A second place for Vince Horey and Jon Mildred was enough to secure the Fireball national championship with a day to spare

Force 5 and bright sunshine greeted the Fireball sailors at Exmouth for day five of the Typhoon National Championship on 17 August.

The fleet got away after one general recall that saw the introduction of the 20 per cent penalty rule. First to the windward mark was Chips Howarth and James Grant, closely followed by Dave Wade and Richard Wagstaff. Vince Horey and Jonny Mildred were in third. Two tight, windy reaches then followed with every struggling to keep the booms out of the water and the masts in the air.

On the second beat, Lee Sydenham and John Rees passed to take the lead followed by Tim Rush and Bob Gardner. Meanwhile, drama unfolded on the right-hand side as Chips Howarth, tacked on Horey only to have the jib fall down as he sheeted in, effectively ending his race.

Sydenham opened enough of a margin to hold on to the finish, with Horey and Mildred pulling through on the last run to take second and Andy Smith and James Meldrum taking third on the last beat from Rush and Gardner.

Second was enough for Horey to secure the title with a race to spare. The race is now on for second overall with five boats still in with a chance.

Results (after race seven)

1st Vince Horey and Jon Mildred, 31 points

2nd Chips Howarth and James Grant, 47 pts

3rd Andy Smith and James Mildred, 47.4 pts

4th Pete Harper and Vyv Townend 54.1 pts

5th Stevie Morrison and Simon Hughes 54.7 pts

6th Dave Wade and Richard Wagstaff, 55 pts