Regatta Report

1999 Fireball North American and Front Runner Midwinters

Held at Davis Island YC March 12, 13 and 14 - Photos

This year marked the 34th appearance of the Fireballs and the 3rd showing by the Front Runners. There were 8 Fireballs, some coming from as far away as Canada, and there were 7 Front Runners, a new high for the class.

Friday brought light winds and a postponed start as the famous Tampa Bay Calm filled in nicely starting about 1100. Racing began after 1300 with the Fireballs sailing their favored hard reach triangle with an oval and the Front Runners "gettin’ down" on windward / leewards.

Fireballer Pat Crump’s "Paper Bird" (crewed with Local Boy Jamie Rabbit) piled on some pretty impressive early leads, at one point even pausing sailing for a refreshing beverage break at the top of the course (after being chided for not playing well with others, I mean, come on, a NINE AND A HALF MINUTE LEAD?) before resuming racing. The Front Runners displayed their usual tight formations, with leads changing hands often.

Saturday morning revealed Fireball "Devil’s Haircut" in the traditional place of honor in the Club’s swimming pool, and introduced a new feature – Front Runner "Never NeverLand" also in the pool! A Fireballer was heard to say "An idea whose time had come." Skipper Mike Carn took it all in stride, awakening the straggling Fireballers with several horn blasts strategically aimed at occupied sleeping bags, saying "It took the whole fleet to get it in, I guess it’ll take the whole fleet to get it out!"

The day came with moderate winds, allowing both classes to get up and plane, though, as usual, the sailors were begging for more. Crump continued to dominate the Fireball class, and the Front Runners stayed well mixed. Unfortunately, Front Runner designer Bill Spencer’s "Big Red Boat" broke her rudder, forcing his retirement for the day. In a bit of mischeviousness, the Race Committee mixed up the courses, as well, throwing in a windward / leeward course for the Fireballs ("What?! No reaching leg?") and a triangle / oval for the Front Runners.

Entertainment Saturday night sponsored cooperatively with the J-24 Fleet Championships was enjoyed by all, and several crews partook of the Club’s spaghetti dinner and fellowship.

Sunday the racers were greeted with a tornado watch complements of an imminent cold front passage, and the Race Committee elected to abandon racing for the day.

Awards were presented in the Clubhouse. The Fireball fleet presented Joe Linton with a special award from the class in honor of his decades of work supporting this regatta. Fireball sailors Mike Thompson and Henry McCray, Commodore and Vice Commodore of the Cooper River Sailing Club, presented Davis Island YC with a burgee, proudly displayed next to the main entrance door.

One final incident marred the event. Fireballer Gary Van Tassel II injured his back while lifting his boat onto her trailer, resulting in a 911 call. He was taken to Tampa General Hospital with a suspected ruptured disk that turned out after X-rays to be a strain. We wish him well in his recuperation and look forward to seeing him come back next year.

I’ve got a huge long list of Club members to thank for their contributions to the Race Committee for this event – Joe Linton (who’s forgotten more about these guys than I suspect I’ll ever know), Jay Tyson, my wife Karol Pichon, George Williams, George and Barbara Wolf, Susan Stevens, John Linton, Susan Cintron, Vic Gittens and Don Highnote. Visitors Idarae Prothero, Ellen Henderson, Paul Evans (who took digital pictures for Web posting) and Paul Howell all pitched in to help. And let’s not forget the Dingy Dames: Grail Hanford, Jeannine Wish-Yeko and Amanda Hus. Finally, special thanks to Roy Sherman, who talked me into this gig over several Adult Beverages while ringing in the New Year!


Regatta Chair

Paul Leonard

home 727.573.4504

work 813.249.3395


                    Davis Island Yacht Club

              Fire/Front Mids       SERIES RESULTS

          DNC Score for FIREBALLS       =  9 

          DNC Score for FRONT RUNNERS   =  8 




   1 PAPER BIRD      P. CRUMP           CEDAR P      5.00

     (1)   1    1    1    1    1 


     (3)   3    2    2    3    2 


     (9)   2    3    3    2    3 

   4 MISTIVE         S. SERRE DE STJEA  KANATA      23.00

      2    4   (6)   5    6    6 

   5 VOODOO DADDY    D. LAWRENCE        WRSC        24.00

      4   (6)   4    6    5    5 

   6 BOOMER          G. VAN TASSEL      HAMPTON     24.00

     (9)   7    5    4    4    4 

   7                 M. MCEVOY          NEPEAN      33.00

      5   (8)   7    7    7    7 

   8 LOUNGE LIZARD   W. OLSON           COOPER      37.00

      6    5    8   (9)   9    9 



     (3)   1    3    3    1    1 

   2 SLINGBLADE      J. WILLIAMS        FBYC        12.00

      4    3    2    1    2   (5)

   3 FUZZY LOGIC     J. BLACK           FISHING     16.00

      2   (5)   4    4    4    2 

   4 SNAFU           M. HEINRICH        SOLOMON     16.00

      1    6   (7)   2    3    4 

   5 ZULU TIME       J. BORTON                      25.00

      6   (7)   6    5    5    3 

   6 BIG RED BOAT    B. SPENCER         FISHING     26.00

      5    4    1   (8)   8    8 

   7 BLUE            L. FARINHOLT       FISHING     28.00

      7    2    5    6   (8)   8 

   Results printed on 14-MAR-1999  09:32:27

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