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News

2011 Worlds - Day 1

A difficult day on the race course still beats a great day at the office

Or so the saying goes, and on a day when the sun shone and the wind provided everyone with a challenge, it was infinitely easier to be racing Fireballs than contemplating work in the morning.

57 boats launched from Sligo Yacht Club's slipway this morning en route to a 13:00 start. It was a great sight to see and must have provided the organisers of this event a huge sense of relief. The sleepless nights, the speculation as to how many entries there would be evaporated in the sunshine of Ireland's west coast.

Round 1 went to the Race Officer who, after two aborted starts, signalled by General Recall, brought out the Black Flag. 4 boats went over the finish line to silence and for Tom Gillard and Sam Brearey (GBR 15041) it must have been particular disappointing as they led for most, if not all, of the race. The front three of Gillard/Brearey, Jonny McGovern & Max Capener (GBR 14801) and Matt Burge & Richard Wagstaff (GBR 15036) seemed to have their own race such was their lead on the rest of the fleet. Behind them the chasing pack consisted of Tim Rush and Richard Pepperdine (GBR 15065), Noel Butler & Stephen Oram (IRL 15061) and Andy Boyle & Brian Flahive (IRL 14934) among others. An ebbing tide made course selection very important and right side of the beat seemed to pay in that respect.

Others to fall foul of the Black Flag were Martin Peculier & Jean-Francois Nouel (FRA 15015), Alex Taylor & Richard Anderton (GBR 15031) and Vince Horey & Andy Thompson. Winners from last week, Ben Schulz & Phillip Bowley had a horror first race eventually retiring to reset their rigging and sails.

Race 1 was thus claimed by Matt Burge & Richard Wagstaff, followed by McGovern/Capener, Butler/Oram, Boyle/Flahive, Rush/Pepperdine, Hannah Showell & Barry Smith (GBR14430), Remy Thuillier/Loic Berthelot (FRA14917), David Wade & Simon Potts (GBR15045), Guy Tipton & Matt King (CAN 14907) and Jaroslav Werner & Jakob Napravnik (CZE14809).

Race 2 saw the committee boat relocated to a more westerly location for two reasons - a wind switch and too much shallow water in the vicinity of the race track. The wind was also in decline, from an early morning high of 9 knots, it would eventually drop to 5 knots - in accordance it must be said with the website forecast that this scribe looked at this morning!

There was a 60/40 split between the right and left hand sides of the beat with those on the left being lifted around the outside of the course to their detriment and the advantage of those who had gone right. The leading bunch were the same as Race 1 - Gillard, McGovern and Burge - but others who were well up included the French (FRA15015), Taylor/Anderton, the Scotts, Andy and Derian, the No.1 Czech Team, Tipton & King, Rush & Pepperdine, Phil Popple & Doug Shore (GBR15070). The right side continued to be the favoured side of the beat. Due to the dying breeze, the significant switch in its direction and probably the lateness of the proceedings saw the Race Management Team shorten course to the 3rd weather mark.

Burge/Wagstaff took line honours, followed by McGovern/Capener and Gillard/Brearey. Alan Krailing & Tim Saunders (GBR14954) claimed fourth, the French 5th, and Rush/Pepperdine 6th. First of the Irish boats was Kenny Rumball and Seamus Moore in 12th place, followed by Barry McCartin & Conor Kinsella & Boyle/Flahive.

Thus with two races down, the top ten reads as follows;

Overall

Sail No.

Nat.

Helm

Crew

Race 1

Race 2

Total

1

15036

GBR

M. Burge

R. Wagstaff

1

1

2

2

14801

GBR

J. McGovern

M. Capener

2

2

4

3

15065

GBR

T. Rush

R. Pepperdine

5

6

11

4

14907

CAN

G. Tipton

M. King

9

8

17

5

14954

GBR

A. Krailing

T. Saunders

15

4

19

6

14809

CZE

J. Verner

J. Napravnik

10

11

21

7

14934

IRL

A. Boyle

B. Flahive

4

18

22

8

14917

FRA

R. Thuillier

L. Berthelot

7

15

22

9

14941

GBR

D. Scott

A. Scott

12

10

22

10

15070

GBR

P. Popple

D. Shore

16

7

23

For the home fleet, the pecking order in Boyle/Flahive, Rumball/Moore, Butler/Oram, McCartin/KInsella and Simon McGrotty & Tony Fitzgerald (IRL 14981)

Among the ladies, Derian Scott (Helm/9th) leads, followed by Hannah Showell (Helm/16th) and Diane Kissane (Helm/26th).

A gallery of photographs is available at fotosail.com/2011fireballworlds courtesy of Gareth Craig of Fotosail, and also on this site here



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