British sailors Dave Wade and Richard Wagstaff lead the Fireball worlds in Australia
After days of light winds and many sacrifices to the wind gods, the winds they did arrive. Overnight a 60kt storm came through. The walk down to the club in the morning revealed fences blown over and in one case an awning blown through the window of a neighbouring house! When we got to the boat park one or two Fireballs were on their sides, but fortunately there was no damage.
However, the wind gods can be very fickle as the fleet came to launch the wind disappeared completely. It was only for a short while and a good breeze soon started to fill in.
Race one was started in 10-12kts with prospects of the breeze continuing to build. For the first time the race officer set a trapezoid course, a brave move in the changing conditions. At the first windward mark it was Czech’s Tomas Musil and Jan Danek in first followed by Britons Richard Estaugh and Simon Potts in second and fellow Brits Andy Pearce and Dave Mason in third. By the end of the first lap of the trapezoid the UK’s Malcolm Davies and Russell Thorn had pulled through to second and Dave Wade and Richard Wagstaff into third. The top three positions remained unchanged until the end of the race.
Although the wind had eased slightly towards the end of the first race it had picked back for the start of the second race, with some 14-16kts blowing. The race officered decided to return to conventional triangle and sausage style causes for race two. It was European Champions Andy Smith and James Meldrum who demonstrated the best pace in the increasing breeze to take a win in race two, second were Dave Wade and Richard Wagstaff while Aussies Brett Young and Allen Blenkle just managed to clinch third spot in a tight finish.
With the wind now blowing 18-22kts race officer Mike Rogers made an attempt at starting the race held over from Saturday. However, the fleet failed to get away first time at which point Mike Rogers decided to send the fleet home for the day.
The first day’s racing of the worlds has provided two very good races and notably good performances from many of the British boats.
1st GBR 14809, Dave Wade and Richard Wagstaff
2nd GBR 14801, Andy Smith and James Meldrum
3rd GBR 14855, Richard Estaugh and Simon Potts
4th AUS 14849, Brett Young and Allen Blekle
5th GBR 13945, Malcom Davies and Russell Thorn
6th AUS 14814, Greg Allison and Richard Watson