A north-westerly Force 3-4 greeted the 33 fireballs who attended Notts County SC's Fireball Golden Dolphin open meeting on 8 September

A north-westerly Force 3-4 greeted the 33 fireballs who attended Notts County SC’s Fireball Golden Dolphin open meeting on 8 September.

The first race got underway with current national champions Vince Horey and Jonny Mildred leading from start to finish. Andy Smith and James Meldrum pushed hard all the way but were never able to find a way of passing. Both boats stretched away to finish well clear of third placed Tim Rush and S. Hextall.

In race two J. Curzon and P. Elver and A. Foskett/H. Jones started towards the port end of the line and were both able to cross the fleet to be 1, 2 at the windward mark. Smith was placed third and Horey ninth. By the start of leg four Curzon still led with Smith second and Horey somehow able to pull through to third. Horey subsequently powered through into the lead and after Smith was able to pass Curzon a Smith/Horey battle developed once more. The stalemate continued until the beat to the finish when a tacking battle allowed Smith to sneak through on the line to win by the narrowest of margins from Horey with K. Hope R. Gardner pulling through to third. By Sunday morning the wind remained north-westerly but had freshened to a gusty Force 4-5.

In race three Cullen was the one who pulled off a favoured pin end start and was able to cross the fleet on the short first beat. At the windward mark the order was Cullen, Horey, Rush. Smith steadily worked through and a three-way battle developed between Horey, Cullen & Smith, however on the run before the final beat Smith and Horey entered into a luffing battle allowing Cullen into the lead. Smith rounded the leeward mark just in front of Horey. Cullen decided that left was the way to go and proceeded to sail straight into a hole which once again allowed Smith and Horey through. When Smith failed to make a close cover Horey was able to tack under Smiths lee bow and take a win by half a boat length.

Throughout the afternoon, the breeze began to moderate and race four began in a Force 3-4. Cullen and Horey led and pulled away from the rest of the fleet. Smith was third but could only watch on until Horey mistakably sailed to the wrong windward mark. This gave Smith the opportunity to close and pass Horey. On the final round Cullen chose to carry his kite down a tight reach but was forced to make a big bear away and drop allowing Smith to close right in to a point when, on the last beat, he sailed Cullen past the lay line before tacking to take the win. Hope passed Horey on the final beat to finish third with Horey fourth.

Going into the final race Smith had to beat Horey to take the event while Horey had to beat Smith and finish first or second. Both boats started side by side at the starboard end. Smith rounded the top mark second behind T. Fenn/C. Read with Horey fifth.

Smith took the lead on the second beat and was able to stretch his advantage throughout the race to win the meeting. Horey managed to pull through to second from Foskett third.

Overall Results

1st 14645, A. Smith and J. Meldrum – Notts County SC

2nd 14770 V. Horey and J. Mildred – King George SC

3rd 14624, P. Cullen and G. Tilso – Stokes Bay

4th 14660, K. Hope and R. Gardner – Notts County SC

5th 14625, A. Foskett and H. Jones – Staunton Harold SC

6th 14742, J. McLeod and N. Thompson – Ogston SC