1999 Canadian Fireball Nationals

Wabamun Sailing Club, Alberta, 2 - 4 July 1999 These Championships were held over the Canada Day ( and US Independence day) Holidays. Winds were almost non existent for the Practice Race on Thursday and every one expected Wabamun Lake to do its usual thing by looking like glass for the three days to come. But true to tradition Wabamun turns out its finest winds for the Fireball Fleet. (Remember 1979 when 60 of the 65 boats capsized in one race).

Friday saw some relatively light (7-12 knot winds) and some excellent tactical and technical racing by all of the fleet. The trick was to miss the holes and search for the wind shifts, which can be exasperating on this lake. Three races were held with the Race Committee making a smart call for all yachts to return to shore as two thunderous clouds built up and then centred themselves right over the race course. Most boats made it back in time , some beached about 1000 meters down the lake and were walked back. At the end of the first day Hamish and Francis Ferguson were leading with Murray Tough and Rupert Holmes-Smith in close pursuit. Debbie and Lorne Kirkby were a bit off the pace with one difficult race picking up a 7th in the fleet of 26. Nicole Green and Rob Thompson made an appearance in the third race and showed that others better be careful as they ended up 2nd in that race. (two DNC for the first two races placed then down at the bottom of the pack for the first day).

Saturday turned out to be an overcast rainy and very windy day. Sitting in the lee of the Club House one did not realise that winds were blowing 20 knots gusting to 35 on occasions. Four races were held over the day with various crews retiring exhausted due to the heavy going. Murray Tough and Rupert Holmes Smith used the opportunity well racking up four first place finishes. In some races they were 2 minutes ahead of the nearest competitors and in one race more than a leg ahead. The light weight crews began to fall off the pace but never out of the hunt. The Ferguson's were lying second and Kirkby third. Nicole Green and Rob Thompson had clawed their way up to 7th. Tony Griffen was sitting comfortably in fourth place.

The final day proved to be the exact opposite of Saturday, with light winds 5-6 knots very shifty and with holes all over the lake. The results were interesting. Murray Tough did not need to sail as there were now two throwout races, but did, and ended up 7 - their worst race Debbie and Lorne Kirkby managed to pass Hamish and Francis Fergoson on the last run and made it through to finish first in this race, lifting them to second overall. Nicole Green moved up to fifth. The final results were:
Murray Tough and Rupert Holmes Smith - First
Debbie and Lorne Kirkby - Second,
Hamish and Francis Ferguson - Third
Tony Griffen and Roley Ferguson - Fourth and
Nicole Green and Rob Thompson - Fifth.

Good winds, good racing and a happy Fireball Fleet with a bit of everything to please the various sailors.
Keith Driver

Bonus-points Scoring System

Final Results
Place Sail No. Skipper Crew Race 1 Race 2 Race 3 Race 4 Race 5 Race 6 Race 7 Race 8 Total
1 14559 Murray Tough Rupert Holmes-Smith 2 2 [4] 1 1 1 1 [8] 6.0
2 14425 Debbie Kirkby Lorne Krikby 3 1 [7] 2 [10] 3 5 1 24.4
3 14482 Hamish Ferguson Francis Ferguson 1 5 1 3 4 [6] [DNC] 2 26.7
4 14479 Tony Griffin Roley Ferguson 6 3 3 [6] 2 4 2 [6] 37.1
5 14481 Nicole Green Robert Thompson [DNC] [DNC] 2 5 3 2 3 5 37.4
6 1205 Martin Herbert Peter MacDougal 5 4 5 4 [7] 5 [7] 4 54.0
7 11792 Matthew Law Andrew Law 9 6 6 [11] [11] 9 8 3 73.1
8 9360 Chris Lemke Gregg Ferguson 4 10 8 [12] 6 [20] 6 7 74.4
9 12934 Ken Tichkowsky Bill Russell [13] 7 9 9 5 [10] 4 9 76.0
10 14480 Roy Tichkowsky Ian Tichkowsky 8 [15] 10 7 8 7 9 [16] 85.0
11 13890 Mike McEvoy Jason Phillips 11 12 [14] 10 9 8 10 [18] 96.0
12 11889 Richard Craig Bill Plaxton 10 11 [15] [15] 13 12 11 12 105.0
13 11896 Colin Huggett Roger Phillips [21] 14 [18] 8 12 11 14 11 106.0
14 14490 Bill Miller S. Serre de St. Jean [16] 9 11 13 14 14 12 [15] 109.0
15 11794 Bob Rose Hilary Rose 7 13 12 [DNF] [DNC] 17 16 10 111.0
16 14033 Margot Henderson John Henderson 18 8 13 [DNF] [DNC] 16 17 13 121.0
17 14568 Lee Cameron Jamie Cox 14 [20] 19 14 16 13 13 [22] 125.0
18 11882 Ian Law Jonathan Donahue 12 16 [OCS] 16 17 15 [DNF] 17 129.0
19 4317 Laura Tichkowsky Sara Sparks [22] 19 20 19 15 19 [DNF] 20 148.0
20 14462 Cindy Welsh Chris Welsh 15 17 17 18 DNF [DNC] [DNC] 19 149.0
21 10347 Alex Hunt Joseph McNamee 19 18 16 DNF DNC [DNC] [DNC] 14 157.0
22 10142 Mary Wood Daniel LeMier 17 22 21 DNC [DNC] [DNC] 15 23 161.0
23 1207 John Henoch Thomas O'Scolai DNC 23 22 17 [DNC] 18 [DNC] 21 164.0
24 11793  Neil Dickie Peter Raush 23 21 24 20 DNC DNF [DNC] [DNF] 178.0
25 13706 William Hunt Skip Cooper 20 24 DNF DNC DNC DNC [DNC] [DNC] 188.0
26 18706 Doug Vandervelde Lars Muendermann 24 25 23 DNF DNC DNC [DNC] [DNC] 189.0