For 35 years in a row Fireballs have descended on Davis Island Yacht Club for their midwinter championships. And, once again, a wonderful time was had by all. The weather was well into the 80s for all three days of the event, and we had a mix of wind conditions to suit everyone.
Friday began very light (okay, mirror-like) and the regatta chair asked us if we'd waive the Sailing Instruction of no races after 3pm. So instead of sailing, most of the fleet went for an after-lunch swim. The breeze did eventually come in, and three good races were held in winds of 5 to 7 knots with rumours of much more to come on Saturday.
Saturday began with an early morning start (9am!!!) that looked to be a repeat of Friday's conditions. The first two races were light air, although somewhat stronger than Fridays. But during the lunch break somebody remembered where the "wind switch" was and turned it on. A breeze of 18 to 20 knots filled in from the southwest, the long fetch of Tampa Bay turning our sailing area into something of a washing machine. Yes, Fireballs do fill with water in a big chop! Even Frontrunners were seen to capsize in the wind, and that fleet disappeared after the first afternoon race. Dave&Mona were forced to retire with a broken tiller extension and missed the rest of the afternoon. A few Fireballs toughed it out for a 2nd race in the stronger conditions with capsizes making for big gains (and losses) on the racecourse.
Sunday was somewhat chillier, with the wind having swung to the North. The wind remained in the 18 knot range for the first race of the morning, but the chop of the day before had flattened out to the relief of the competitors. The breeze began dying in the 2nd race, making it important to avoid the holes and capitalize on the wind shifts.
This was a great regatta. Everyone had someone nearby to race with, and there were no long waits at the end of the races. We welcomed Dorset Noble from Miami back for his first Fireball regatta in many years. Three boats from Ottawa made the trek down to represent Canada, and Dan & Mary came all the way to Colorado, for their first sail in Devil's Haircut after purchasing it from G2. There were no Frontrunners tossed into the pool this year (no one had the energy Saturday night) but Mark Matthews was the lucky owner of the tradtional Fireball in the pool.
|Pos||Sail #||Home||Skipper||Crew||Pts||Individual Races|
|1||USA14700||Charlston SC||Henry McCray||Mike Thompson||12||(3),1,1,1,2,2,3,1,1|
|2||USA11451||NC||Patrick Crump||Andrew "Bam Bam"||16||1,2,2,2,1,(3),2,3,3|
|3||USA14626||Seaford VA||Gary Van Tassel II||G1||19||(4),3,4,3,3,1,1,2,2|
|4||CAN12939||Ottawa ON||David Landsberg||Mona Barakat||37||2,4,3,4,4,(11),11,5,4|
|5||CAN13890||Ottawa ON||Mike McEvoy||Paul||45||(7)7,5,5,6,7,4,4,7,7|
|7||CAN14678||Ottawa ON||Phil Locker||Steph Serre de St Jeans||47||5,6,7,(8),6,6,5,6,6|
|8||USA14666||Boulder CO||Mary Wood||Dan||63||6,7,8,7,8,(11),11,8,8|
|9||USA9061||Miami FL||Dorset Noble||.||72||9,9,9,9,9,7,11,11,9|
|10||71481||Charleston SC||Dayton Colie||.||86||10,10,(11),11,11,11,11,11,11|