Despite an inclement forecast, conditions for the Fireball open at Paignton over the weekend of 3-4 May were near perfect
Despite an inclement forecast, conditions for the Fireball open at Paignton over the weekend of 3-4 May were near perfect – clear skies and breeze.
For the two races on Saturday, winds touching 20 knots and a short chop taxed even the most experienced and those further down the fleet who found the going difficult could console themselves with the fact that even those at the front had a dip at some point.
The first race was a closely fought affair between Andy Smith and crew James Meldrum and Dave Wade and Richard Wagstaff, but failure to read the race instructions properly meant that they embarked on a fourth lap rather than sailing past the leeward mark to the downwind finish. Simon Payne, sailing his inaugural race in a Fireball proved that 505 sailors are a more literate bunch and finished correctly to win the race from Malcolm Davies and Russell Thorne in second and Kevin Hope and Bob Gardner third.
In race two, Smith made no mistakes and won the race from Wade in second and Davies third.
Sunday morning saw sunshine and Force 2-3 but the forecast was for this to build to 20 knots during the day. In the first race of the day, Smith continued his good form to take the early lead but was passed by Payne who went onto win with Smith second and Hope third.
In race four, Davies led from start to finish, with Payne second and Hope again third.
The breeze kicked in for the deciding fifth race, with Davies, Payne, and Smith all with a chance of winning overall. Smith continued to show the great speed he had shown all weekend, particularly in the breeze, to win by a comfortable margin. Davies was second, Wade third and a fourth for Payne left him on equal points with Davies but his two race gave him the meeting on countback.
1st 14830, Simon Payne and Vyv Townend (Hayling Island SC) 8 pts
2nd 13945, Malcolm Davies and Russell Thorne (Paignton SC) 8 pts
3rd 14801, Andy Smith and James Meldrum (Notts County SC) 10pts
4th 14839, Kevin Hope and Bob Gardner (Notts County SC) 13 pts
5th 14791, Angus Hemmings and Steve Chesney (HISC) 20 pts
6th 14809, Dave Wade and Richard G Wagstaff (Northampton SC) 21 pts
1st Classic Fireball 12101 Tim Morgan