Final Nationals Report and Results

Event Sponsored by Noble, Harken & Typhoon

Fireball Grand Nationals 2013

Final Report

The final day of the Fireball Nationals brought some sunshine to Looe bay for the 1st time this week. With results tight at the top and the previous day lost to light winds, there was all to play for and nerves in the boat park were tense.

The series leaders, Christian Birrell and Richard Anderton knew it was as easy to win it as lose it, with lighter winds than in previous days. Before the race Richard said “I knew we needed to focus. A 2 point lead is nothing with 3 races to come, I knew it was going to be tight. Light airs are ultra tough and require precise concentration.”

After a general recall and under black flag, race 1 got away in about 8 knots of breeze from the south. Birrell & Anderton, like a lot of the fleet, were set up more for the forecasted 15 knots of breeze and on 22.6” rake, were underpowered for the conditions. It was Matt Burge and Richard Wagstaff, current European Champions, who made the most of the marginal trapezing conditions and they took the bullet from Dave Wade, sailing with current National Champion Dan Ellis. Tom Gillard and Simon Potts took 3rd, closing the gap on leaders Birrell & Anderton who finished 4th. 

With pressure mounting, the second race of the day got underway with the gold fleet regulars out in front on lap 1. On the 2nd beat Gillard & Potts spotted a shift, banged hard left, got 1st to the mark and went on to lead the next lap and half. On the penultimate reach Burge & Wagstaff rolled Gillard & Potts, pulling them high of the mark, allowing Birrell & Anderton to get water on Gillard & Potts and take second at the gybe mark. Birrell & Anderton then managed to roll Burge & Wagstaff on the final reach and take the bullet. “Boom” said Richard after the race, knowing that made their lead unassailable.

Race 3 was  a formality with Birrell & Anderton already champions. Regardless, they sailed to the end in the lovely summer sunshine to finish second and complete their net series score of 10, discarding a DNF and a 4th place to score 1’s and 2’s across the board. The final race was won by the fleet boat, sailed by Matt Rainback and Simon Foskett who finished 6th overall. 2nd place went to Gillard & Potts and 3rd to Chips Howarth & Vyv Anderton.

After the racing the teams gathered at Looe SC for the final prize giving followed by some live music. There were some generous prizes donated by the sponsors Typhoon and Harken and winners in various categories including; Individual race winners, over 50 helm and crew, 1st lady helm and crew, Brixham trophy for the highest place helm and crew to never win an open or place in the top 10 at a nationals, novice helm and crew, youth helm and crew, perseverance trophy for the lowest place boat to finish all races, classic boat trophy, 1st, 2nd, 3rd in Bronze and Silver fleets and also the top 10 finishers overall.

After being awarded their deserved title Richard Anderton said; “It’s been an awesome week, great conditions and great social. Really  looking forward to coming back to such an amazingly well organised event next year”. With a set of results like that it’s no surprised he enjoyed it. 

A big thanks to the team at Looe SC for putting on such a spectacular event. 

Full results


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