2014 Spring Dinghies

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


Sailed: 3, Discards: 0, To count: 3, Entries: 6, Scoring system: Appendix A
Rank SailNo Club HelmName CrewName R1 R2 R3 Total Nett
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
6th 14727 CBSA Geoff Huggett Wilson/Kingsley 5.0 6.0 6.0 17.0 17.0
2nd 15098 RVYC Rob Thompson Francis Thompson 7.0 DNC 1.0 1.0 9.0 9.0

Sailwave Scoring Software 2.9.7

Fireball International Elections

Elections for Executive Office

The term of office for the Fireball International Executive is expiring at the end of this calendar year. The constitution reads:

“7.2 Council shall call for nominations for Flag Officers not less than eight months prior to the expiry of the current term of office. Nominations shall be closed four months prior to the expiry of the current term of office.”

Please be advised that nominations are now open, and interested candidates are encouraged to apply for the following positions:

  • Commodore
  • Rear Commodore Africa
  • Rear Commodore America
  • Rear Commodore Asia
  • Rear Commodore Australia and Oceania

In order to apply, the Constitution requires that:

7.3 The Commodore shall be nominated by a NCA and seconded by another NCA. The Rear Commodores shall be nominated by a NCA in their region and seconded by another NCA.”

Please submit nominations to the Fireball International Secretary, Andrew Davies at: Andrew.Davies@Fireball.onyxnet.co.uk. The deadline to apply is August 31st, 2014.

The Constitution further provides:

7.4      In the absence of a nomination, the Council shall appoint the Flag Officer.

7.5      Council, as the case may be, shall elect or appoint the Flag Officers two months prior to the expiry of the current term of office.

7.6       Flag Officers shall be elected for a term of three years and may be reelected.

 Joe Jospe

Commodore, Fireball International

Heineken High Performance Dinghy Open (HPDO)

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?

HPDO wind

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

Final results

Photo highlights are here

Screwball 2013

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.

Joe Jospe

CAN 14911


2013 North Americans


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.


2013 North American Champions Rob Levy and Jon Driver from Pointe Claire YC









The second and third place crews were tied on 9 points however the tiebreaker went to Stephen Waldie and Nic Mocciutti.


Stephen Waldie and Nic Mochiutti


Joe Jospe and Tom Egli



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





Canadian Nationals as part of SOAR 2013

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.”

Canadians 2013 1st

Fraser McMillan and Kieran Horsburgh
Canadian Champions 2013
Canadians 2013 2nd

Noah Purves-Smith and Sean Holmes-Smith 2nd

Canadians 2013 3rd
Jamie Cox and Simon Pearson 3rd

Kelly Gallins and Eric Diller are the winners of the Classic Boat Award

Full results can be found at Fireball Can Nationals-1


2013 US Nationals

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.

Pat Crump, Jane – 3,2,1,1,1
Jochen Mikosch Rune Lausten – 2,1,2,2,2
Duncan Schaefer, Geoffrey Schaefer – 1,4,3,5,5
Ron McHenry, Greg Desilets – 5,3,4,4,3
Graham Schaefer, Phil Pepera – 4,6,5,3,4
Mike McEvoy, Brian Fort – 6,5,6,6,6
Clay Poulson, T.J. Belsterling – 8, DNF,8,8,7
Cal Cotton, Sarah Belsterling – 7, DNF,9,9,8
Dave White, Lainey White – DNS, DNS,7,7, DNF
Mike Sykes, Graeme Sandwith – 9, DNF, DNS, DNS, DNS

Quebec Fireball Open Championships

2013 Quebec Open Championship podium – results here

Fireball Quebec Open Podium

Text by Joe Jospe

This was a regatta with something for everyone. We had rain, sun, light airs, wild and challenging wind shifts, medium and moderate conditions too. We even had a fleet of Contenders to share the waters with the seven Fireballs. The early season event may have contributed to our numbers being limited, but every competitor had reason to go home with a sense of pride and accomplishment.

Stephen Waldie and Nic Mocchiutti celebrated their first win in a major Fireball regatta in Quebec. They have been knocking at the door for quite some time. They put together some superb sailing in challenging conditions and earned the title of 2013 Quebec champions. Their victory was welcomed and cheered by every competitor. Some of the older sailors are hearing the bell tolling ever louder, but that is hardly a new story.

While Rob Levy and Jon Driver did not sail to their own expectations and usual standard, they did manage to go home with the third place trophy. More satisfying was witnessing how their coaching over the last few years contributed to Stephen and Nic’s success. Rob has had both Stephen and Nic crew for him at major regattas, and has spent countless hours helping them sharpen their tactical and strategic skills. That has been time well spent.

Pierre Carpentier and Tom Bird showed moments of brilliance. They had excellent speed, and seemed to be able to anticipate some of the more dramatic wind shifts. They were definitely in the game in every one of the six races. Their performance was a dramatic improvement over last year, and they are serving notice that their days of cheering others on the podium are fast coming to an end. They missed a third place finish by the smallest possible margin, losing out on a technical tie-breaker.

Jochen Mikosch and Rune Lausten won the fifth race of the series. This was the first time that they ever won a race in Montreal, showing that their Ottawa-based training program is yielding fruit. Jochen and Rune are quick. They sail fast and they are absorbing some of the tactical lessons with astonishing speed. This bodes well for developing a healthy intercity rivalry between Montreal and Ottawa. To be continued…

Laura Malonda and Will Kelly are new to Fireballs this year. They were clearly the lightest and youngest members of the fleet, and enjoyed a great learning experience. They had a little coaching between races from our race committee chair, Tof Nicoll-Griffith. There were some interesting battles on the water with Lucas Poon and Mark Ronkin, sailing in Jeremy Kennedy’s boat from Ottawa. Both boats were sailing in their first major Fireball event, and had an interesting and enjoyable experience. Both benefitted from a few tips on boat set-up and we were glad to see them as part of the group.

