The first day of the Holt Fireball World Championship took place yesterday in Teignmouth in a stiff Force 5
After a relatively light wind European Championship last week, Sunday morning dawned with a stiff Force 5 and the 176-boat fleet for the world championship in Teignmouth set to sea for a 1300 start.
Conditions proved to be very challenging for the race officer’s team as the committee boat dragged its anchor in the windy conditions and deep water. The first start was recalled due to the combination of shifting breeze and the committee boat dragging its anchor, the line became so biased that the fleet could not cross the line on starboard!
The second start got away cleanly. The 2003 Fireball World Champions Chips Howarth and Vyv Townend made a good start at the pin end of the line and led at the windward mark. Following in second place were John Curzon and Peter Elver. Around the first triangle Sam Mettam and Richard Anderton claimed second from John and Peter while the 2004 European Champions Tomas Musil and Jan Stantejsky took third.
Time was now getting on but with a forecast of very light winds for the next few days the race officer was keen to complete another race. After a couple of general recalls, once again, the fleet eventually managed to get away. On the first beat the right-hand side paid with all the leaders coming in on the starboard layline.
The 2004 Fireball World Champion Andy Smith and Johnny Mildred decided this was the race to show their form by taking the race win from last week’s winners DJ Edwards and Dan Newman. Showing that consistency was the order of the day were Tomas Musil and Jan Stantejsky who, with their second third place of the day, are now clear leaders at the end of day one.
In the evening we were entertained by the French as part of their promotional effort for the 2006 European Championships.