Category Archives: News

Fast, Fun, Friendly and Fifty Years at Davis Island YC

Weathermark logo 1

Weathermark Sailboats Is pleased to be the title sponsor for the 50th Midwinters and the Fireball North American Championship at Davis Island Yacht Club March 9 – 15, 2015.

The Fireball Class theme is Fast, Fun and Friendly. For 50 consecutive years the Class has been hosted by Davis Island Yacht Club, the “Sailingest Club in the South”. Lots of classes have been around longer, but few have enjoyed an unbroken string of regattas at one club for so long.

Mid logo

This year crews are expected from all over the North American continent as well as from Europe. The list of expected participants includes many Canadian and US National Champions, North American Champions and an Olympic Gold medalist. And because it’s a bit of a reunion many of the old timers in the class are expected to turn-up to help maintain the Fun and Friendly part of the class tradition.

The Fast part of the equation will be maintained as well, as the first Weathermark boat in North America takes on the Winders to showcase the state of the art technology. A newly built boat from the West Coast is expected as well as new and not so new home built woodies. There will be something for everyone.

Originally designed by Peter Milne in 1962, the Fireball is a one-design high-performance sailing dinghy. The Fireball is sailed by a crew of two, and sports a single trapeze, symmetric spinnaker and chined hull. The class is strictly controlled, but has adapted to advances in building techniques. The hulls (plywood, FRP or composite) have a strict minimum weight limit of 168 lb (76.4 kg) (with correctors).

The Fireball is a highly competitive dinghy, with large fleets worldwide and state, national, continental and world championships held annually. Competitors of all ages help make this class enjoyable for everyone. The performance of the boat is very dependent on tuning as the Fireball’s rig can be adjusted in numerous ways.

worlds 2015

The 2015 World Championship will be held August 17 to 28TH in conjunction with the European Championships in Pwllheli Wales. Charter boats are expected to be at a premium for the event. And there’s always that worry about what kind of condition the charter boat will be in. Weathermark has a solution. Order a new boat for delivery in the UK and put the cost of your charter towards the price of the boat! We’ll arrange to get the boat back to North America.

Contact Mike (mike@weathermarksailboats.com) for details

www.weathermarksailboats.com

Weight Change Approved

Here’s the full text of the amended Rule 9.6:

INTERNATIONAL FIREBALL CLASS ASSOCIATION
The following amendments to the Class Rules have been approved by the Class
Rules Sub-Committee to be effective 1 December 2014.
Rule 9.6
Amendment: Delete “79.4kg” and replace with “76.4kg” in the first sentence and
delete “7.5kg” and replace with “4.5kg” in paragraph 5 such that the rule now
reads as follows:
“The hull shall weigh not less than 76.4 kg. The initial weighing, or any subsequent re-weighing, of the hull shall be done (after painting and/or varnishing if necessary) with the boat complete with hatch covers and toe straps and all fittings permanently fastened, bolted or screwed to the hull, but not including the centreboard, wire or rope strops, sheets or control lines.
The initial weighing shall be done before the boat is launched for the first time.
Any re-weighing for the purpose of changing correctors shall be done after the
boat has been kept out of water, in a dry condition, with the hatch covers
removed, and cover off, for at least 12 days.
If a boat is found to be underweight at the time of measurement, correcting
weights shall be fitted to bring the boat up to minimum permitted weight. The
combined weight of the correctors shall not exceed 4.5 kg. The correctors shall
be bolted to the underside of the thwart in a visible position.
The total weight of the correctors shall be shown on the measurement certificate.
No correctors shall be removed or altered without the boat being re-weighed by
an official measurer.”

2014 BC Championship

We almost had 5 races over two days for the BC Fireball Championship at the RVYC Fall Dinghy Championships September 27th and 28th. A good fleet of 29er’s, Lasers, and Laser Radials competed on the outside course at the mouth of Cadboro Bay with nine Fireballs registered. Two boats from Portland, Greg Desilets with Debra Dietch and Paithen Larkins with Isaac Daily braved the Coho Ferry fares to race with us, and Liz Brennan and Neil Tichkowsky jetted in from Calgary to sail my spare boat. Shannon Gallins and Geof Huggett joined from CBSA, while Mark Cummings had to work the weekend so had Nicole and Evelyn sail Eeyore.

Last year’s winners Iain and Paul joined Jamie and Simon and Francis and me from RVYC.

