With just two days remaining, competition is hotting up at the Firefly nationals with the top two boats on equal points
Wednesday saw the 71 boats at the Firefly national championship at Hamble compete for the Sir Ralph Gore Challenge Cup and the Marlow Ropes Trophy. Conditions in the Solent race area were particularly tricky in the light and shifty north-easterly breeze with big shifts and even bigger holes being the order of the day.
The long distance Gore is traditionally sailed for by the top half of the fleet, with the remainder contesting the Marlow. This year, for the first time, the races were also to count towards the week’s points series.
After the first beat of the six lap race the leaders of the Gore were Nigel Wakefield and Caroline Ellis closely followed by Ed Smith and Lucy Holmes and Barney Smith and Jessica Brown. Wakefield and Ed Smith contested the lead for the next three laps with neither ever establishing a clear advantage. Barney Smith had now been caught by the pack and Roger Morris and Sally Cuthbert and Stuart Hudson and Tony Corlett had moved into contention. Morris, Hudson, Wakefield and Ed Smith were tightly packed for the next two laps but at the final windward mark Smith slipped inside Morris and Hudson to regain the lead which he then held down the final set of reaches and up the last beat to record the win. Hudson finished second, just holding off Wakefield with Morris fourth. Of the other main contenders for the overall points trophy, Ian Sanderson and Linda Eadie finished fifth, while Jono Pank and Sally Wilson finished seventh.
The Marlow Trophy was won by Damian and Lucy Boreham from Tim Paull of the home club, with Dave Cheshire and Jack Armstrong third.
In the overall series, things are hotting up with three races to go. Pank and Sanderson are tied for the lead on 21 points, with Ed Smith advancing to third (24 points) following his two race wins and Morris fourth with 25 points.
Sir Ralph Gore Challenge Trophy
1st 2803 Grendel, Ed Smith and Lucy Holmes
2nd 3681 Go Ballistic, Stuart Hudson and Tony Corlett
3rd 3674 Florence, Nigel Wakefield and Caroline Ellis
4th 3119 Horror, Roger Morris and Sally Cuthbert
5th 3690 Waynetta, Ian Sanderson and Linda Eadie
Marlow Ropes Trophy
1st 3072 Squeeky, Damian and Lucy Boreham
2nd 3694 MDL, Tim Paull
3rd 3612, Dave Cheshire and Jack Armstrong
Overall (after 6 races)
1st 1954 Pogie Jono Pank, Sally Wilson,.The Band (21pts)
2nd 3690 Waynetta, Ian Sanderson, Linda Eadie, Royal Lymington (21pts) )
3rd 2803 Grendel, Ed Smith, Lucy Holmes, Tamesis (24 pts)
4th 3119 Horror Roger Morris, Sally Cuthbert, Spinnaker (25pts) )
5th 3681 Go Ballistic, Stuart Hudson and Tony Corlett (28pts)