Monday, March 21, 2011

Fireball Mid-winters' 2011

Here is some news passed on by Joe Jospe. Great to have the news with the snowfall outside today. Much thanks! The North American Fireball Class had their Mid-winter racing in Florida last week. This post first appeared on the Fireball NA website.

Sixteen Fireballs participated in the 47th edition of the Fireball Midwinters at Davis Island YC. Participants traveled from Arizona, British Columbia, Colorado, Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, Ohio, and Nova Scotia to join the local Tampa Fleet. The regatta was preceded by a three day training camp under the tutelage of Andrew Davies, Secretary of Fireball International It was a relaxed affair with informal briefings on the shore covering boat set-up and tuning and discussion of various boat handling techniques along with current North American champion Guy Tipton. The briefings were then followed up with a variety of drills on very short courses to simulate a crowded race course and mark roundings. Given that many hadn't been on the water in several months there was a cloud of rusty red dust in the air much of the time! This was an early attempt at organizing a coaching session and we will learn and improve for next year.

The first day of the regatta was delayed due to a front moving through which resulted in gusts up to 30 knots. With a multi-class regatta it was deemed prudent to wait and see if the wind would moderate. Eventually we got two races in in winds in the 20 knot range.

Saturday and Sunday both proved to be a challenge for the race officer with light gradient winds in the morning which died and were eventually replaced with a sea breeze. Two more races were completed on Saturday and a final race was done on Sunday.

Guy Tipton and Matt King from the Shelburne Harbour YC in Nova Scotia defended their title from last year, followed by Tampa sailors Pat Crump and Jane Millman. Montreal crew Rob Levy and Nic Mocchutti placed third followed by Debbie Kirkby (Calgary) and Toby Bryant (Montreal). Joe Jospe and Tom Egli from Montreal rounded out the top 5.