The 50th Fireball Canadian Championship will be held in conjunction with Screwball on Sept 26-28 at Pointe Claire Yacht Club. The NOR of Race is here
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!!!
|USA14968||Joe Jospe||Pointe Claire Yacht Club||||1||||1||2||1||1||1||3||3||1||3||17||
|14680||TANGERRO||JAMES COX||ROYAL VICTORIA YACHT CLUB||1||||2||2||1||3||3||||2||1||4||2||21||
|14156||Go Deja||Frank Crawford||Glenmore Sailing Club||3||3||1||3||3||2||2||3||||2||[13/RET]||4||26||
|CAN14766||Debbie Kirkby||Glenmore Sailing Club||2||2||3||4||5||4||5||2||6||[13/OCS]||2||[13/OCS]||35||
|15098||Robert Thompson||Robert Thompson||Royal Victoria Yacht Club||4||4||5||8||4||[13/DNF]||7||5||1||[13/OCS]||5||1||44||
|15034||Queso Suiza||Mianne Erne||Hallvil Yacht Club||7||6||7||5||||6||||6||5||4||3||7||56||
|14425||Dannces With Waves||Peter Wirth||Aspen Yacht Club||||5||6||6||7||7||4||||9||8||7||5||64T||
|15051||Trois Voiles an Vent||Greg Desilets||VLSC||10||11||11||10||11||[13/DNF]||[13/DNS]||13/DNS||8||10||9||9||102||
|CAN14481||Concorde||Liz Brennan||Glenmore Sailing Club||11||12||12||12||12||[13/DNF]||[13/DNS]||13/DNS||10||9||10||11||112||
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
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.
2013 Canadian national champion Fraser McMillan and 2013 BC champion Iain McEvoy teamed up to sail to victory in a 3 race series at RVYC.
Rob Thompson and Colin Huggett arrived in time for the second race and were fast enough for two bullets Saturday afternoon. Jamie Cox and Leigh Anderson recovered nicely in the first race to eek out a close win over Iain and Fraser. Geoff Huggett sailed Colin’s boat with fresh recruit Jeff Wilson and Mark Cummings/Evelyn Chisholm and Peter Gerber/Gary Bishop rounded out the fleet. Good close racing on the first day was was followed by breezeless drizzle on the second day, which the race committee thankfully allowed us to spend on shore
RVYC Spring Dinghies 2014
|3rd||14680||RVYC||Jamie Cox||Leigh Andersen||1.0||3.0||5.0||9.0||9.0|
|1st||13890||RVYC||Fraser MacMillan||Iain McEvoy||2.0||2.0||2.0||6.0||6.0|
|4th||11882||CBSA||Mark Cummings||Evelyn Chisholm||3.0||4.0||3.0||10.0||10.0|
|5th||14757||RVYC/CBSA||Gary Bishop||Peter Gerber||4.0||5.0||4.0||13.0||13.0|
|2nd||15098||RVYC||Rob Thompson||Francis Thompson||7.0 DNC||1.0||1.0||9.0||9.0|
Sailwave Scoring Software 2.9.7
The scoresheet pretty much tells the story…lots of DNC’s and DNF’s. This year’s edition of the HPDO was windy! Ninety seven boats were registered however the conditions were too much for some of the boats and many didn’t sail at all.
How windy was it?
And that was just Saturday. Sunday started out even windier with steady winds in the 30 Knot range resulting in a postponement ashore.
But Saturday first. Winds were in the 20 to 24 knot range but the waves were 8 to 10 feet and very steep. Four boats managed to get to the start line. The RC (who were looking a little green and seasick) managed to get two races off with everyone capsizing at least once either before or during the races. Jospe and Egli had a substantial lead in every race and so the fight was for second place and on. McEvoy and VanRossem were comfortably in second when a gybe wasn’t executed well just before the finish on the final downwind. Once the boat was recovered and the spinnaker squared away Tom Bird and Barbara Kozminski and gone by to claim second.
The second race of the day got underway with only two boats taking the gun. Tom managed to break his boom and required one of the overworked rescue crew to tow them in leaving Tom and Joe with an uncontested bullet. Fortunately Fee Mitroupolous had a spare boom in his garage and Tom was able to get squared away in order to race on Sunday.
The after race beer courtesy of Heineken was much appreciated and American Yacht Club hosted an excellent buffet dinner where tales were told of the day’s events and numerous door prizes distributed courtesy of APS and Ronstan. And of course there were the usual min-kegs from Heineken on each table.
