The Fireball world championship kicked off this weekend at Lake Bracciano, Italy

After Thailand last year, the venue for this year’s Fireball world championship which kicked off this weekend (14-15 July) is slightly closer to home – Lake Bracciano in Italy, 10kms outside Rome.

The class is thriving in Europe and with the worlds being run in conjunction with the Italian national championship and the European championship, the organisers are expecting a fleet not far off the 125 boat entry limit.

With the reigning world champions, David Edwards and Vyv Townend from the UK not defending the title they won so convincingly last year, this year’s event is wide open.

The two boats which probably carry the main hopes of the 25 boat strong British team are Steve Morrison and the wily old campaigner Ian Pinnell.

Morrison, the current European champion, has enlisted the crewing services of Liam Murray with whom he won the 1999 and 2000 420 nationals and they go into the regatta following an excellent run of form. If Morrison manages to lift the trophy, it will be exactly 20 years since his father, the famous Phil, did the same.

Pinnell’s standing in the class is legendary, with two world, four European and five national titles in the class to his name. He has been runner-up at the last four worlds, and with an ability to rise to the occasion of the big regatta he and crew Dave Scott are still quite a force to be reckoned with.

Also in with a chance if it is a windy week are Dave Wade and Morrison’s European winning crew Richard Wagstaff who revel in a breeze.

Of the foreigners, the Swiss brothers Eric and Ruedi Moser have teamed up again and it will be interesting to see if they can recapture the form that saw them win three European championship in the early and mid-nineties.

Regatta Schedule

Monday 16th – Friday 20 July – Italian National and European Championship

Sunday 22nd – Friday 27 July – World Championship