A total of 52 boats turned out for the Fireball open meeting at Draycote Water SC last weekend
The forecast of gales and rain did not deter 52 Fireballs from making the journey to Draycote over the weekend of 23-24 October. In the event, conditions were excellent. Winds ranged from 10 to 15 knots, but the occasional 25 knot squall made things interesting.
A 10 knot breeze eased the fleet into racing for race 1. Despite a poor start Dave Wade and Richard Wagstaff worked their way up through the fleet to overtake the early leaders, Vince Horey and Gavin Tillson, and take the winners gun. The scratch crew of Andy Smith and Vyv Townend took second and Horey third.
Just as Race 2 got underway the first of the weekend’s many squalls hit. Once again Wade took the lead and was never seriously challenged leaving Paul Cullen and crew Jonathan Ching to fight it out with Smith for second. On the penultimate lap Cullen’s kicker broke and not relishing the idea of a run in 25 knots with his boom in the air he stopped to effect repairs allowing Smith through, with Tim Rush and Pete Elver taking third.
Race 3 held on Sunday was held in 10-15 knots. Smith won, from Horey in second and Cullen third.
Some vicious squalls were again a feature of Race 4. Wade led around the first mark only to go for a dip on the reach, gifting the lead to Cullen. Wade got going again only to have his main halyard snap forcing his retirement. Cullen won and Horey was second. Smith had his own problems when a boat capsized on top of him at the start but he picked his way through the carnage to take third.
Going into the last race only Smith and Horey could win the meeting. Smith won the race and with it the meeting, Cullen was second and Rush took another third.
The event was excellently managed by Draycote Water SC and the race officer did a great job in setting some good courses and quickly and efficiently turning the races around.
1st 14830 Andy Smith and Vyv Townend (Notts County SC) 6 pts
2nd 14783 Paul Cullen and Jonathan Ching (Weir Wood SC) 11 pts
3rd 14870 Vince Horey and Gavin Tillson (King George SC) 11pts
4th 14864 Tim Rush and Pete Elver (Staunton Harold SC) 14 pts
5th 14880 Dave Wade and Richard Wagstaff (Northampton SC) 17 pts
6th Pete Badham and John Rhodes (Draycote SC) 28 pts
1st Silver Fleet Mike Deane and P Disney (Draycote SC)
1st Bronze Fleet I Christie and K Jackson (Draycote SC)