A good fleet of Fireball turned out for the Newhaven and Seaford open meeting last weekend
As the last open meeting before the Fireball Europeans and nationals, a highly competitive fleet made the trip to the South Coast over the weekend 5-6 July to get some last minute practice and to get a final peek at the opposition.
The race officer set a variety of excellent courses for the six race series, including inner and outer loop and reverse Olympic (sausage triangle). In the light Force 2-3 breezes that predominated over the weekend these courses, with more of an emphasis on tactical running legs than reaching drag races, produced some high quality and exciting tactical racing that fully tested the fleet.
Class rookie Simon Payne thrived in these conditions and dominated the racing with five straight race wins and, having won with a race to spare, elected to sit on the beach to enjoy a pint for the sixth and final race.
Payne did not have it all his own way. He was pushed hard by Kevin Hope and Bob Gardner who posted two seconds and three thirds and Vince Horey and Jonny Mildred who had some good first beats but were unable to consistently convert these into good finishing places.
With most of the top places sorted out by the penultimate race, a number of competitors joined Payne for a pint on the beach to watch the final race which was won by Ian Priest and Mike Stoddart from Ruth Rhodes and Charlie Gribble in second.
All in all it was an excellent weekend with NSSC providing some top notch racing and superb hospitality.
1st 14830 Simon Payne and Vyv Townend (Hayling Island SC) 4 pts
2nd 14839 Kevin Hope and Bob Gardner (Notts County SC) 10 pts
3rd 14770 Vince Horey and Jonny Mildred (King George SC) 13 pts
4th 14809 Dave Wade and Richard Wagstaff (Northampton SC) 14pts
5th 14783 Paul Cullen and Gavin Tillson (Stokes Bay SC) 20 pts
1st Classic Boat Ruth Rhodes and Charlie Gribble (Newhaven & Seaford SC)