Going in to the last race today (Friday) any one of six boats could take the overall national championship title

Thursday saw the 71 boats at the Firefly national championship compete for the Sternlight and the Tomato Boats Trophies, races seven and eight of the championship week at Hamble. Conditions in the Solent race area were again tricky with the south-westerly breeze building throughout the day with 25 knots recorded at the end of the second race.

The Sternlight trophy was raced on a trapezoid course with a downwind finish and started using a gate start. As always at Firefly events there was constant place changing throughout the fleet with the local Americans Mason Woodworth and Katie Lyndon from Hamble River finally taking a decisive lead on the last lap of the race, from Stuart Hudson and Toni Corlett from Spinnaker.

The Tomato Boats trophy, new this year, and presented by fleet boat builder Ray Smith saw a number of capsizes as the wind strengthened considerably throughout the race. The fleet enjoyed classic Solent strong wind conditions, with screaming reaches down some large waves, precisely the conditions the Firefly’s designer Uffa Fox must have imagined from his house in Cowes when he was drawing the boats lines. Hudson and Corlett consolidated an excellent day for them by winning the race from Roger Morris and Sally Cuthbert.

In the overall series, it couldn’t be tighter with one race to go. Six boats can still win the championship. Following Thursday’s racing Hudson and Corlett have moved into pole position, up from fifth overall on Wednesday night. Last year’s national champions Jono Pank and Sally Cuthbert had a bad day in the stronger winds and have slipped to fourth overall. With a mixed forecast for Friday, who knows what will happen.

Sternlight Trophy (Race 7)

1st 3616 Top Dolly, Mason Woodworth and Katie Lyndon

2nd 3681 Go Ballistic, Stuart Hudson and Tony Corlett

3rd 3747 Growler, Tony Gunstone and Lucie Buck

4th 2803 Grendel, Ed Smith and Lucy Holmes

5th 1954 Pogie Jono Pank, Sally Wilson,

Tomato Boats Trophy (Race 8)

1st 3681 Go Ballistic, Stuart Hudson and Tony Corlett

2nd 3119 Horror, Roger Morris and Sally Cuthbert

3rd 3741 Ma’Hon Shaun Barber, Lucy Armstrong

4th 3037 Grasshopper, Rob Sherrington and Mark Bailey

5th 3690 Waynetta, Ian Sanderson and Linda Eadie

Overall (after 8 races, 2 discards)

1st 3681 Go Ballistic, Stuart Hudson and Tony Corlett (18pts)

2nd 2803 Grendel, Ed Smith, Lucy Holmes, Tamesis (22 pts)

3rd 3119 Horror Roger Morris, Sally Cuthbert, Spinnaker (24pts)

4th 1954 Pogie Jono Pank, Sally Wilson,.The Band (26pts)

5th 3690 Waynetta, Ian Sanderson, Linda Eadie, Royal Lymington (26pts)

6th 3616 Top Dolly, Mason Woodworth, Katie Lyndon, Hamble River (30pts)