The Cadboro Bay environment can be a bit challenging with tidal currents and light winds. BigWaveDave, the area windsurfer’s website, uses a wind prediction model from the University of Washington’s supercomputer to generate remarkably accurate local forecasts. On Saturday morning, the predicted northerly filled in , bringing a tongue of fog off the beach, with adequate visibility by the noon start time. After little variation in the wind for an hour, the first race was started about one o’clock in a moderate ebb. Courses were windward-leeward with a gate a few yards upwind of the starting area. Jamie and Simon entertained the fleet with a breakdown ahead of the start line, and being flagged over early. The port end of the line was favoured as it let the pin end starters get to the least current soonest. We had a quick start, and made it to the weather mark alone and sailed through to win. Jamie and Simon recovered to seventh, with Liz and Neil finishing on the wrong line and being scored DNC.

The northerly continued for another hour, which gave us a chance to retune Liz and Neil. Two one-inch adjustments got IMPS back to her usual speed and the PRO was Able to wait out the remainder of the northerly and set up a course out into Oak Bay with a light southeasterly. The start was exciting, with Jamie and Simon slamming a tack onto starboard and forcing us to tack on the port-favoured line. A close first hundred yards eventually allowed us to get over them despite a modest luff and we were able to get to the first mark ahead. There was a good supply of floating weed and we picked up a full sea monster kelp after the gate which caused some mirth in the nearby boats. We sailed the second lap with no further misadventure, and won with Jamie and Simon second and the retuned Liz and Neil third. Geoff and Jeff and Shannon and Eric were both fast, and Iain and Paul have spent enough time in Cadboro Bay to sail their classic shape with good speed and strategy. The remaining breeze tapered off while the postponement was flying, and we eventually took a tow back to the club.

Sunday morning was calm and we made our way out to the mouth of the bay to await our start. The northerly filled in and the committee started the club’s long distance race for keelboats out in the current in Oak Bay. We were given the first start in the sequence and had a good race to the weather mark with Shannon and Jamie arriving first. We rounded the wrong gate and set out for the new weather mark as the wind shifted easterly. As we converged on Jamie, the race was abandoned with our fleet a few boat lengths from a possible shortened course.

The marks were repositioned after a while, with a southeasterly breeze and the current turning to a flood. Shannon and Eric got the jump and were leading down to the end of the finishing leg when they were lanced by a starboard tack 29er. Jamie and Simon broke through to finish first while we slipped into second while the 720 was done.

Another race started after the other fleets finished with a good up and down for all. At the gate I tried for the left hand gate and almost didn’t make it as the current set down and the wind eased. Shannon and Eric flew out of the right hand gate and were well ahead but in a line of Lasers. The wind lightened and shifted at the top of the leg, and it wasn’t apparent which side would get that last puff and shift to round first, but it didn’t matter as the race was abandoned again.

We packed the boats up, and managed to get the visitors to planes and ferries on time. There was good close racing through the fleet and good starts were essential. Shannon and Eric in her DeLange boat are very fast in light conditions and downwind. Jamie and Simon’s Winder remains fast and competitive, especially when not filling with seawater. Geoff Huggett is competitive in his widebow woodie, and the rest of the boats all had good speed.

We are going to have to plan around this event for the next season and try to ensure racing that allows us to amortise our ferry fares. Greg Desilets is moving to the Okanagan and will inquire at SOSA, where we have had many enjoyable events, and Liz Brennan has a family cottage on Columbia Lake which could make a good place to race with the Alberta fleet.

Robert Thompson

Fireball International Elections

Upcoming Election

Commodore – .As there are two nominations for the Commodore’s position a vote will be required to determine who will fill the position for the coming three years. The nominees are Joe Jospe (CAN) and Pat Crump (USA)

Jospe

Joe Jospe (CAN)

crump

Pat Crump (USA)

The election period will be between October 1st and October 30th 2014.

Past Commodore Francois Schluchter has been asked to oversee the process as an independent and will collate the votes.

 

 

Here is the position of Joe Jospe and here is the position of Pat Crump.

Other executive positions are:

Rear Commodore Africa – David Laing (South Africa) – Elected Unopposed – David continues on in this position having taken over from Peter Colebank in March this year.  Fireball International would like to thank Peter for the work that he has put in over more than 20 years.

Rear Commodore Asia – Hiroshi Kato (Japan) – Elected Unopposed – Hiro continues on in this position having served several terms.

Rear Commodores Australia & Oceania - Ben Schulz (Australia)  – Elected Unopposed – Ben continues on in this position having served one term.

Rear Commodore North America – Debbie Kirkby (Canada) – Elected Unopposed – Debbie replaces Robert Thompson who has chosen not to stand again after many years in the position. Fireball International would like to thank Robert for the work that he has put in over the years.

