Blackwater Sailing Club's race week saw a total of 15 fireballs enjoying close racing and sunny weather. The first day, Sunday, was a lovely shifty force 4 and there was some very tight racing right through the fleet - something that was to continue all week with every place hotly contested.
Race 1 was won by Martin Scarth/Tony King after a close battle with Maria Richards/Nigel Sheppard with Steve Jarred/Jez White in 3rd place. Race 2 saw Martin/Tony overhauled up the final beat by Charlie Stewart/Sue Sheppard with Bryan/Will Sargeant coming home in 3rd place. In the evening, competitors and friends enjoyed a fun evening at a local restaurant for dinner and drinks.
Monday had much the same conditions as Sunday and Race 3 was again won by Martin/Tony with Steve/Jez pushing them hard in 2nd place. Maria/Nigel sailed a storming beat to move into a comfortable 3rd ahead of Bryan/Will and Charlie/Sue who finished line astern in 4th & 5th. Race 4 was again very tight and as Steve/Jez found out, a bad start meant they struggled to recover through the fleet, the standard was so good. This race was won by Martin/Tony with Charlie/Sue in 2nd and Maria/Nigel in 3rd. Many of the fireballers then spent the afternoon joining in the treasure hunt around Maldon, some less worried about their time keeping than others and therefore sampling some of the local pubs on route!
The fleet were not blessed with quite the same conditions on Tuesday but racing continued to be very tight, keeping everyone on their toes. By Wednesday, the wind had all but died, dropping further as the race continued. Those lucky enough to keep momentum and concentration enjoyed a beer or two before some others returned! Thursday saw rain and a distinct lack of wind for the last day - there was a unanimous decision to abandon racing and take the competition to the bowling alley instead!
Friday was slightly painful as there were great conditions as at the beginning of the week....however, it was the turn of the fireballs to run the racing and rescue for the day so they could only but watch. So, with the week's racing completed, Martin/Tony were clear winners of the first series with 3 race wins, winning the Goldhanger Cup, and Charlie/Sue won the Blobs trophy for the second series.
Regatta day saw several crew changes and was rather wet with flooding to contend with on the return ashore but there was still another tight race to be had with positions changing throughout the race. It was eventually won on the last leg by Charlie and new crew, Anna. Many of the fleet braved the driving rain to attempt the greasy pole with Jon Chetland probably being the most successful of the fireball sailors, claiming at least one flag and the resulting prize money!