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Fireballs Dominate the Shoreham Cooler Series

 

The Shoreham SC autumn cooler series didn't start too well for eventual victor Nick Hurst. Warm weather, south westerly breeze and the traditional Shoreham lumps in abundance - perfect conditions. An unscheduled slot gasket inspection just before the start of race 1 meant getting off on the back foot - albeit with good pace & at the top mark we weren't too far out of touch. Spinnaker pole issues compounded the felony, however, and we trailed in behind Stewart Scarff / Dave Warner and Martin Walker / Phil Popple. More kite pole issues forced a retirement from race 2, so I can't relate events except that Stewart & Dave won again with Martin and Phil 2nd.

2nd weekend & Tyler Harmsworth rejoined the Fireball fleet, fresh from victory in the SSC Phantom open meeting. Offshore breeze, and lots of it, so flat water, but more shifts and gusts to contend with. Your correspondent screwed up a pre-start gybe (see a pattern emerging here?) so we didn't have time or opportunity to rake back - just leave it & go. Chasing Olly & Robin's 5o5 around made for great racing, and Tyler's skills up front kept the clumsy driver alive. Fabulous reaches set by Race officer Steve Popple were exhilarating, but did he really have to set the gybe mark in the windiest bit of the course? Olly & Robin took a swim at the gybe leaving Nick & Tyler 1st, with Stewart & Dave 2nd and Martin & Phil 3rd. Race 4 was becoming even windier, but Tyler did his stuff & kept me in the game, whilst Stewart failed to cover Martin properly & dropped to 3rd on the line. I don't think I've ever been faster in a Fireball!

So, going into the final weekend any one of three could win the series. Tyler defected to another 5o, so Robin Hobson was roped in to the front of Jambo, with the other crews remaining consistent. Breeze F4-5 from east of south & lumps - more standard Shoreham fare. Robin's height is a definite advantage when the breeze is on & Nick romped away up the first beat to win from Stewart/Dave 2nd & Martin/Phil 3rd. With an estimated single point advantage over Stewart, Nick couldn't afford to slip in the decider. But the gods had other ideas & the guy parted on the 2nd reach. Mix gear failure with the breeze dropping a bit & the racing was much closer with place changing going on until Nick got his head back into gear & took a close win from Martin/Phil 2nd and Stewart/Dave 3rd.

Overall Results:

Place

Helm

Crew

Class

Sail No

Name

1st

Nick Hurst

Tyler Harmsworth/Robin Hobson

Fireball

14821

Jambo

2nd

Stewart Scarff

Dave Warner

Fireball

15038

Rock n Rolla

3rd

Martin Walker

Philip Popple

Fireball

14579

Curveball

With the unseasonably mild weather we all wished the series was longer - so next year it will be. It's an open event so watch the SSC website or the Shoreham Fireballs facebook page for more information. Come & join us for the best sea sailing in the south!

 

 



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