‑201720171786
20th14614Tom ThirkettleJames CuxsonHISC(DNC)211919181693
21st14889Barry SmithRick SpringThornbury Sailing Club191918(DNC)DNCDNC100

Related Articles

100 Years of Jack Chippendale
One of the greats behind the golden era of the UK's domestic dinghy scene Regular readers will hopefully have enjoyed the recent 'Fine Lines' series of photos, times to coincide with the centenary of one of the greats behind the golden era of the UK's domestic dinghy scene, Jack Chippendale. Posted on 13 May
'Fine Lines' Top Ten part 10
With a full history of master boatbuilder Jack Chippendale This, the tenth and final Fine Lines in this series ends up with a real example of what the thinking is all about, that near perfect fusion of style and function. Plus a more detailed look at Jack's life and his boats. Posted on 1 May
Fireball Spring Championship Preview
The fleet is looking forward to classic Hayling Bay racing HISC is hosting the Fireball Spring Championship on 11/12 May. We're looking forward to 6 classic races out in Hayling Bay. Posted on 1 May
Irish Fireball Munster Championships
Stunning conditions at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club The Irish Fireball Munster Championships were held last weekend on April 20th/21st at Monkstown Bay Sailing Club in stunning weather conditions. Posted on 25 Apr
The oldest video footage of Fireball dinghies
A look back into our video archive We delve into the past, and round-up all videos which show sailing in the Fireball class of dinghy. Posted on 21 Apr
Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites series 2 overall
Final races run in contrasting winds The last Sunday of the Viking Marine sponsored Frostbites arrived with a forecast of contrasting conditions, blustery winds for the morning, followed by winds of between 5 and 7 knots during the projected race time with a 90 degrees swing. Posted on 27 Mar
Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites series 2 day 17
Increasing wind strength reduces St Patrick's Day sailing to a single race The St Patrick's Day Frostbites saw the lowest turnout of boats in Series 2 thus far - maybe just the weather forecast for the day which showed the early part of the afternoon to be manageable, but getting heavier later on. Posted on 21 Mar
Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites series 2 day 16
Another two races in the bag, in Dun Laoghaire Despite a horrible forecast of wind which caused Howth's Round the Island Race to be cancelled (on the Saturday) and huge seas in Dun Laoghaire on Saturday, the dinghy Frostbites, sponsored by Viking Marine took place on Sunday afternoon. Posted on 12 Mar
Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites series 2 day 15
Weather permits three races, at last! After a week that saw snow fall over large parts of Dublin and further afield on Friday, Sunday was, by comparison, a pleasant spring day with sunshine and a gentler breeze that the previous Sunday. Posted on 5 Mar
Viking Marine DMYC Frostbites series 2 day 14
Some experienced competitors found the challenge a bit too robust Yesterday's Frostbites in Dun Laoghaire Harbour were a test for organisers and competitors alike. The forecast suggested a N-Easterly breeze. Wind strength had been predicted in the high teens gusting into the low twenties and that too manifested itself. Posted on 28 Feb