Sunday began with an AP ashore due to sustained 30 knots. Eventually the wind moderated (to about 28!) and we were sent out. The waves were as big as Saturday but much less steep. Four races were sailed with no one having anything for Jospe and Egli. The start of the fourth race was a little exciting as all of the boats were on the line. Tom Bird was at the boat and stalled drifting sideways. McEvoy contemplated going above and then at the last minute bore off below and fouled Jospe and in the process whacked Egli with his boom. In the ensuing circles McEvoy capsized allowing the fleet to sail away and giving him a challenge to catch-up. It took until 2/3’s of the way down the last leg but he did get back to claim second place ahead of Laura Malonda and Mike Moleski
Photo highlights are here
Somehow Screwball has become the signature regatta of Fireball Quebec. It is always the last event that we hold before the water gets hard and we focus on skiing. It celebrates all the goofy things we have witnessed, or committed, over the course of the sailing season. Sailors from near and far come to participate. In the thirty-two years that this event has been run, it has come to be known for strong winds, cold weather, great competition, and lots of fun.
This year, the attendance was good with thirteen boats registered. Visitors came from Calgary (Debbie Kirkby and Gregg Ferguson), from England (Joe Grant), and Ottawa (Mike McEvoy, Peter Van Rossem, Phil Locker and Ian MacLaren).
We sat on shore waiting for wind on Saturday, to no avail. The lake had a glassy look, much like that found on the faces of the competitors. The flags refused to flutter, and even our enthusiastic Race Committee decided that staying ashore, near to the bar, was the only prudent course of action. It was warm and comfortable, but not very exciting. Saturday night dinner at the club was a near-gourmet experience, thanks to Andrew McCrae and company in the kitchen. Entertainment was provided by John McGuinness and his band. We were well fed, well-watered, well entertained, and a little stir crazy. Hope was high that the next day would be better.
Sunday dawned with remarkably similar conditions. Our race committee, headed by Madeleine Palfreeman, detected a hint of a chance of a light breeze, and sent us out after postponing onshore. Somehow, and my memory might be deliberately fuzzy, we managed to get two races in before paddling home. I suspect that if there was a two knot minimum to run races, we might have been in trouble. The low speed battle on the race course generated some noisy mark roundings, one protest, and lots of boats swapping places, as spinnakers collapsed and filled erratically. I think every boat had plenty of time to contemplate the finish line that appeared so close, and yet so hard to cross.
The battle throughout the fleet was fought as fiercely as conditions permitted. The podium results: Debbie Kirkby and Gregg Ferguson were third; Robert Levy and Jon Driver second; and Tom and I were first.
Every competitor was awarded a prize following the Screwball custom. The crews’ union was ably represented by Peter Kelly and Tom Bird. Their ability to weave a story to fit the stuff purchased days’ ahead at the dollar store is quite impressive.
While more wind would have been appreciated, it was an enjoyable weekend. We are looking forward to next year.
The weather forecast was for light airs but there was hope that the warm weather would result in the famous Kingston thermal kicking in.
Twelve crews arrived in Kingston to sail the 2013 North Americans as part of the CORK One Design Regatta. Kingston, site of the 1976 Olympic sailing events, has long had a reputation for good winds and great sailing. Expectations were high as the fleet left Portsmouth Olympic Harbour for the start on the One Design Regatta. Unfortunately the thermal struggled and the result was light and somewhat shifty breezes. With four other fleets sharing the course the start sequences were long especially if there were any postponements as a result of the shifty conditions. Two races were sailed and with several boats (including a couple of the frontrunners) scored OCS the day ended with the top three boats separated by three points and a promise of more wind the next day.
The winds filled in for the last day of CORK One Design Regatta with 10 knots from the South West. With three more races sailed the Fireball North American Championship finished with a total of 5 races. The North American Fireball Champions are Robert Levy and Jonathan Driver with 6 points over the 5 races.
The second and third place crews were tied on 9 points however the tiebreaker went to Stephen Waldie and Nic Mocciutti.
Completing the Pointe Claire YC sweep of the podium was Tom Egli and Joe Jospe. Full results can be found on the CORK results page
The Canadian National Championship was hosted by the Squamish YC as part of their Squamish Open Annual Regatta (SOAR) on the August 10/11 weekend.
The following report comes from Debbie Kirkby:
Day one winds started 12-15 knots but by race 2 ballooned to 20-24 knots gusting to 30 knots but only about 2/3 of the very long leg where it would drop in speed and become shifty. This helped with spinnaker launches and early gybes. This wind pattern is always there with slight variations in direction.
The top 4-5 boats stayed close often finishing overlapped. All courses were windward leeward finishing on the run. With the very long downwind leg it often payed to reach at a hotter angle and gybe more often. Many places changed as a result. Gorgeous venue and very fun sailing with no need to drive anywhere and the infamous Howe Sound Pub and Brewery only a one block stagger from the club!
