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Fireball Open at Hunts Sailing Club

Fireballs at Hunts
Fireballs at Hunts  Photo © HSC

A small but enthusiastic fleet took to the water on Saturday 9th May. Setting off in a moderate breeze the forecast strong winds soon kicked in making for some lively and interesting sailing.

In race one Jon Cowper/Martin Mills won the start but by the windward mark it was Richard Pratt/Charlie Jeynes with the early lead only to take a mark to port instead of starboard allowing father & son team Simon & Tom Maskell to slip ahead. Despite a bit of a spinnaker issue Simon & Tom maintained the lead to the finish followed by Mark Maskell/Nigel Sheppard in second with Steve Jarred/Dave Nichols in third.

With a veering wind Race Officer Andy Alcock changed the course, setting some fast spinnaker reaches with plenty of boat handling practice to be endured. Race two got underway with Simon/Tom taking the lead followed by Steve/Dave then Mark/Nigel. With a very shifty wind, gusting 25-30 knots, just keeping upright became a challenge at times. Simon/Tom & Steve/Dave were both wiped out by a particularly vicious gust at the leeward mark allowing Mark/Nigel, in full control, to calmly sail past the wreckage into the lead which they held to the finish. Steve/Dave came in second with Richard/Charlie in third, Jon/Martin fourth. Simon/Tom retiring after needing outside assistance and hanging their heads in shame!

With all to play for in the final race Simon/Tom managed to get out clean at the start and lead at the windward mark closely followed by Richard/Charlie with the remaining boats close behind. With the wind gusts remaining brutal staying upright was again key. Richard/Charlie pushed Simon/Tom hard all the way but were just unable to get their noses ahead. Simon/Tom took first, and with it the overall win, Richard/Charlie second with Mark/Nigel third. Jon/Martin retiring unfortunately injured.

The day ended with very tired and bruised teams and a very welcome crawl to the bar.

Overall Results:

1st 14886 Simon Maskell/Tom Maskell
2nd 15066 Mark Maskell/Nigel Sheppard
3rd 15125 Richard Pratt/Charlie Jeynes
4th 15115 Steve Jarred/Dave Nichols
5th 14415 Jon Cowper/Martin Mills



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