Tom and I were pleased with our second place overall finish, particularly in light of our less than stellar first day performance. We decided that Sunday should be our day of redemption, and at the end of the day we were satisfied.

Racing throughout the weekend was marked by the lead changing often, and only narrow margins of victory. Close racing with a good number of boats in the mix will serve to sharpen everyone’s skills. This should be an exciting year.

The Inaugural Ball Buster Regatta

The sailors limped ashore looking flustered
Many capsized when the cold wind blustered
Boats broke
Crews choked
Fireball Quebec was truly Ball-Bustered!

253245_10151418216835754_1711750510_nSome regatta reports require fine poetry to convey the essence of the event. This was one of them. The Ball Buster was a brand new addition to the Quebec Fireball schedule, timed to encourage those procrastinators amongst us to rig boats, arrange crew, and sharpen rusty sailing skills. Mother Nature provided only minimal warmth, with a high in town of 9C, and a little less afloat. The rain was hardly noticeable once we recovered from the first splash of icy water. Dry suits and woolen tuques were the order of the day. Our hearty Race Committee headed up by Kathryn Johnson ran three races for the six boats entered in the event.

936939_10151418217055754_1745746815_nThe racing was close in the first two races, with Stephen Waldie and Nic Mochiutti winning both. Their winning streak and regatta came to an unhappy end when their mainsail ripped badly in the 28 knot sustained gust that greeted the fleet during the first upwind leg of the third race. They were joined ashore by Rob Levy and Peter Kelly, with Rob retiring because of the “the worst ice-cream headache known to man”. Really?   Pierre Carpentier and Tom Bird made it around the first triangle of the final race before swimming, and then heading home. Mona Barakat and David Landsberg drove in from Ottawa, and had their hands full as the lightest team on the water. Eric Owston discovered that his repaired transom was not quite as strong as it could have been, giving way before the first race. That left Tom and me. We took home the brand new trophy because of a combination of stamina and careful maintenance, which allowed us to be the only boat that completed all three races.

While we have been prouder of other performances, we had a great time. The enthusiasm of the fleet was high, and the season is off to a great start.

Joe Jospe

CAN 14911

2013 Fireball Midwinter Regatta Report

This year’s Fireball and Friends Regatta was what everyone came to Florida expecting. Warm weather, great hospitality, tight racing and the general feeling that there was really no other place they would have rather been for the weekend. Although only five boats showed up they represented areas in North America as far away as Victoria, BC, Phoenix, AZ, Cleveland, OH, Ottawa, ON and yes even Pittsburgh, PA was represented. The wind on the first day was somewhat mild as the average was 8-10 out of the north east.  The big surprise was Duncan Schaefer who showed up with the hull he and his son Graham built together with some of Graham’s friends back in 2003 for the High School Challenge Cup program.  This hull is a well built standard hull with a dated rig sporting barber haulers and a jib system that sat on the deck in a fore/aft position. But Duncan proved that a well sailed homebuilt boat can be as competitive as any professionally manufactured plastic fantastic as at the end of the day Duncan was sitting in second place with two seconds and a fourth. He was pointing high and going fast all afternoon.

Pat Crump did his usual first place gig  while Mike McEvoy and Rob Thompson were left trying to figure out how to get ahead of Duncan. I myself was left to witness all this from the back of the fleet but I enjoyed sailing with my brother for the first time in 30 years so it was still a great time had by all.  Saturday brought the same type of wind pattern and once again Pat ripped off two first place finishes while Rob, sailing with his son Francis figured out how to beat Duncan and Mike using Clay Pulson as his crew showed signs of marked improvement. The third race saw Duncan and his son Graham taking one away from Pat before everyone was told to head in to allow the wind to fill in a bit.  As I was using a young crew from the Davis Island youth program named Ellis I was somewhat pleased that we had managed to complete all the racing without breaking anything or deflating his spirits as once again we were in last place.  Although nobody would have thought that if one had witnessed the welcome Ellis got on returning to the shore by his fellow youth members.  Back at the club I had to point out that I was the guy who sailed with Ellis and then people knew who I was. We went out for one more race after about an hour or so on shore and although the beginning of the race started off fine the wind died and the entire fleet was sent in for the remainder of the day.

Sunday proved to be the day everyone was waiting for as we started the day in 10-15 mph wind that continued to build for the entire morning to about 23. Again Pat showed his dominance while Duncan, Mike and Rob all switched places several times before Rob started to dominate the second place position. After the racing the ride back to the Club was probably the most exciting part of the entire trip as we had to beam reach the entire way in riding a plane all the way hoping that someone on shore had a good camera. In the end Pat Crump and Jane Millican took first while Rob and Francis Thompson placed second. Duncan and Graham Schaefer held on to third, leaving Mike McEvoy and Clay in fourth while Ellis and I rounded out the fleet in last place.

Regardless of the finishes this regatta was everything that people expect it to be. Davis Island did a great job, the race committee was world class, the hospitality was second to none, and the desire to return was there before you left. Next year will be another great event, guaranteed, but in two years, March of 2015, will mark 50 consecutive years of Fireballs at Davis Island for our Mid-winters.  If you never been to Davis Island for this event mark your calendar now and plan on doing that one. The Mid-winters will be 50 in 15 and I’m sure Davis Island will be up for the celebration. Plan now to attend!!!