Rear Commodore Europe – Jakub Napravnik  (Czech Republic) – Elected Unopposed – Jakub replaces Maja Suter who has chosen not to stand again after many years in the position.  Fireball International would like to thank Maja for the work that she has put in over the years.

2015 Midwinters – 50th Annual

DIYClogo

The 50th consecutive running of the Fireball Midwinters will take place March 13-15, 2015 at the Davis Island Yacht Club.  It’s doubtful that any class anywhere has been welcomed at the same club for such an extended period of time and the organizers are working hard to commemorate this occasion.  There are rumours that some European boats are planning to attend and participate in this and the North American Championship which will be part of the same week-long celebration of sailing at the “Sailingest Club in the South”

Mark your calendars, book time off, polish off the old boat and plan to be there

Here’s the NOR and for information on things to do in the area visit Tampa Tourism

www.akphotograph.com

US Nationals at CGOD

US Nationals at the CGOD 2014, August 1-3. Aka; The Gorge.

12 courageous Fireball teams made the journey from afar to gather at the sailing mecca of Cascade Locks, Oregon for the 2014 US Nationals. In attendance were two boats from Oregon, four from Victoria, three from Calgary, one each from Arizona and Colorado, and a team from Montreal. All who came were rewarded with sunny days in the 90‘s and three days of fine wind. The trip and effort were regretted by none.

Friday opened with an unexpectedly light wind day. Well, at least light for the Gorge. The day was fine with sunshine and light clouds with winds in the mid-teens and gusts around twenty. After four races, the first day leaders were Frank Crawford and Sean Holmes-Smith in boat #14156. Showing all that the old North American (Ed Note Australian) boats still have plenty of fight. The front group was tight with Joe Jospe/Tom Egli and Debbie Kirkby/Gregg Ferguson tied at one point back followed by Jamie Cox/Simon Pearson just one more back.

Day two brought on real Gorge conditions. Medium wind on the way out led to racing conditions in the mid-twenties with gusts strong enough to knock everyone down. Every team had the opportunity to wash their boats as no one was upright all day (Ed Note Jospe and Egli dispute this!). Several boats broke and ran into shore for repairs and a few teams decided it was best to retire for the later races. The heavy winds gave Joe and Tom a chance to prove their experience and use their size and strength to pull off three bullets and take a commanding lead.

On the final day, again the wind wasn’t quite up to truly Gorge-like conditions. Instead of brutality we had beautiful sun, fairly flat water, and great sailing with winds again in the high teens low twenties. The lighter conditions kept all the boats much closer together and gave some of the lighter teams a chance to box with the front group. The ‘evil doctor’ Rob Thompson/Francis Westlake had two strong bullets in his new boat. the other wins went to Debbie and Gregg and Joe and Tom.

Other teams competing were Mianne Erne/Clay Poulson, Mark Cummings/Evelyn Chisholm, Peter Wirth/Mike Leitch, Paithen Larkens/Alana, Greg Desilets/ Pete Adam, Liz Brennan/Michael Moleski, and Leigh Anderson with Vanessa Edwards.

Everyone who attended this event was thrilled to be at this great event. The Western North American fleet meets here every year for a reason. Wonderful weather, fabulously consistent winds, and great company. Every Fireballer on the planet should at least once in their lifetime, sail the Gorge!!!