A keelboat participant said “I was racing SOAR (Squamish open annual regatta) this weekend, it was a total blast, 25 knots Saturday, 20 Sunday. And there were tons of fireballs! Oh the carnage! They were fun to watch.”
Kelly Gallins and Eric Diller are the winners of the Classic Boat Award
Full results can be found at Fireball Can Nationals-1
This year’s US National Regatta was a success in many ways. Ten teams from various locations reflected a true national representation. Greg Desilets came from Portland, OR, Clay Poulson made the trip from Phoenix, AZ, Graeme Sandwith along with Mike Sykes traveled from Chicago IL, and Pat Crump and Jane came from Tampa, FL. Mike McEvoy and the team of Jochen Mihosh and Rune Lausten came from Ottawa, Canada. Four local teams from Pittsburgh and Cleveland rounded out the fleet. Ron McHenry, a legend from years past, came out of Fireball retirement. He teamed up with Greg Desilets and proved he could still skipper a Fireball as competitively as the best.
Friday evening, Cal Cotton and the Pymatuning Sailing Club hosted a welcome party with hot dogs and corn on the cob along with grilled sweet potatoes. Registration was during this time. Later on we played an ice breaker game to get to know everyone. Two selected teams participated in a round of Family Feud. The survey asked for the top 5 songs dealing with sailing or boats. The first family, named the Fire family, went against the second family, the Ball family. For future information, Christopher Cross’s Sailing was not one of the top five answers. In the end, the Fire family managed to steal the answers and win embroidered Fireball thermal lunch totes donated by Thirty One Purse and Tote Products.
Saturday broke grey and overcast, but the race committee managed to get two races in before the wind died. The first race found Duncan Schaefer starting where he left off at the Mid-winters. He won the first race followed by Jochen Mikosch, with Pat Crump finishing third. The second race proved to be just as competitive. Jochen took the lead position, followed by Pat Crump, while Ron McHenry rounded out the top three places. Duncan Schaefer had to settle for a fourth place finish, but found himself tied with Pat Cump for second place overall at the end of the first day. With the winds dying, the race committee called it a day and everybody headed in to shore.
While we waited for the charcoal to get heated up for dinner, another selected group participated in a homemade board game titled Regatta. The object was to race to the weather mark and win an organizing tote donated by Thirty One products. In the end Cal Cotton got to the weather mark first and stated it was his first regatta win ever. The baked potatoes were done and everyone began grilling their own steak. Dinner included green beans and corn, toss salad, roll and butter, and cake for dessert. After dinner more names were selected to participate in a Let’s Make A Deal type game. Annapolis Performance Sailing donated $110.00 in gift certificates and Thirty One donated an embroidered Fireball travel tote for the prize deals. But the unique prize went to Pat Crump when he chose the larger of two bags and ended up with a set of Red -Neck Wine Glasses. For those not familiar with them, they are a red plastic Solo cup glued onto a glass candlestick holder. How elegant will Pat look tapping the keg at the next regatta?
The annual meeting was called to order and several items were discussed. Lainey White was elected to replace Dave White as the US Secretary. Clay Poulson was elected to replace Peter Wirth as President of USIFA. Another topic discussed was the idea that the 2015 North American Championships which would be hosted by Canada could be moved to Tampa, to be a part of the golden anniversary celebration of Davis Island Yacht Club hosting our Mid-winters. More on this will follow at a later date. The meeting was adjourned and everybody retired for a night of well deserved rest.
Sunday dawned with no rain but still over-casted. The wind had shifted to the north and one more new boat was added to the fleet. Saturday, Dave White spent all day rigging his new boat getting it ready to sail. It seems fitting that he named it “At Last”. The first of three races found Pat and Jane taking the top spot, followed by Jochen and Rune, with Duncan and his brother Geof finishing third. The next race was the same with the exception of Graham Schaefer and Phil Pepera replacing the older Schaefer in the third spot. The final race found Pat in the top spot, Jochen taking second and Ron McHenry rounding out the top three positions. With one throw out allowed, the final tally put Pat and Jane winning the National Title followed by Jochen and Rune in second place and Duncan and Geof taking third place.
Lunch was Sloppy Joes and salad before the trophy presentation and everyone packed up for home. On behalf of the US Fireball Association, I would like to thank everyone who made the trip to participate in this year’s National Championship Regatta. Between Pymatuning Sailing Club’s hospitality, our sponsors generosity, and a true national representation, this year’s National Championship can be called a complete success.