Aussies knock the British off the top spot at the Fireball worlds

The Fireball world championship in Adelaide is currently being dogged by strong winds and so far this week only three races have been completed. The race officer therefore, insisted the fleet went out yesterday when the wind seemed to abate slightly.

Race one and it was local boys Brett Young and Allen Blenkle who led at the windward mark. Brett and Allen kept their lead until the gun. In second spot were Ireland’s Shane MacCathy and Roger Gilbert. Andy Smith and James Meldrum believed that they had got a third place which would have put them in a strong place over all, only to discover they were OCS’ed.

Race two was held back to back with race one. The race officer had to have a number of attempts at starting the fleet, some 11 boats getting black flagged including series leader Bret Young and Allen Blenkle. When the race did get away it was the Swiss paring of Kurt Venhoda and Sonja Zaugg who established an early lead. During the cause of the race Kurt and Sonja gradually extended their lead only to find out that they had been black flagged in an earlier start. A very costly mistake, as this resulted in a non-disgardable disqualification. This left the race win to the Australian pairing of Heather MacFarlane and Chris Payne. In second spot were the Czech duo of Tomas Musil and Jan Danek.

After a break for lunch the fleet launched for race three of the day. The race officer opted for a trapezoid coarse for the afternoon race. With Brett Young, Andy Smith and Dave Wade all appearing to keep a tight cover on each on the first beat, it was Australian’s Scott Lidgett and Tony Wood, who led at the windward mark. In second and third places were the British boats of Andy Pearce crewed by Dave Mason, and Malcolm Davies crewed by Russell Thorn. Scott and Tony sailed low on the first tight reach allowing both Andy and Dave and Malcolm and Russell to pull through into first and second places respectively. Andy and Dave held the lead until the final tight reach of the trapezoid, when Malcolm and Russell managed to spot the leeward mark first and take a better coarse to it. Jeremy Davey and Andy Thomson also managed to pass Andy and Dave on the final reach and get up into second place only latter to discover they had been OCS’ed (for the second time in a day). The final result for race three was Malcolm Davies and Russell Thorn in first with Andy Pearce and Dave Mason in second place.


1st AUS 14849, Brett Young and Allen Blenkle

2nd GBR 14801, Andy Smith and James Meldrum

3rd GBR 14809, Dave Wade and Richard Wagstaff

4th CZE 14712, Tomas Musil and Jan Danek

5th GBR 13945, Malcolm Davies and Russell Thorn

6th GBR 14855, Richard Eastaugh and Simon Potts