Clay Poulson

USIFA President

Fireball (12 boats) (top)
Series Standing – 12 races scored

Sail   Boat   Skipper Yacht Club  1   2   3   4   5   6   7   8   9   10   11   12  Total Pos
USA14968      Joe Jospe   Pointe Claire Yacht Club   [5]   1   [4]   1   2   1   1   1   3   3   1   3   17  
1  
14680   TANGERRO   JAMES COX   ROYAL VICTORIA YACHT CLUB   1   [7]   2   2   1   3   3   [4]   2   1   4   2   21  
2  
14156   Go Deja   Frank Crawford   Glenmore Sailing Club   3   3   1   3   3   2   2   3   [4]   2   [13/RET]   4   26  
3  
CAN14766      Debbie Kirkby   Glenmore Sailing Club   2   2   3   4   5   4   5   2   6   [13/OCS]   2   [13/OCS]   35  
4  
15098   Robert Thompson   Robert Thompson   Royal Victoria Yacht Club   4   4   5   8   4   [13/DNF]   7   5   1   [13/OCS]   5   1   44  
5  
15034   Queso Suiza   Mianne Erne   Hallvil Yacht Club   7   6   7   5   [9]   6   [9]   6   5   4   3   7   56  
6  
14425   Dannces With Waves   Peter Wirth   Aspen Yacht Club   [9]   5   6   6   7   7   4   [9]   9   8   7   5   64T  
7  
11800   eeyore   MARK CUMMINGS   cbsa   6   8   8   [9]   6   5   6   7   7   5   [13/OCS]   6   64T  
8  
14758   Incorrigible   Leigh Andersen   CBSA   8   [10]   10   7   8   8   8   10   [12]   7   8   10   84  
9  
14428   Jane   Paithen Larkins   VLSC   [13/DNF]   9   9   [11]   10   9   10   8   11   6   6   8   86  
10  
15051   Trois Voiles an Vent   Greg Desilets   VLSC   10   11   11   10   11   [13/DNF]   [13/DNS]   13/DNS   8   10   9   9   102  
11  
CAN14481   Concorde   Liz Brennan   Glenmore Sailing Club   11   12   12   12   12   [13/DNF]   [13/DNS]   13/DNS   10   9   10   11   112  
12  

North Americans 2014 Recap

North Americans 2014 – Wabamun Sailing Club

by Sean Holmes-Smith

Wabamun Sailing Club, west of Edmonton hosted 11 boats of sailors from Alberta, BC and Oregon. For those who had to rig their boats on Saturday morning the wet start was not a welcoming one but definitely a sign of things to come for the weather.

Saturday racing saw a the winds shift a lot and die down to as little as 5 knots and gust up to as much as 12 knots (just a rough guess and could be completely wrong). With that much change in the wind speed and direction it was a real busy day for all us sailors who were moving in and out way too much to keep the boat flat.   The winners of the 5 races that were run on Saturday were Debbie/Gregg, Frank/Sean, Jamie/Simon, Debbie/Gregg, Debbie/Gregg. Despite only have one 1st place finish, Simon/Jamie managed to rack up 4 2nd place finishes on Saturday which had them leading the regatta. While Debbie/Gregg who were winners of three races had some boat problems and swimming problems that had them deep in the other two races, which had them 2 points back. This left Frank and myself 3 points back in 3rd (and only 2 points up on 4th). The only thing constant about the wind was that it was constantly shifting, there were a lot of lead changes and boats coming from way back and falling way back in one leg.

With only two more races left in the regatta and nothing decided yet, Sunday had two intense races with lots of lead changes, and surprises as well as a huge rain/hail storm and line squall to end it all. In first race of the day, Jamie/Simon, Debbie/Gregg and Hamish/Francis got out in front and stayed there until the last windward leg until a huge shift came in from the right side where Frank and I along with John Henderson and Mike Leitch were there to capitalize and catch up. At the last mark rounding before going downwind the finish the top 5 boats were completely mixed up and very close. Frank and I managed to stay in front of the charging Debbie/Gregg. In the final race of the regatta, it was a battle between 4-6 boats all the way around the race course, Frank and I spent the first part of the race battling it out and change positions with Debbie and Gregg, and then the 2nd half of the race we were also battling with Simon/Jamie, and John/Mike.   Coming downwind towards the finish we had 4 boats battling it out hard to find the next gust and wave to get ahead, as well as Mark/Evelin charging up from behind with a huge gust. At the finish line there was 5 boat finishing at the same time (PHOT O FINISH!!!). Frank and I squeaked ahead to take the win with Mark/Evelin’s late charge grabbing them 2nd, and Jamie/Simon along with John/Mike tied for 3rd and Debbie/Gregg getting just edged out by everyone and finishing 5th. It’s not over till it’s over, and even then you don’t know for sure.

As soon as the top boats finished it was a race to get the spinnaker’s down as there was a big storm coming. The Sail in through that storm was crazy as there was small hail and heavy rain that were pelting down on us along with the massive wind that came with. This was a new experience, and looking back quite a cool one as the views of the boats sailing by us was quite spectacular.

Thanks to the Tichkowsky family and Wabamun Sailng Club for putting on the regatta. It was a grand time.

Full results 2014 North American Fireball

36th Sam Myers Memorial Regatta

A great time was had by all at the 36th Annual Sam Myers Regatta at Pymatuning Sailing Club. We ended up with one Fireball short of having our own separate start with only four boats showing up and were placed in a very competitive handicap fleet consisting of four Fireballs, two Lasers and one very good Windmill.

Saturday broke with blue skies and the wind blowing from the south in the 10-12 mph range with gusts coming in at 15 with just the hint of white caps on the lake.   The race committee got us off on time using a windward leeward course with Dave and Lainey White and the Windmill crossing the line together but with the handicap the win went to the Windmill and Dave had to settle for second place. Cal Cotton crossed the line in third followed by Fred Steward and John Abby brought up the rear. The second race saw the wind increase a bit and the race committee opted for a triangle course. The Windmill kept up with Dave and Lainey for the weather leg but the resulting reaches put the Fireball way in front but the Windmill still managed to beat Fred Steward for second place with Cal Cotton coming in fourth and John Abby taking fifth. The Lasers were in the group as well but at that point in time nobody was really keeping track of them.   One more race was done on Saturday which went back to the windward leeward format only this time it was twice around and the Windmill got Dave and Lainey at the finish with Fred taking another third and John Abby placing fourth. Cal had to settle for a fifth due to a capsize on the last windward leg.

As usual the club had a good meal with plenty of conversation and partying into the night, leaving everyone wanting Sunday to come so we could do it again.   But as Jimmy Buffet sings, there’s a big difference between Saturday night and Sunday morning. During the night a series of storm fronts started to push through the area and the weather turned grey with heavy showers and some thunder in the early morning. The race committee postponed the racing for about an hour and a half and checked the radar and the conditions on the lake several times before lowering the postponement flag and giving us the half hour gun.  The wind was blowing in the 18-20 mph range with gust hitting the mid twenty’s easily. The waves were also starting to build into the legendary Pymatuning rollers which happens when the wind comes from the south. The race committee wanted to get as many races in as possible before the next set of storm came through so all courses were windward leeward. Once again Dave and Lainey White battled the Windmill for first place with Cal Cotton and John Abby fighting for second place. Both suffered a capsize and split the first two races.   Fred Steward decided to call it a weekend and packed his boat up for home before the racing started. The last race saw the winds increase a bit and both the Windmill and the Whites had a great time planning both to weather and downwind with Dave and Lainey White getting to finish line first but again the course wasn’t long enough to beat the Windmill on time.

After sorting out the final standings and times the Windmill took first place in our division and Dave and Lainey took second followed by a Laser which ended up in third place.   This was one regatta were another Fireball or four more Windmills would have helped.   But the competition was good and everyone enjoyed themselves and in the end that’s what it’s all about anyway. Breaking down the boat in a rain storm wasn’t exactly fun but the memory of all three sails up and planning faster than anyone else heading down to the leeward mark was. So congratulations to Pymatuning Sailing Club for hosting another great Sam Myers and to everyone who came out to support it.

Weathermark Sailboats are coming to North America

Weathermark logo 1Weathermark Sailboats is happy to announce the appointment of Mike McEvoy as agent for the North American market. Mike has over 40 years experience in Fireball as well as many years as a race coach in Canada.
A perennial problem for potential Fireball purchasers in Canada and the USA has been the availability of boats without a long waiting period and in the face of high shipping costs. With regular shipments to the East Coast due to our partnership with Rondar Raceboats , we can supply boats, spars, and sails for the North American market with very reasonable shipping rates Pricing can be obtained by contacting Mike at mike@weathermarksailboats.com The first Weathermark boat in North America is expected this July and will soon be seen on the regatta circuit.

The principal at Weathermark is Dave Hall. As an old hand in the Fireball, Dave has put his years of experience and thoughts into the construction of the hull, deck and internal design. The hull is the current “wide bow” thinking but has a slightly more vee’d entry and is not as bulbous as the other current boats available. This makes the boat kinder through the water upwind. The water line length is also maximised and the aft rocker is as flat as the rules permit.

weathermark boatweathermark jib bar

Inside, the forward part of the centreboard case is a low as practical to save those shins. The substantial jib bars go from the front of the case to the side tanks in line with the shrouds forming a rigid frame and fairing into an extra bulkhead

.weathermark cockpitweathermark cockpit 2
The centre board case rises after the thwart onto a flat table to allow owners a free hand in the way they like their controls. The deck has been made functional and aesthetically pleasing. The aft tank has the recess for the spinnaker sheets and the coaming is designed for function and comfort without looking too imposing. The foredeck comes back further than other builders but just far enough to add extra strength and rigidity to the mast area without fouling the vang.

Both hull and deck moulds have been made to the highest standards to keep the design shape and enable them to be used in conjunction with a vacuum bag system and to go in an oven for post curing.

Visit the webpage at Weathermark Sailboats or on Facebook

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You can contact Mike for the latest updates and prices: 613-796-2122
Email: mike@weathermarksailboats.com